15 Jul 2019

7 Ways To Succeed In Your Facilities Management Interview

Facilities Management constitutes
up to 80 to 90 per cent of the lifecycle of any Real Estate or infrastructure asset.
That is, about 80 to 90 years of a Real Estate or Infrastructure asset that is
supposed to have a hundred-year lifecycle, for instance, will be Facilities
Management (maintenance) of such asset; while conception, design and
construction of the asset is just about 10 years of the asset lifecycle.

With the increasing
realization of this fact, the past few years have proven that growing a career
in Facilities Management is as lucrative as any other profession; and the
coming years, look even brighter for the profession – in the face of increasing
investment in Real Estate and infrastructure in Africa.

For example, growing
urbanization and sophistication in Nigeria has increased investment into Real
Estate assets like office spaces, retail centres, residential apartments,
industrial hubs, etc. Also, although largely insufficient, there have also been
increasing investment and more Public Private Partnership on infrastructure
projects such as road, rail, parks, etc.

All
these continue to create huge opportunities for the Facilities Management
profession because these assets require maintenance for their entire lifecycle.
As career opportunities increase in the Facilities Management industry, the
required skills are also becoming more and more specialized; making it more
demanding to secure a Facilities Management job.

This
article therefore focuses on one of the barriers to entering the Facilities
Management profession or scaling up career growth in the sector. So, in our
habit of supporting Facilities Management professionals, we spoke to Alpha Mead Group’s Head of Human Resources, Joel Okwuoha; and here are 7 things
he told us you need to do to ace your next Facilities Management interview.

  • Never Arrive Late

As
trite as that sounds, the truth is that people still come late for interviews
and most times do not even inform their contact person ahead.

Although it is not
acceptable to go for any job interview late, it is even more grievous to go
late for a Facilities Management job interview. The Facilities Management job
has a lot to do with productivity and adding value to businesses; and time
plays are very important role in that mix.

If you are going to be working for a Facilities Management company, you will have to a lot of interfacing with customers and you can’t go late to your customer’s meeting. Imagine being late to work on a day the elevator is not working. That will have serious impact on the productivity on the employees for that day and consequently the business bottom-line.

So,
the last thing you want to show your potential employer on your big day is that
you will not respect timelines, or you may also come late on critical days.

  • Be Charismatic

Facilities
Management is about the physical environment and the processes that make them
functional for people. Reason some say the profession is about people, process
and places.

As a potential
Facilities Management professional or one who is seeking a higher role or
responsibility in the profession, you must be able to demonstrate to your
potential employers that you understand how places and processes contributes to
people productivity; and that starts from you on the day of the interview.

  • Be Open, But Discrete

Yes, you want to show
how much you know to your potential employer and this interview is the
opportunity to put your best foot forward. You will need to be open, but very
discrete.

The
Facilities Management role opens you to a lot of information your organization’s
client may not want out there or the ones your company want to keep close to
their chest. For example, Facilities Managers who work in luxury estates have a
lot of information about high profile occupants who live where they work.

Facilities
Managers who work in organization may also have information about operational
cost of the company they work for. Most organizations are usually not happy to
share these pieces of information.

So, if
you come to a Facilities Management interview and in the quest to impress,
you’re giving too much confidential information about your past employment, you
might just be taking the handshake beyond the elbow. The interview panel might
not be able to trust you won’t do the same to their organization when you
leave.

  • Show you’d be a Culture Fit

Skills
can be learnt, but attitude or cultural fitness is a more herculean task. Organizations
understand this and are always, from the interview stage, looking for people
who will fit into their culture. It therefore means that you might be
technically sound for the job, but not culturally fit for the company.

One
way to show you’d be a culture fit is to understand the culture of where you’re
going. An organization’s culture is usually defined or will be a distillation
of the core values. So, when you show up at the interview, remember to give
examples relating to the core values of the organization. For example, if
innovation is one of the core values of the organization, remember to tell a
story of a solution you created in your previous job or life that solved an
age-long problem.

  • Stay informed about market trends and
    changes

The Facilities Management
profession and market is changing. You can’t go to an interview and be using
old solution to solve new problems. You must demonstrate knowledge. For
example, technology is going to play a very significant role in the future skill
set for Facilities Management
, you should know and demonstrate
how you’d be of value to your potential employer.

Also, there
is a range of software and various software for Facilities
Management
, such as CAD, BIM and GIS solutions. You should be able to
use or talk to how you’re learning to use these tools.

Click here for some training that can prepare you for the big day

  • Demonstrate Leadership Skills

Many people assume that
leaders are only found in senior-level positions. But for Facilities Management
and most other professions, leadership is your ability influence people. As a
Facilities Manager, you’d need a lot of leadership skills as you’d need to
influence people above you – such as senior management or clients; work with
your peer and stakeholders – such as procurement, finance etc; and people below
you – such as technicians, janitors, etc.

So, at your next interview,
remember to tell a story of how you interface with these three levels of
stakeholders and you got results.

  • Show your Communication Skill

Facilities management isn’t
as communication oriented as a profession like marketing or sales, but you will
need almost the same level of skill to succeed in the career. The profession requires
communicating with a lot of stakeholders through reports, announcements,
engagements, etc.

As a Facilities manager, you would have to deal
with lots of people every day, whether it’s engaging with high profile clients,
colleagues or liaising with executives and vendors. You need to be able to
communicate effectively and know how to build connections with people, learn
what motivates the people in your team and be able to influence your
colleagues.

If you can’t be clear in your communication
during the interview, you might not be able to convince the panel you’d do a
good job in the role.

Want to Grow your Career in Facilities
Management? Register for any of our training HERE

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