Points To Consider Before Starting An Online Business Company

You will realize that a lot of people usually do not succeed when it comes to building a business from scratch. Starting a business needs a lot of funds and effort in order for it to run smoothly. If you move your business online you will realize that it is one of the best decision that you can ever choose to make because that is where the market is and people tend to make a lot of profit. One beneficial thing about having an online business is that you do not have to spend funds in paying employees all you need to do is take up the task on your own and in the end you will succeed. It is important that you always ensure that you have a name for your business because it is one of the most important points. When you have a name, you can later on try and get a domain for your site Also a good web hosting company. If you have almost three factors then you are ready to start of your business with so much ease. Below are some things to know before starting an online business.

If you want your online business company to do well, it is important that you ensure that you hire a good web design company such as David Humphreys in order for them to create a good website for your company. If you use colorful colors on your site you will realize that it will be quite attractive for anyone who visits your site. Take your time and ensure that anyone who visit your site can be able to navigate with so much ease without them having any trouble. It is wise that you take your time and make sure that your site is not slow because if it is you will end up losing clients as they do not always have the patience to wait for it to load quick enough on the pages that they want to view.

It is wise that you take your time and find a good web design company that will design for you a good website because they tend to have the experience and skills that are needed in order for a good website to be created. It is important that you research on things that a lot of people are looking for in order for you to be able to get a lot of traffic on your site. If you figure out ways that will attract people to your site it will be quite beneficial because what people are the ones who will turn into being loyal clients. If you take your time and engage with your clients in order to answer their enquiries you will most definitely end up building trust among your clients.Make sure that all your information such as email address and contacts are there so that if any of your clients have an issue they will be able to reach you quite easily and that will work on to advantage.If our client knows that they can be able to reach you with so much is they will feel so comfortable seeking your services as they know if anything goes wrong the can always reach you.

There’s no question that the construction industry has been hit and hit hard by the economic downturn. And I’m not the only one tired of hearing that. Contractors, builders, and their families want something that shows a way out. They need hope and are looking with increasingly anxious eyes to Uncle Sam.

In response, our government has taken steps to revitalize construction, beginning with last year’s passage of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA). With $137 billion of the $787 billion package allocated for construction, there was an expectation that much of the crisis would be alleviated. Then reality hit. The obvious had been overlooked: few contractors had been trained on how to access and bid the thousands of ARRA-funded opportunities.

As a result, many of those much-needed contracts were never awarded. And just like the year before, when $47 Billion of government contracts were not awarded because no one bid on them, the lack of a step-by-step guide for contractors blunted the effect of the ARRA stimulus money.

Caught in a declining economy and without the know-how that would allow them to access government contracts, construction businesses had to, as one contractor put it in a recent Austin American-Statesman article*, “take it on the chin”: cut overhead, lay off employees, and reduce profit margins. Over the past year, private work has become hyper-competitive, with dozens of builders bidding on what little work has been available.

Federal construction contracting, on the other hand, is the only segment of the construction industry that remains well-funded and active. Those contractors that were registered and qualified to bid on federal construction projects were witness to an unprecedented level of activity and opportunity.

For example: In September 2009, the last month of the government’s fiscal year, there were over 770 federal construction opportunities posted at FBO.gov, Uncle Sam’s public website for all federal purchases over $25,000. With a limited number of qualified bidders, and all sizes and types of projects available, many of the contracts had little or no competition.

“Margins on federal construction projects are at an all-time high,” said Doug Reitmeyer, a veritable expert in the federal construction industry and keynote presenter at the Construction Expo Doug has been using his experience and know-how to help companies get the government contracts they qualify for. A review of the most recent contracts awarded with Doug’s help shows that his clients were the only bidders in four out of five awards.

Continuing, Doug remarked, “In my 35 years of doing government contracts, there has never been a down-turn or slow-down in the federal construction market. There has always been a steady stream of contract opportunities coming out of Washington because our government has so many facilities to maintain. But due to the rapid increase in federal spending, there have been way more contract opportunities than there are qualified contractors to take advantage of them.”

Citing a recently awarded contract in Scotia, NY for the Air National Guard as an example, Doug explained, “It was a fairly simple job and we were the only bidder. Our bid was higher than they had budgeted for, but they needed the work completed as soon as possible. They came back and negotiated an amount that worked for both of us, rather than put the contract back out for rebid.”

One client company, Four Star Construction, won the contract to replace safety lifts at historic Lincoln Park, the original home of President Abraham Lincoln. Four Star was the only qualified bidder to bid. The project was fairly routine, but it did require approval drawings and special color selections to match the decor of the home. The cost of additional paperwork on federal contracts like this is offset by the higher margins that are typically possible on government work.

The competition for jobs in the federal construction arena is much weaker than it should be given the economy because most contractors simply do not know how to qualify for and get government construction work. With President Obama’s recently announced $3.8 trillion budget for the next fiscal year, this trend is certain to continue for some time.

When I asked Doug what contractors should do right now, he immediately replied, “Get registered and get qualified. With federal construction opportunities at an all-time high, there is no better time to add Uncle Sam as a client. Find a mentor, go to every available training course on the subject. Start contacting every federal agency in your area to see what funds they are mandated to spend.”

To qualify for consideration for federal contracts, contractors first have to register with the government. This, like many things involving the government, can be a challenging process. However, the rewards can be remarkable. With Uncle Sam as a client, and access to the flood of federal construction funds pouring out of Washington, Contractors may do more than simply survive the recession; they just might flourish.

The lagging economy has affected all types of businesses and the construction industry has been no exception. New home construction has fallen off considerably in recent months and following right behind has been a slowdown in commercial construction. Government stimulus initiatives are helping to keep things moving somewhat, but our economy is far from out of the woods. As a result, it is essential that businesses of all kinds operate on a very cost efficient basis.

The profitability of any commercial construction project is largely determined by the effectiveness of the planning both before and during the construction process. When money is tight, efficiency is the name of the game. Materials and resources of all kinds must be carefully planned and monitored for maximum profitability. Delays mean lost profits and very few commercial construction companies can afford lost profits, particularly now.

Using a design-build contractor, a project delivery business, can provide construction companies with exactly what they need to bring their project in on time and within budget. Sometimes a general contractor will perform this function, but other design professionals such as architects and engineers can also offer this type of service. This prevents wasteful overlap between the designer and the builder.

An efficient design-builder professional has all the personnel they need to carry out a project quickly and efficiently. While the amount of time it takes to complete each part of the project may end up being the same, the transition between phases is often quicker. The designers and the builders come together to collaborate on a project and the result is a smoother running construction schedule.

There may be little savings on the construction costs themselves, but there can be significant savings on the project as a whole. This can often make the difference between being able to undertake a project and having to shelve it.

In addition, there are many other benefits to using a design-build contractor for a construction project. There is often much better communication between the design-build service and the owner of the project. The service provider is aware of the need for high accountability and is willing to provide this information often and in detail. The client can rely on one single source for the completion of the project and efficient communication provides the client with a sense of confidence.

At a time when commercial construction projects are falling by the wayside because of a lack of funds, and construction companies are going out of business from too many cost overruns, it is essential for those that do have work to carry them out with the least amount of waste. Low profit margins can still be enough to keep a business functioning if a project is brought in on time and within budget.

Using a design-build company to carry out a commercial construction project is the most efficient way for a construction company to stay afloat during these difficult economic times. Because of the effectiveness of this method, it has become a popular trend in commercial construction.

Washington, D.C. formally the District of Columbia is the capital of the United States, founded on July 16, 1790. The city is located on the north bank of the Potomac River and is bordered by the states of Virginia to the southwest and Maryland to the other sides. The District has a population of 591,833; however, because of people coming from the surrounding suburbs, its population rises to over one million during the weekdays. The District is a part of Washington Metropolitan Area, which has a population of 5.3 million. It is the ninth-largest metropolitan area in the country. Washington DC is one of the world busiest business hubs. It hosts 174 foreign embassies as well as the headquarters of some of the world leading organizations like World Bank, the International Monetary Fund (IMF), Pan American Health Organization (PAHO), etc.

Washington has a humid subtropical climate. The weather at the time of spring and fall is of low humidity while that in winter it is cool. Summers are usually hot and humid and it is often accompanied by thunderstorm, tornadoes and hurricanes. The climate is suitable for people who want to enjoy the winters and fall.

Washington, D.C. does not resemble most of the American cities. Unlike other large cities, skyscrapers do not dominate here. Congress passed a height-restriction act in 1920 to prevent federal monuments from being overshadowed by commercial construction. So the city mostly has lush green spaces and open spaces to add to its beauty.

The most famous sites are in the real estate along the central mall, including the White House, individual memorials to four of the greatest presidents, and the superb museums of the Smithsonian Institution. George Washington himself selected the real estate for the site of the capital, a diamond-shape, 100-square-mile plot not far from his property at Mount Vernon. Pierre-Charles, a French engineer who fought in the Revolution, created the classic real estate plan for the city of Washington.

The most unlikely thing about Washington is that it’s the capital of USA without being a concrete jungle which most other capitals of the world are. Homes for sale DC is about 4090, recently sold are about 2150 including around 290 open houses and approximately 960 homes in the pre foreclosure. Property in Washington DC is showing an upward trend in the average listing price category. The average listing price for homes for sale in Washington DC is around $632,603 which is an increase of 0.5%. The neighborhoods in Washington like Dupont and Georgetown have an average listing price of about $748,450 and $2,411,500 respectively. The average price per square foot in DC is about $1,366, an increase of 266% as compared to the earlier year. The other important aspect if any one is looking to buy a property in Washington is the rate of crime which is around 4.47%. The median sales price for homes in Washington DC shows a decline of around 3.1%. Sales prices have increased around 15%. So if anybody wants to buy a property in Washington DC this is the right time to invest in Washington DC realty. As the prices are low people can afford to buy quality homes at competitive market rates.

The concept of precast construction (which also refers as “prefabricated construction”) includes those buildings where the majority of structural components are standardized and produced in plants in a location away from the building, and then transported to the site for assembly. These components are manufactured by industrial methods based on mass production in order to build a large number of buildings in a short time at low cost.

The main features of this construction process are as follows:

The division and specialization of the human workforce
The flawless use of tools and other equipments, usually automated, in the production of standard, interchangeable parts and products
Since 2005, the demand for new commercial and residential buildings has been on the top than the other types of construction. Practically, precast construction is always more economical when compared to conventional multifamily residential, commercial, industrial or institutional construction anywhere in world.

As per the load-bearing structural, precast construction can be categorize into the following categories:

Large-panel systems
Frame systems
Slab-column systems with walls
Mixed systems
List of Structural Precast Detailing Services:

Precast Concrete Detailing
Precast Wall Panels Detailing
Precast Concrete Cladding Panels Detailing
Precast Concrete Tilt-up Panels Detailing
Precast Shop Drawings
Precast Concrete Stairs Detailing
Precast Erection Drawings
Precast Concrete Column Detailing
Precast Concrete Beam Detailing
Precast Concrete Slab Detailing
Post Tension Detailing
Double Tee Detailing
Non load bearing & Load bearing
Column Cover and Cornices
Hollow Core Slab Detailing Services
Column Cap Plate Detailing
Flat Slab Detailing Services
As far as the concept of precast products is concerned, many states across the United States require a precast plant to be certified by either the Architectural Precast Association (APA), National Precast Concrete Association or Precast Prestressed Concrete Institute (PCI) for a precast producer to supply their product to a construction site sponsored by State and Federal DOTs.

There are some numerous products which are utilizing precast/ prestressed concrete and majority of precast products can fall under one or more of the following categories:

Agricultural Products
Building and Site Amenities
Retaining Walls
Transportation and Traffic Related Products
Utility Structures
Water and Wastewater Products
Cemetery Products
Prestressed/Structural Products
Double Wall Precast – Concrete Sandwich Panels
Furthermore, Tilt-up construction is also plays an important part of Precast Construction process. Of course, a question comes into your mind that, so what is the difference between tilt-up and other types of construction?

The answer is, in traditional forms of wall construction, the walls can be built with CMU blocks or blocks faced with brick. A tilt-up building’s walls are created horizontally in large slabs of concrete called panels. The panels are then lifted, or tilted up, into position around the building’s slab. This means the tilt-up structure’s exterior wall is virtually finished when it is tilted into place.

Tilt-up construction provides numerous advantages over steel buildings either it is residential, commercial, institutional or other types of industrial building construction projects. Generally speaking, a one- to two-story structure larger than 50,000 square feet with less than 50% wall opening space is an excellent example for tilt-up concrete construction.

Benefits of Tilt-up Construction:

• Savings Construction Costs: by using this construction method, raw material costs can be reduced and of course it will also reduce the overall construction cost as well. In tilt-up construction method, the workers are typically lesser than the workers used in traditional construction. This way contractor can reduce labor costs. Because of the economies of scale, the larger the footprints for the building, the more these savings improve the project’s total cost.

• Fast Construction Schedule: Tilt-up construction offers several opportunities to “compress” the schedule and deliver the building very quickly. To erecting the walls in tilt-up construction is a faster process than building walls using traditional construction techniques. The trades can begin work earlier in the process on a tilt-up project, which allows greater overlapping of project phases. Because the building is made of ready-mix concrete from local sources, the chances of delay project is less than the traditional construction method.

• Safety: Tilt-up concrete is a proven, safe method of construction.

following ABCs:

#1: Effective constructive feedback is appropriate in time and in place.

It is important to choose an appropriate time and an appropriate location to give constructive feedback. Feedback should be given timely, and at an appropriate time. Timely constructive feedback occurs within a few days of the observed behavior. This way, the incident will still be fresh in your mind and in the mind of the person with whom you will be speaking. If you wait much longer than a few days, there is a good chance that the person will have forgotten about the behavior. Also, the further removed you are from the date of the incident, the more inclined you will be to lessen the effect of the incident, i.e. “What Bob did wasn’t really that bad. I was probably just overreacting to the situation.” The worst thing you can do as a supervisor is to not address the issue until the employee’s annual performance review. Not only is this unfair to the blindsided employee, it also casts you in a bad light as your supervisors will wonder why you neglected to address the issue when it first arose.

Next, you’ll need to arrange an appropriate time to discuss the issue. Find time in your schedule to allow both you and the other person sufficient time to hold a productive conversation. Five minutes here or there or the fifteen minutes between meetings will not be enough time to sit down and talk. You don’t want the other person to feel rushed or to feel that there is no time for him or her to respond to what’s been said. We’ll discuss a bit later the importance of follow-up.

Location, location, location. When giving constructive feedback, location is just as important a consideration as when purchasing real estate. Constructive feedback should be given in private.

Use your office. If you work in an open cubicle setting, ask to use someone’s office or use an empty conference room or meeting space. The idea is to provide a private and confidential environment for your conversation. Additionally, as a general rule, it is not appropriate to give constructive feedback in front of others. Give your employees and co-workers the respect they deserve by discussing work performance issues in a one-on-one conversation. No one likes to be thrown under the proverbial bus in front of his or her colleagues. Not only is this unprofessional, it embarrasses the employee and makes those co-workers who are present uncomfortable.

#2: Effective constructive feedback focuses on the behavior, not the person.

We all have our own personality flaws, quirks, and idiosyncrasies. Keep in mind when giving your constructive feedback that no one is perfect, including you. Try to refrain from focusing on the person’s shortcomings. Remember we all have them. Instead, focus on the behavior in question. When you focus on the person’s behavior and how it is affecting the workplace as a whole, he or she is less likely to get defensive and will be more likely to be receptive to your message. For instance, suppose one of the members on your team consistently misses deadlines and, as a consequence, causes other members of the team to fall behind in their schedules and meeting their commitments. Your constructive feedback should focus not upon this person’s utter lack of effective time management skills. Rather, your feedback should focus upon how on x occasion, the person’s failure to complete his or her tasks by the prescribed deadline negatively impacted the rest of the team in a, b, and c ways.

#3: Effective constructive feedback is contextual.

Have you ever gotten into an argument with your significant other over what you thought was one issue only to have the argument disintegrate into a shouting match rehashing issues you thought were resolved months ago? Or, perhaps the person brought up something that happened over a year ago that you are now hearing for the first time. You thought to yourself, “Now why didn’t he tell me that my leaving the cap off the toothpaste bothered him a long time ago???” Let’s switch gears to see how this same dynamic plays out in the workplace. You are the supervisor of the customer service department. You’ve asked John to come and speak with you about complaints you’ve recently received about his customer service. Your constructive feedback should be contextual in that it addresses the specific issue before you, namely concerns about the quality of service John is giving to his customers. Now would not be an appropriate time to discuss how John was 45 minutes late to the last department meeting or how he doesn’t contribute to the weekly donut kitty yet helps himself to two glazed Krispy Kremes every Friday morning. Going back to the first quality of effective constructive feedback, that it be appropriate in time, alleviates any contextual problem. When you address and resolve issues in a timely manner (within a reasonable time after the behavior is observed), there is no need to dredge up past wrongdoings because, presumably, they have already been addressed and resolved.

#4: Effective constructive feedback is descriptive.

One of your goals in giving constructive feedback is to identify an area in your colleague or employee’s work performance that could use improvement. Therefore, general comments about working harder, being a better team player, or other euphemistic clichés are not particularly helpful. After all, how can I, as an employee, begin to address and correct an issue if I am not clear which behavior I am engaging in is unsatisfactory? When giving constructive feedback, endeavor to be very specific. Compare and contrast the following examples.


Paul, I need you to start being a better team player.


I am not sure what you mean. I contributed over 120 hours to the Manheim project this month and worked with Paula, Christine, and Scott to make sure those proposals went out to the client on time. I worked late every night last week and came in on the weekend to help Christine finish the reports for the Donaldson project. How am I not being a good team player?



Hello Paul. Thanks for your work on the Manheim project. I appreciate you sacrificing your weekends to get those proposals out to the client on time. I wanted to talk with you today, however, because I have some concerns about your tardiness. I noticed that you arrived late yesterday and again today. I am concerned because you missed some very valuable information during the first part of this morning’s department meeting. The rest of the team and I really value your input and would have welcomed your perspective on the Donaldson project.


Yes, I’ve been meaning to speak with you about my schedule for this week. My wife is six months pregnant and I’ve had to take her to her prenatal checkups and sonogram appointments. I meant to tell you last week, but I got so preoccupied with the Manheim project that it completely slipped my mind.

#5: Effective constructive feedback uses examples.

Along with being descriptive in giving constructive feedback, it is also a good idea to give examples of the person’s behavior that is at issue. For instance, let’s suppose you have a co-worker who routinely monopolizes the discussion during staff meetings. In your discussion with your co-worker, you would want to point to a specific instance where he or she was monopolizing the discussion and then tie that in to how that negatively impacted the others in the group. For any piece of constructive feedback that you give, you need to be able to give concrete examples of the person’s behavior.

#6: Effective constructive feedback invites follow-up from the recipient.

After you have given constructive feedback, you need to allow the other person to speak and be willing to actively listen to his/her viewpoint. Good communication is always a two-way street. There should be a free exchange of ideas and a reciprocal give-and-take of information. Demonstrate by your verbal and nonverbal communication that you are open to listening to the other person’s response. If you hastily call someone into your office, spout off a laundry list of their “bad” behaviors, and hurriedly dismiss him or her without affording an opportunity to respond to what you have said, what exactly have you accomplished? You’ve learned nothing about why the person engaged in the behavior at issue.

#7: Effective constructive feedback is goal-oriented.

Constructive feedback not only identifies an area of concern, it also proposes solutions that can be implemented to address that area of concern. After all, it wouldn’t make any sense to identify an area for improvement and stop there. For instance, if the basis of your feedback was the other person’s tardiness to staff meetings, the two of you may want to set a goal of arriving ten minutes early to future meetings. This, of course, is a simplistic example, but you get the point. After your initial meeting, follow-up with the person at a mutually agreed upon time to discuss his or her progress toward meeting the goal.

#8: Effective constructive feedback is helpful.

The recipient of your constructive feedback needs to know how to improve his or her work performance. Be prepared to offer practical advice and suggestions as to how the recipient can do just that. You might recommend that your employee take part in an upcoming training session on customer service. Or, you may suggest that he or she take a technical writing class at the local community college and arrange for your company to reimburse the employee for the cost of the course. You get the idea. Whatever the area of concern may be, don’t simply stop at identifying it; offer practical and easy to implement solutions to address it.

#9: Effective constructive feedback is given with integrity.

Put yourself in the shoes of the person sitting on the other side of your desk. If the roles were reversed, how would you like to be treated? Observe the “golden rule” policy. While it is important to be honest in your constructive feedback, that doesn’t diminish the importance of showing tact and being respectful. For a quick litmus test to decide whether to say something, ask yourself if you’d either say it directly to your mother or in the presence of your grandmother.

#10: Effective constructive feedback is just.

Please be fair. Policies should be enforced equally across the board. Your expectations for excellence ought be the same for everyone, regardless of your personal feelings about them. Address individual issues on that basis. If you notice an issue common to many people in the department, address these globally during a staff meeting or in a memo.

Being mindful of these attributes should assist you in giving constructive feedback more effectively. Remember… feedback on work performance should lead to solutions, not to the creation of more problems. Happy working!

Copyright © 2010 MARIGOLD CONSULTING. All rights reserved.

The ‘Great Recession’ theoretically lasted about 18 months, from 2007 to 2009. Recovery has been agonizingly slow in many industries but we are now in 2015 and the construction industry is more rapidly shrugging off the residual effects of the recession.

How Bad Was It?

Even though construction industry is cyclical and recession typically follows a boom period, nothing could have prepared it for the harsh and widespread reach of the recession:

Residential: Homeowners defaulted on homes and others delayed buying homes, leading to a glut of residential real estate languishing in realtors’ inventory.

Commercial: Commercial construction also was hard hit, severely impacted by the federal budget sequester and eventual-but-temporary shutdown, followed by scaled back government spending, and sharply reduced lending practices.

Institutional: Institutional construction remained stagnant, affected by the same limitations and funding problems that the commercial construction sector faced.
How Were Construction Workers Affected?

Nevada, California, Florida, and Arizona are typically areas with plenty of construction work. But the recession changed that:

Nevada employed an estimated 146,000 construction workers at the peak of its construction boom. That number was reduced by 59 percent.

Arizona’s construction employment dropped 50 percent from its pre-recession industry peak.

Florida was close on the industry-related unemployment heels of Nevada and Arizona, losing 40 percent of its construction workforce.

California fared better but still recorded a 28 percent drop.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), approximately 2.3 million construction workers lost their jobs in the recession (nearly 30 percent of the total number of lost jobs).

The overall construction industry has an estimated 1.4 million fewer construction workers in 2015 than it did in 2007.
The Construction Outlook in 2015 and Beyond

Happily, the U.S. and its construction industry continue to move away from the harshest effects of the Great Recession. Industry observers expect to see these improvements:

Non-residential construction: picking up and looking more solid, especially with the expected 2.6 percent real GDP growth in 2015. This sector may rise by 8 percent with growth in office buildings, hotels, and industrial facilities.

Single family housing: expected to increase by 11 percent in the number of residential units, thanks to easier access to home mortgage loans.

Manufacturing plant construction: will probably drop about 16 percent after huge increases of 2013 and 2014.

Institutional construction: expected to continue its moderate upward trend and increase 9% over 2014 results.

Residential construction: called the potential ‘wild card’ of 2015 because of rising interest rates. Existing home sales may climb toward 10 percent.

Public construction: growth will remain low due to ongoing federal spending constraints. However, transportation spending is expected to grow by about 2.2 percent.
Ironically, construction workers may not be rushing to return to new jobs. Many left the industry altogether, retraining for other employment.

Texas and North Dakota both show significant increases in construction employment. North Dakota now needs to recruit construction workers. Texas’ construction employment is up 10 percent, nearing its pre-recession peak.

Economists don’t expect the construction industry to return to its peak level (2006) until 2022 or later. However, the BLS anticipates that the fastest-growing jobs now and 2022 will be in healthcare and construction.

So while the Great Recession did a considerable amount of damage to the overall economy, individual incomes, and morale, 2015 and beyond are looking considerably more favorable in the commercial construction industry.

Please contact us at Tazar If you looking for a MLS listings MA or if you’re looking for a Boston apartments.

Thank you for reading.

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When interviewing for construction jobs or building trades jobs, there are basically two types of interviews: the screening interview and the hiring/selection interview. Both of these are styled differently and you need to be prepared for both.

Screening Interviews

Screening interviews are used to qualify you for selection before you meet with a construction hiring authority. Screeners will try to weed you out rather than get you hired. These construction interviews are normal for companies who receive hundreds or thousands of solicitations for a single construction job opportunity. Screening interviews are usually quick, efficient and low cost strategies that result in a short list of qualified candidates. They assist Operations Managers to save critical time by eliminating unqualified candidates.

If invited to a face-to-face screening interview, it will usually be with a third-party construction recruiter or someone from human resources. Human resource interviewers are typically experienced and often are professionals skilled at construction interviewing and screening candidates. They may not understand the details of the job that you interview for, but they are effective at judging character, intelligence, and good fits for the company culture. They are also good at identifying potential “red flags” or problem areas with your work background and general qualifications.

Your toughest task might be to get past the screeners to the Operation’s Managers. Be prepared to explain any discrepancies in your background (i.e. gaps in construction employment or construction education, frequent job changes, layoffs, etc.).

Some examples of screening interviews include telephone interviews, computer interviews, video- conference interviews and the structured interview. The purpose of these interviews are to screen you and eliminate you from selection of for the various construction jobs you are interviewing for. The result of this process results in a short list of a few finalists since there may be several dozen candidates to weed out.

Telephone Interviews

Telephone interviewing is the most common way to perform an initial screening interview. It helps both the construction interviewer and the candidate get a general sense of mutual interest in pursuing things beyond the first construction interview. It also saves time and money, and may be tape recorded for review by other interviewers.

During a phone interview, your goal as a candidate should be to arrange a face-to-face meeting. If this is not possible, try to arrange another time to talk, or get the name/address of a suitable contact in the employer’s firm so that you can submit a construction resume.

If you are caught off guard or unprepared with an incoming interview call, ask to meet in person, or reschedule the appointment for a more convenient time. Remember that the person calling is the one who establishes control. Therefore, it’s to your advantage to place the call at a more convenient time.

Tips for phone interviews:

At the start of the conversation, make sure to write the person’s name down correctly. Ask for the correct spelling. Ask their phone number so that you can call them back if cut off.
Keep the following items handy: copy of your construction resume, list of employer questions, pen, paper, research material on the employer, and any other notes you might have. It may also be a good idea to have a glass of water nearby.
Dress up as though you are going to a face-to-face meeting. This usually will help to enhance your energy level and professional presence.
Always try to smile speaking on the phone. People can usually sense when you’re smiling or frowning.
Try to speak in a loud, clear voice considering that most phone reception reduces phone sound levels.
Ask several clever questions as if you were in a face-to-face meeting.
If you place the call, don’t let the long-distance phone charge shorten the construction jobs interview.
If confronted with a question you do not have a simple and effective answer for, state that the question may be better answered in person.
Thank the interviewer for his/her time, and follow up with a “thank you” letter.
Computer Interviews

These construction interviews are used to weed out top candidates from dozens or hundreds of candidates that may be applying for a specific job opening. Computer interviews involve answering a series of multiple-choice questions that will pre-qualify candidates for a potential job interview and/or request resume submission. Some interviews are handled through the telephone with push buttons, while others require accessing a web site to complete the construction job interview with a computer keyboard and mouse. Computer interviews are often timed. Therefore, it may be worthwhile to go in as an alias in order to get a sense of questions and timing before applying under your real name.

Video-Phone and Video-Conferencing

Video-conferencing systems provide the transfer of audio and video between remote sites. More than half of the largest U.S. companies utilize video-conferencing as a means of convenient communication and as an alternative to more costly face-to-face meetings. Basically anyone in the world can perform video-conferencing with the use of a microphone, camera and compatible software. Video-conferencing is now available via the Internet. The continuous drop in cost makes it a popular resource for construction businesses as well as home use.

Tips for video-conferences:

Video-conferencing has similar video and audio qualities to that of a home video camera. Be sure to choose an outfit that looks good on you. To avoid problematic imaging, wear solid colors (not stripes or plaids).
In order to become comfortable during video-conferencing, practice a mock construction job interview using your home video camera.
For the best reception, choose full-face (straight) camera angles instead of angled views. Seek professional help for make-up matters.
If given a choice, use full view or wide-angle shots rather than close up shots. Leave the close up shots to the professionals.
Keep in mind that there usually is a lag between the spoken and heard word. Smile and maintain eye contact as if you are in a face-to-face interview.
Avoid jerky motions because only fluid motions maintain video integrity.
Structured Interviews

This type of construction jobs interview is used to identify the best candidates by asking them the exact same questions. Employers attempt to create a common evaluation tool by providing an “apples-to-apples” comparison of construction candidates. Unfortunately, no two interviews are ever alike. Personal biases will affect the evaluation. Third-party recruiters or the employer’s Human Resource department usually handles these interviews.

Construction Hiring or Selection Interviews

In contrast to screening interviews, there are the more traditional construction hiring (or selection) interviews from Operation’s Managers, department heads and construction executives who may be your ultimate bosses. These construction managers understand the technical qualifications needed to fill their vacant construction positions and the team chemistry needed to keep their departments running smoothly. As interviewers, they are usually less prepared or skilled at construction interviewing.

In fact, many spend only a few minutes looking over a construction resume before the construction interview and rarely prepare questions or strategies. Most do not like interviewing. They see it as an unfortunate, but necessary, task that takes away from job production. Employers feel that they must assume a position of control. If the situation is handled properly, they are usually more than willing to allow candidates to take the lead.

Construction Hiring interviews are two-way streets where you also will be interviewing the construction employer for job suitability. Most of these construction interviews will take place in an office setting in one of several formats: one-on-one interviews, serial interviews, sequential interviews or panel interviews.

One-on-one interviews

This is the traditional interview where candidates meet with employers on a face-to-face, or one-on-one, basis. Each construction interview is somewhat unique and is loosely structured. Both parties typically walk away with a more natural sense of whether or not the fit is right.

Serial interviews

Candidates are passed from one construction interviewer to another throughout the course of a day. No decision is made on your suitability until the final construction job interview has taken place and all interviewers have had a chance to discuss each other’s interview. If facing serial interviews, try to find out something about the next interviewer (and the issues important to him/her) before the meeting. Also remember that you only have one chance to make the right first impression so make sure you are energized and ready for the next interview before taking it on. If you are not, excuse yourself to go to the restroom for a break or try to reschedule the balance of the interviews for another time.

Sequential interviews

Sequential interviews are the traditional means of interviewing whereby a candidate will meet with one or several interviewers on a one-on-one basis over the course of several days, weeks or months. Each interview moves the candidate progressively towards greater detail in respect to the position, the construction company and ultimately an offer. Testing may be one of the sequential interviews, as well as meeting with the top brass or even a third-party consultant.

Group or panel interviews

In this situation, a candidate will go before a committee, sometimes as large as 10 people. This is usually done for efficient scheduling purposes in order to accommodate the management panel. Here candidates are evaluated on interpersonal skills, leadership, and their ability to think on their feet while dealing with issues in a stressful situation.

If confronted with this type of construction interview, candidates should try to identify the leader and the immediate supervisor of the position being considered. Think of the board as a single individual and try not to be intimidated by the numbers. It may be difficult to exercise any degree of real control over the panel, but try to focus on one or two key members and control their reaction to you. However, it is important to make eye contact and communicate individually to each panelist.

Today’s job hunter faces great challenges when seeking employment within the construction industry. The market in A/E/C (construction, architecture and engineering) for hiring has been very slow, and at some points have reached over 20% unemployment, making this industry one of the most difficult markets to work in. However, the good news is, even in the toughest markets, there are still 80% of the people within this industry are employed. There are many ways to obtain a construction job interview, but some are more effective than others. Job interviewing is obtained from a variety of sources, many of which are offline but many are now online. When job hunting in the A/E/C industry. Job candidates need to stay focused on their network of contacts within the industry, and on niche resources advertising construction jobs.

Below are the top 6 ways to obtain a construction job interview. Job seekers should focus on utilizing all methods simultaneously in today’s tough employment environment.

1. Private Or Unadvertised Construction Job Openings

About three out of four construction management hires, including those handled by construction search firms, take place through private or unadvertised construction job openings (openings unknown to the public). These construction jobs are the most confidential and difficult to find, but have the greatest potential for job flexibility and obtaining an exceptional construction salary and compensation.

Private openings are often rarely managed with more than a few candidate interviews before a hire takes place. You need to be one of those.

Even when there are no current construction job opportunities available, an employer can often create a construction job opening when the right candidate comes along, even in the worst of times. Some employers will want to upgrade their weak links during a down turn, while others want to expand and capture market share while their competition is holding back.

You need “to come along” before the construction job opening becomes public. That’s where networking comes in. A recommendation from an influential referral fosters immediate trust and respect from a potential employer, and can provide you treatment as a choice candidate.

2. Private Networking

In your Rolodex or contact manager, research your list of key contacts. Also look through your industry’s association membership directory, and call every one you know who has a job in your field that might be willing to help you with job leads. In many cases, your close friends and business associates will be the best sources for job leads and referrals. They are also most likely to respect your confidentiality and offer their genuine help. In addition, they may even be able to refer you to a construction recruiter or other construction employment resources.

They might also be good references and sources for ideas as to what is going on in your market, who is hiring and what firms are doing well.

3. Direct Solicitation

Another good way to obtain a construction job interview is to directly solicit construction employers of choice. Research the industry and identify six to ten primary targets for your search.

Within these target firms, identify the direct construction hiring authority (immediate construction manager of the construction position you seek) and contact him/her directly. Try to obtain a personal meeting by stating your construction employment interest. You can email them, fax them, send them a letter in the postal mail or call them. Contacting subcontractors or suppliers to see who can give you an introduction is also a good idea.

Another approach is to find out where the supervisor frequents such as a industry trade association, or other facility that would foster a chance meeting. Of course, the least effective and most risky means to contact the supervisor is through the mail. However, if you intend to send something through the mail, use express mail in order to get the proper attention. A direct solicitation risks exposure and may not be the best approach if you are concerned with confidentiality. Even if you ask the employer to respect your privacy, you are still vulnerable, unless you are unemployed and are not concerned with who might intercept your letter.

4. Construction Recruiters

For private or public openings, construction executive recruiters and construction headhunters are experts in penetrating their specialized industry and locating reputable construction companies with attractive opportunities. Construction recruiters can introduce you to well-tailored construction job opportunities with little or no effort on your part. They will keep it confidential. To locate a construction recruiter in your specialty, try to get a referral from a colleague, a local construction trades association, or your competitor’s Human Resources department. A couple of other good sources are Kennedy Publication’s Directory of Executive Recruiters , or the Recruiter’s Online Network at http://www.recruitersonline.com

Be sure to find a construction executive recruiter who highly recommended for his or her professionalism, performance, and ethics. From the start, emphasize to your construction recruiter that your name and credentials must remain anonymous to potential employers unless you authorize release. Ask construction recruiters to contact you only at home, or in your private office, and only with construction opportunities that fit your construction career plan. Good executive recruiters can work within these requirements and may even arrange construction interviews without submitting your construction resume.

Like any brokers, construction recruiters work hardest for candidates who can help them close a sale. Such candidates have a marketable background, are clear on what they want, and are likely to accept a fair offer (usually a 10 to 15% salary increase). Unwillingness to job move immediately, or an unwillingness to accept a fair offer, will discourage recruiters from working with you.

Remember that construction recruiters work for client construction companies, so you may need to wait for the right opportunity. Make sure you get to know two or three pros, and stick with them.

5. Construction Classified or Help Wanted Ads

Advertised construction openings are generally the least effective way to obtain a construction job interview. For employers, using ads is inefficient, expensive and time-consuming usually a last resort. So when you come to an employer’s attention by this route, you are associated with an unpleasant process and with a horde of candidates that the construction company must wade through.

Sending a construction resume is simply not effective. A recent survey from The Department of Labor reported that only 5 out of 100 American jobholders obtained their positions through newspaper want ads. Other surveys indicate that the figure is closer to 2 out of 100. Most resume readers take less than 5 seconds per resume to decide if the construction resume gets looked over or pushed to the rejection pile.

Responding to ads also risks your reputation and confidentiality. Your construction resume may fall into the hands of junior-level administrators, or it gets entered into corporate data banks (perused by anyone who has access to the Human Resources files). This scenario is unlikely to lead to an appropriate offer.

If you do elect to market yourself through advertised openings, check out each construction job opportunity via your network before contacting the company. Try to find out why the construction job opening was not filled privately, how long the search has gone on, and what problems have affected the firm and the incumbent who held the construction position.

In pursuing an advertised opening, you can improve your chances by writing an effective cover letter and by responding to the construction job ad within the first four days. Try to send a construction resume only after speaking to the construction hiring authority and concluding that both parties believe you are the “right” candidate. Interview only with an authority able to offer you a construction job. Bypassing those who have been assigned the rudimentary task of advertising and screening for the construction position (usually the Human Resources Department, office managers, assistants, or secretaries) greatly improves your odds of getting a construction interview. Good sources for advertised construction positions are building trades journals and construction magazines, local construction newspapers, and the online job boards and blogs.

6. Internet Construction Classified Ads

Internet construction ads are generally no more effective than printed ads when it comes to getting a construction interview. However, they usually are more abundant, easier to find, and easier to solicit. In order to increase the odds of success, focus your search by locating construction job databases that specialize in your specific industry such as online blogs, employer directories and job boards like ConstructionExecutive (dotcom) an TradeJobsOnline (dotcom).