Construction work goes on almost non-stop in all big cities. New business centers and shopping malls are rising to the sky, almost on a monthly basis, roads are built, repaired, or replaced. Many big vehicles move around a typical construction site–big trucks, slow excavator machines, bulldozers, cranes, and other vehicles for big men.
Moving around with a big truck it’s not the same as moving around in a car, however. Big vehicles can easily block one another, and if someone does not regulate the traffic, an accident will take place–sooner or later. And someone will have to pay for the damages–with money, but also with a lost reputation.
Most construction companies do not want to take such risks. They hire traffic marshalls, employees responsible for the safe movement of heavy vehicles on roadways and construction sites, giving signals to drivers, and organizing the entry and exit of the vehicles from the construction areas.
Let’s have a look at questions you may face while interviewing for this rather atypical job on a construction site.
Why do you want to work as a traffic marshall?
Let’s be honest. This isn’t a job you’ve dreamed of as a kid. However, in certain life situations it can be your best choice–or the only one. But you shouldn’t sound desperate in an interview.
You can point out that with your qualification (education, experience, age, whatever), you do not have hundreds of choices. At the same time, however, you could apply for other manual jobs. But you love to buzzing life of a construction site, enjoy to participate on building something great, something that will remain standing in a hundred years, as a living legacy of your work…
What’s more, you prefer outdoors work, and have good communication skills, and awareness of your environment. Being a driver yourself, you understand different situation on the road and how to address them. Summing it up, job of a traffic marshall seems like a good choice for you.
How do you feel about working in a rain, snow, or other adverse weather conditions?
Ensure the interviewers that in your view there’s nothing like a bad weather–only a bad choice of clothes.
Of course everyone enjoys when the sun is shining and it is a pleasure to be outside. But job is a job, and when it will rain, you will simply put on waterproof clothes. When it snows, you will wear gloves. As simple as that.
To take it one step further, you can even say that a traffic marshall is especially important on the construction site when the weather sucks. The visibility is not as good as in a sunny weather, and the chances for an accidents grow. You won’t to be out there in bad weather, protected by good clothes, and overseeing the movement of heavy vehicles.
Look at this model situation (they show you some crossroad, or a picture of a construction site with vehicles). As a traffic marshall, what will you do in this situation?
This simple exercise is an excellent test of your readiness for the job. Think about the situation carefully. You should not allow a vehicle to block another one, and you should always put safety before anything else.
Do not hesitate to ask additional questions, if the picture does not reveal all important details of the situation. Show the hiring managers that you can think on a spot, and it won’t take you two minutes to decided whether to let a truck pass or not…
How would you deal with irate motorists when facilitating the movement of traffic on public roads?
You can start by saying that you understand their emotions–people are upset sometimes, for example when they are in a hurry, and some guy in an orange vest stops them from passing some place. What’s more, some motorists simply wait for an opportunity to get angry, and letting them wait for five minutes while a big vehicle is turning around on the road is definitely such an opportunity.
Say that you will avoid any direct confrontation with the motorists, regardless of the bad words they say in your direction. You definitely won’t take any risks just because someone is upset and honking or doing anything else.
You will simply give your signals, and try to deal with the situation in a way that causes minimum interruption to the normal traffic on the public road. That’s your job, and you do not care about the reaction of the motorists who are forced to wait.
You may sometimes have to stand at one spot for hours. Do you think you are fit enough to handle that?
A simple YES won’t do the trick here. Explain them why you are actually fit, and should not struggle with standing on your feet from prolonged time period.
Perhaps you do some sports, enjoy long walks, or you’ve had a similar job in the past. Perhaps you were standing next to an assembly line for eight or ten hours in one go, maybe even on a night shift.
Since you have never found this particular aspect of the job difficult, you do not see a reason why you’d struggle with handing it this time around…
5 other questions you may face in your traffic marshall job interview
- What do you consider your greatest weakness when we talk about a job of a traffic marshall?
- How long do you want to have this job? Where do you see yourself in five years time?
- Tell us how will you proceed in a case that one of our vehicles crashes with a can on a public road.
- Imagine that there is a difficult situation on the road, one you are not sure how to address from your position. What will you do in this case? Will you take a risk, or will you simply let all the vehicles waiting on a spot?
- What are your salary expectations?
Conclusion, next steps
Interview for a traffic marshall job belongs to easy interviews. They won’t ask you any tricky behavioral questions, and won’t expect some special qualifications from you.
As long as you do not remain silent when they ask you their questions, and show some enthusiasm for the job, they will give you a chance to prove your skill in the job. Just do not be worried, get ready for the basic questions from this article, and give it your best shot. We wish you good luck!
May also interest you:
- 15 most common interview questions – What are your weakness? Why should we hire you? What motivates you the most in work? How would you describe an ideal boss? You may get these questions in any job interview, and should definitely get ready for them in advance.
- Salary negotiation tips – Job of a traffic marshall does not belong to the best paid jobs on a construction site. However, if they struggle to hire someone, they may actually offer you a bit more–as long as you know how to convince them.
- How to dress for an interview – Should you dress business casual to this interview? Or wear the same type of clothes you’d wear to the job? We have the answers…