Quickfire interview: Dave Lowiss, Buckingham Group Contracting
What is your most memorable interview experience? (as the interviewer)
My favourite interview question is “Could you describe yourself in just 3 words?”. This always elicits a long exhalation of breath, followed by 30 seconds or so of rapid thought, and, often, the most lucid of responses! The ability to think quickly and decisively is vitally important in all walks of life, especially the construction industry.
Which person dead or alive inspires you?
Nelson Mandela. I read his autobiography Long Walk to Freedom many years ago and found it truly inspirational. His commitment to overturning apartheid despite the heavy personal toll he had to endure was remarkable. To eventually unify South Africa as he did through his leadership demonstrated every aspect of good leadership – foresight, commitment, forgiveness.
What is the best piece of advice given to you about your career?
My ICE Delegated Engineer told me to look for the learning in everything I do. Through this process of self-analysis I have been able to recognise the knowledge and skills that I have been exposed to and use these to become a more valued employee.
What do you like most about working for Buckingham Group Contracting?
There are two things that I like in particular – one is the variety of projects that I get involved with, Stadia, Large Distribution sheds, technical demanding Demolition and Remediation schemes, major Civils Engineering schemes, complex multi-disciplinary Railway schemes. The second aspect that I particularly like about working for Buckingham Group Contracting Limited is that everyone can make a difference. Each individual is given the opportunity to develop and make a difference to the business. Despite the size of the business (over £400M pa turnover), there is still a family feel about the business and we have maintained the flexibility to adapt quickly.
What has been your most memorable project at Buckingham Group Contracting?
Due to varied nature of the business there are lots of schemes that I am proud to have had involvement with. However, from a personal point of view, the most memorable project that I have been involved with is the development of the company-wide Competency matrix and the development of the Training programme. The reason this is the most important project for me is because our staff are our greatest asset and the younger staff are the future of the company. Providing them with the best development opportunities will cement the future success of the business.