25 Questions and Answers Written by Professional Interviewers
Question 1 of 25
How do you rate your decision making and problem solving abilities?
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Maybe you are a good decision maker or maybe you are not. How do you rate these skills? Will it convince the interviewer if you rate your decision making and problem solving skills as 10 or will it be ok if you act humble and rate yourself as a 5? It might be difficult when it comes to rating yourself but here you are and you have to do it, so make sure that you do it right. Be honest and not too critical. The best way of answering this question is to support your answer with some facts from your professional life or some feedback given by some of your colleagues regarding these skills.
"I believe that I must be an 8 based on the feedback from my supervisors and also my family and friends. They all trust me for the decisions that I make and come to me for advise. At the same time I do believe that we are all humans and bound to make mistakes and thus rate myself as an 8 on these skills."
What are the primary responsibilities of a surveyor?
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This question should be very simple as you are from the same profession and thus knowing about the primary responsibilities should be simple. Here is a small sample list of tasks that a surveyor usually handles:
- Mapping the area
- Making computations regarding the land and taking photos as evidence
- Making drafts and mapping onsite measurements
- Determining land size and measurements
- Advising and providing information for guiding the work of engineers and workers
- Surveying water channels or land for determining the routes to be followed
This is just a sample and you can always add your own ideas to this list or modify it according to your own job responsibilities.
The motive of this question is to understand if you are really motivated to be a surveyor or is it just a second choice of career for you? The answer to this question has a lot of importance in this case as being a surveyor requires a lot of hard work and patience involving many hours of work outside the office in scorching heat or cold weather and a lot of paperwork as well. Someone who is not really motivated to do this work might wither off quickly and may end up leaving the job very soon. In which case the hiring manager may not be really interested in hiring and training you for the job.
Talk to the hiring manager a bit about the path that brought you here, what do you like and enjoy the most about this job and any other positive points of this job that you may want to mention. You can also go through the job description and pick some interesting bits just to make your answer more appropriate but make sure it doesn't sound like something you just said in order to impress the hiring manager.
"I chose a career as a Surveyor as I believe that this is the perfect blend of the things that I had always wanted to do. You get to spend a lot of time outdoor as well as you can have some time in the office. There is no boring moment in this job."
Of course you are out to impress the interviewer so you will want to say 'exceptionally high, a 10 out of 10'! Unfortunately, the interviewer will see straight through that and know that everyone is fallible! If you are just starting out from school or college, think of something you did for organizing some event at the school or the college. If you have more experience in the work force then think of something that you would rate as organizational, where you stood up to the plate and maybe took control of a certain situation that was going pear shaped and you were able to represent your company in the best possible light. Maybe a more safe answer would be a seven out of ten and then there is always room for improvement!
"I would rate my organizational skills to be 7 on a scale of 10. I have always been a good with my organization skills and I use them a lot at my work and also outside work. Because of my skills I am always looked up to whenever there is a need of organizing or managing some event."
Tell me about your apprenticeship? What are a few things you learned that really stand out?
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This questions focuses on finding more about you and your personality. The interviewer wants to know how do you interact with your colleagues and seniors and how do you react to criticism if any. An apprenticeship is full of learning experiences and some criticism which might be positive as well as negative. What were the things you learned during your period of training and whether it helped in shaping you as a better surveyor is being asked here.
For answering this question start by telling the interviewer about how long was the apprenticeship period, what were your responsibilities, anything that you really liked, and anything that you feel thankful about learning during those days.
Try to be positive in your response, and don't show any signs of dislike towards your team members or your boss. You might want to show yourself as a good team player and employee with this answer.
"I spent 1 year as an apprentice with XYZ and during that period I learned many useful things related to our job. It helped me in polishing my skills and knowledge and also gave me the practical exposure that I needed. The most important thing that I learned from that period was that whatever we do we should do it with full dedication and attention and we will be successful in it."
6. Why do you want to be a surveyor? There are many reasons why you chose this profession. You enjoy working outdoors and the responsibilities handled by you as a surveyor. The sense of authority and the need of accuracy in your work is something that drives you.
Those are a few easy reasons why you should want to be a surveyor. This question will definitely be asked in someway, so know before hand the reasons why you want this job or want to be a surveyor. Here is an answer example: "I love this job and the sense of responsibility that comes with it. I also love working outdoors. This job provides me a good balance of the office environment and the field experience and I enjoy this part the most."7. Do you enjoy the outdoors? Working outdoors is an important element of a surveyor's job. No matter what you do, you will find yourself working outdoors every not and then which could be several times in a month.
For answering this question you simply need to be honest and tell the interviewer whether you enjoy being outdoors or not. Try not to sound negative as this is a part of your job and you will find yourself working outdoors quite often. Here is an answer example: "I have always enjoyed working outdoors. I actually enjoy the mix of being behind the desk and the outdoor activity that we get to do as a part of our job profile. This is also one of the reasons why I chose to do this job."8. What area of surveying, do you find to be most challenging? The best way of answering this question is to be honest but not to portray a negative image of yourself. Check the job description and see what aspect of the job could be the most challenging but at the same time something that you enjoy doing. Here is an answer example: "Being accurate and error free in your measurements is something that is the most challenging. Thats why I enjoy these the most. This is actually the part that attracts me the most to this profession."9. Tell me about a time when you made a mistake surveying, what happened and how did you correct it? We are all human and the interviewer is looking to see how you've handled past mistakes. Don't try to fool the interviewer by stating you've never made a mistake. Instead, state the mistake, how you corrected it and what you learned from it. Don't play the blame game. The interviewer is asking for your mistake not a facility mistake. Avoid the time you may have been involved in a major event, although many of us have been in this situation, it may be a red flag to the interviewer. Here is an answer example: "I don't want to tell a lie by saying that I never made a mistake. When I was a fresher in this field, I went out to get the measurements of a property but I simply ignored the details and came back quickly to the office. It was only when I came back that I realised that I had missed some really important points. So, I went back and took the measurements in detail accurately. Since that day I never ignore the details in my work."10. How do you feel about the paperwork side of surveying? Surveying is not only about fieldwork but it also involves paper work and that too a lot of it. Some people may find it a bit boring but whats your story?
Be honest while answering this question. Since its just a part of this job you have to have a positive attitude towards all aspects of your job. So you have to convince the interviewer that you like paperwork along with the outdoor work. Here is an answer example: "I enjoy all the aspects of my job whether its outdoor work or the office work. Since paperwork is a really important part of our job I try to do it with utmost perfection and accuracy."11. How did you begin getting involved in a career in surveying? The motive of this question is to understand if you are really motivated to be a surveyor or is it just a second choice of career for you? The answer to this question has a lot of importance in this case as being a surveyor means you should be actually interested in this career in order to bring the best out of it. You can't manage to be half heartedly in any profession.
Talk to the hiring manager about what has influenced you to become an surveyor. You can give the answer a personal touch but be sure to keep it concise. Here is an answer example: "One of my uncles who is very close to me is also a surveyor and he used to keep telling us to the places he visited as a part of his job. He always had something important to tell and that really motivated me a lot. And thus when I found the opportunity to work as a surveyor I immediately grabbed it and I am very happy about the choice I made."12. Give an example of a situation when you demonstrated the willingness to lead and that helped your company. The interviewer wants to know if you ever had an opportunity to lead in some situation in your past company in your last role. This will help in determining your role in this company as well as for future planning.
For answering this question, think of a situation where there was an opportunity in which you had a chance to take the lead and help out your team and you grabbed it. Also, how your efforts helped out your company. Here is an answer example: "We were working on a project which required a lot of coordination and team management but our supervisor fell sick at the last moment and we were all confused about what would be our next step. In that time of confusion, I decided to take the lead and managed the whole project until the supervisor came back. He was very happy with my work."13. Give an example when your ethics were tested at work. Your ethics may be tested from time to time. Assure the interviewer that you are capable of resisting the temptation to act unethically. How will you set an example to the others? Here is an answer example: "Last year during finals it was brought to my attention that the answers to one of my final exams had been leaked. Someone on campus was selling it to students and a friend of mine purchased the answer key. He offered to give it to me for free and I declined. It was a tough choice because this was a class that I was struggling in a little bit. I studied extra hard instead and am happy that I did not give in to temptation."14. How do you plan and prioritise your work? Managing your workload is easy for you! What things do you do to ensure you prioritize your work? Do you spend time every Monday morning planning out your work? Do you have a label system on your to-do list to recognize what things are the most urgent? Do you schedule the most urgent tasks on your calendar? Tell the interviewer which methods you utilize on a regular basis to ensure your work remains organized! Here is an answer example: "My way of prioritizing my work includes starting each day with a full review of the tasks at hand. I review the tasks and their deadlines and also the time to be taken for completion. The bottom line is always the priority. From there, I move down the list and manage my day."15. What is the most challenging part of surveying for you? By asking this question the interviewer wants to know what parts of this job you find challenging or in a way something that you dislike. It could very well be possible that this is something that is an important component of the target job and the fact that you find it difficult might help in making the decision easier.
For answering the question, go through the job description and see if there is something that is not a major part of the job, you can mention this one and say that although you find it challenging you still enjoy doing that. Here is an answer example: "Sometimes I do find it a bit difficult to stand out in the sun for long hours, but then its an important part of our job and I enjoy my work as a surveyor. Thus I put on some sunscreen, my glasses and a cap and I am good to go."16. How do you manage difficult co-workers? Tell the hiring manager how you professionally handle co-workers that may be difficult to work with. Here is an answer example: "Difficult co-workers will be present nearly anywhere. I choose to focus on my job and, so long as safety or human relations are not being affected, I go along with my day."17. Where do you see yourself in five years? By asking this question the interviewer is trying to establish how committed you are to staying with the Company because if they are prepared to put the effort and expense into training you and teaching you all there is to know they won't look very favorably on someone who is using them just a stop-gap until 'something better comes along'.
You can start by telling that you want to learn as much as you can in this job and then grow in the same profession to a senior level in the same company where you can use and apply these skills and the knowledge that you gained in this position that you have applied for. This kind of answer will show the interviewer you mean business and you are there for the long haul and are prepared to build and grow with the Company.
Try to take a look at the job description and see what skills you might develop by being in this job, these can be used in forming a more appropriate and effective answer. Here is an answer example: "Five years down the line I want to see myself working in the same profession but at a senior level. I believe that this position will help me in learning and developing the desired skills and knowledge that will be required by me to get to that level."18. How do you handle high-stress situations at work? The interviewer is really looking for past experiences where you have been in that have been stressful. They want to get to know your background better.
With ease! You have grown vertically in your profession with time, and it doesn't happen without being able to work through stressful times professionally and comfortably. Simply share with the interviewer that you are comfortable working through stressful situations. Mention that you do not let them bother you, and you simply take the necessary steps to work through them.
Try to think of some examples before the interviewer, because this is a very common interview question and may likely be asked. Here is an answer example: "I have learnt that whenever there is a situation where the level of tension is high, its best to stay calm and relaxed. Its better not to lose your patience as in case you become agitated or excited, it might effect your work and also the situation at work place. If the tension is due to high volume of work that needs to be done in a short time span, I try to prioritise my work and get it done one by one."19. What is the difference between topographic surveys and horizontal control surveys? This is simply a subjective question where you have to tell the difference between topographic surveys and horizontal control surveys. Try not to be too detailed but not to brief as well. This is not a one liner question and on the same hand its not even an essay type question where you have to make up a whole 1 hour story for the interviewer, so focus on telling the difference in the best way possible. Here is an answer example: "These surveys are used for accurate mapping projects in high precision projects. Horizontal control surveys coordinate horizontal positional data which can be used as a reference for other surveys which need to be precise and accurate. These can be referenced by plane reference coordinates. Topographical surveys on the other hand are more geographical and might use ariel photographs for mapping."20. Do you have prior experience as a Surveyor? This one should be easy! Go ahead and share any experience that you have listing the company name, your job title, how long you worked there, and your day-to-day duties. As an added bonus, share your favorite part of each role. It will allow the interviewer to see that you truly enjoy housekeeping work. If you do not have any experience, it is no problem! Simply share that you do not have experience as a surveyor, but you look forward to learning the ropes! Here is an answer example: "I have worked as a surveyor since past X years and I have handled XYZ responsibilities as a part of my job."21. Why are you the best candidate for us? Talking about ourselves in this way can be challenging. We recommend reaching out to a few colleagues, family members, and friends. Ask them for their opinion. You'll probably be surprised at the consistency in their responses! Their answers will give you the response to the question. Tell the interviewer what sets you apart, and explain how your colleagues, family members, and friends have encouraged you with your gift in this area. Here is an answer example: 22. What do you know about our company? With any job interview, it is crucial to understand the organization you are applying to. We recommend visiting the company website to learn key information such as current seasonal promotions and ongoing events. Watch the videos on their website, and take note of the information on their Careers page if one is available. Come prepared to list off 5-6 things you learned from the company's website such as number of branches they have, number of buildings they own, when the company started, who started the company, mission statement, vision statement, core values, etc. Here is an answer example: 23. What sorts of things have you done to become better qualified for surveying? With every new assignment you might be facing some new challenges and some new situations. What do you do in order to keep yourself updated in your area of profession and how do you upgrade your skills?
Don't forget to mention the daily newsletters you receive about updates in the area of surveying. Additionally, discuss any annual seminars or trainings that you typically attend, professional associations that you belong to, or any collegiate courses you have taken to ensure you are successful in your career. Feel free to boast if you are an admin of any professional group or association. Here is an answer example: "Apart from getting a degree in my field, I have also been attending several trainings and certification courses from time to time. I also read a lot and make sure I take a regular look at the newsletters that I received from relevant organizations."24. If there were one area you've always wanted to improve upon, what would that be? Everyone has some strengths and some weaknesses. The interviewer wants to know one of your weaknesses. This does not have to be something big but refrain from mentioning something personal. You might be real bad at dating but this is not what you want to mention here.
Go through the job description and see what are the skills that are needed for getting the job done successfully. Find some skill that might be of very less importance for this profile and feel free to mention that here. Also, mention what you are doing to improve yourself in that area. Most importantly, stay positive! Here is an answer example: "I have always been really bad at doing XYZ. Although with time I have learnt how to do it more effectively but I still believe that I have a long way to go in order to take it to perfection. I have been working hard on learning it and taking a crash course for the skill as well. I believe that it won't be long that I will be better at it."25. If someone moved a pin, how would you go about correcting the pin location to it's real spot? There will always be some incident when someone messes up your work and you have to do it all over again. How do you react in such situations? Do you lose your temper or do you act patiently and handle the whole situation with a mature attitude?
The interviewer is looking for a person who like doing his work with obviously the softer handle and gets the solutions of the problems with ease. Someone who doesn't create trouble if things get out of his hands is required here.
For answering this question you can take some situation from the past where someone did move a pin and you handled the situation with patience. What did you do in the end? How do you avoid this kind of situations?
Be positive in your response and don't show that you are an aggressive person. Also, avoid talking negative about people who do such things. Here is an answer example: "As a surveyor we always come across situations where someone moves a pin or two. But we need to understand here that those people may not really be aware of how much work was done in putting those pins at their right place. So, instead of blaming them and shouting at them, I prefer to inform them that it was of high importance and was not to be moved and without wasting time I work on putting it at its right spot again. This saves a lot of time and energy and keeps the work place positive."
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