Interview Pack: Engineering and Construction

Rosie Ramirez

31 August 2018    |    read

Qualifications Qualifications are not only based on diplomas, certificates or degrees, but also on skills qualifying the candidate to excel in the position. The skills should be relevant to the positions, and if the candidate provides a skill that is impressive but not relevant, it is not a qualifying skill. Here, hard and soft skills are equally important. Engineers would learn how to do technical drawing during their degree, but leadership and communication skills are not taught in a classroom. “Which skill, would you say, qualifies you for this job?” “What is your greatest weakness. What are you doing to improve on it/ overcome it?” “How would you handle a situation where 1 person in a team is not doing their share of work?” Achievements Discussion of professional achievements can put the candidate at ease and calm their nerves. It can give you a sense of where their skills lie and how they tie into the vacant position. “What are you most proud of achieving, and why?” “Which of your previous projects are you most proud of, and why?” “What has been your most disappointing moment?” Challenges They Faced Overcoming challenges in the workplace isn’t industry specific. These questions suit every interview as it will give you a good sense of the candidates’ ability to solve problems and make decisions. “Do you enjoy a challenge?” “Tell me about a challenge you faced on an engineering project. How did you overcome it?” Independence and Teamwork Ability It’s vital that your candidate can work as part of a team, but also be able to complete tasks on their own, with little or no assistance. “Tell me about your favorite team project.” “Have you ever had to complete a project by yourself? How did it go? “How do you work alongside someone who is difficult to get along with?” Time Management Time management is an essential skill for every level of employee to have. Excellent time management allows the candidate to fully manage their resources, while being flexible and still producing quality work. These employees won’t panic in a situation that will require extra time and attention, as they would have allowed themselves time to focus on a crisis, if and when it arises. “The completion date for a project is getting closer, but one of your suppliers can’t deliver their product at the agreed time. What to you do?” “Have you ever felt like you were being overloaded with work? What did you do?” “How do you decide what gets top priority when managing your projects?” Communication Engineers are specialists and their technical jargon can sometimes cause confusion when not communicated well with a client. Excellent communication, verbal and written, is of importance to make sure the project goes smoothly. “Have you ever presented a project to the client, where things got ‘lost in translation’?” Analytical and Logical Skills Applying logic and analytical thought to complex projects can be the easiest way to find a solution. But this skill can be the hardest to judge during an interview. “Have you ever experienced a moment during a project, where making one logical decision made the project come together? Tell me about how you came to making this decision.” Company Culture Asking questions related to your company culture will make it easy to judge if the candidate will fit in well with your company or not. “Tell me more about yourself.” “Where do you see yourself in 5 – 10 years?”

Qualifications

Qualifications are not only based on diplomas, certificates or degrees, but also on skills qualifying the candidate to excel in the position. The skills should be relevant to the positions, and if the candidate provides a skill that is impressive but not relevant, it is not a qualifying skill.

Here, hard and soft skills are equally important. Engineers would learn how to do technical drawing during their degree, but leadership and communication skills are not taught in a classroom.

  • “Which skill, would you say, qualifies you for this job?”
  • “What is your greatest weakness. What are you doing to improve on it/ overcome it?”
  • “How would you handle a situation where 1 person in a team is not doing their share of work?”

Achievements

Discussion of professional achievements can put the candidate at ease and calm their nerves. It can give you a sense of where their skills lie and how they tie into the vacant position.

  • “What are you most proud of achieving, and why?”
  • “Which of your previous projects are you most proud of, and why?”
  • “What has been your most disappointing moment?”

Challenges They Faced

Overcoming challenges in the workplace isn’t industry specific. These questions suit every interview as it will give you a good sense of the candidates’ ability to solve problems and make decisions.

  • “Do you enjoy a challenge?”
  • “Tell me about a challenge you faced on an engineering project. How did you overcome it?”

Independence and Teamwork Ability

It’s vital that your candidate can work as part of a team, but also be able to complete tasks on their own, with little or no assistance.

  • “Tell me about your favorite team project.”
  • “Have you ever had to complete a project by yourself? How did it go?
  • “How do you work alongside someone who is difficult to get along with?”

Time Management

Time management is an essential skill for every level of employee to have. Excellent time management allows the candidate to fully manage their resources, while being flexible and still producing quality work. These employees won’t panic in a situation that will require extra time and attention, as they would have allowed themselves time to focus on a crisis, if and when it arises.

  • “The completion date for a project is getting closer, but one of your suppliers can’t deliver their product at the agreed time. What to you do?”
  • “Have you ever felt like you were being overloaded with work? What did you do?”
  • “How do you decide what gets top priority when managing your projects?”

Communication

Engineers are specialists and their technical jargon can sometimes cause confusion when not communicated well with a client. Excellent communication, verbal and written, is of importance to make sure the project goes smoothly.

  • “Have you ever presented a project to the client, where things got ‘lost in translation’?”

Analytical and Logical Skills

Applying logic and analytical thought to complex projects can be the easiest way to find a solution. But this skill can be the hardest to judge during an interview.

  • “Have you ever experienced a moment during a project, where making one logical decision made the project come together? Tell me about how you came to making this decision.”

Company Culture

Asking questions related to your company culture will make it easy to judge if the candidate will fit in well with your company or not.

  • “Tell me more about yourself.”
  • “Where do you see yourself in 5 – 10 years?”

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Easter is coming! What you need to know about paying your staff

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About the author

Rosie Ramirez

Our team's goal is to provide practical advice for business owners and managers across industries.

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Being in the business of managing staff costs, we often hear people say that casual staff just cost so much more than their full time equivalents. I mean, that extra 25% is a killer, right? Especially for staff who work a fairly consistent schedule each week, it’s almost like free money. For a while there […]

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Why Brisbane is Australia’s best city for start-ups

Since we’ve started flogging time and attendance software at Tanda, our team has bought over 40 airline tickets across Australia. We’ve been to every capital city and done business at hundreds of locations all around Australia. One thing really hit home: Brisbane is the best place to be a startup. Here are five reasons why: […]

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Easter is coming! What you need to know about paying your staff

Easter is coming up soon, and that means two things! A new season of Game of Thrones to feast on, and – perhaps less excitingly – public holiday rates to pay staff. As a business owner, accountant, or bookkeeper, it’s important to be aware of how public holiday rates over Easter and ANZAC Day should […]

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