Ace Your General Contractor Interview
Since Chip and Joanna Gaines started fixing things up, armchair experts everywhere believe anyone—themselves included—can be a general contractor. Not so much. This attitude has made it necessary for actual general contractors to up their game in interviews in order to get the job. Yes, your past work goes a long way toward selling your skills and abilities, but how can you ensure that you walk away with the job after your general contractor interview?
#1: Show it Off
You already know to assemble a physical or digital portfolio showcasing your best work. Make sure you are also focusing on the work that is relevant to the job you’re trying to land. For instance, if you’re meeting with a couple to renovate a 19th century Victorian, you don’t need to focus much time or attention on all the latest concrete pool decks you’ve installed. Even though they’re awesome.
#2: Be Body Language Conscious
Being friendly, positive, and and professional will go a long way. Be mindful of how you are positioning yourself so you can portray these qualities at all times. Do this by: Never talking down to your potential clients or bad mouthing former clients; Maintaining tall posture and keeping your front facing the client at all times; Maintaining eye contact and actively listening during conversations. You want to demonstrate that not only are you a skilled contractor, but you also appreciate that your client has a vision and you want to partner with them to turn that vision into reality.
#3: Keep Credentials on Hand
Make sure your license and insurance are up to date and present your credentials to potential clients even before they can ask for them. This will show them you’re upfront and honest, as well as cognizant of and obedient to rules and regulations. Additionally, be prepared to address warranty questions. Do you offer them? Are you willing to?
#4: Provide References
Collect positive feedback from past clients and be prepared to present not only photos of projects but recommendations from satisfied clients.
#5: Tell Prospects About Your Crew
About Your Crew. Homeowners often feel uneasy giving strangers access to their home. Prepare to put future clients at ease about the workers you employ. Do you perform drug tests and background checks? What’s your turnover rate? How long have these people worked for you? Will you be using subcontractors? Have you used them before? What are their credentials?
#6: Get Real About Timelines
If you are in the middle of three intense projects, don’t commit to another one if you can’t deliver. Be upfront about the time it will take. If it would normally take you six weeks to do it, but due to your current workload, it might take 8-10, say that. Maybe the client is flexible about the turnaround. However, you don’t want to promise to complete something in 6 weeks and then be late. Most people will appreciate upfront honesty versus excuses down the road.
#7: Be Transparent
While you don’t want to lead with the negative, be prepared to discuss any disciplinary action or bankruptcy you’ve experienced during your general contractor interview. Chances are good, if this is something you’ve gone through, potential clients will know about it. If they ask about it, be frank about the circumstances and how you’ve worked through them. Showing your willingness to discuss adversity can work in your favor.
#8: Communicate About Communication
How often will the client want to hear from you? They may want daily updates or weekly meetings. Agree beforehand how you’ll communicate so there is no room for miscommunication. If they want a daily phone call, but you don’t think you can accommodate that, see if you can get them to agree to a daily text instead or phone calls every other day.
Most importantly, be honest, upfront, and true to yourself. These general contractor interview tips let your work and character shine through so you can land the jobs you’ve already earned.
Once you’ve turned your prospect into a client, RediMix is ready to help you deliver the best product! Got a lot of jobs? Sign up for wholesale pricing on any of our products to increase your margins even more!