Preparing to hire a civil engineer? Whether it’s for a permanent position at a firm or simply on a contract basis for an upcoming project, it’s a good idea to have some good civil engineer interview questions in your back pocket, so you can get a sense of their knowledge, capabilities and communication.
Here are a few ideas of site engineer interview questions you can ask when you’re looking for a partner, and what to look for in a response.
Why did you decide to become a civil engineer?
This question helps you determine whether the engineer is passionate about the job and, thus, will be detail-oriented and creative in the work they provide. If they provide a rushed answer with little passion, it probably indicates they’re not quite as into the work they do as is a person who gives an unhurried, thought-out reply that seems genuine.
How do you like to interact or communicate with your clients?
This question helps you determine what you can expect out of the engineer’s communication skills, including how they will deal with potentially difficult or temperamental clients. Effective communication is critical to a successful job. When asking this question, look for an answer that is truthful and well thought-out and acknowledges the fact that there could potentially be conflicts between an engineer and a client but that effective communication can help work through those conflicts.
What should your top priority be as a civil engineer?
The purpose of this question is to determine the engineer’s main priorities and their ability to provide work that reflects your mission and values. Look for an answer that is sincere and genuine—one that doesn’t occur with much hesitancy.
What would you do if a design flaw on a construction project resulted in an accident?
This question is designed to give some insight into the character of the potential engineer and to determine how they would act in a situation in which they could potentially be at fault for an accident. The best answers come without hesitation and with a straightforward response and sincerity. They should be willing to immediately bring the issue to the attention of superiors and work with the client to a resolution. This indicates not just a strong work ethic but also a strong sense of ethics in general.
What do you do to ensure a safe work environment for all?
Civil engineers don’t just work in office settings—they also go out into the field and supervise construction projects—so it is important that they understand the importance of safety at active construction sites and their role in ensuring that safety. An answer to this question should acknowledge the importance of safety at a work site and show respect and regard for other employees who will be working there.
These are just a few civil engineer interview questions you may find useful as you search for the right engineer for your firm or upcoming project. For more ideas, contact us at Mason & Associates.