17 Land Surveyor Interview Questions and Answers

Learn what skills and qualities interviewers are looking for from a land surveyor, what questions you can expect, and how you should go about answering them.

Land surveyors are the unsung heroes of the construction industry. They use a variety of surveying equipment, such as lasers and GPS, to measure the size and shape of parcels of land. They then use this information to create maps and 3D models of the land. This data is used to help planners decide where to build roads, houses, and other structures.

If you want to become a land surveyor, you’ll need to be able to answer a range of questions during an interview. This guide will help you prepare for some common land surveyor interview questions and answers.

Are you comfortable working outside in all kinds of weather conditions?

Land surveyors often work outside in all kinds of weather conditions. Employers ask this question to make sure you are comfortable working outdoors and that you can handle the challenges that come with it, such as extreme heat or cold. In your answer, explain how you plan to prepare for these conditions and what steps you will take to ensure your safety while on the job.

Example: “I am very comfortable working outside in all kinds of weather conditions. I have experience working in hot temperatures, cold temperatures and even in rainy conditions. To prepare for these conditions, I always wear appropriate clothing and shoes. I also bring plenty of water and snacks so I don’t get hungry or thirsty. When it’s raining, I carry an umbrella and drive carefully.”

What are some of the most important skills a land surveyor should have?

This question can help the interviewer determine if you have the skills necessary to succeed in this role. When answering, it can be helpful to mention a few of your own skills and how they relate to those that are important for land surveyors.

Example: “I think one of the most important skills is math because I use it every day when measuring property lines and calculating measurements. Another skill that’s useful is communication since I work with many different people on projects. Finally, technology skills are essential because we rely so heavily on our equipment.”

How would you describe the relationship between a land surveyor and a geologist?

Land surveyors and geologists often work together to complete projects. Employers ask this question to make sure you understand the relationship between these two roles. Use your answer to show that you know how to collaborate with others in a professional setting. Explain what you would do if you encountered any conflicts with a geologist on a project.

Example: “Land surveyors and geologists have a very important relationship. Geologists are experts at identifying natural resources, while land surveyors can use their equipment to locate those resources. I think it’s crucial for both of us to communicate our findings clearly so we can avoid miscommunication. If there was ever a conflict between a geologist and me, I would try my best to resolve it diplomatically. However, if they were uncooperative, I would report them to my supervisor.”

What is your experience with using GPS devices?

Land surveyors use GPS devices to record the locations of points on a map. This question helps employers determine if you have experience using this technology and how comfortable you are with it. In your answer, share what types of GPS devices you’ve used in the past and explain why you prefer one over another.

Example: “I’ve worked with both handheld and vehicle-based GPS devices. I find that vehicle-based systems are more accurate than handheld ones because they can collect data from multiple satellites at once. However, I do like handheld units for their portability. They’re great for surveying smaller areas where vehicles aren’t allowed.”

Provide an example of a time when you identified a natural hazard during a land survey and recommended a solution to the problem.

Land surveyors often identify natural hazards during their work, and employers ask this question to learn more about your experience with these types of issues. When you answer this question, try to describe a time when you found a hazard that was not obvious to the untrained eye and how you communicated it to others.

Example: “When I first started my career as a land surveyor, I encountered an area where there were several sinkholes. The client wanted to know if they could build on the property without causing any damage to the surrounding areas. After surveying the entire area, I determined that the sinkholes were isolated to one particular part of the property. I recommended that the client avoid building in that specific area so they didn’t cause any further damage.”

If you found an error in a previous surveyor’s work, how would you handle it?

This question can help the interviewer determine how you handle responsibility and accountability. In your answer, explain that you would contact the previous surveyor to discuss the error and ask for their input on how to fix it. You should also mention that you would make sure to document all of your actions in case there is ever a dispute about the work.

Example: “If I found an error in a previous surveyor’s work, I would first try to get in touch with them to see if they had any insight into what happened. If not, I would do my best to recreate the original survey as accurately as possible. I would then document every step I took so that I could prove that I was working from the original data. This way, if there were ever a dispute, I could show that I followed proper procedure.

What would you do if you and your team mate had different measurements for the same area?

This question can help the interviewer assess your problem-solving skills and ability to work with others. Your answer should show that you are willing to compromise, but also able to defend your point of view if necessary.

Example: “I would first ask my colleague why they measured differently than me. If I understood their reasoning, I would adjust my measurements accordingly. However, if I didn’t understand or agree with their reasoning, I would explain why I think our measurements differ and try to convince them to change theirs.”

How well do you think you would perform in a wilderness environment?

Land surveyors often work in remote locations, so employers ask this question to make sure you are comfortable working in these conditions. In your answer, share a story about how you have worked in a wilderness environment before and what challenges you faced. Explain how you overcame those challenges and what skills you used to do so.

Example: “I think I would perform quite well in a wilderness environment. When I was an intern, my team had to go out into the wilderness to complete our project. We were all nervous because we didn’t know what to expect, but I took charge of the situation and helped everyone stay calm. I taught them some basic survival skills that I learned from my parents, and together we made it through the day.”

Do you have experience using topographic mapping software?

Land surveyors use a variety of software to complete their work. Employers ask this question to make sure you have experience using the specific software they use in their office. Before your interview, research the types of software the company uses and look at examples of projects that team members completed with it. In your answer, explain which software you’re familiar with and what you like about it.

Example: “I’ve used many different types of topographic mapping software throughout my career. I find that I’m most comfortable working with Esri ArcGIS because I can use it to create maps, perform spatial analysis and integrate data from other sources. It’s also easy to learn new features when they’re added.”

When is it appropriate to use a transit?

Land surveyors use a variety of tools to complete their work. Employers ask this question to make sure you know when to use a transit and how to use it properly. In your answer, explain that transits are used for measuring horizontal distances. You can also mention that they’re more accurate than other surveying instruments.

Example: “Transits are the most accurate way to measure horizontal distance. They have an optical system that allows them to calculate angles and distances with great precision. I always use a transit when I’m working on a project where accuracy is important. For example, if I’m surveying property lines or making maps, I’ll use a transit because it’s the best tool for these tasks.”

We want to ensure our clients get the most up-to-date information possible. What is the latest technology you would use to collect data?

Land surveyors use a variety of technology to collect data, including GPS devices and laser range finders. The interviewer wants to know if you have experience using these tools and how they can benefit their clients.

Example: “I am very familiar with the latest surveying technologies. I recently used a drone to map an area that was difficult to access on foot. This allowed me to get more accurate measurements than I would have been able to get from the ground. In addition, I used a 3D scanner to create a digital model of the property so the client could view it in virtual reality.”

Describe your process for measuring an area with difficult terrain.

Land surveyors often work in difficult terrain, so employers ask this question to make sure you have the experience and skills necessary for the job. In your answer, explain how you would approach a project with challenging conditions. Share what steps you would take to ensure that you are still able to complete the task successfully.

Example: “I’ve worked on projects where I had to measure areas with steep hills or rocky surfaces before. My process is to first use my equipment to get an accurate measurement of the area’s perimeter. Then, I walk through the entire area to confirm the measurements I got from my equipment. This helps me find any errors in my initial readings.”

What makes you an ideal candidate for this job?

Employers ask this question to learn more about your qualifications and how you can contribute to their company. Before your interview, make a list of all the skills and experiences that make you an ideal candidate for this role. Use these examples to answer this question in a way that highlights your strengths as a potential employee.

Example: “I am an ideal candidate for this job because I have extensive surveying experience. In my last position, I worked with a team of surveyors who were responsible for mapping out large construction sites. I learned many valuable techniques from my colleagues, including how to use different types of equipment and software programs. These skills are what make me qualified for this position.”

Which surveying techniques do you prefer to use?

This question can help the interviewer learn more about your experience and skills. Your answer should include a list of surveying techniques you have used in previous roles, along with information on why you prefer them over others.

Example: “I enjoy using GPS technology for land surveying because it’s accurate and reliable. I also like to use aerial photography when surveying large areas because it helps me get an overview of the property and find any issues that may need attention. Finally, I prefer using total station technology for measuring vertical and horizontal distances because it allows me to work quickly and accurately.”

What do you think is the most important aspect of a land surveyor’s job?

This question is an opportunity to show the interviewer that you understand what a land surveyor does and how important your job is. When answering this question, it can be helpful to mention some of the most important aspects of surveying such as accuracy or attention to detail.

Example: “I think the most important aspect of being a land surveyor is attention to detail. Land surveying requires precision in measurements and calculations, so I always make sure to double-check my work before submitting reports. Another important part of the job is communication with clients. I enjoy explaining complicated concepts to people who are unfamiliar with them.”

How often do you think a land surveyor should update their knowledge and skills?

Land surveyors need to stay up-to-date on new technology and regulations. Employers ask this question to make sure you understand the importance of continuing your education throughout your career. In your answer, explain that you plan to take classes or workshops every year. Explain that you will also read journals and attend conferences to learn about new developments in the field.

Example: “I think it’s important for land surveyors to continue their education throughout their careers. I plan to take a class or workshop at least once per year. I’ll also subscribe to several surveying journals so I can keep up with recent developments. Finally, I plan to attend at least one conference each year.”

There is a natural disaster in the area where you’re conducting a survey. What is your immediate reaction?

This question is a way for the interviewer to assess your ability to remain calm and focused in emergency situations. Your answer should show that you are able to stay composed under pressure, while still completing your tasks as efficiently as possible.

Example: “I would first make sure my team was safe and accounted for. Then I would determine if there were any injured people or property that needed to be assessed. If so, I would immediately begin surveying these areas. After this, I would continue with my original survey plan.”


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