Smart interview questions help you land that new job

Interviews are a two-way process: a chance for the interviewer to ask questions all about you and your experience, but also your opportunity to find out if this is an organisation you would want to work for.

One way to up your chances of securing that amazing new job is by asking the right interview questions! This demonstrates your genuine interest in the company and can often confirm your qualifications as a good candidate for the job. So, when the obligatory “do you have any questions?” rears its head at the end of an interview, don’t be left scratching yours! Do you research beforehand, jot down any budding questions in a notebook and confidently ask away.

Here’s a few smart questions to get you one step closer to interview success…


Interview questions for… the first step on the career ladder

Can you tell me a little more about the company?

This shows you’re interested in the business as a whole, not just your own situation/job. Depending on what they’ve already told you (and what you’ve already discovered from their website), you could always focus a specific area, such as:

  • Turnover and size
  • Plans for expansion
  • The company culture and management style
  • Working environment
  • Staff turnover rate
  • M&E clients they work with
  • Specific mechanical & electrical projects they’re working on
  • Future plans for the company

Who will I be working with?

This is a great to chance to find out who you’ll be working in close proximity to, on a daily basis. Good colleagues really can make a job! This will also give you an idea of the M&E team size and structure too – you could ask how many M&E project engineers, designers or quantity surveyors work for the company.

What would my day-to-day responsibilities be?

Ask the interviewer to describe a typical day in the job and your responsibilities. This will allow you to fully understand the position and what’s expected of you – that way they’ll be no crossed wires, or unexpected surprises, if you end up being offered the job.

Do you offer professional training and career development?

A need to know question, which also shows you’re keen to expand your knowledge and ultimately grow with the employer. If you have specific qualifications in mind, such as: APMP, HNC Engineering or BIM training, that you’d like to be supported for, ask what courses other members of the team are currently doing.


Interview questions for… advancing your career in the construction industry

How is performance measured and reviewed?

This shows you appreciate the importance of delivering real results in the M&E construction industry and understand the value of commitment, reliability and returns.

What are the prospects for promotion?   

It’s worth finding out how this job fits into the company’s long-term plans, especially if you are looking for a defined career path. Being ambitious, with a drive and desire to progress within the company, is admirable. And if there isn’t room to step up, you’ll need to consider your options.

What is the next step in the process?

The perfect question to tie up the interview and one you should 100% ask if you want to secure the job! This shows your forward thinking and keen to move along in the interview process. You may also find out how many other people are in the running for the position and timescales for second interviews etc.


Interview questions for… those at the top of the career ladder

What is one of the most interesting mechanical or electrical projects you’ve worked on?

This show you’re confident with a keen interest in the guts of the role. It will also give you a good idea of the level of M&E projects the company is working on. Feel free to ask about typical M&E project values, sectors and services installed.

What do you enjoy most about working here?

Taking it to a personal level will encourage the interviewer to fess up about his or her feelings and possibly give a unique insight into satisfaction levels. If they easily roll off a list of positives, it’s a good sign! However, if it’s a struggle and their body language closes down, this could be a red flag!

How do you think the recent merger, between your two main competitors, will affect the construction industry?

Do your research and show off your interest and knowledge in the construction industry the company operates in. Obviously your question will be relevant to the individual organisation, so could be related to mergers, losses, recent project wins, awards etc.

Is there anything you would like to improve in your department and how can I help?

The fact you are already looking at the broader goals of the department and wider company show you have fantastic leadership skills and are also keen to be part of the M&E team from day one.

Do you have any doubts about whether or not I am suited to this role?

This ballsy question shows you are open to taking constructive criticism on the chin, whilst also using every opportunity as a chance to learn and develop. It also gives you, perhaps a last attempt, to quash any doubts the interviewee may have about you, confidently address weaknesses and end the interview on high – by highlighting exactly why you believe you’re the right person for the job.