Interviews

Simple interview questions some quantity surveyors don't know

artice image Quantity surveying interviews are about testing your technical know-how and suitability for the position (Stocksnap.io)

Construction, engineering or surveying interviewers want to find out whether you can apply your knowledge to the technicalities of the real world. On top of that, your interviewers will want to evaluate your suitability for the position, as well as your personality.

Talk about pressure!

Fortunately, we’ve set out a number of questions you can start preparing for your next quantity surveying interview.

What you’ll be asked:

1. “Tell me about yourself…”

The most likely asked question of them all. With so many things about yourself to talk about, where do you begin? Focus on your work background and why you want to work for the company. If you’re fresh out of college, you can bring in your academic background.

Bonus tip: Know your CV and be ready to speak about the skills you gained from your previous employment.

2. “Give an example when…”

When asking this particular question, the interviewers will be testing your level of competency. In other words, they want to find out whether you have the skills to carry out your role.

Bonus tip: Think of different examples from those you outlined in your covering letter, ensuring you provide your interviewers with a detailed picture of your capabilities.

3. “What do you know about the company and the career path?”

This question is designed to test whether you know what your role in the company will entail, and how you expect your career path to pan out. The amount of background research you do about the company and your role will play a big part in how you answer this question.

Bonus tip: Keep in mind the typical career path of people in your role and also consider the areas in the company which are expanding.

More technical questions you’ll be asked:

1.    How would you measure a gross internal area of a building?

2.    Could you tell me some procurement routes you are aware of?

3.    How do you resolve the cost problems to meet the project deliverables, when your cost forecast is wrong?

4.    Talk me through how you would go about determining an initial timescale for a construction project.

Bonus Tip: Really impress the interview panel by making sure that your answers take commercial concerns into account where appropriate. If, for example, they ask what about the pros and cons of using different material, don’t forget to factor in the cost and time consideration too.

What you should ask:

1. How do you tackle sustainability? Is it important for your organisation?

2. What landmark projects has the company been involved in?

3. What do you enjoy most about your job?

Bonus Tip: If you want to impress, formulate a question about their company specifically: “I know that you’re working on, how does that affect XYZ?”

And finally...

Remember that a company is just looking for potential. They’re probably prepared to train you for the specific role. It is always best to be honest in an interview. If you do not be afraid to admit to not knowing, while showing you’re open to learning. The interviewers will appreciate your honesty and authenticity. 

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