One of the most important roles in any building project, whether it’s a new build, restoration or maintenance, is that of the quantity surveyor. He or she is responsible for accurately assessing costs and managing the financial aspects of a project.
These highly skilled jobs require individuals that have all the relevant qualifications and the approval of the Royal Institution for Chartered Surveyors (RICS). It is true the interviews can be challenging, however, the rewards the job brings lead to high levels of job satisfaction for successful candidates. If you don't yet have an interview for a quantity surveyor job, see our tips on how to write a tailored CV and cover letter.
This article is designed to help those preparing for quantity surveyor job interviews for the first time and to offer support and guidance for those who have struggled with them in the past. Randstad CPE can help candidates to find such quantity surveyor jobs.
Quantity Surveyors are likely to spend some of the working day on construction sites but that is no excuse to appear scruffy. As with any job interview, candidates should don smart office wear, with clean shoes and neat hair. They should always leave plenty of time to get to the interview, double checking addresses and contact details, and ideally ringing the agency the day before to make sure everything is still set for the appointment.
Candidates should also do their homework and read up about the company and the surveying role they are interviewing for and formulate a few questions to ask the interviewer – for example, what is the typical career progression of a surveyor in their business?
It’s a good idea to take copies of any CVs or application forms and reread them on the way. It's also advisable to go over the job advert to pick out the key attributes required for the role and rehearse how to demonstrate these skills.
Our recruiters in the construction, property and engineering sectors outline their top interview prep tip in the clip below:
Information for quantity surveyor job candidates.
Interviewers for Quantity Surveyor roles may differ in the type of work they do, but all will be looking for similar skillsets amongst their interviewees. They will be looking for candidates who can demonstrate the academic prowess required as well as the interpersonal skills and commitment that are an essential part of delivering successful outcomes in what can be a pressurised business.
Quantity Surveyors often manage large projects and interviewers will be looking for candidates who can clearly demonstrate reliability, conscientiousness and the ability to cope with a crisis. Successful candidates will be proactive team players capable of clearly communicating with all members of a team, from the construction workers on site to the senior management back in the office.
Quantity surveyor interview questions.
- What do you see as the key challenges faced by Quantity Surveyors on a day to day basis?
- How broad is your experience with different types of contracts?
- Do you prefer being office or site based? Why?
- Have you ever had to deal with a dispute over the valuation of work carried out?
- Can you describe what you see as a typical site-based day for a Quantity Surveyor?
- What parts of the Quantity Surveyor role do you most enjoy? Which do you find most challenging?
- How would you go about combining studying for professional qualifications whilst working?
- How do you keep your knowledge of HSE building regulations and legal guidelines up to date?
- What are your ultimate career goals within Quantity Surveying?
- An important element of the surveying timeline has started to slip. How do you ensure all the requisite milestones are hit and the project gets back on track?
- How do you go about scheduling time when producing a cost report?
- Costs are starting to spiral on the project you are working on. How do you resolve the problem and still meet the project deliverables?
- How much experience do you have with complex engineering projects?
- What do you know about property tax?
General interview questions.
- Why have you applied for this specific role with us? What appeals most about the role?
- What excites you most about our company?
- Why are you looking to move on from your current role?
- What are the most important attributes you would bring to this job?
Scenario interview questions.
- Describe a recent project you led a team on and tell me what was most and least successful about the project.
- Tell me about a problem you have faced that required logical thinking to solve. Would you approach the problem differently next time?
- Talk me through how you would go about determining an initial timescale for a construction project.