5 Common Quantity Surveyor Interview Questions

If you attend an interview for a Quantity Surveyor position, it’s important you’re prepared for questions which could be asked. Failure to do so could be seen as a sign of incompetence for a potential employer. Conversely, taking proactive action to foresee likely questions may be the deciding factor which wins you your dream job. In this article we’ll be exploring 5 common interview questions for a Quantity Surveyor role.

Question 1 “What do you know about this us and the role you’re applying for?”

To answer the first part of the question, it’s recommended you spend some time writing down a summary of the company you’re applying for. For example, what type of work does the company carry out? Is it a family-owned company? Are they public or limited? Are there any unique characteristics that make them stand out from other similar companies? What are their ethics, morals and goals? A lot of these answers you can find from their website. You could even take a look at company house to dig deeper into your research. The second part of the question maybe slightly harder to answer, depending on the level of information available to you about the role you’re applying for. Typically though, if you’ve applied for the job online, the post will come with a detailed job description which may state, what your requirements are and give some insight into the type of works being carried out (i.e, infrastructure, commercial/ industrial building or residential).

Question 2 “What do you know about the contract being utilised on this project?”

We’re paraphrasing how this question will likely be asked. However, to put briefly, It is often expected of you to have some knowledge of the contract, i.e., purpose of the contract, terms used and if possible, some practical examples of how the contract works. For example, under NEC you may be asked about Early Warnings and Compensation Events. This may sound daunting, and if you’re a applying for a graduate or apprentice position you have less to worry about. However, if you’ve previously worked on projects which utilise similar contracts it would be wise to freshen up on your knowledge.

Question 3 “What are the contractual documents?”

This seems like a simple question, but often catches people out. When people think of contractual documents, they often only mention terms and conditions. However, the contractual documents can include (although not limited to) items such as the design drawings, specification, works information, site information and programme of works.

Question 4 “What is a specification?”

The specification includes the materials and work required to carry out a construction project. Specifications don’t include quantities, cost or drawings.

Question 5 “What would you do if you make a mistake?”

Like in all professions, mistakes happen. We’re only human, it can be anything from a formula error on a spreadsheet to forgetting to send that important email. The worst thing you can do in this situation is try and cover up your mistakes to avoid potential embarrassment. Being honest about your mistakes will not only result in the best course of action to correct the error, but you’ll likely also gain your managers respect for being open and honest.

Why not watch our video on the subject here:

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