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Job hunting tips: How to succeed at interview in facilities management

Job interviews can be daunting. But for most roles, they’re an essential part of the job hunting process. If you’re looking for a new role in facilities management, be sure to follow these job hunting tips for interview success.

1. Do your homework.
Job hunting tips 101: Always research the company and the role! Your interviewers will be looking for a good level of knowledge about the organisation you are applying to work in, and an understanding of what the role entails. Check the job description so you know exactly what is expected in the role. This is a list of duties that you’ll be doing if you get the job. It’s usually included within the job ad, or you can request one if not.

This preparation will stand you in good stead: before investing time and energy in your application you will want to know that the job you’re going for is a good fit for you, with a company culture and ethos that feels right.

The research you have put in will also help calm any nerves: not only will your knowledge of the company shine through, being thoroughly prepared will help you to feel confident throughout the interview.

2. Understand your worth.
Not everyone coming to a job in facilities management has experience in a similar role. If that sounds like you, it doesn’t mean you don’t have relevant skills that you can bring to the job. For example, here at Churchill we welcome both career starters and career changers, because we recognise the value you can bring! While you’re job hunting, look back over your study achievements, work experience and even your hobbies and think about the strengths you’ve shown in each one. You might be surprised to discover how many transferable skills you actually have. Be prepared to big yourself up and shout about these valuable capabilities.

3. Gain confidence talking about yourself.
An interview is like a sales pitch, except that the product you’re selling is yourself. But let’s face it: self promotion doesn’t come naturally to everyone. That’s why it’s important to practise first! One of our best job hunting tips is to rope in a friend or family member to play the part of the interviewer, and go over some basic questions that are likely to come up:

● Tell me about yourself
● What are your strengths and weaknesses?
● What interests you about this role?
● What are your career ambitions?

Once you’ve got your patter down for these essential questions you’ll feel much more at ease in your interview.

4. Have some examples up your sleeve.
It’s all very well telling the interviewer you’re a people person, or a problem solver or that your timekeeping is excellent. But how will they know that’s really true? One common approach is for the interviewer to ask you to give examples, such as:

● Tell me about a time when you faced a challenge at work. What did you do to solve the problem?
● What has been your proudest achievement at work?
● Tell me about a time when you worked effectively in a team.

Thinking about the skills that your role demands will give you a clue as to the kinds of situations they are likely to ask you about. For example, if yours will be a people management role, you might need to talk about the experience you’ve had in resolving disputes.

5. Prepare some questions to ask.
A job interview is a two-way process. So as well as answering questions about yourself, you’ll also get to quiz the recruiter about anything you want to know. Asking questions shows the interviewers that you have a genuine interest in the role, which could help you stand out from the other candidates. After the main part of the interview, you’ll probably be asked if there are any questions you have – here’s your big moment! But if things occur to you as the interview progresses, don’t be afraid to ask questions as you go if that feels more natural.

How To Succeed At Interview In Facilities Management

6. Give yourself time.
Interviews can throw up some unexpected questions. So if anything takes you by surprise, don’t panic! There are a few handy techniques you can use to stay calm and buy yourself some time.

● First of all, don’t be afraid to simply say you need a moment to think. (It’s better than sitting in silence!)
● If you’re not sure what exactly you are being asked, you can always get the interviewers to repeat the question, or word it another way.
● And if you’re still stumped, tell them your thought process. What’s going through your mind? Why is it such a hard question to answer? Coming up with a perfect solution may be less important than letting them know how you would get there.

7. Know where you’re going.
There’s nothing worse than getting lost on your way to an important interview. So one of our most essential job hunting tips is to plan out your route in advance and make sure you allow extra time for traffic or transport delays: being punctual will not only make a good impression, it’ll also save you stress and help you stay focused.

If your interview is happening online, make sure you have the interview code to hand and a quiet place to talk. And don’t forget to charge up your laptop!

8. Dress for success.
First impressions are really important – and the way you look will play a big part in how you initially come across, whether you’re being interviewed online or in person. In facilities management, the day-to-day dress code isn’t always formal, but for the interview you should still aim for a professional image and you can’t go wrong with a suit. Make sure it’s clean and pressed, and don’t forget to shine your shoes!

9. Show your true (best) self.
The best job interviews are the ones where you can be natural, genuine and honest. So don’t be afraid to be authentic! Job interviews aren’t just about the formal questions or tests: they’re also a chance for the company to get to know the real you. The human moments, such as making small talk while you tour the building, or letting them know how you take your coffee, are some of the ways that this happens naturally. (Just make sure that the ‘real’ side you show is one that’s also punctual, professional and polite!)

10. Get a good night’s sleep.
The most common job hunting tips are cliches for a reason: they work! So here goes: make sure you get your full forty winks the night before your interview. Being well rested is like a job interview superpower: a good night’s sleep will help your brain to respond more effectively, so you can concentrate better and respond faster. We know it’s easier said than done when you have a big day coming up, so we recommend:

● Doing your preparation well in advance (so you’re not tempted to stay up doing last-minute reading)
● Avoiding alcohol and caffeine before you go to bed (so there’s nothing in your system preventing you from settling down)
● Having a relaxing bath (or whatever works for you to feel calm before bed).

Apply for facilities management roles here at Churchill Group
Here at Churchill, we’ve made it our mission to be human, inclusive and empowering. We have a wide range of job roles available in all areas, from cleaning, security, catering, guest services or environmental compliance to IT support or people management. If you’re interested in a new role in facilities management, we’d love to hear from you!

View our facilities management job vacancies