‘Nailing’ the Construction Project Manager Interview


After recruiting within the Construction space since 1999, we have worked numerous searches for Project Managers. Within those searches, the mandatory job requirements, as well as the job descriptions, has varied broadly between construction firms.

Helping candidates fully prepare for a project manager interview is dependent on understanding the hiring firms unique requirements.  However, there are always common elements for all construction project manager roles.

Becoming proficient on the essential skill sets that are required in all construction project manager roles is the first step in being able to convince the hiring manager that you are interviewing with that you not only understand, but are uniquely qualified to handle the responsibilities of a construction project manager role.

4 Core Strengths for Construction Project  Managers

  • Project Managers have to be able to MULTI TASK. Construction project managers in particular regularly undergo rapid and numerous changes such as shifting deadlines, fluctuations in the budget, and a potential decrease in the availability of resources. Be sure to emphasize your ability as a candidate to effectively prioritize different management operations that are crucial for success.
  • When it comes to recruiting a project manager, construction recruiters are seeking to hire individuals that are FLEXIBLE and can deal with unexpected situations that may arise during the project.    Candidates should display a willingness to lead and posses the ability to build relationships with both internal and external stakeholders.
  • Successful Project Managers are GOAL ORIENTATED. Ultimately the job of a project manager is to complete the project. Getting a project completed on time on budget is the goal, and it falls squarely on a project managers shoulders.
  • Projects can get complicated and have varying risks associated with it. As a Project Manager, you are first and foremost required to ensure that the project flows seamlessly which includes investigating potentially dangerous situations and implementing corrective measures.

You are also expected to have all the knowledge to predict a successful project outcome by determining what is known as the IRON TRIANGLE which includes the following:

  • Project schedule
  • Project budget
  • Project scope
  • Lastly—but most importantly—a valuable Project Manager is required to excel in their COMMUNICATION SKILLS. About 90% of the Construction Project Manager role entails communicating with various stakeholders such as employers, sponsors, sub-contractors, lenders, government officials, and the media by developing an effective communications management plan. The Project Manager must be able to transform intricate project details into a simple, easy-to-complete activity as well as delegate individuals to work on specific portions of overall projects. The remaining 10% of the time is spent in the documentation of said communication.

A successful Project Manager is therefore able to align the needs of the project with those of the stakeholders across the board and be the bridge between any and all communication gaps that may exist. A Project Manager uses their reasoning and technical ability, coupled with their strong communication, leadership and management skills to correspond effectively with the concerned parties.



Duties of a Construction Project Manager

It pays to familiarize yourself with the common duties of project managers. Being able to say that you have experience in the following duties will be very beneficial as you apply for project manager roles.

The majority of construction recruiting firms are looking to hire project managers to facilitate the following agenda:

  • Obtain estimates and prepares a cost analysis for the project
  • Maintain detailed and comprehensible job folders that are accessible to all employees
  • Create, modify and follow project schedules
  • Bring stakeholders together on established project objectives as per the company policy
  • Possess reasoning and mathematical ability to understand and formulate reports
  • Display a sound understanding of the acquisition process
  • Manage information distribution channels
  • Engage in Nonlinear Management practices
  • Increased savings on project costs
  • Timely execution and delivery
  • Strong leadership and management skills

There is currently a great need for Project Managers that have the following skill sets:


Excellent Communicators

Goal Orientated

Strong Ability to Multi-Task

If you have the above abilities, and have an inclination to manage others, and  an aptitude for leadership, you should consider exploring pursuing this career path.

Since 1999, International Search Consultants has been a leader in Construction Recruiting.

Feel free to reach out to ISC’s team of Construction Recruiters today if you are interested in career opportunities within the Construction industry. 

You can reach Ann Zaslow-Rethaber, President at International Search Consultants directly at 888-866-7276 or via email at .

Carolyn McClendon is Director of Construction Recruiting and can be reached via direct dial at 888-974-0086 or email at