Facilities Manager Interview Questions
Interviewer: Good morning/afternoon, thank you for coming in today. Can you please start off by telling me about your experience in facilities management?
Candidate: Yes, of course. I have been working in facilities management for approximately 10 years, during which time I have held both operational and strategic roles. I have managed various sites, including commercial office spaces and manufacturing facilities.
Interviewer: How familiar are you with health and safety regulations as they pertain to facilities management?
Candidate: Very familiar. Health and safety considerations are always at the forefront of my mind when it comes to managing facilities. I am well-versed in the regulations and ensure they are adhered to at all times.
Interviewer: Could you describe a time when you had to deal with a difficult vendor or contractor? How did you handle the situation?
Candidate: Yes, I once had a vendor who was not meeting their service level agreement. I scheduled a meeting with them and presented them with the evidence while expressing my disappointment in their performance. Together we developed a plan to improve the service, and I monitored their progress regularly to ensure it was implemented.
Interviewer: How do you prioritize facilities maintenance tasks when there are multiple requests or issues at once?
Candidate: I consider the severity of each task and address the most urgent and critical tasks first. I communicate with stakeholders and management to ensure alignment with their expectations and needs.
Interviewer: Can you tell me about a time you had to make a difficult decision regarding the maintenance or repair of a facility asset?
Candidate: Yes, there was a situation where we had to decide whether to replace or continue repairing an HVAC system that had been failing repeatedly. After careful consideration of the costs and efficiency, we decided to replace it, which ended up being the best decision.
Interviewer: How do you ensure that your team is working efficiently and effectively?
Candidate: I ensure clear communication with them, provide them with the right resources and training to effectively complete their jobs. I conduct regular performance assessments, and celebrate their successes and opportunities for improvement.
Interviewer: What is your experience working with budgets and forecasts?
Candidate: I have extensive experience in managing budgets and forecasting for facilities. I regularly monitor cost variances and adjust my strategy accordingly.
Interviewer: Can you tell me about a time when you had to stay calm under pressure while dealing with an emergency or crisis?
Candidate: Yes, I was once managing a facility that experienced a power outage during an intense winter storm. We activated our emergency response plan and provided regular updates to stakeholders and management as we worked to resolve the issue. Our response ensured minimal disruption to operations and ensured the safety of all those on site.
Interviewer: How do you stay informed about new technology and trends in facilities management?
Candidate: I stay up to date through attending conferences, networking with peers, and regularly conducting research online.
Interviewer: Can you discuss your experience managing multiple facilities at once?
Candidate: Sure, I have managed up to five facilities at once. I ensure clear communication with staff and stakeholders, and utilize the right technology and tools to ensure operational efficiency.
Interviewer: How do you approach identifying and addressing maintenance issues before they become major problems?
Candidate: I implement a regular preventative maintenance program and inspections, as well as perform audits to identify potential issues before they result in failure or disruption.
Interviewer: Can you describe a time when you had to manage a difficult team member or employee issue?
Candidate: Yes, I once had an employee who consistently missed deadlines and did not meet expectations. I spoke with them about their performance and provided them with the resources to meet their targets. When the employee failed to improve, I made the difficult decision to let them go.
Interviewer: Can you discuss your approach to managing outside contractors or vendors?
Candidate: I ensure that they fully understand the expectations and requirements of their contract, and that their work is in line with the company's objectives. I also ensure regular communication and provide feedback as needed to ensure that their work meets expectations.
Interviewer: How do you balance the needs of internal stakeholders and external customers?
Candidate: I ensure clear communication with both groups to prioritize needs and set appropriate expectations. I also work to foster positive working relationships with both internal and external stakeholders to ensure effective communication and positive outcomes.
Interviewer: Lastly, can you tell me about a project that you managed that you are particularly proud of?
Candidate: Yes, I managed the construction of a new manufacturing facility from start to finish. It was challenging, but I was able to successfully deliver on time and within budget, and the facility has been successfully operating ever since.
1. Scenario: Imagine that one of the cooling systems in your facility has malfunctioned, and it's causing the temperature to rise rapidly. What steps would you take to address the problem?
Candidate Answer: First, I would notify the maintenance staff to assess the issue and determine the cause of the malfunction. I would then review the facility's emergency protocols and contact any necessary repair technicians to fix the cooling system. Depending on the extent of the damage, I might need to relocate employees or equipment to a cooler part of the building or even temporarily shut down operations until the issue can be resolved.
2. Scenario: Your company is considering upgrading the current lighting system in the facility to a more energy-efficient model. As the Facilities Manager, how would you approach this decision-making process?
Candidate Answer: To make an informed decision, I would need to assess the current lighting system's energy consumption and compare it to the projected cost and energy savings of the new model. I would also consult with the company's stakeholders and gather feedback from employees to determine their lighting needs and preferences. With this information, I would make a recommendation to the management team and present a cost-benefit analysis to support my proposal.
3. Scenario: The facility's heating system has reached the end of its lifespan, and a replacement is necessary. What factors would you consider when selecting a new heating system?
Candidate Answer: When selecting a new heating system, I would consider several factors, such as the size and layout of the facility, energy-efficiency, reliability, and maintenance requirements. I would also review the contractor's warranty and response time for repair technicians in the event of a malfunction. And, of course, I would take into account any budgetary constraints or other specifications outlined by management.
4. Scenario: A severe winter storm has caused a power outage in the facility. As the Facilities Manager, what steps would you take to ensure the safety of employees and protect critical equipment?
Candidate Answer: Firstly, I would assess the situation and determine the extent of the power outage. If it's widespread, I would consult with local power authorities to get an ETA for when service would be restored. In the meantime, I would implement the facility's emergency protocols and communicate with all employees to ensure their safety. I would also assess which equipment required power to operate and make alternative arrangements, such as using backup generators or temporarily relocating the equipment until the power is restored.
5. Scenario: The company is moving its operations to a new facility due to expansion. As the Facilities Manager, what steps would you take to oversee the transition?
Candidate Answer: The first step is to create a detailed plan that includes logistics, timelines, and responsibilities. I would work with the project management team to identify any potential roadblocks and implement contingency plans to minimize any disruption to operations. I would also need to assess the new facility's needs and make any necessary modifications to ensure it is ready for occupancy. Additionally, I would communicate with all stakeholders, including employees, vendors, and contractors, to keep them informed of the timeline and any changes. Finally, I would conduct a thorough inspection of the facility before and after the move to ensure it meets all requirements and is ready for occupancy.
Sample Numeric Data Question: How many employees have you managed in the past, and what was the largest facility you've overseen in terms of square footage?
Other Question Specifications: You may also ask for specific examples of project management, knowledge of safety codes/regulations, experience with vendor negotiations, or familiarity with computer-aided facility management (CAFM) software.