MockQuestions

Civil Engineer Mock Interview

To help you prepare for your Civil Engineer interview, here are 30 interview questions and answer examples.

Civil Engineer was written by and updated on January 1st, 2021. Learn more here.

Question 1 of 30

When do you have difficulty working in a team environment?

How to Answer

The interviewer wants to hear that you enjoy being on a team and thrive in the team environment. Tell the interviewer that you really like working with other people, and you do not have difficulty working in a team environment. Share that the team environment excites you, and you look forward to getting to know your team members each time a new team project starts.

Written by Josh Sadlock on January 1st, 2021

Next Question

List of 30 Civil Engineer Interview Questions & Answers

  • 1.

    When do you have difficulty working in a team environment?

      How to Answer

      The interviewer wants to hear that you enjoy being on a team and thrive in the team environment. Tell the interviewer that you really like working with other people, and you do not have difficulty working in a team environment. Share that the team environment excites you, and you look forward to getting to know your team members each time a new team project starts.

      Written by Josh Sadlock on January 1st, 2021

      1st Answer Example

      "For me, the best part of being a civil engineer is working as part of a team to solve difficult design problems. I love bouncing ideas off each other and collaborating to find creative solutions for our clients."

      Written by Josh Sadlock on January 1st, 2021

  • 2.

    How would you handle a situation where a design flaw led to a serious accident?

      How to Answer

      Hopefully something like this never happens to you in your career as a civil engineer, but one of the biggest ethical dilemmas you may face is how to handle a situation where your error or your firm's error led to a serious accident or structural failure. Engineers are called on to take responsibility for their work -- even when something goes wrong. Especially when something goes wrong. Show that you're a stand-up engineer by offering an honest, ethical answer.

      Written by Josh Sadlock on January 1st, 2021

      1st Answer Example

      "Accidents are serious, and if our firm was responsible for a failure or accident, we would have to accept blame quickly and honestly. Doing so would allow us to work to remedy the design flaw and ensure that no further damage or harm occurs. If we are honest, it would help us salvage our reputation and move on as a stronger team."

      Written by Josh Sadlock on January 1st, 2021

  • 3.

    What is the best way to deal with a difficult client?

      How to Answer

      In retail, they say the customer is always right, and that applies to engineering to a degree. Civil engineers will no doubt cross paths with difficult clients throughout their career and will have to find a way to grit their teeth and get through it. A client may be too demanding or lacking in communication skills. It's up to you as the engineer to navigate your clients' whims and moods to prove to them that your firm has what it takes to get the job done. Highlight an experience you had with a difficult client and how you were able to make the relationship work and complete the job successfully.

      Written by Josh Sadlock on January 1st, 2021

      1st Answer Example

      "At my previous job, we worked with a land developer who was constantly micromanaging our work. He always felt he could figure out how to do the job better and was critical of our work. However, we knew that he was a valuable client with potential for repeat work, so we made it a point to afford him opportunities to feel involved in the design process."

      Written by Josh Sadlock on January 1st, 2021

  • 4.

    What should be the top priority for civil engineers today?

      How to Answer

      Civil engineers will play a major role in moving humanity forward. Engineers will be involved in shaping the future of infrastructure in a sustainable manner. We must stay on top of emerging technology and trends to make sure we are doing our part to protect the earth and create a built environment that works fairly for everyone. In your response, make sure to show the interviewer that you value your role as an engineer and want to serve the public.

      Written by Josh Sadlock on January 1st, 2021

      Answer Examples Have Been Hidden

      Please upgrade to view

  • 5.

    What do you think is the most important trait for a project manager?

      How to Answer

      Having strong project managers is one of the most critical aspects of running an engineering firm. The project managers are responsible for managing budgets and schedules, distributing workload fairly and efficiently and developing junior staff and helping them mature into more valuable members of the team. A good project manager needs to be organized, have strong attention to detail, communicate effectively and have confidence in their engineering judgement. Stress to the interviewer that you possess these traits and give concrete examples where possible.

      Written by Josh Sadlock on January 1st, 2021

      Answer Examples Have Been Hidden

      Please upgrade to view

  • 6.

    Why are you interested in joining our firm?

      How to Answer

      Interviewers use this question to see if you've taken the time to do your own research on the company before you sit down in the interview chair. Before every interview, you need to spend some time on the company's website becoming familiar with their culture and type of projects they work on. When you answer this question, you need to show that you understand the company's priorities and profile.

      Written by Josh Sadlock on January 1st, 2021

      Answer Examples Have Been Hidden

      Please upgrade to view

  • 7.

    What was your favorite class in undergrad?

      How to Answer

      When a company is interviewing you for an entry-level position, they're really trying to do their best to get to know you. If you've made it to the interview, they're already interested in hiring you. Now, their focus is on getting a feel for whether or not you're a good fit for the opening. When making their recommendation, a good interviewer will also be honest about whether or not the position is a good fit for the applicant's career goals and passions. If you're applying for a job with a niche engineering firm, hopefully your favorite class falls into that discipline.

      Written by Josh Sadlock on January 1st, 2021

      Answer Examples Have Been Hidden

      Please upgrade to view

  • 8.

    How familiar are you with using AutoCAD?

      How to Answer

      AutoCAD or any other similar CAD software will quickly become a part of your every day work when you enter the professional ranks of civil engineering. Entry-level civil engineers will likely use AutoCAD or Microstation on a daily basis. An employer won't expect their fresh hires to know everything there is to know about CAD right out of school, but they also don't want someone who has never opened the program. Be honest about your experiences, either in undergrad or as an intern. Don't inflate your AutoCAD experience, which will only set you up for failure.

      Written by Josh Sadlock on January 1st, 2021

      Answer Examples Have Been Hidden

      Please upgrade to view

  • 9.

    Tell me about a time when you created a unique idea or solution, and it was rejected by your colleagues. How were you able to bounce back?

      How to Answer

      Putting yourself out there with new ideas can be intimidating because we all want to be accepted. Talk to the interviewer about how you would handle the feelings that come with having your idea rejected. Rejection is inevitable at all stages of your career as an engineer, so it's best to embrace it. Being rejected can only happen if you were willing to put yourself out there with an idea that you felt strongly about.

      Written by Josh Sadlock on January 1st, 2021

      Answer Examples Have Been Hidden

      Please upgrade to view

  • 10.

    When have you had to think outside of the box to solve a problem?

      How to Answer

      Talk to the interviewer about a time that you have problem solved in a creative way. Highlight the specific challenges you faced on the project and how your approach deviated from your typical work. Explain how your creative problem solving pleased the client or helped your company improve its market position. If your solution won any awards or was featured in engineering publications, mention that.

      Written by Josh Sadlock on January 1st, 2021

      Answer Examples Have Been Hidden

      Please upgrade to view

  • 11.

    When have you taken an existing process and used your own engineering judgement to make it better?

      How to Answer

      Innovation in the field of engineering happens when staff is given the freedom to draw on their own unique skills and experiences to make existing processes better. Being given the license to use your own creativity to improve an internal process is a sign that your coworkers and managers respect your judgement and think highly of your abilities as an engineer. Talk to the interviewer about your ability to take an existing process and improve it in a creative way.

      Written by Josh Sadlock on January 1st, 2021

      Answer Examples Have Been Hidden

      Please upgrade to view

  • 12.

    How do you handle stress on the job?

      How to Answer

      Talk to the interviewer about your ability to manage pressure in the workplace. Civil engineering isn't necessarily the most stressful career path in the world, but there will be times where you're facing a tight deadline or dealing with a difficult client with a long list of demands and little patience.

      Written by Josh Sadlock on January 1st, 2021

      Answer Examples Have Been Hidden

      Please upgrade to view

  • 13.

    What was the most challenging team you worked with? Why?

      How to Answer

      There are some people who create challenges at work by simply opening their mouth. Some individuals waste time and energy by causing distractions or being lazy. Working with personalities that are different from you can always pose an extra challenge. If you have experienced issues with conflicting personalities or worked with others who just didn't seem to carry their weight or weren't willing to work hard, share how you made an effort to bring the team together and work collaboratively.

      Written by Josh Sadlock on January 1st, 2021

      Answer Examples Have Been Hidden

      Please upgrade to view

  • 14.

    What qualities do you believe are most valuable for a team?

      How to Answer

      We recommend listing 3-4 attributes that you feel are most valuable for a team. Good examples might include: trust, accountability, commitment, being humble, being results-oriented, ability to debate with each other, and respect for one another. All of these attributes are valuable in a team setting, and any of them will make sound examples for you.

      Written by Josh Sadlock on January 1st, 2021

      Answer Examples Have Been Hidden

      Please upgrade to view

  • 15.

    What role do you generally like to take in team projects?

      How to Answer

      Be candid with the interviewer. The interviewer truly wants to hear how you fit best with a team. Giving an honest answer will allow the interviewer to determine whether or not you'd fit well on their team. Being dishonest or trying to tell the interviewer what you think they want to hear could backfire on you if you are hired with the expectation that you will handle a role on a team that doesn't mesh with your personality. If you usually like to take the lead, speak up! If you usually like to generate new ideas and allow someone else to execute them, now is the time to share your creative side. If you usually like to carry out ideas as you are told, be sure to mention that you are the execution person. Whatever your strength is, now is the time to share it!

      Written by Josh Sadlock on January 1st, 2021

      Answer Examples Have Been Hidden

      Please upgrade to view

  • 16.

    When did you realize you wanted a career as a civil engineer?

      How to Answer

      This will be a very common interview question for internships and entry-level civil engineering positions. At this early stage of your career, companies aren't necessarily as interested in your technical engineering knowledge as they are about your willingness to learn and fit in the company culture. They'll be able to bring you up to speed on the ins and outs of actually working in the field after college, but they want to make sure you're enthusiastic and eager to learn as a young engineer. Companies are looking for people who are truly passionate about their work as engineers and are in it for more than a paycheck.

      Written by Josh Sadlock on January 1st, 2021

      Answer Examples Have Been Hidden

      Please upgrade to view

  • 17.

    Tell me about an error or mistake you made because of a breakdown in communication from you or one of your team members.

      How to Answer

      On occasion, mistakes will happen and communication will be broken. Talk to the interviewer about a time that this occurred in the workplace. It's important to own up to your mistakes quickly as an engineer so that it can be taken care of before it snowballs and has farther reaching effects on the project. Every engineer will make a mistake at some point in their career, so remember that it's not the mistakes that define you, but how you respond to them.

      Written by Josh Sadlock on January 1st, 2021

      Answer Examples Have Been Hidden

      Please upgrade to view

  • 18.

    Tell me about a time when you improved communication between yourself and a co-worker or client.

      How to Answer

      Possessing the skills to improve communication in the workplace is a very valuable asset. Being a good engineer at the senior level requires you to recognize how to communicate with your team. Everyone will have a different communication style, and it's up to you as the leader to meld the team's unique personalities and quirks into a cohesive unit with good communication skills. Talk to the interviewer about how you have identified breakdowns in communications based on difference in personality and worked to make things run more smoothly.

      Written by Josh Sadlock on January 1st, 2021

      Answer Examples Have Been Hidden

      Please upgrade to view

  • 19.

    Tell me about a time when your communication skills greatly benefited your team.

      How to Answer

      Strong communication skills are required in order to be an effective leader. Good project managers use their communication skills to keep everyone on the same page. They delegate tasks effectively and keep the project moving along without any snags or delays. Communication and teamwork are very important in the field of civil engineering, so highlight specific examples where you have used good communication to benefit your team.

      Written by Josh Sadlock on January 1st, 2021

      Answer Examples Have Been Hidden

      Please upgrade to view

  • 20.

    Describe an ongoing problem at your current or former employer that you were able to overcome.

      How to Answer

      Every place of employment will have it's challenges. Talk to the interviewer about a specific issue that you were able to overcome in your previous role. Be sure to remain positive. The interviewer isn't looking for you to dump all over your current boss or coworkers, especially if you're applying for a job with a competitor, so avoid complaining or saying negative things about your previous employer or co-workers.

      Written by Josh Sadlock on January 1st, 2021

      Answer Examples Have Been Hidden

      Please upgrade to view

  • 21.

    Tell me about your greatest work related accomplishment.

      How to Answer

      Talking about your greatest accomplishment will give the interviewer a strong idea of where you place your values. It will also show the interviewer more about your personality, how you like to be motivated, and how to coach you in the future. It is okay to brag a little bit when answering this question. This is your chance to add more color and personality to your resume Show that you are proud of yourself and your career accomplishments!

      Written by Josh Sadlock on January 1st, 2021

      Answer Examples Have Been Hidden

      Please upgrade to view

  • 22.

    Can you talk to me about your GPA during undergraduate/graduate school?

      How to Answer

      Your GPA shouldn't define you -- and it doesn't -- but this topic can be unavoidable in interviews for entry-level jobs, especially with larger companies who may be sifting through hundreds of applicants for the same position. It's up to you as the candidate to show the interviewer that you are more than your GPA. Even if you graduated with a 4.0, try and highlight other experiences on campus that show you did more than just study for four years.

      Written by Josh Sadlock on January 1st, 2021

      Answer Examples Have Been Hidden

      Please upgrade to view

  • 23.

    What part of being a civil engineer brings you the most stress?

      How to Answer

      Stress can often be a regular part of the day-to-day work experience as a civil engineer, but what's important is how you manage it. Talk to the interviewer about which areas of your career are the most stressful. Ensure that your answer does not include a factor that would make you appear unfit for the position. So, if you are applying for a position as a structural engineer, don't tell the interviewer that designing steel beams makes you nervous.

      Written by Josh Sadlock on January 1st, 2021

      Answer Examples Have Been Hidden

      Please upgrade to view

  • 24.

    Describe a situation where you had a confrontation with a construction crew.

      How to Answer

      Navigating relationships with construction crews can be tricky for civil engineers, especially younger ones who are typically assigned the duty of monitoring work or inspecting construction sites. Construction crews have their own way of doing things that might not always run in tandem with engineering plans and calculations. They may be reluctant to deviate from their own methods, but the engineer must step in if something unsafe is happening or if work is not being performed to a high standard. Discuss with the interviewer a scenario where you had to step in and stop work until steps were taken to correct the construction team's method.

      Written by Josh Sadlock on January 1st, 2021

      Answer Examples Have Been Hidden

      Please upgrade to view

  • 25.

    Tell me about a time when you had to work long hours to reach a project deadline. How did you handle it?

      How to Answer

      Overtime will be required at some point in your engineering career, and the interviewer wants to know how you handled a situation where more than 40 hours was expected of you. Explain to the interviewer that going above and beyond to complete a project on time is not something that scares you. Engineers who do not shy away from putting in the extra effort to hit a deadline or keep a project on schedule are invaluable to a company.

      Written by Josh Sadlock on January 1st, 2021

      Answer Examples Have Been Hidden

      Please upgrade to view

  • 26.

    What's your dream project to be a part of?

      How to Answer

      Interviewers want to get a sense of your ambition. Civil engineers should be able to dream big and have a vision for the future of our built environment. If it's your goal to be involved in a signature bridge project or an iconic high rise that will be a part of New York City's skyline, tell the interviewer why you think you have the skills and smarts to be a valuable team member on a big project. Don't be afraid to share your big dreams, but also back them up with your own past accomplishments.

      Written by Josh Sadlock on January 1st, 2021

      Answer Examples Have Been Hidden

      Please upgrade to view

  • 27.

    Do you have experience using 3D modeling software or finite element software?

      How to Answer

      Your interviewer will want to gauge what type of experience you have using higher-level engineering software, especially if you are applying for a structural engineering position. Engineering software has gotten incredibly advanced and is now able to model more complicated structures and bridges. Having experience using finite element analysis or 3D modeling tools like BIM or BrIM will help you stand out. Be honest with your experience and level of comfort using these programs. Highlight past projects where you used the software and how it helped advance the project. If you do not have experience, discuss your willingness and eagerness to learn.

      Written by Josh Sadlock on January 1st, 2021

      Answer Examples Have Been Hidden

      Please upgrade to view

  • 28.

    Tell me about a time when you were in disagreement with the construction crew. What was the problem and how was it resolved?

      How to Answer

      As engineers move up the ladder, their responsibilities evolve to include more direct conversations with clients and construction crews. This is where conflicts can begin to develop. Construction crews have their own agendas, which might differ from how you saw it as an engineer when you drew it up. Construction companies have their own internal procedures, driven by their ultimate goal of completing the job safely for the lowest cost possible.

      Written by Josh Sadlock on January 1st, 2021

      Answer Examples Have Been Hidden

      Please upgrade to view

  • 29.

    What part of being a civil engineer do you dislike the most?

      How to Answer

      Let's face it, we can't all be in love with our job every single day. Employers know that, and they realize that there are certain tasks that aren't exactly scintillating or exciting. When you answer this question, it's ok to be honest about what you don't like, but provide some insight into how you still find a way to stay motivated to do your best work even when you're not loving your job.

      Written by Josh Sadlock on January 1st, 2021

      Answer Examples Have Been Hidden

      Please upgrade to view

  • 30.

    What do you enjoy most about being a civil engineer?

      How to Answer

      Engineering should be more than just a job for you. When asked this question, it's your choice to show the interviewer that you have passion about your career and profession. This is a chance for them to learn more about you, why you became an engineer, what motivates you and how your interests align with the company's mission.

      Written by Josh Sadlock on January 1st, 2021

      Answer Examples Have Been Hidden

      Please upgrade to view