When we attend an interview, we are so focussed on putting our best foot forward and
impressing the interviewer, that we forget that they need to impress us too! If you’re on the
path of a successful career in Facilities Management, then starting with a new business is
a huge step, so make sure you ask the right questions.
1) “What would you hope to see accomplished in my first 3/6/12 months?”
As a Facilities Manager expectations are always high, as is your profile within the
business. So it’s important for you to understand their expectations and whether you feel
they are realistic. If their expectations are wildly unrealistic you need to consider if you
have the skills and experience to manage those expectations and demonstrate, once in
the role, what really is achievable. Equally, if the accomplishments seem quite small
compared to your current role, you will need to consider whether you will find the role
2) “What do you enjoy about working for this business?”
If your interviewer really struggles for an answer then that should set off alarm bells in your
head. This is a great question to ask, as it gives you an understanding of the culture of the
business, and what is valued by the employees. They may comment on the product or
service the business offers and the satisfaction they get, or simply say “the people”.
Whatever the answer it will tell you a lot about the business you are considering working
for, so listen carefully to the answer and be worried if they can’t think of anything!.
3) “Do you have any reservations about my ability to succeed in this role?”
This may sound a little forward but this really is your last chance to quash any worries or
concerns they may have about your performance. It may be your Facilities Management
experience, or the scale of the organisations you have worked in before. If they’re open
and give an honest answer, try and explain away their concerns, rather than simply agree
with them to give yourself the best chance of being offered the position.
4) “Where would I fit in to your existing team in terms of experience?”
Understanding where you’d fit in the team structure, and whether you’d be a mentor or
whether you’d be mentored is really important. If you’re feeling like you’ve built up a vast
amount of experience then land in a role with a more experienced Facilities Manager, who
likes to dictate, you may feel that you’ve taken a step backwards. Alternatively you might
be hoping to share your skills and knowledge with junior staff, so consider where you want
to be in the team and what you’re looking for.
5) “Do you offer continuous training to your staff?”
The business world is constantly changing, and as a Facilities Manager it’s important that
you can change with it. Investment in training is a sign of a company that values its
employees and wants to see them grow and succeed. If the business can instantly tell you
what training schemes are available to someone at your level this is a great sign that the
business values the role and its place within the organisation.
6) “What is the main problem currently facing your Facilities Management team?”
This one might be a little tricky if you work for a competitor as they may not want to talk
openly about problems that are currently facing their team. However it’s certainly worth
asking the question as you may be surprised by the honesty of the answer. If morale is the
problem, then you need to consider and demonstrate how you could help to improve this,
or perhaps a lack of experience in the team may be their main problem, which gives you
an opportunity to demonstrate how your skills and experience could help.
7) “If I was lucky enough to get the position, how would my success be judged?”
Similar to the accomplishments question, is understanding how your success will be
judged. It might be on a project basis, or it could be more of a wider judgement about your
ability to run a team successfully. It could be through weekly meetings with your direct
manager or just through a yearly appraisal. Whichever it is, it’s important to understand, so
you can assess whether that style of review works and motivates you.
Remember when it comes to an interview, you’re learning about the company just as much
as they’re learning about you. Often when a job offer comes in, we’re flattered and we
ignore any niggling reservations we may have. However if there is something raised at an
interview that concerns you or makes you think it might not be the right job for you, don’t
ignore it! Raise it again with the company at a second interview or when the offer is made,
as a wrong move could prove to be a costly and unhappy mistake for your career.
CNM Specialist Recruitment specialise in Built Environment recruitment across Yorkshire and the North of
England. Focussing on Construction, Engineering, Maintenance, Surveying, Architecture and
Facilities Management, CNM Specialist Recruitment aim to build long term partnerships with both clients and