Did you know that in the 18th century, the term “civil engineering” came into use to describe engineering work that was performed by civilians for non-military purposes?

Choosing a career in civil engineering will often come with constant opportunities for creative and challenging work. It is a profession that regularly presents challenges where the solutions require inventive thinking and an all-encompassing understanding of the job.

And the financial rewards for working in civil engineering are high as well - the average salary for a Civil Engineer is £30,558 per year. So it should come as no surprise that competition for the best civil engineering jobs can be tough.

If you’ve been invited for a job interview, you should be proud to have advanced this far. We want to help you take the next steps forward, and be as prepared as you can possibly be for the big day.

Civil engineer interview questions.

General interview questions.  

  1. Where do you see yourself professionally within Civil Engineering in five years’ time?
  2. Why are you looking to move roles?
  3. What are the most relevant skills that you could bring to this job?
  4. Are there are any areas where you feel you could significantly improve your skills?

Industry related interview questions.

  1. What do you see as the key challenges faced by Civil Engineers on site day to day?
  2. What attracted you to your particular specialism and do you think your expectations of it were realistic?
  3. Do you prefer to be working in the office or on site?
  4. What relevant civil engineering qualifications do you already have and what would you like to gain over the next few years?
  5. How do you keep your knowledge of industry regulations up to date?
  6. Describe to me what you see as a typical day in the life of a civil engineer
  7. How much experience do you have in developing and taking forward bids?
  8. Which design software systems have you worked with?
  9. How do you prioritise different issues when analysing data?

Scenario interview questions.

  1. Explain a situation in which you needed to think logically to solve an engineering problem.
  2. Describe a previous project which you had to lead or work with a diverse team of colleagues to reach a successful conclusion
  3. Tell us about the least successful project or role you have had. What did you learn from it?
  4. Tell us how you would go about motivating a team when the last set of plans and dates have been returned for revision.

General interview tips.

  • Always double check the interview time and address, leaving plenty of time for the journey.
  • Note down interviewer names and contact numbers, you may need them upon arrival.
  • Interviews call for smart attire, as well as clean shoes, so dress appropriately.
  • Read up on the company and think of a few questions to ask the interviewers.
  • Fresh copies of any CVs or applications submitted can be taken along and handed out before the interview begins.

If you’re applying for a job as a civil engineer, you should expect a wide range of questions, from industry related to personal – so be prepared!

Further information for civil engineer candidates.

Even though there are a variety of disciplines that fall under civil engineering, candidates must reassure potential employers that they possess the key skills for the position they are applying for. 

These would include excellent knowledge of mathematics, high levels of organisation, methodical thinking, and the ability to see through a mass of data to identify the key points and problems.

The role of a civil engineer comes with plenty of responsibility, and interviewees will need to prove that they can clearly convey complex ideas to workers at all levels of an organisation.

They should expect to be asked to demonstrate reliability and calmness in a crisis, as well as a willingness to undertake further professional training if relevant.

Candidates should think in advance about how best to illustrate the required skills; it could be through describing past roles or projects, or through success in obtaining previous professional qualifications and experience.