How to Answer the Top 10 Surveyor Interview Questions

surveyor wearing a hat

Preparing for a job interview is important if you expect to demonstrate your specific knowledge and abilities in a manner that will impress the hiring manager. You should prepare for the normal basic questions that an interviewer will ask such as, are you a team player or where do you want to be in five years.

But, also remember to focus on responding to questions that are specific to your field. This article will take a look at the top 10 surveyor interview questions and what is an effective way to answer each one. Remember that your main goal is to be professional and always respond in a manner that sets you apart from the competition in a positive way. Being prepared for these questions is an ideal way to accomplish that task.

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1. 'As a surveyor, what are your primary job tasks?'

If you are a land surveyor, you would answer that your primary job tasks include ascertaining the measurements of various properties for the purpose of buying and selling land. You may also have to measure boundary line limits for mining or gold claims, as well as locating roads, utilities or buildings for developers.

As a building surveyor, you can answer that you have worked on the design and development of new buildings in various fields (commercial, residential, industrial, leisure or agriculture). This field is expansive, so be sure to pick specific job responsibilities that you have.

2. 'Why did you become a surveyor?'

This question should have a more personal response, such as you have always enjoyed working outdoors and like the benefits of being a land surveyor where you can be outside often. Maybe you enjoy construction and find it fulfilling to work as a building surveyor where you have input on the design and maintenance of buildings.

3. 'Do you enjoy working outdoors?'

A hiring manager might ask this question, especially for a land surveyor position, where you will spend a good amount of time working outside. If you are not well-suited to the outdoor working environment, you won’t be compatible with the position.

4. 'Are there any areas of surveying that challenge you?'

You need to answer this question honestly. But, always make an effort to assure the hiring manager that you work well in challenging environments and see challenges as opportunities for growth.

5. 'During your apprenticeship period, what was the most important thing you learned?'

Responding to this question provides you with the perfect opportunity to shine as a surveyor. For example, you can say that you worked with an excellent mentor during the training program and learned discipline and how to perfect your trade.

6. 'Do you have good organisational skills?'

Being organised as a land or building surveyor is important. You have to deal with paperwork, surveying properties and buildings, organising and managing those surveys and keeping every job site appointment that is scheduled. It is important to demonstrate your excellent organisational skills so that the hiring manager will note your compatibility for the job.

7. 'How are your administrative skills?'

This question may be asked in conjunction with the previous one about your organisational skills. The hiring manager is basically trying to ascertain if you will be able to handle paperwork and all that entails with regard to surveying documents. As this is one of the skill sets that you need to excel in, be sure to construct a response that demonstrates your excellence in administration.

8. 'Have you made any mistakes while surveying?'

It may seem like a catch 22 situation, where neither possible response is good. If you say you’ve never made any mistakes you may appear to be disingenuous and that you’re lying in your answer. And If you say that you made some mistakes, you run the risk of appearing incapable of doing your job.

But it is possible to answer this question correctly. The trick is to be honest. But, always temper your response with a professional attitude that demonstrates your willingness to take responsibility and to learn from your mistakes.

9. 'What steps have you taken to improve as a surveyor?'

The interviewer may ask this question to ascertain whether or not you have the drive to succeed and continually develop as a professional in your field. You should respond that you have taken steps (state some specific ones) to improve in your profession. For example, you might respond that you worked with your supervisor to receive constructive criticism regarding your surveying projects and how you could improve your work performance.

10. 'Have you taken any steps to become more qualified in your profession?'

This question may be grouped with the previous one, as they both seek to ascertain whether or not you will be a stable employee and if you have the perseverance to continue in this career.

If you have taken extra educational courses or belong to professional surveying organisations where you have access to training resources, be sure to mention these facts. Anything you can say to demonstrate your ability as a professional in this field will increase your chances of impressing the hiring manager.

See also: How to Answer "Tell me about a time you faced an ethical dilemma"

If you’re a surveyor, review this listing of possible interview questions so that you can better prepare to respond in a professional manner during the conversation with the hiring manager.

Are there any questions that you think we missed out?


This article was originally published in June 2015.