Schema
top of page

Interview Blog

WHAT SKILL IS MOST IMPORTANT SKILL FOR A CONSTRUCTION SUPERVISORY POSITION?

Put simply “Communication”. Communication with all key players have varying tasks and responsibilities on any given level from laborers to upper management entails all parties involved are on the same page allowing for the project to move forward in a more timely and efficient matter. Interestingly enough, a recruiter once asked me what and/or who is my ideal manager. My response to this question “someone I can communicate with”.

WHAT MAKES YOU STAND OUT FROM OTHER CONSTRUCTION SUPERINTENDENTS?

 

Dealing with numerous personalities is a challenge we in the Construction Industry face on a daily basis. In my experience as both a GC and as a Construction Consultant my process of how I react with current team members and subcontractors is what sets me apart. Over the years I have experienced what I consider to be employee abuse of team members and subcontractors by Superintendents. I do not believe in screaming and yelling. I do not stand for it. I take a much different approach. I treat staff members and subcontractors alike as a team-members how I would want to be treated with dignity and respect while remaining firm. I learn from my team respecting their thoughts and opinions. I find rewarding team members and subs keeps a more open line of communication strengthening relationships employing moral to help maintain a roadmap for a smoother job experience.


WHERE DO YOU SEE YOURSELF IN THE FUTURE?

• The fact I mesh with this company’s values is what attracted me to work for this company. I look forward to a long and successful future with this company advancing my career goals.

• When it comes to dealing with city and/or other government officials I remain cool and collected yet firm. I learned to think outside the box. If any issues should arise, I would reach out to my Senior Project Manager to reach a solution keeping project goals in mind.

WHAT ARE YOUR PROJECT GOALS?

What keeps me motivated is my passion for the industry along with the ability to put my name on a project. Ultimately my project goals are to complete the project in an efficient and timely manner utilizing a detailed master plan to include:

planning • scheduling • setting and reaching project milestones • working closely all players • project safety meetings • evaluating plan performance • concluding with a successful project closeout.

HOW DO YOU MANAGE TO SCHEDULE YOUR PROJECT GOALS? (What is your process)

- I use Construction Software to help manage my projects. As a Mac user one of my favorite softwares to use is FieldWire although I do find most contractors use Procore PC and Mac version. Prior to that most used Prolog. ViewPoint seems to me to be a little more user friendly.

 - Comparing Primavera-P6 to Monday.com I find Oracle Primavera 6 to be more powerful with a more user-friendly interface than what Monday.com offers. Monday.com seems to cater to the IT and Marketing Industry. In answer to this question yes, I prefer to use P6.

- Moving on, to answer your question I would start by developing a project roadmap. What I mean by that is to create a better understanding of the projects needs and performance metrics to develop a close working relationship with my Senior Project Manager reviewing for any and all plan discrepancies, budget issues, safety issues, materials & procurement maximizing profitability.

- Defining specific Subs Roles and Responsibilities along with setting scope and baselines is a key player in putting a working schedule into motion. Pre-construction / kick-off meetings are crucial helping to create a project vision through team building to create a plan while making sure all subs as well as supplier/vendors understand what is coming into play helping to create a chain of command, upcoming deadlines, their roles in the project, a well-developed communication plan, scheduling, inspections, safety guidelines, along with any questions that may arise.

 

- Holding weekly sub-contractor meetings helps me as a superintendent manage projects in an efficient and timely manner conversing on and to oversee Quality Control and Assurance issues preventing costly and timely mistakes, touch on safety guidelines, as well as response time to change orders.

 

- To reiterate, I would like to mention I take a very different approach when it comes to running crews. I have found over time treating them as I myself would want to be treated with dignity and respect gets you farther building team moral. The project runs smooth with less problems and more results. The key is to keep in mind we are a team working together to reach our goals and milestones.

USE OF COMPANY PROPERTY?

 

- I need a laptop if company software was installed on that laptop and am taking over for someone else where they left off. 

 

- Unless required to have one, I do not need a company cell phone. I have an iPhone.

DESCRIBE YOUR PROCESS FOR MONITORING A CONSTRUCTION PROJECT’S BUDGET?

 

The most efficient method of budget managing for each phase of any given construction project in my opinion is using construction software management programs. Although so many companies tend to lean toward using Procore and Microsoft projects I find Sage100 is user friendly and has its advantages.

WHAT EXPERIENCE DO YOU HAVE WITH SCHEDULING SOFTWARE?

 

Again, I will admit Trimble and Procore is not by far my favorite, however Procore is most widely used by General Contractors due to Procore is more Cost effective. On previous projects I have been on we used Procore for Look Ahead Reports, RFI’s, Daily’s, and Punch Lists. I find Idea example I.E. When I was working the La Mesa Project, Excel was used for Daily and Look Ahead Reports. In essence, it really depends on what the contractor is using at the time but I do find most construction software is at the very least somewhat user friendly.

HOW OFTEN DO YOU UPDATE YOUR CONSTRUCTION PLANS TO REFLECT PROJECT CHANGE ORDERS AND EXTRA’S TO CONTRACT?

 

In general, I would coordinate with my Senior Project Manager to update plans according to any change orders and/or extras received. If overtime is required to get the project completed once approved, I would conduct a team meeting to coordinate overtime schedules extending into weekly meetings to keep my team on schedule. Most recently we have all had issues with material deliveries behind schedule due to Covid / unavoidable circumstances. To stay on schedule, I would seek out any additional resources I might find to keep the project running in an efficient and timely manner.


WHAT TYPES OF PROJECTS HAVE YOU WORKED ON IN THE PAST?

 

I have worked on both private and public projects commercial, residential, and mixed use on tight deadlines.

WHAT ARE SOME CONSTRUCTION PROJECTS YOU HAVE OVERSEEN IN THE PAST?

Three examples:

 

• La Mesa - an 8 story Hud 25 Million capped assisted living retirement community project
• Agua Calinente Casino - in the heart of Rancho Mirage recently expanding adding in a new gas station and mini mart.
• Macys Remodel - in Culver City

HOW WOULD YOU HANDLE A PROJECT FALLING BEHIND SCHEDULE?

 

Let's jump back to the La Mesa project. Upon joining this project, we were falling behind. I was literally Senior Superintendent #13. To assess why the project was behind acting as Senior Superintendent #13 aside from being the Site Manager  and Project Manager I first walked the project with the Senior Project Manager being new to the project. I viewed the current five (5) week look ahead, daily reports, weekly reports and schedules to see where we were as opposed to where we needed to be to complete the project. I held a sub-contractor meeting to create a roadmap to completing the project working closely with team members and subs to better understand our roles and deadlines, finding solutions to issues to improve team productivity. This helped me to develop a closer working relationship with my Senior Project Manager who resided out of state. Working together we were able to get this project back off the ground completing the project just before Covid hit considering all issues we had along with the Windows sub walking off the job as I was being brought on board.


WHAT IS YOUR PROCESS FOR HIRING AND TRAINING NEW TEAM MEMBERS?

In all of my years in Construction hiring of employees in my experience are brought onboard by HR or recruiters interviewing with generally the CEO. CFO, and all other key players within the company as part of the hiring process. In my own experience hiring, asking the appropriate questions along with getting to know the candidate, their personality, as well as if they have a passion for the industry helps me determine if they are indeed a good fit as a key player for both the company and the project.

WHAT WOULD YOU DO IF YOU NOTICED ONE OF YOUR OWN STAFF MEMBERS OR SUBS USING FAULTY EQUIPMENT?

I immediately would tell our team member and/or sub to cease using the equipment. Should the problem persist, I would email both my Senior Project Manager along with any other key players in a group email using Outlook or through our project management software to further discuss a remedy to correct the issue.

HAVE YOU EVER HAD TO RETAIN A TEMPORARY WORKFORCE?

 

In the past once approved, I used temp agencies specializing in placing Construction laborers for various duties if the project was behind to simply get the project on track to complete the project on time. I have an excellent rapport with People Ready in San Diego.

HOW WOULD YOU HANDLE A DISAGREEMENT BETWEEN STAFF MEMBERS AND/OR SUBS ABOUT HOW TO COMPLETE A TASK?

 

I first would call a meeting with both sides to determine the cause of the disagreement listening to both sides. If I determine one side is wrong, I would converse with, explaining in detail to why they are incorrect and what needs to be corrected. Perhaps the team member(s) or sub(s) may have overlooked the current situation. I too would instruct both parties to move forward per my instruction working together to complete the task. If any questions, concerns or issues should arise to come direct to me for guidance.

DESCRIBE AN EXAMPLE OF HOW YOU RESOLVED A SUBCONTRACTOR PROVIDING POOR SERVICE?

 

Yet another challenge we face daily within the construction industry. When all else fails I set an initial meeting with the Subcontractor, Senior Project Manager, and all oher key players reminding the sub of their role in the project as well as tasks needing to correction giving the sub the opportunity to successfully correct and complete the task. If such action is not taken by the Sub, I then would converse with my Senior Project Manager to suggest a more drastic measure in worst case scenario sending the sub-contractor a three-day notice to perform suggesting to my Senior Project Manager if the situation doesn’t improve possibly replacing the sub back charging them.

PROVIDE AN EXAMPLE WHEN YOU HAD TO MANAGE A DIFFICULT CLIENT?

 

One of the most challenging responsibilities of a Senior Project Manager and Senior Superintendent is difficult clients we had all had from time to time. Often times we find ourselves explaining to the client while allowing them to vent this is how the architect drew the plans (in particular in Residential). I too would remind the client all plans and drawing were approved and signed off on. We unfortunately do have to abide by the plans to move forward with the project to stay focused on the project timeline meet your (the clients) project goals and deadlines. I too would explain any changes would require a change order and an extra referring back to the Project Manager providing them a dialog of the conversation between myself and the client to brainstorm to try solving the client's issue(s).

HOW WELL DO YOU KNOW THE LOCAL BUILDING CODES AND CA REGULATIONS?

 

As someone in the industry who is over 30 years experienced while I do know and understand CA code and regulations well, I do research any and all relevant codes along with any changes to and/or new CA laws and ordinances. I encourage staff and subs to follow suit.


DO YOU HAVE ANY CONSTRUCTION CERTIFICATES?

 

While I have no construction certification’s I did pass the carpenters union. I as well held a GC license for just over 25 years with over 30 years experienced in the Construction Industry. If necessary, I have no issues with having to obtain certification.

DO YOU SPEAK SPANISH? ANY OTHER LANGUAGE’S?

Speaking any language other than English is technically not legal to ask during an interview, nor is it legally a job requirement. In answer to this question, in the interest of equality and for liability purposes English only should be spoken on and off the jobsite not to mention all other industries. I have found mistakes are common due to language dialects causing communication discrepancies. Being communicating in English is not always an option, while I having the option of using online and translator apps, I would much prefer a foreman able to converse on my behalf.

WHAT IS THE MOST ENVIRONMENTALLY FRIENDLY CONSTRUCTION MATERIAL YOU’VE WORKED WITH?

Wood for the sole reason it does not emit harmful chemicals in to the environment and is easily recycled.

WHY ARE MANHOLES ROUND?

 

Mainly for the fact it would be harder to fit the cover not having to be rotated with no corners to deal with, more easily transportable able to roll the cover. The pipes below are round. The cover wont fall in. You can’t cut yourself.

HOW WOULD YOU GUESSTIMATE THE WEIGHT OF A BUILDING?

 

Guesstimating the weight of a building is a process. You need to know the dimensions of the building which is the height, weight, and depth to determine the volume of the building. You need to know it the building tapers at the top estimating the composition of the building. You need to determine what materials such as steel or concrete the building is made of as well as how much does the components cost per square inch. If the building is furnished you may want to consider adding up to 20% onto the guesstimate.

WHAT IS TITLE 24?

 

Title 24 helps to build energy efficient standards. CA energy code is designed to reduce wasteful and unnecessary energy consumption in new constructed and existing buildings updating every three years. The 2022 Energy Code will produce benefits to support the state's public health, climate, and clean energy goals. In late 2021 the CA Energy Commission (CEC) approved the approved the CA Building Standards Commission (CBSC) to be included into the CA Building Standards Code in regard to any permit applications on or after January 1, 2023. The 2022 Energy Code encourages:

 

Establishes new home electric ready requirements
Efficient electric heat pumps
Ventilation standards
Expand Solar Photovoltaic and battery storage standards

A Title 24 in 2022 can will on average range from $300-$320 per single family residence.
For a Multi Family $275-$300.

 

Single Family Residence 0-2500 per sq ft $300
Including Pages 24” x 36” set PDF $320
Multi Family 1 Unit Affected $300
Multi Family 2 Units Affected $275

Interview Blog Answers
Interview Blog Logo
bottom of page