What to expect at your interview: Civil Engineer

 

Before any job interview, you have to prepare for tricky questions and have all your research done. As daunting as interviews may seem, once you’ve done this, you should be ready to answer anything. For a Civil Engineer this means preparing for technical questions that really test your knowledge and understanding of the engineering field.  

We’ve pulled together some helpful advice on what to expect at your interview for a Civil Engineering role.

 

1. Questions about You

Most people really hate talking about themselves. But in an interview, you have to sell yourself. Give a strong, confident low-down of who you are, what your interests are, what motivates you and where you want to be in five years. Show personality and passion. 

Try talking about why you studied civil engineering, why you applied for this role and why you are a great at what you do.  It’s a good idea to bring along a portfolio of any of your previous project work so you can talk them through it and show em’ what you got.

Some key skills to highlight along the way are:

  • Ability to work both independently and in a team
  • Good people and communication skills
  • Ability to handle conflict
  • Organisational/Planning ability

 

 

2. Theoretical Questions

Obviously potential employers will ask you about engineering in general so that you can show you have the basic knowledge required for the role.

Your answers to these questions will show that you can communicate in a clear and articulate way and work well under pressure.

 

 

3. Engineering/Industry Questions

Impress your potential boss with knowledge of the latest news and developments in the field. Think about the opportunities and challenges that civil engineers face. Show them that you’re prepared for both the construction sites, teamwork and work with the public, and also the paperwork, facts and figures.

You might also be asked about the engineering company itself, why you applied and what you know about them and the technical work that they do. *Wow* them with your knowledge of all their work and what they stand for.

 

 

4. Educational Questions

Show off all the great practical skills you gained during your studies, not just the theory behind it.

Civil engineering is a very practical career, so whilst those top grades can prove your intelligence, practical project work completed during university should also be highlighted.

It’s even better to mention those projects you pursued yourself, not just the ones completed through your course, to show your ability to take initiative.

 

 

5. Practical Questions

Pull together everything you’ve learned and experienced so far as a Civil Engineer and apply it to relevant questions that show your practical skills.

Employers might ask about how you handled a particular project and what your process and outcomes were. Or they could ask you how to repair something or about a certain software. Keep calm and try to do yourself justice in your answers.

 

 

6. A Technical Exercise/Case Study

It is becoming more common for interviewers to ask you to complete practical tasks. This way they can really separate the big talkers from the potential employees.

This could involve:

  • Being given beam sketches and being asked to draw the shear force diagram and bending moment diagram.
  • Being given a potential scenario “Imagine you are building the ___ in this case study. What do you do first? What tests will you do?”

 

 

7. “Do you have any questions for us?”

A classic. It seems so simple, yet it stumps so many interviewees. It’s great to be able to ask one or two questions because this might spark a conversation.

You don’t have to ask something complicated or highly intelligent. Try something simple like “What are the day to day responsibilities of this role?” or “What challenges does your company face specifically?”.

People sometimes use this moment to ask about salary. Just hold off on that one. Most employers will ask you about your salary expectations, so that’s another answer you need to have prepared!

 

 

Interviews can be terrifying AF and it is healthy to be a little nervous. In order to step up to the plate, ace the interview and get the civil engineering job you’ve dreamed of, don’t stress. Follow our advice, let the adrenaline kick in and try your best - you can’t go wrong!

 

 

 

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