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Grounds Maintenance Worker Interview
Questions

37 Questions and Answers by Rachelle Enns

Updated August 20th, 2018 | Rachelle is a job search expert, career coach, and headhunter
who helps everyone from students to fortune executives find success in their career.
Question 1 of 37
If you were hired for our beginning grounds crew position, where do you see yourself within our organization in five years?
View Answers
How to Answer
It's okay to be honest with the interviewer, as long as you don't plan on leaving within a year! Ideally, not within two years. Express your passion for the facility you are interviewing for, also the passion you have for working with your hands and outdoors. Tell the interviewer this is an ideal job for you, and you don't plan on leaving in the foreseeable future.

Here is an answer example: "I am happy to grow with your organization in a natural way. I am really happy in my career and love working in the outdoors. It's all I really need and I am ready to offer longevity to your company."
37 Grounds Maintenance Worker Interview Questions
Win your next job by practicing from our question bank. We have thousands of questions and answers created by interview experts.
  1. If you were hired for our beginning grounds crew position, where do you see yourself within our organization in five years?
  2. What various skills do you have in yard care, landscaping, etc?
  3. Do you have any mechanical skills?
  4. Describe what interests you about yard care, and maintaining the property?
  5. On a fertilizer bag, what does the three numbers stand for? Example: 20-20-20.
  6. As you walked into our facility today, what did you notice about our property?
  7. When is a proper time to apply fertilizer to the yard? What would you recommend for our grounds, without serious evaluation?
  8. What experience do you have pruning shrubs and trees?
  9. When have you negotiated a contract or a deal with a supplier?
  10. When have you ran into an issue with a supplier? What was the issue, and how did you resolve it?
  11. You may be in charge of hiring and firing of staff, what type of leadership experience do you have with that?
  12. How do you get the best out of your employees or coworkers?
  13. When have you misunderstood instructions at your last job? What was the consequences and how did you overcome that?
  14. Do you believe you are qualified for this role? Do you have proper licenses for this job? If not, are you willing to attend training courses after work hours?
  15. Have you operated any landscaping equipment, such as a skid steer?
  16. Do you have any experience using a zero turn mower?
  17. What motivates you to work hard?
  18. What landscaping experience do you have?
  19. Tell me a little about yourself.
  20. How are your communication skills?
  21. Why do you want to work for us?
  22. What part of this job description do you see a potential problem with?
  23. How long do you see yourself working for us?
  24. What do you see yourself doing within the first days of this job?
  25. What type of work environment do you prefer?
  26. What skills are essential for this job?
  27. Are you efficient with your time?
  28. Do you work well unsupervised?
  29. Why did you leave your former job?
  30. Why are you seeking new employment?
  31. Describe a time you were faced with stresses which tested your skills.
  32. Why should we hire you?
  33. Are you a detail oriented person?
  34. How often did you miss work at your last job?
  35. When have you had difficulties creating a full lawn? How did you solve the problem?
  36. What type of botany training do you have?
  37. When was the ability to prioritize tasks, important in your last position? Give me an example.
15 Grounds Maintenance Worker Answer Examples
1.
If you were hired for our beginning grounds crew position, where do you see yourself within our organization in five years?
It's okay to be honest with the interviewer, as long as you don't plan on leaving within a year! Ideally, not within two years. Express your passion for the facility you are interviewing for, also the passion you have for working with your hands and outdoors. Tell the interviewer this is an ideal job for you, and you don't plan on leaving in the foreseeable future.

Here is an answer example: "I am happy to grow with your organization in a natural way. I am really happy in my career and love working in the outdoors. It's all I really need and I am ready to offer longevity to your company."
Rachelle's Answer #1
"I am happy to grow with your organization in a natural way. I am really happy in my career and love working in the outdoors. It's all I really need and I am ready to offer longevity to your company."
Rachelle's Answer #2
"In 5 years I would like to have worked my way into a managerial or supervisory role. Attending classes in the evenings and weekends to obtain my Red Seal certification in landscaping would be on my radar as well, if the opportunity was presented to me."
2.
What various skills do you have in yard care, landscaping, etc?
You will likely have a complete list of skills on your resume but this is a good time to highlight your strongest, most notable skills. Beware to not go off on a long list of items and lose the interviewer's attention.
Rachelle's Answer
"I have a wide range of skills in yard care and landscaping, however; my strongest skills are sod laying, mowing, trimming, planting, watering and fertilizing. I can also perform sprinkler installation."
3.
Do you have any mechanical skills?
Most landscaping jobs require you to use mechanical tools and to have an understanding of the skills and safety required to properly use these. Your answer should include examples of tools that you have used in the past and, perhaps, an example of a job where you had to draw upon your mechanical skills and knowledge.

Rachelle's Answer
"I have strong mechanical skills. I was required to work on a large private landscaping gig that including the install of a ponds, deck, drainage system and retaining wall. During this job I used a wide variety of mechanical equipment including ABC, and XYZ."
4.
Describe what interests you about yard care, and maintaining the property?
What is it about yard maintenance that interests you so much? This is an opportunity to tell the hiring manager a little bit more about yourself and your education.

Rachelle's Answer
"Every since I was young I had an interest in learning more about plants, the weather, and the science of it all. I find it very fulfilling to take a plain yard or property and turn it into an oasis that the client will love for years to come. It's like creating a live work of art!"
5.
On a fertilizer bag, what does the three numbers stand for? Example: 20-20-20.
Fertilizer knowledge is an important skill to have when it comes to being a grounds maintenance worker. If you do not understand the 3 numbers, do some research. Your answer should be brief and to the point.

Rachelle's Answer
"The 3 numbers on a fertilizer bag refer to the amount of Nitrogen, Phosphorus, and Potassium present; always in that order. As a general rule, when the numbers are equal to each other, this means the fertilizer is good for general use."
6.
As you walked into our facility today, what did you notice about our property?
This question is a test to your attention to detail. You will want to go into the interview knowing some of the plant varieties and unique features of the property and be prepared to talk about them.
Rachelle's Answer
"As I walked into your facility today I noticed that you have multiple varieties of plants all throughout the property. Everything looked pristine and I especially loved the water feature with the lily pads and koi fish."
7.
When is a proper time to apply fertilizer to the yard? What would you recommend for our grounds, without serious evaluation?
If the interviewer has specified that they would like a recommendation without serious evaluation, it is best to keep your answer short and sweet.

Rachelle's Answer
"Since we are in a warmer climate, I would recommend applying fertilizer in the late spring just before the major growth season hits. At first glance one recommendation that I would make would be to add more variation in colour when it comes to the flower beds. I also noticed a bit of broadleaf starting just east of the water feature. That is something I would take care of immediately."
8.
What experience do you have pruning shrubs and trees?
If you have experience as a landscaper and have pruned shrubs and trees before you can show the hiring manager that you have strong knowledge by also adding in a fact or two about pruning.
Rachelle's Answer
"I have some solid experience in pruning. My most recent job required me to plant new trees and shrubs so pruning was not a requirement since the crown of a young tree should not be cut back."
9.
When have you negotiated a contract or a deal with a supplier?
You may or may not bring supplier-direct experience depending on the time you have spent working for private property owners. If you do have experience with this type of work you can say, "When I worked in private landscaping I did spend some time negotiating contracts with suppliers for large amounts of fertilizer and brick. I am very comfortable in that type of situation and stay up to date on going and competitive rates for landscaping materials."
If you have not spent time negotiating a deal with a supplier you can answer, "I have not had the opportunity to lead a supplier negotiation, however; it's a challenge that I would be happy to take on. I am a strong negotiator in my personal life and am confident in my abilities to work out a strong price or contract."
Rachelle's Answer
"When I worked in private landscaping I did spend some time negotiating contracts with suppliers for large amounts of fertilizer and brick. I am very comfortable in that type of situation and stay up to date on going and competitive rates for landscaping materials."
10.
When have you ran into an issue with a supplier? What was the issue, and how did you resolve it?
This is a "tell me about a time" type of question. Be sure to tell your story clearly and do not go on and on. If the interviewer would like more detail, they will ask.
Rachelle's Answer
"tell me about a time"
11.
You may be in charge of hiring and firing of staff, what type of leadership experience do you have with that?
If you have been in charge of hiring and terminating staff your answer should include an approximate amount of people you have hired, let go, and led at a time.
Rachelle's Answer
"In my previous 2 positions I was tasked with our seasonal hires which included approximately 40 interviews 25 hires and 20 exit interviews when the season was complete. I did need to terminate 5 employees during that season. In my grounds maintenance career, I have led teams of up to 30 people."
12.
How do you get the best out of your employees or coworkers?
Answer this question with some good examples of how you have motivated your previous employees or co-workers to bring their "A-game" every day.
Rachelle's Answer
"A-game"
13.
When have you misunderstood instructions at your last job? What was the consequences and how did you overcome that?
Think of a recent example of a time when you made a mistake at work. Did you own up to it? How did you fix it? What was your overall behaviour around the error?

IE: "Last summer I was working for a private client and they requested some new trees be planted. I added too much mulch around them and ended up suffocating a few of the new trees. My client called me with their dissatisfaction and I immediately apologized for the error. I was able to resuscitate all but two, which I replaced using my own funds. It's a mistake I will never make again."
Rachelle's Answer
"Last summer I was working for a private client and they requested some new trees be planted. I added too much mulch around them and ended up suffocating a few of the new trees. My client called me with their dissatisfaction and I immediately apologized for the error. I was able to resuscitate all but two, which I replaced using my own funds. It's a mistake I will never make again."
14.
Do you believe you are qualified for this role? Do you have proper licenses for this job? If not, are you willing to attend training courses after work hours?
This is a good time to talk about the formal education that you bring to the job as well as any additional courses you may be interested in taking.

Rachelle's Answer
"I do believe I am qualified for this role. I currently hold my Landscapers Qualifications Certificate and plan to gain my Red Seal Certification over evening an weekend courses. I am always willing to attend additional training outside of work hours."
15.
Have you operated any landscaping equipment, such as a skid steer?
When you answer this question be sure to include detail on your time with a skid steer.
Rachelle's Answer
"I have used a variety of landscaping equipment, including a skid steer. I have also used hand tools and a zero turn mower."
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