Common Site Engineer Interview Questions With Sample Answers

Updated 15 September 2023

Site engineers manage civil engineering projects on construction sites and ensure they are technically reliable and completed on schedule. During an interview for a site engineer position, you can expect interviewers to ask a range of questions regarding your educational background, work experience and civil engineering knowledge. By understanding the type of questions interviewers ask during site engineer interviews, you can prepare well-thought-out answers and practise them before your job interview. In this article, we outline a list of frequently asked site engineer interview questions and share some sample answers.

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Types Of Site Engineer Interview Questions To Expect

The purpose of site engineer interview questions is to assess your technical knowledge and practical abilities. The interviewers may ask you about your experience with construction projects and the steps you took to ensure that your team could complete them safely, efficiently and on schedule. You may also get questions about your management style, administrative abilities and leadership skills. To make a good impression on the interviewers, consider providing examples of situations in which you successfully applied your problem-solving and organisational skills, strong work ethic and attention to detail.

Related: What Is Site Engineering? (With Duties, Skills And Salary)

General Site Engineering Interview Questions

At the job interview, the interviewer may ask you the following general site engineering questions to get to know you and your background:

  • Why did you decide to become a site engineer?

  • Why do you want to work with our company?

  • Why did you leave your previous position?

  • What do you do to keep up with construction industry developments?

  • In your opinion, what skills are essential for a site engineer?

  • What are some software programs that most site engineers use?

Related: 21 Essential Skills For Every Type Of Engineer

Questions About Experience

You can expect the following civil site engineer interview questions about your work experience:

  • Can you describe your experience leading a construction team on-site?

  • What is your method for ensuring that the project progresses on schedule?

  • What has been your most successful project to date, and why?

  • What are some risk factors for construction works on-site?

  • Did you ever have to handle an accident on-site? What did you do?

  • What do you know about an order of change request?

  • What are some phase inspections that the local authority undertakes during construction?

  • What inspections are necessary after completing the construction work?

  • Can you list the components that the construction cost covers?

  • Which instrument do you use for levelling work on-site?

  • Which test do you conduct to determine the soil's bearing capacity?

  • Have you ever performed the ring and ball test? On what construction material?

  • What is the expiration period of cement?

Related: 10 Civil Engineering Skills And Tips To Develop Them

Technical Interview Questions For Civil Site Engineers And Sample Answers

You can expect the following technical questions during an interview for a site engineer position:

Can you briefly list the steps involved in building construction?

Interviewers often ask this question to assess the candidate's understanding of the building construction process. It is basic knowledge for a site engineer. You can list the steps in the correct order in your answer.

Example: 'The initial steps involved in building construction are conception, planning and designing, site preparation, ground levelling and ground excavation. Next, we lay the foundation and construct columns, beams and slabs. After that, we do the brick masonry work and plaster and install the door and window lintels, frames and fixations. Then we complete the flooring, plumbing and electrical work, the woodwork and fixture fitting and any other internal and external finishing. The last steps include waterproofing and internal and external painting.'

What are a construction manager's site responsibilities on a project?

Site managers or construction managers have a wide range of work responsibilities. When you are applying for a site engineer job, you require an understanding of what the job entails. You can include some of the main responsibilities in your answer.

Example: 'Since a construction manager leads the construction project team, they have many responsibilities. Some of the main ones include determining the work needed for the proposed project, estimating project costs, establishing a budget and developing a work completion schedule. The construction manager hires construction workers and other personnel and purchases construction materials. They plan and assign tasks for the entire team, supervise the work at the construction site and review the project proposal to ensure the work proceeds as per plan and schedule. They also resolve site disputes and keep the client updated.'

Related: How To Write A Civil Engineering Resume (With Example)

Which tests do you perform to check brick quality?

Interviewers often ask this interview question to assess your understanding of construction materials. Knowing how to test brick quality is important for site engineers. You can mention the tests you have performed.

Example: 'You can perform various tests on bricks to discover if they are durable and reliable enough for building projects. Some common quality tests include absorption test, compressive strength test and hardness test. You can also test the bricks for their shape, size, colour and salt content. An absorption test helps you discover how much water a brick can absorb. You weigh the dry brick, immerse it in water for 16 hours and note its weight again. If it is a first-class brick, its wet weight will not increase by more than 20%.

For the compressive strength test, you compress the brick in a compressing strength testing machine until it breaks and then find its crushing strength value. A brick meant for construction purposes needs to have a crushing strength value of at least 3.50N/mm2. You can test the brick's hardness by scratching it with a shape tool, its size and shape by stacking and its colour by checking for uniformity. The salt test involves soaking bricks in water for 24 hours and checking them for salt deposits. It is essential to discard bricks that have salt deposits.'

Related: How To Write A Site Engineer Resume: Template And Example

Can you explain the soundness and unsoundness of cement?

This is a frequently asked interview question to test the candidate's basic knowledge about building materials. Given the wide use of cement in the construction industry, it is essential for site engineers to know about its soundness and unsoundness. You can give a brief explanation and highlight its importance.

Example: 'The soundness of cement is its ability to retain stability in its volume after it sets and hardens. If the volume is unstable and changes after the cement sets and hardens, then you can consider the cement unsound. When the cement is unsound, there is a risk of cracks appearing in the concrete structure. These cracks can have a negative impact on the quality and safety of the building.'

Related: What Is A Site Reliability Engineer? (And How To Become One)

What is concrete and what are the necessary steps to take in the concreting process?

You are likely to encounter this question at many site engineer interviews, and its purpose is to discover your knowledge of concrete. As a site engineer, it is essential that you have a thorough understanding of the concreting process. You can explain the process briefly and in the correct order.

Example: 'Concrete is a product used in the construction process and you can obtain it by mixing together specific quantities of cement, sand, gravel and water. The steps involved in the concreting process are batching, mixing, transporting, pouring, compacting, levelling and curing. In the batching step, you can gather and measure the required materials by volume or weight. The next step is mixing, which is possible either by hand or machine.

You first mix together the dry materials, add water to the mixture and then mix it in the wet condition. Following this, you transport the prepared concrete to the location and pour it into place. You then compact and level the concrete by hand or with vibrators to reduce the air bubbles trapped in it and increase its strength. The last step is curing the concrete as it dries.'

What is the curing of concrete?

Proper curing of concrete is essential in building projects, as it can impact the durability and strength of the concrete. Curing concrete is crucial knowledge for site engineers. You can explain what curing is and what the process involves.

Example: 'Curing of concrete is a method used in building construction to keep the concrete moist or damp to maintain its strength as it hardens. The cement particles react to and bond with the water molecules and the concrete starts to harden. Concrete usually hardens enough to walk on it without sinking into it within 24 to 48 hours. However, if you want it to be strong enough to bear heavier weights, such as that of vehicles and heavy equipment, it is essential to cure it for as long as 28 days. That involves keeping the concrete moist or wet for this duration.'


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