The construction and property services sector hires graduates in a range of roles, from mechanical engineers and site inspectors to estimators and contract lawyers. To ensure that this diverse collection of professionals can work together to achieve overall business goals, and deliver on the core promises of their employers, organisations in construction and property services require all graduate applicants to pass through a stringent recruitment process.
This may involve multiple interviews, psychometric tests, group exercises, and written submissions. Little wonder—after all, those who succeed in the construction and property services sector may ultimately find themselves running large, complex teams, managing million-dollar budgets, and overseeing projects with great social or commercial significance. It takes a lot of on-the-job training to prepare workers for that degree of responsibility, and construction organisations want to be confident they’re investing that training in the right person.
So what can you do to prove that you’re the right person? Well, as they say, first impressions are lasting, so you could do worse than to prepare very carefully for your initial interviews, which are designed to help recruiters identify candidates with unusual promise and ambition. To help you get ready, we’ve asked our industry insiders—all of whom have made successful graduate applications in the past—to assist us in creating a list of 20 practice questions. After reviewing the list, you’ll also find seven insider tips that will give you an advantage when the day of the big interview rolls around. Good luck!
“Appreciate the big picture, and how your skill set fits into that. As a grad, they are interested in both what value you can bring on day one, but more importantly what your aspirations are for the longer future and whether that meshes with their own.”
Graduate, Sydney, AECOM
“Be yourself—emotional intelligence is highly rated. The graduate program is looking for its future leaders.”
Graduate, Sydney, Downer Group
“Being the loud confident person in the group interview is not the best way to get through. Measured and accurate comments that make sense are a lot more worthwhile. Don't try to steer the ship without information to back you up.”
Graduate, Melbourne, Lendlease
“Try as hard as you can to get experience prior to applying. This makes an enormous impact on your ability to be able to respond to the work you may do, as you actually have an idea of what it entails. This is of course not to say you cannot get in without experience. You just realise the value of the experience once you have it and you also gain confidence from your experience if you are good at what you do.”
Graduate, Melbourne, AECOM
“For any company, it is important to have some background knowledge on them. What projects they have completed or are working on, any events they participate in. It shows the company you have a genuine interest in working for them specifically and also you should know exactly why you want to be apart of that team.”
Graduate, Melbourne, Kane Construction
“Go in there and be yourself. I recall telling my interviewers about some of the things I would get up to when in a band. Just say what is on your mind, interviewers will see you as being confident and comfortable and they in turn will be also.”
Graduate, Sydney, Lendlease
“The best preparation would be to research the company well, understand the industry you are applying for and show how passionate you are to complete the program and develop yourself.”
Graduate, Perth, Probuild