How to Interview And Hire a Construction Project Manager

Are you having a hard time juggling your usual job with the construction work?

A construction project manager is the key to successful construction projects. From overseeing the construction planning and design right to project delivery, the project manager will handle every day-to-day activity.

An efficient project manager can take a load off your plate and will ensure that your project stays within the allocated budget and schedule. They can manage everyday issues, challenges and delays and will get back the project on track.

With so much of the construction relying on a single person, it’s vital to hire only the best!

In this blog, we will cover the top qualities you need to look for in a construction project manager and the hiring process to pick the most-suited and skilled one.

4 Steps to Hire the Best Construction Project Manager

1. Define the Scope of the Role

A construction project manager should be able to help you with anything regarding the project. Before you start the hiring process, make sure to have a list of defined roles that you can match with the skills and expertise. Some of the essential responsibilities of a project manager are:

  • Assisting with the selection of the site, if needed. Sometimes, you may have already decided on the site. Even if that’s the case, you can bring in the project manager to help you with deciding the budget and schedule of the project from the very beginning. 
  • Overseeing the design phase. The project manager will take up the job of finalizing the designers through bidding, go through multiple designs with you and finalize the one within your budget. The project manager will act as a coordinator between you and the design team and ensure that your vision reflects in the design. 
  • Taking the lead with the vendor selection. From conducting the bidding process for contractors, managers and other people needed to getting the permits for the project, this pre-construction phase is where the real skills of the project manager start to shine.
  • Managing the entire construction. This is the phase where the immense help of the project manager is needed. The manager will act as the point of contact for the people working on the ground and will keep a check on the schedule and the budget and manage the construction accordingly. 
  • Completion and delivery. While some stop the responsibility of the project manager just after the delivery, you can extend the scope of the responsibility even after that. The project manager can stay in and oversee the handover of the final construction and deal with minor issues that may arise later.

2. Outline the Skills You Need

For a construction project manager to handle and perform all of these responsibilities with utmost efficiency, they should possess a wide variety of skills like:

  • Ability to create and understand blueprints and contracts.
  • Working experience with executing job bids and obtaining permits.
  • Work with the contractors and have a natural ability to lead.
  • Complete knowledge of the safety measures and compliance laws.
  • Proactive in predicting the need for permits or issues and taking steps accordingly. 
  • Ability to adhere to timelines.
  • Ability to speak plainly and clearly and have excellent communication with the contractors. 
  • Organized enough to handle multiple things simultaneously. 

Apart from these roles, it’s often best to check if the person has a Bachelor’s degree in Civil Engineering, Construction Management, Architecture or any other similar field.

3. Search for Referrals and Vetted Candidates

If you have come across any construction project managers in your scope of work, you can first try to hire them for your project. If not, go for the referrals of experienced project managers who have worked on projects of your scale. 

This will ensure that the project manager has sufficient working knowledge of the operations and will serve as an advantage during the hiring and bidding process of other construction contractors.

4. Ask the Right Questions

The interview is when you can really know the capability of the project manager. Even if the person looks great on a resume and has high recommendations, the interview is when you can test the actual skills of the person.

You can ask a combination of technical questions, details from previous experiences and behavioural questions. Here are a few questions you can ask to find details that won’t be available on a resume.

Skill-Based Questions 

  • What projects have you managed in the past? What’s the scale of these projects and what was your responsibility?
  • What is your practical approach during the pre-construction phase?
  • What licenses and permits are needed for construction?
  • How do you structure a team for the project? Why did you pick such a team?
  • What are the project management tools you have worked with?
  • What’s your measure of quality for a project’s success?

Behavioural Questions

  • What do you do if a project seems to be exceeding the budget? Have you been in a similar situation? If so, what did you do?
  • How do you handle a situation where the contractor isn’t meeting the deadlines?
  • How do you handle conflict with contractors?
  • What will you do if the contractor or any other service provider is violating the contract?
  • Describe a situation where you had negotiated a great deal for a construction project. What was the percentage of the cost you were able to reduce?
  • What do you consider the most successful-ever project where you have acted as a construction project manager?
  • What’s one big obstacle in construction according to you? How do you plan to overcome it?

Such questions will help to understand the ability of the project manager. Try to get answers that are specific instead of generalized ones. Since a lot depends on the capability of the project manager, make sure to go in prepared with a list of practical questions that will give you an insight into what the person can do.

Are you searching for an efficient construction project manager who can lead your project to success? At Mirage Industrial Group, we offer the best services for the management of construction projects under our watchful eyes. We stop at nothing to ensure that your construction goes off without a hitch and stays within the budget and timeline. Call us at 361 874 4500 to discuss the details.