Top 21 Civil Engineer Interview Questions In 2021 [With Answers]

If you are new to a country and want to see how developed or progressed it is, just have a look at its infrastructure. The level of infrastructure a country possesses is one of the best indicators to judge how developed and successful a nation it is. Civil engineers play a major role in the development of a nation, by imparting their valuable knowledge and skills to construct high-rise buildings, bridges, modern dams, and whatnot. Hence, it is a coveted profession and garners huge respect and recognition in society.

Four Tips To Ace Your Interview Process

1) Revise Your College Notes

Around 60% to 70% of the questions asked in an interview process would most probably revolve around your core civil engineering concepts and principles. Hence, in order to respond and answer them in an effective manner, you must revise your college tips and have frequently asked concepts on your tips. Focus specifically on structures and their strength, as it has been observed there are at least 2 to 3 questions from this topic.

2) Have A Good Grasp On Latest Developments

There are several current and latest events happening around the world that are related to the construction industry. Keep a note of these events and have a working knowledge of the same. No deep learning required.

3) Learn Definitions For Specific Terminologies

You might be asked direct definitions of the various terms used in civil engineering. Hence it is recommended to understand the core concept and meanings of various popular terms that are asked frequently in interviews.

4) Stick To The Answer

This is the most common mistake of the candidates. They tend to misinterpret the question and give an answer in completely opposite direction. For example, You are being asked the various testing methods for cement, but instead, you mix and even mention the testing methods pertinent to bricks or maybe steel. Such responses show that you are under-prepared and might hurt your selection chances.

Civil Engineer Interview Questions & Answers

1) What Do You Mean By Civil Engineering?

This question tests your knowledge about your profession. The responses generated tests how much you are aware of your profession and what is your level of understanding.

Sample Answer

Civil engineering is one of the finest professions whose primary role is to contribute in the field of infrastructure designing and development. There are various allied services also such as construction audit, material inspection, supervision etc. It is a dream role for many young students like me who want to give their contribution in building and developing their beloved nation.

2) How Important Is Wind Load Management?

This question tests your practical work related issues.

Sample Answer

Managing wind loads are extremely crucial and important to ensure the building remains intact and doesn’t collapse in high-pressure situations. Wind loads refer to the suction or pressure created on the outer walls or surfaces of a building. Strong winds exert lateral or horizontal force on the buildings. If wind loads are not accounted for then buildings can collapse leading to the loss of several lives. It is even more important for high-rise and tall buildings.

3) What Is The Importance Of Beams?

This question tests your practical knowledge about various basic civil engineering concepts.

Sample Answer

Beams are laid horizontally across a structure to enable a safe path for transfer of load, weight and forces exerted on the structure from its foundations to the ground. They are used to bear, manage and support the load of roofs, walls and ceilings of a building are play an important role in transfer of load.

4) How Will You Manage A Disgruntled Labor?

This question tests your knowledge about the issues arising in practical working.

Sample Answer

Labor management is a tough task and we often find them unsatisfied for a variety of reasons. But, one can easily manage them with patience and active listening. I would listen to their problems patiently and then try to provide an effective solution as per my wisdom and knowledge. If it is not accepted, then I would consult my boss, to help me and share his or her valuable experience, to solve that particular issue.

5) Can You Handle High Work Load?

Civil engineering projects often contain a fixed deadline within which the projects must be completed and finished. This usually exerts pressure on the employees to complete a project quickly by working for long hours. This is a primary requirement of most of the employers, and you must be ready for it.

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Sample Answer

I understand the need for working long hours and handle a heavy workload in construction projects. I believe, when you are performing your passion in practical life and living your dream then work becomes fun and you don’t feel monotony or boredom from work. Construction and supervision of buildings is my passion and I feel I am well versed to manage heavy workloads and perform even in hectic schedules and rotational shifts.

6) What Are Dead Loads?

This question tests your core civil engineering’s structural principle.

Sample Answer

Dead loads are calculated after taking into consideration the weight of all the construction materials used in the construction of a building. The various materials and components used in the structure of the building are identified along with their respective sizes. Post this, their weights are calculated using the table mentioning their densities.

7) How Efficient A Leader You Are?

It has been observed that civil engineers have to manage and lead a team of workers including laborers and technicians. Leadership qualities are inescapable and must be possessed to succeed in this role. It is advised that you answer this question positively.

Sample Answer

Since my childhood, not only in school competitions but also in paid internships, I have always considered myself to be a leader, who has always been involved in decision-making, pioneering and leading people. I believe, we all must live by the example. Following this, I always try to perform a task myself at first and strive to give a live demonstration of everything. Further, if issues still persist, I will be more than happy to fix and lead them towards efficiency.

8) What Do You Understand By The Term Tensile Force?

This question tests your knowledge of the core civil engineering concepts and terminologies.

Sample Answer

By using the technique of Tensile force we can check the strength of a section of the building or any structure. Whenever a construction material is put under stress it is called tensile. Forces are applied and exerted on the material which tends to stretch the material. This can be further evaluated to understand the strength of the structure and quality of material used.

9) What Is The Most Important Duty Of A Civil Engineer?

This question tests your understanding of your profession.

Sample Answer

I believe, an active, ethical and vigilant supervision of an under-construction structure is the most important duty of a civil engineer. The workers or laborers are not engineers and don’t have the technical expertise and finesse to manage a building on their own. Thus, there is a requirement to guide them, supervise them and manage them effectively and efficiently, to ensure the structure is strong and load bearing.

10) There Are Several Methods For Testing Strength of Concrete? Explain One In Brief.

This question tests your knowledge about the practical working procedures related to the construction field.

Sample Answer

True sir, there are several methods. I believe Drilling the core, is still the best method to judge the strength of the concrete. In this method, a drilling machine is used to drill the core of a concrete bed and a slab of hardened concrete is taken out. This slab is further taken to the labs for testing purposes. The reports generated are far more accurate and reliable than any other method used. But this is a destructive technique, and patches of concrete slabs removed must be refilled.

11) What Are The Pre-Requisites For Engineering Design?

This question tests your knowledge about the practical structural designing procedures and sequences.

Sample Answer

Am engineering design is the most important sheet, which must be prepared after:

  • Collecting detailed requirements from the clients
  • Studying the reports provided
  • Making blueprints by understanding and evaluating the maps, drawings, and aerial photographs
  • Understand the terrain and related topographical and geographical requirements
  • Perform tests on the composition of soil and note the results

12) There Have Been Several Instances Where New Buildings Collapse? Share Your Views.

This question tests your knowledge about the current events and developments happening in the area of construction and infrastructure.

Sample Answer

It is highly unfortunate to see wastage of money, time, and resources. There have been several such cases, especially with government projects. I believe, the primary reason for new/under-construction buildings to collapse is the usage of sub-standard construction material and lack of supervision. It might also be true that corruption plays an important role in getting approvals for inferior quality work. There are several reasons for it, but whatever it may be, this should be regulated and immediately stopped.

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13) What Do You Mean By Heat Of Hydration Test? Explain in brief.

This question tests your knowledge and understanding of various tests and protective measures adopted by civil engineers.

Sample Answer

It is a method to test and check the quality of cement. In this method cement is hydrated and then heat is produced using several chemical reactions. The heat generated can raise the temperature of the cement up to a level of 48 to 50 degrees celsius. In various, large-scale construction projects and tenders, low heating cement has to be used for effective and safe construction.

14) What Is Escalation In Construction Projects?

This question tests your knowledge about the practical issues and bottlenecks happening in the projects and tenders.

Sample Answer

Escalation is an item related to an increase in the costs of primary resources needed to execute a construction project, such as Labor, material, equipment, etc. The construction projects run for several months and in some cases years. During this period inflation plays an active role and leads to an increase in the prices of various construction variables. A contractor can claim such escalation benefits from the organization.

15) How Important Is It To Wear Proper Gear At Construction Sites?

This question tests your knowledge about the various safety principles and codes established for the safety of engineers.

Sample Answer

Civil engineers have to often work at high-rise buildings, dams, elevated roads, etc which often have high a risk of falling and turning over. Engineers must always wear a helmet, tether themselves with a tight rope in case one is working at elevated levels, and always use artificial stairs and ladders to climb any under-construction buildings. Along with this, one must possess an active mind to get oneself out of unprecedented situations and mess.

16) How Well Versed Are You With Design Software(s)?

This question tests your knowledge about the latest designing software.

Sample Answer

We must strive to move with the technology. Gone are the days, when entire designs were made using a scale, paper, and pen. In modern times there is software for everything including designing buildings and hatching plans. I have expert knowledge of AutoCAD and Sketchup. Further, I have a working knowledge of NanoCad and LibreCad. This makes me tech-savvy and imparts me a good awareness of various designing software.

17) How Can You Improve Your Skills?

Civil engineering is a progressive field and not static. There are developments taking place all around the globe, which one must keep verse with and be aware of them. This question evaluated the various ways using which you can improve your knowledge and enhance your existing skill set.

Sample Answer

In my humble opinion, civil engineering is on-the-job training and an on-the-site learning profile. But one must keep oneself abreast of all the latest developments happening in one’s field. I am planning to take an advanced course on advanced structural engineering to sharpen my foundational skills and also planning to learn a new designing software in due course of time. This will allow me to learn new tactics and I would be in a better position to serve your organization even more extensively and effectively.

18) Are You Ready To Perform Clerical Duties?

This question tests your willingness to get yourself involved in inferior or secondary tasks.

Sample Answer

I believe there should be nothing that an employee should refuse. The tasks provided by an organization are well thought and crafted, no matter they are clerical, administrative, or technical. I am up and ready to perform any task which my company allots me. Further, I am a meticulous person and wish to perform the tasks in a time-bound manner.

19) Why You Chose Us?

The response generated through this question would test your seriousness towards joining the organization. Whether, it is just another organization for you or you are truly sincere to be a part of the workforce, can be easily evaluated through your answer to this question.

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Sample Answer

With a huge turnover, operations in 16 countries, including Arab clients, and a big workforce, which is adequately compensated, it would be a no-brainer for me to join this organization if given chance. I am very much interested in working on overseas projects which can be possible at your prestigious organization. Further, the appraisal systems and the employee benefits are really attractive, which further entices me to join this organization.

20) What Is Your Biggest Quality?

This is a general interview question and tests your personality and attitude.

Sample Answer

In my humble opinion, I have the ability to take quick decisions which are logical and reasoned. A witty decision-making ability of mine, allows me to tackle tough situations and circumstances with ease.

21) Do You Have Any Questions For Us?

This is the last question that you would most probably encounter in almost all the interviews held worldwide. This is a reverse question that wants you to shoot a few questions towards your employer, related to the organization and/or your job. It is advisable that you ask 2-3 questions in order to give an impression that you were engaged throughout your interview session and interested in joining the organization.

Sample Questions

  • How many overseas locations is the organization managing?
  • How many contractors are working and/or engaged with the firm?
  • What are the work timings?
  • Do I have to travel to overseas locations? If yes, What are the allowances offered by the organization?
  • What are the retirement benefits extended by the company?
  • What are the conditions for opting employee stock exchange scheme?

Download the list of questions in .PDF format, to practice with them later, or to use them on your interview template (if you want to crack Interview):

Conclusion

The role of civil engineers in an economy is as crucial as the role of a bee in making honey. It is a profession that involves finesse and proficiency in one’s role and demands a high level of expertise, skills, and knowledge. The demand for civil engineers is huge but they have to undergo a tough interview procedure which can only be cracked by serious preparation. If you like our articles then don’t forget to share them with your family and friends. Also, do let us know through the comments section below, how much you like our articles.

References

  1. http://aeer.ru/filesen/io/m12/IO-2013_12_eng.pdf#page=62
  2. https://books.google.com/books?hl=en&lr=&id=Az5MDwAAQBAJ&oi=fnd&pg=PP1&dq=Top+21+Civil+Engineer+Interview+Questions&ots=XQPUk6YUCd&sig=qLOBlF9hsz2RtKFAd87FRzq2ugg

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