Did you know that in the 18th century, the term “civil engineering” came into use to describe engineering work that was performed by civilians for non-military purposes?

Choosing a career in civil engineering will often come with constant opportunities for creative and challenging work. It is a profession that regularly presents challenges where the solutions require inventive thinking and an all-encompassing understanding of the job.

And the financial rewards for working in civil engineering are high as well - the average base salary for a Civil Engineer is $119,851 per year. So, it should come as no surprise that competition for the best civil engineering jobs can be tough.

If you’ve been invited for a job interview for a civil engineering position, you should be proud to have advanced this far. We've compiled a list of common civil engineering interview questions to assist you in taking the next step and be as well-prepared as possible for the big day.

civil engineer interview questions.

general interview questions.  

  • Where do you see yourself professionally in Civil Engineering in five years?
  • Why are you looking to move roles?
  • What are the most relevant skills you could bring to this job?
  • Are there any areas where you feel you could significantly improve your skills?
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industry-related interview questions.

  • What do you see as the critical challenges faced by Civil Engineers on-site day today?
  • What attracted you to your particular specialism, and do you think your expectations of it were realistic?
  • Do you prefer to be working in the office or on-site?
  • What relevant civil engineering qualifications do you already have, and what would you like to gain over the next few years?
  • How do you keep your knowledge of industry regulations up to date?
  • Describe to me what you see as a typical day in the life of a civil engineer.
  • How much experience do you have in developing and taking forward bids?
  • Which design software systems have you worked with?
  • How do you prioritise different issues when analysing data?

scenario interview questions.

  • Explain a situation in which you needed to think logically to solve an engineering problem.
  • Describe a previous project in which you had to lead or work with a diverse team of colleagues to reach a successful conclusion.
  • Tell us about the least successful project or role you have had. What did you learn from it?
  • Let us know how you would go about motivating a team when the last set of plans and dates have been returned for revision.

general interview tips.

  • Always double-check the interview time and address, leaving plenty of time for the journey.
  • Note down interviewer names and contact numbers. You may need them upon arrival.
  • Interviews call for smart attire and clean shoes, so dress appropriately.
  • Read up on the company and think of a few questions to ask the interviewers.
  • Fresh copies of any CVs or applications submitted can be taken along and handed out before the interview begins.

If you’re applying for a job as a civil engineer, you should expect a wide range of questions, from industry-related to personal – so be prepared!

further information for civil engineer candidates.

Even though various disciplines fall under civil engineering, candidates must reassure potential employers that they possess the critical skills for the position they are applying for. 

These would include excellent knowledge of mathematics, high levels of organisation, systematic thinking, and the ability to see through a mass of data to identify the key points and problems.

The role of a civil engineer comes with plenty of responsibility, and interviewees will need to prove that they can convey complex ideas to workers at all levels of an organisation.

They should expect to be asked to demonstrate reliability and calmness in a crisis and be willing to undertake further professional training if relevant.

Candidates should think about how best to illustrate the required skills; it could be through describing past roles or projects or through success in obtaining previous professional qualifications and experience.

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