Meeting Issues Head-on Key to Winning in the Interview

 By Tom Lawrence, vice president, Carter 

Atlanta (March 4, 2010) – Earlier this week, the Carter team conducted interviews with five construction management firms for a major project.

PDS_construction-site_Tom-Lawrence_GMM_2590-(2) There were numerous factors considered in the selection process to evaluate and rank the firms. The winning firm, however, knocked the ball out of the park in their interview in comparison to the other short-listed companies in this way: Anticipating what the client’s concerns are going to be on the project and hitting those issues head-on. 

The client wanted reassurance that the contractor had successfully completed similar projects. The winning project management firm exhibited numerous slides to demonstrate that they understood the unique challenges of the project type. They effectively showed there would be no learning curve and that they knew what they were doing because they had successfully done it before.

The other firms were more general and vague about their experience, partly because the teams they had assigned had not actually done this specific project type in the past.

The winning firm took the initiative to prepare a detailed project schedule and to show solid examples of their pre-construction pricing and value engineering . The other firms did not do this homework.  

Also, the winning firm prepared a site logistics plan and had the project superintendent talk about the job – here ally made the client comfortable that he had thought it through and knew what he was doing.  They also brought notebooks to show how they did LEED documentation during construction and talked about the challenges and how they overcame them on another project – success stories.  Again, they were the only firm to do this. 

Overall, the client was reassured that the contractor knewhow to build this kind of project, knew how to help us stick to the budget and knew how to keep it on schedule.

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