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Landscaping Interview
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35 Questions and Answers by Elisabeth Walter
Updated August 22nd, 2018
Job Interviews     Careers     Architecture    

Question 1 of 35

How do you incorporate elements of design into your planning?

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1.

How do you incorporate elements of design into your planning?

Every landscaper has a different style. You may be early in your career, so you simply take direction from your boss or the client. You may have studied design in college and you're just now putting it into practice. Many landscapers pay attention to the land and the natural elements that are prominent in that area. Their goal is to create designs that are aesthetically pleasing and complement colors and patterns within the existing structures like stone walls and the bricks of a house. Give an example that demonstrates your knowledge and experience.

Elisabeth's Answer

"I visit Houzz on a regular basis and am always looking for inspiration. Also, love just looking at Google images for any idea that I have. I try to perfect my idea by seeing what other people have done. My latest example would be when I put in a pebble walkway with large bluestone stepping stones. I browsed many pictures online of pebble pathways before finalizing my own design."

2.

Tell me about any training or education you have in landscaping.

Study of botany, permaculture, horticulture or environmental science are all relevant to the landscaping profession. If you have experience in any of these areas or if you took a course that helped prepare you for this field, talk about what you learned. Share a highlight from your training that will help you in this job. If you know there will be some focus on building garden beds or patios, now would be a great time to talk about your carpentry experience! There are so many avenues you can go with landscaping. Someone with a broad set of skills is a perfect fit for this type of job. Review the job description to find out what the company most desires from a candidate and focus your discussion of your training on those relevant areas.

3.

What types of projects could you see yourself enjoy working on a large scale or small scale?

Landscaping is extremely versatile. Depending on your area of expertise, you can focus on simple lawn care or larger projects like permaculture and horticulture. Share an idea or an example of a project from your past. It may be a good idea to bring pictures of your past work to your interview to show off your skills!

Elisabeth's Answer

"I have dreams of working on a permaculture project in downtown Seattle, which would be a pretty big project. I have been working with the city to map out the designs. I have also been wanting to use my background in carpentry to build a patio and construct walkways for one of my client's homes."

4.

How do you handle unexpected situations that might cause you to be late for work?

The interviewer wants to hear that you are reliable and can be depended on to arrive on time. They understand that life happens, and they want to hear how you will handle it. Show that you are responsible and that you can communicate with your team about any changes that might occur in your daily schedule due to unexpected circumstances.

Elisabeth's Answer

"If I thought I might be late, I would first check to see if I could take a different route to work. I always leave myself extra time to get to work and get settled, and this has helped prevent me from being late in the past. I would definitely call my boss to let him know and also explain that I would be willing to skip my lunch or stay late to make up for the time. It can be frustrating when your car breaks down or if you get into traffic due to bad weather, but I stay calm and communicate with my team so they know when to expect me at work and that I am doing my best to arrive on time."

5.

Have you worked for any well known landscaping companies in the past?

If you have experience with a local company, talk about your work by sharing some examples of your projects. You can talk about the positive relationships you built with clients and how you worked well with your team. Shy away from any negative words about your boss or your experience working for one of those companies. You want to show that you are an excellent employee capable of learning new skills and techniques. Share any positive feedback you received from your boss to demonstrate your great reputation!

6.

Tell me about a time when you went above and beyond to exceed client expectations.

When a customer seems stressed, they don't always realize it. They might need to relax and unwind and have no idea that they are coming across as grumpy or demanding. This is where it's your job to go above and beyond! Learning to anticipate needs before a customer makes a request is a skill! This will definitely come in handy while you are working as a landscaper. Customers can be stressed, demanding and have no self-awareness about how they are coming across. It's up to you to pay attention! Your attitude and your consistent work ethic will go a long way. Give an example from any of your previous work experience that shows off some of the skills and qualities that will make you an excellent landscaper!

Elisabeth's Answer

"When I worked at a cafe, I made sure that I had a great attitude at all times. I was friendly with every customer. I had a customer come in feeling very stressed and rushed. I moved as quickly as I could to fill his order and asked questions to make sure I was giving him exactly what he wanted. He was so impressed with my attitude that he smiled and relaxed when I gave him his sandwich. I told him I could tell he was stressed and if there was anything else I could do to please let me know. He asked for a coffee, and I responded right away. He gave me a big tip and continued to come back and see me every week!"

7.

Give me an example of your attention to detail.

Lawn striping is one of those tasks that takes careful precision. Grading and trimming hedges are other examples of skills that will require a keen eye to detail. If you are new to landscaping, give an example from another line of work that demonstrates your ability to focus and complete tasks effectively without missing any details.

Elisabeth's Answer

"Some customers like to have their lawn striped. I always start by picking a pattern to reflect the light off the blades of grass. Then I carefully pay attention to the see where I am mowing, making sure I mow in a straight line to follow the pattern."

8.

What was the toughest situation you've had designing a project?

Maybe the backyard is lackluster with no grass or soil to work with. Perhaps you had to work on designing a privacy fence for the first time and you couldn't get access to the type of wood you had been using when you were halfway through the project! Sometimes you have to be willing to try something new, like working with a new material or pouring yourself into a new project, learning as you go. Show off your creativity and your ability to take risks.

Elisabeth's Answer

"The first time I designed a rooftop garden was probably one of the toughest assignments. I had to new factors I never had to consider in the past, like the weight of the soil, plants and construction materials. I also had to consider accessibility, making sure that the doors, windows, and walkways were accessible and complimented the design."

9.

If I ask you to do something in a way you are not used to, how would you handle this?

When working with a new manager, it's important to learn their communication style. If your boss gives you instructions, make sure you are clear on what they are asking. Never make assumptions! As you get to know your boss and the expectations on the job, it's a good idea to ask clarifying questions to check for understanding. You can also simply repeat back to them what they asked of you to make sure you're hearing them correctly. Just make sure you are clear on your boss's request. Let them know that clear communication is important to you, and if there's anything you can do better or differently to help, you are open.

Elisabeth's Answer

"First I would make sure I understood what you were asking. If it's a different approach to building a garden bed or installing an irrigation system, I might ask if you can show me what you're talking about. I would rather get something done right the first time than having to waste time and energy doing it a second time just because I misunderstood what you needed."

10.

How would your previous employer describe you?

Think about positive traits others use to describe you. Focus on the characteristics the interviewer will find most valuable, reviewing the job description if you need ideas. Consider sharing an example of each of these traits in action!

Elisabeth's Answer

"My old boss would say I'm easy to work with because I try to have a good attitude, even when I have a heavy workload. My last job was working in construction, and my boss always complimented me on the consistency in my work and my attention to detail. I was also good at anticipating problems before they became an issue, taking a proactive approach to my work at all times."

11.

What are your strengths?

Share your strengths in the context of the job. If you are a team player, talk about how you contribute to your team by being positive and listening to others. If you are skilled at construction, give an example that shows you are inventive and creative. If you're not sure where to begin, take a look at your resume or ask some of your coworkers. You want to walk into your interview feeling confident in your abilities. Take some time to prepare by listing your strengths and a few examples.

Elisabeth's Answer

"I am extremely detailed when planning a project. I spend time learning about the land and checking the soil to find out what plants will look and work best for the area. I am also easy going and fun to work with. Customer service is one of my highest priorities. I always take time to listen to what my client needs and wants to make sure I am able to design beautiful yards and gardens that meet their expectations."

12.

What was the toughest job you've done in the past?

Give an example that shows off your work ethic. You are determined and don't let challenges get you down, even when it is blazing hot and you are pulling weeds for hours!

Elisabeth's Answer

"I worked as a landscaper in the summer in Texas for a client who had an acre of land that was undeveloped. Due to the intense heat and the amount of labor we put into clearing brush, mowing and pruning so many trees and hedges, the work was pretty exhausting. We pushed through and were able to get the work done earlier than expected. I think the job went so smoothly because we had such a great team and we all played our part to get the job done."

13.

Tell me about a time when you received negative feedback.

Sometimes customers think they know what they want until you give it to them. In this example, the landscaper followed instructions, but the customer changed her mind. Instead of getting frustrated, the best way to respond is to ask questions and find out exactly what you need to do in order to please the customer. There is no need to take things personally. Simply listen and humbly respond. If you have ever received criticism from a co-worker or boss, talk about how you listened and responded by taking action without letting your emotions get in the way.

Elisabeth's Answer

"I was almost finished with a project, and I asked the client for their opinion. She told me she didn't want the roses to be near the walkway but preferred I put them by the fence in the front of the yard. She also didn't like the color scheme of the flowers. Even though it was difficult to make these changes at the last minute, I knew exactly what I needed to do. I asked her about the specifics of the flowers she wanted instead of the petunias and begonias. She was able to tell me exactly what she wanted. In the end, she was very happy and she even referred me to one of her friends!"

14.

What are your career goals?

Setting goals shows the interviewer that you are ambitious and determined. Companies like hearing that you think about the future and are actively working towards your goals. Better yet, they want to know how working for them will help you accomplish your goals! Think about how this job will help you get one step closer to achieving your dream life!

Elisabeth's Answer

"I plan to move into landscape management and start my own business. I am working for an independent landscape architect right now and they have been teaching me everything they know about landscape design, installation, and irrigation."

15.

Do you have the ability to see a finished product, before its done?

To save you time and frustration, it's important to be able to visualize and plan how you want a yard. It's also important to communicate with your team and the customer about what needs to be done. Landscapers are artists and planners. They can visualize what will look good, but they also need the input of their team and the client to make it come together. Share how you are able to conceptualize what needs to happen before taking action.

Elisabeth's Answer

"I am careful to plan and design the layout of a yard before I get started working on it with my team. I also communicate and share visuals with my client so that I can get their feedback on what they like. It is much easier to make changes in the plans than have to dig up and rearrange plants later on."

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35 Landscaping Interview Questions
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Interview Questions

  1. How do you incorporate elements of design into your planning?
  2. Tell me about any training or education you have in landscaping.
  3. What types of projects could you see yourself enjoy working on a large scale or small scale?
  4. How do you handle unexpected situations that might cause you to be late for work?
  5. Have you worked for any well known landscaping companies in the past?
  6. Tell me about a time when you went above and beyond to exceed client expectations.
  7. Give me an example of your attention to detail.
  8. What was the toughest situation you've had designing a project?
  9. If I ask you to do something in a way you are not used to, how would you handle this?
  10. How would your previous employer describe you?
  11. What are your strengths?
  12. What was the toughest job you've done in the past?
  13. Tell me about a time when you received negative feedback.
  14. What are your career goals?
  15. Do you have the ability to see a finished product, before its done?
  16. Do you have experience working with little to no supervision?
  17. How do you adapt to changes at work?
  18. Why do you want to work for our landscaping team?
  19. Do you have experience with basic lawn care, like weeding and tree trimming?
  20. How did you obtain your general knowledge of landscaping? How do you keep up on current trends?
  21. What was your most successful design project? Why do you believe it was successful?
  22. Tell me about your landscaping experience.
  23. Do you have any experience designing your own projects?
  24. What do you dislike about landscaping?
  25. Give me some examples of your past work.
  26. Do you have any mulching experience?
  27. Are you a team player?
  28. Are you familiar with a variety of botanical terms?
  29. What experience do you have in landscape architect?
  30. Are you willing to work overtime, weekends and holidays, if needed?
  31. What goes into your decision when pairing plants together?
  32. Do you know how to stripe a lawn? Do you consider yourself good at it?
  33. Tell me about a time when you experienced a conflict with a coworker.
  34. Tell me about a time when you worked with a team to accomplish a project. What were some of the challenges?
  35. How do you stay motivated?
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