6 Questions Facilities Managers Should Ask During Interviews
Interviews can be grueling. You study for days, rehearsing your answers for likely interview questions, and drill down your responses until they become automatic. You select your most professional ensemble, get to bed at a decent hour and inevitably dream about the day ahead. Come morning, you wake up feeling confident, excited and nervous, but ready to march into your potential employer’s office and wow your interviewer with an exceptionally rehearsed song and dance. Or at least that's the plan...but in all your preparation, did you forget a key component?
The very last question an interviewer will ask is, Do you have any questions for me? The reason they ask is twofold:
- They want to make sure you get the information you need to determine for yourself whether the position is a good fit for you.
- The questions you ask will help your interviewer further gauge your experience, character and professionalism.
The most common mistake candidates make isn’t in their response to the main interview questions, it’s not having any questions of their own to ask at the end of their interview.
Our advice: Prepare a list of questions that spark dialogue. Close-ended questions that can be answered in one word do little to keep the conversation going, and the last thing you want is for your interview to fizzle out at the end. This is your chance to leave an impression! Here are six conversation-sparking questions facilities managers should ask during an interview that will undoubtedly make them a memorable candidate.
1. Do you have any concerns about my qualifications or ability to perform in this position?
This question is excellent because it gives you the opportunity to debunk any doubts your interviewer may have that would otherwise be discussed in your absence.
2. What would you like to see the new FM accomplish in their first 90 days?
Know how they will measure your success to determine whether you can deliver on their expectations. Should you be hired, this question also gives you clear direction so you can begin working toward these goals from the get-go.
3. How would you describe the company’s culture?
Cultural fit has everything to do with a facilities manager’s success. It’s best to know up front if the work environment you’re signing up for is compatible with who you are, as it will be your responsibility to support it.
4. Beyond the hard skills we discussed as requirements for this position, what soft skills are you looking for in a facilities manager?
Interviews will obviously cover the most important skills, and it’s likely every candidate on the list has them. Discussing soft skills will help you stand out from others on the candidate list and may give you the advantage.
5. What have been the greatest FM challenges so far?
This question is an oldie but a goodie. It’s wise to know what challenges you’ll likely face in this new position before you commit to it.
6. In what areas would you like to see your team improve?
Naturally, you want to not only perform your job well, but also contribute to the continued improvement of your employer’s organization. This, after all, is how you achieve “job security.” This question will help you understand what needs work and, more importantly, where your potential employer’s priorities lie.
Bonus tip: Stay away from questions like, What are your policies for benefits and vacation time? or Why did the last facilities manager leave? You’ll also want to avoid salary talk unless the interviewer brings it up. By sticking to thoughtful and well-planned questions, you can glean important information about the job while impressing your potential new employer.
For more advice on how to prepare for and land the job you want, check out A Facilities Leader's Guide to Landing an Awesome Job.