17 Surveyor Interview Questions and Answers

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

As the world becomes increasingly more developed, the need for accurate surveying data only grows. That’s where surveyors come in. They use a variety of tools and techniques to measure the three-dimensional positions of natural and manmade features on the earth’s surface.

Do you have what it takes to be a surveyor? Before you can answer that, you’ll need to ace a job interview. One way to prepare is to familiarize yourself with the most common surveyor interview questions. In this guide, you’ll find several examples of questions and answers that will help you stand out from the competition.

Are you comfortable working outside in all kinds of weather?

Weather conditions can vary greatly depending on the time of year and location. Employers ask this question to make sure you’re comfortable working in all kinds of weather. In your answer, explain that you are willing to work outside regardless of the weather. Explain that you have experience with outdoor work and how you plan to prepare for any challenging weather conditions.

Example: “I am very comfortable working outside no matter what the weather is like. I understand that sometimes there’s nothing we can do about the weather, so I always come prepared with rain gear, cold-weather clothing and anything else I might need. I also try to get to work early so I can start surveying before it gets too hot or too cold.”

What are some of the most important skills for a successful surveyor?

This question can help the interviewer determine if you have the skills necessary to succeed in this role. Use your answer to highlight some of your most important skills and how they relate to the job.

Example: “The two most important skills for a surveyor are attention to detail and communication. These skills allow me to collect accurate data and communicate with clients about what I find. In my last position, I was hired by a construction company to survey an area before building began. I used my communication skills to explain to the client why certain areas were not suitable for construction. This helped them understand why we needed to move forward with another location.”

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

This question can help interviewers understand your knowledge of the surveying industry and how you interact with other professionals. Use examples from past experiences to show that you value collaboration and teamwork.

Example: “Surveyors and geologists have a lot in common, but they also have different responsibilities. Geologists study the earth’s surface while surveyors measure it. I’ve worked with many geologists over my career, and we often collaborate on projects. For example, when I was working for a construction company, I would work with geologists to find the best locations for building new structures. Then, I would use my surveying skills to create maps of the land so the construction team could build according to specifications.”

What is your experience with using GPS systems?

GPS systems are a common tool for surveyors, so the interviewer may ask you this question to learn about your experience with using them. If you have previous experience using GPS systems, describe how you used them and what type of information they provided you. If you don’t have any experience using GPS systems, explain that you’re familiar with their use and discuss other methods you’ve used to determine locations.

Example: “In my last position as a land surveyor, I used a GPS system daily. The GPS system helped me record coordinates and find specific points on the property. It also allowed me to share data with my team members who were working in different areas.”

Provide an example of a time when you had to adapt to a difficult working environment.

Interviewers may ask this question to assess your ability to adapt to challenging situations. They want to know that you can work well under pressure and still complete the job successfully. In your answer, explain how you handled the situation and what steps you took to make it more manageable.

Example: “In my last position as a surveyor, I had to conduct surveys in very hot weather conditions. The heat made it difficult for me to concentrate on the task at hand. To overcome this challenge, I brought plenty of water with me to stay hydrated throughout the day. I also wore lightweight clothing so I could move around easily. This helped me focus on my work and get through the day.”

If you had the opportunity to take a job that paid more, but required you to work in an area with a high crime rate, would you take the job?

This question is a great way for employers to learn more about your values and how you make decisions. When answering this question, it can be helpful to explain why you would or wouldn’t take the job.

Example: “I have always been passionate about helping people, so I would definitely take the job if it meant that I could help someone in need. However, I would also look into ways to ensure my safety while working in an area with a high crime rate. For example, I might ask my employer if they offer any security measures like escorts or alarms.”

What would you do if you noticed a coworker was misinterpreting data while mapping out a project?

This question can help interviewers understand how you work with others and your ability to communicate effectively. Your answer should show that you value teamwork and are willing to speak up when necessary.

Example: “I would first try to talk to my coworker about the issue in a private setting, so we could discuss it without disrupting other team members. I would explain why their data is incorrect and offer suggestions on how they can fix it or improve their mapping process. If this doesn’t resolve the issue, I would ask my supervisor for advice on how to proceed.”

How well do you understand the legal system?

The legal system is an important part of the surveyor’s job. You may need to work with lawyers and judges if you’re surveying land that has a dispute over ownership or other issues. Your interviewer will want to know how familiar you are with the legal system so they can feel confident in your abilities as a surveyor.

Example: “I have worked with several lawyers and judges throughout my career, and I understand the importance of following their instructions when conducting surveys on disputed property. I also understand the laws regarding private property rights and public lands. I am committed to upholding these laws while performing my duties.”

Do you have experience using surveying instruments?

This question can help the interviewer determine your level of experience with surveying instruments. If you have previous experience using these tools, share what types of instruments you used and how often you used them. If you don’t have any experience using surveying instruments, you can explain that you are willing to learn how to use them.

Example: “I’ve worked as a surveyor for five years now, so I am familiar with many different surveying instruments. In my current position, we use total stations, GPS units and optical levels regularly. I also know how to operate transit wheels, which is an older type of instrument that some companies still use.”

When planning a project, are you comfortable working with a limited budget?

Interviewers may ask this question to determine how you prioritize your work and manage time. They want to know that you can complete a project within the constraints of a budget, so be sure to highlight your ability to plan effectively with limited resources.

Example: “Yes, I am comfortable working with a limited budget because it forces me to prioritize my tasks and make decisions about what’s most important to include in the survey. In fact, I find that having a limited budget helps me stay focused on the task at hand rather than getting distracted by all the possible things I could do. When working with a limited budget, I also like to collaborate with other surveyors who have different skill sets to see if there are ways we can combine our projects to save money.”

We want to ensure that our clients have accurate data. What is the most important thing you do to ensure accuracy?

This question is an opportunity to show your interviewer that you have the skills and knowledge necessary to perform your job well. When answering this question, consider what steps you take to ensure accuracy in your work.

Example: “The most important thing I do to ensure accuracy is double-check my data. Before submitting a report or presenting findings, I always check all of my calculations and make sure that I haven’t made any mistakes. I also use technology to help me with accuracy. For example, I use GPS devices to record locations and software programs to analyze data.”

Describe your experience with computer-aided design software.

Surveyors use computer-aided design software to create maps and other documents that they then transfer into the field. This question helps employers determine if you have experience with this type of software and how comfortable you are using it. In your answer, explain what types of CAD software you’ve used in the past and highlight any specific skills you have with these programs.

Example: “I have extensive experience with AutoCAD software. I learned how to use this program while working as a surveyor for my previous employer. I also took an online course on AutoCAD certification to help me learn more about the program and improve my skills. I find that having this certification has helped me become even more proficient at using the program.”

What makes you stand out from other surveyors?

Employers ask this question to learn more about your unique skills and abilities. They want to know what makes you a valuable asset to their company. When answering this question, think of the most important qualities that make you qualified for this role. You can also mention any certifications or training you have completed.

Example: “I am highly organized and detail-oriented. I always meet deadlines and produce quality work. My communication skills are excellent, which is why I’m able to explain complex concepts in an easy-to-understand way. I also have extensive surveying experience, having worked as a surveyor for five years.”

Which geospatial technologies do you hope to learn more about in the future?

This question can help the interviewer get a sense of your interest in continuing to learn about geospatial technologies. Your answer should include a list of specific technologies you hope to gain more experience with and why you’re interested in learning them.

Example: “I’m hoping to learn more about unmanned aerial vehicles, or UAVs, in the future. I’ve been using drones for my surveying work for several years now, but I’d like to continue expanding my knowledge of how they can be used in different situations. Another technology I’m excited to learn more about is LiDAR. I’ve heard that it’s an effective way to gather data on large areas, which could be useful when surveying rural areas.”

What do you think is the most important aspect of customer service?

Interviewers may ask this question to see how you would interact with clients and customers in their company. They want to know that you will be able to provide excellent customer service, which is an important part of the job as a surveyor. In your answer, explain what makes good customer service and why it’s so important.

Example: “I think the most important aspect of customer service is being friendly and helpful. When I’m working with a client or customer, I always try to make sure they feel comfortable asking me questions and getting answers from me. I also like to go above and beyond for my clients by providing them with extra information about the project we’re working on together.”

How often do you update your knowledge of relevant laws and regulations?

Laws and regulations can change frequently, so employers want to know that you are committed to staying up-to-date on any changes. Your answer should show the interviewer that you have a passion for learning about new laws and regulations and how they apply to your work as a surveyor.

Example: “I am passionate about my career, so I regularly read articles and publications related to surveying. In fact, I subscribe to several newsletters that provide updates on relevant legislation. I also attend seminars and webinars to learn more about current issues in the field.”

There is a discrepancy between the actual measurements and your calculations. What do you do?

This question is an opportunity to show your problem-solving skills and ability to work independently. Your answer should include a step-by-step process of how you would identify the discrepancy, determine its cause and fix it.

Example: “If there’s a discrepancy between my calculations and actual measurements, I first check for any errors in my data collection or recording. If everything checks out, then I will review all of my calculations to see if I made any mistakes. If not, then I will compare my calculations with those of other surveyors on the team to see if they have noticed anything different about their own measurements.”


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