Interviewing For a Facilities Management Job? 5 Questions To Answer

by James McDonald on December 14, 2017

Facilities management certainly isn’t what it used to be. Facilities managers, or workplace managers as they often known, are finding themselves managing people, spaces and technology rather than just buildings and assets. They’re expected to cultivate an atmosphere that enhances productivity and collaboration, produces measurable ROI and boosts recruitment and retention. They’re tasked with meeting the growing expectations of employees who want to use workplace technology in the same way that they use smartphone apps at home.

And they’re being held accountable to C-level executives who want them to contribute to larger business objectives, such as recommending cost savings and planning for future space needs.

With so many opportunities to add value, it’s an exciting time to be in the industry, whether you’re just getting started or have been a facility manager for years.

Before you go in for your next facilities management interview, here are five questions you should be prepared to answer.

One of the most important questions a facility leader can answer is how he or she will foster and grow a digital workplace.1. How Would You Build a Digital Workplace for our Company?

As workplaces shift toward the digital, so do the expectations of workplace leaders. You’ll want to showcase that you understand what the digital workplace supports and how you can contribute to these elements. Be prepared to talk intelligently about the digital workplace and its relationship to flexibility, mobility and connectivity.

Recommended: 5 Essential Elements of a Productive, Digital Workplace

Think about how your vision and strategy align with these elements. How would you build an environment that encourages employees to communicate and collaborate? How would you design a space that is well-received by employees with different kinds of personalities and work styles?

2. How Would You Communicate With the Workforce?

Part of being an experienced workplace leader means knowing how to connect with employees across various departments. This includes face-to-face interactions with on-site employees, email correspondence with remote employees and the use of workplace apps that allow employees to find workstations, make service requests and be self-sufficient. Technology can facilitate this communication, but you still need to be able to relay information to the workforce in a clear, concise manner.

3. How Have You Used Data to Make Decisions?

At the heart of important workplace decisions is data. Facilities managers need to know how to effectively leverage data for this purpose.

Showcase your skills in this realm by providing specific examples of how you’ve used data to improve efficiency in the workplace. Be detailed in describing the types of information you used and how you gathered it. You want to let employers see that you can make objective decisions based on data rather than simply going off assumptions.

This is also a chance for you to showcase the types of workplace technology you’ve used. Experience in this space and knowledge of the latest technology trends are characteristics that are sure to make you stand out.

4. How Would You Improve the Employee Experience at Our Company?

Making the employee experience a positive one involves a few different factors. You have the physical workspace to consider as well as the available tools and technologies.

Since facilities managers have their hands in both pots, you’ll want to show employers that employee feedback is important to you. Think of tactics you’ve used to collect feedback in the past and how it fueled improvements to the employee experience.

When describing the employee experience, don’t just harp on employee satisfaction or employee engagement. Employers will want to see that you understand it goes beyond these elements.

Siloed departments are a thing of the past - be prepared to answer how you, as an FM, will eliminate friction between departments.5. How Would You Break Down Silos Between the Facilities Management, IT and HR Departments?

The silo-based operations under which companies used to run are becoming a thing of the past. Duplicated work, poor communication and frustration are some of the reasons why.

Every department, of course, has their own ideas and methods. This can create friction between facilities management, IT and HR — all of whom play an important role in the management of the workplace.

Think about how you would ensure effective communication across departments. As a workplace manager, how would you overcome some of the common obstacles of working with IT and HR?

When asked to come in for a job interview, you should feel a sense of pride rather than stress. Your skills and experience have attracted the attention of an employer and now you have a chance to prove to them why you’re the best fit for the role. By asking yourself these five questions, you can showcase your skills and personality with confidence.

As the role of facilities managers evolves, so do the metrics they should concern themselves with. Check out our latest ebook, 8 New Facilities Management Metrics to Measure.


James McDonald

James McDonald is a sports enthusiast, brother in Christ and once swam in a tank with the infamous TV sharks.

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