It doesn’t sound too fancy saying to a girl that you work as a bricklayer. However, many bricklayers earn more than $50,000 annually, and you do not have to be afraid of the future as long as you stay in the craft. Our population is growing, people want to live in new houses, and someone has to lay the bricks. In my book, this job can beat many corporate careers. You work outdoors, you exercise while working, and you may earn as much as any corporate rat.
But what will happen in the interview for this job? Does your qualification matter, and do you need experience? And most importantly, what questions will they ask you, and how should you answer them to get a job at the end of the interviews? We will try to find it out in this article. Let’s move to the questions right away.
Why do you want to work as a bricklayer? (Why do you apply for this job)?
The most important thing is to see something positive about the work–and there’s a lot to see. They shouldn’t get an impression that you apply only because you need money, or struggle to find a “better job” with your qualification and education (or lack of it) at the moment.
You can point to several things in your answer:
- That you love to see the results of your work, your creation. You can take your son one day, show him a house and say that you built it. Most corporate employees who spend their days in front of a computer screen cannot do that. They often do not even know why their job exist.
- That you prefer to work outdoors, on the fresh air, and want to stay fit both physically and mentally. To sit in front of a computer for 10 hours a day is not healthy for anybody. It’s much better to work physically and to move or at least stand on your feet.
- You have a good role model in life. Perhaps your grandfather was a renowned mason, or anyone from the family. You have always looked up to them and would love to continue in the family tradition. Job of a bricklayer is the first step on this journey.
What is your experience with laying bricks and similar work?
You do not necessarily had to do the same job before to gain experience. Perhaps you helped your father to build a house, or at least a small brick wall in a garden. You got your hands dirty, tried the job, and learned something from a skilled mason.
Or you just worked a lot on a construction site or helped someone build the house. While you have no experience with bricklaying in particular, you spent a lot of time working outside, with your hands. You sweated in the scorching sun and shivered in a rain, and you are sure you’ll handle the job–under a supervision of a more experienced colleague of course.
If you had a bricklayer job before, they will likely ask you why you left the job. Try to have a good reason ready, and avoid criticizing your former boss–unless you have a good enough reason to criticize them, for example that they didn’t pay you your wage.
In this case (when you had the job before), you should elaborate on your answer, explaining some bricklaying techniques you used in your last job, materials you worked with, etc.
What motivates you in this type of work?
Though a lot of things can happen on a construction site, bricklaying is a repetitive job by definition. It is important to convince the hiring manager that you won’t lose your motivation easily. Some ideas for a good answer:
- You can say that you actually enjoy the job a lot. Seeing how something grows, the work of your own hands, how adding one brick after another eventually leads to an interesting construction helps you stay motivated and proud of your job.
- You can point out to certain goals you have outside of work. For example you want to buy something nice, or pay for school for your children, or you just want to have a decent lifestyle. You need a job to achieve your goal, and you know that if your motivation falters, and instead of 500 bricks you lay only 250 each day, they will fire you. You do not want to risk that.
- Another alternative is referring to the collective in the workplace. You are a type of a guy who enjoys the typical talks workers have on a construction site. It’s simply your cup of coffee, you enjoy the company and the atmosphere, and it helps you to stay motivated in work each day.
How do you feel about working outside for ten hours a day in the sun?
Ensure them that you read the job description carefully, and know what will be expected from you in the job. Sun, rain, snow, hot or cold weather, you are ready to work in any conditions. As long as you have the right clothes and protective equipment (such a gloves when it is cold), you won’t have a problem working in any weather.
You can actually take your answer one step further, saying that this is actually the most attractive thing for you about the job–to be outside, to not sit in an air-conditioned office, which would only make you sick and overweight.
You can also elaborate on your answer, explaining that you have similar experience. Since you worked outside before and have never found it hard on your health or mentally demanding, you see no reason why it should be otherwise in your job of a bricklayer.
Describe an ideal colleague
You will almost never work alone as a bricklayer. Other people will move on the construction site, sometimes working, and other times smoking or hanging around. But you will cooperate together, trying to reach the goal of each building project. As you can imagine, all kinds of personalities can work in this trade, and you may have conflicts with some of your colleagues.
While interviewing for the job, however, you should try to convince the interviewers it won’t be the case. You have several options for a good answer:
- Saying that an ideal colleague doesn’t exist. Each person has some strengths and weaknesses, some good and bad character traits–including yourself. You want to respect people as they are, with both good and bad things. Having this attitude you should be able to get along with anyone on the job.
- You can also say that you want to focus fully on your job. It is not your duty to control the work of your colleagues, to judge whether they work well or could do more, and how they act in work. A construction supervisor or manager of the project is responsible for that. You will try to be nice to your colleagues, and have good relationship with them, but you do not care much either about their life outside of work, or their attitude. Such things are for other people to consider.
5 other questions you may face in your bricklayer interview
- What are your salary expectations? (How much would you like to earn daily or monthly in this job?)
- What is your experience with power tools and brick-cutting machines?
- How would you define quality?
- What do you consider the toughest aspect of this job?
- Why should we hire you?
Conclusion, next steps
Interview for a job of a bricklayer belongs to easier job interviews. As long as you show some enthusiasm for the job, and willingness to learn and work hard, in any kind of weather, they will typically give you a chance to prove your words on a construction site.
It helps if you have experience with similar work, or did an apprenticeship with a skilled mason before, but you can get the job even without any experience. The demand in this field typically exceeds the supply. It means that sometimes they will hire you simply because you will be the only job candidate–and they need someone to do the work…
To sum it up: if you do not underestimate your preparation for this interview, and show some enthusiasm for the job, you should make it and succeed. I wish you good luck!
May also interest you:
- Salary negotiation tips – Learn how to get at least a bit more once they discuss the salary with you.
- Roofer interview questions – Some of the questions may overlap with interview questions for bricklayers. Learn how to answer them.