The Top 20 Freese and Nichols Interview Questions and Answers

It doesn’t matter if you thought your interview went well or not; the next few steps can help you get the job.

A well handwritten thank-you note will go a long way in making you stand-out to potential employers. Most likely you’re wondering why you should mail a thank-you note when you can just email them instead. Well, for one, an email is not personal, and it can easily get buried in people’s inboxes. Meanwhile, a handwritten thank-you note shows you care and are willing to go the extra mile.

Some important things to include in your note are the names of the people you interviewed with, a thank-you for meeting with them, one or two things that were talked about during the interview (this shows that you were paying attention), and that you’d like to work for the company. To fill out, bring a blank card to the interview if you don’t live close by. After the interview, drop the card off at the nearest post office. Make sure you mail the note the same day as your interview, so it arrives the next day.

Take a moment after the interview to take some notes. Below are some questions that were asked. Write down what you think you could do better and any answers that you think were good. This can help you get ready for an interview and do better on it, or it can help you make a better impression at a second interview.

Getting hired at Freese and Nichols can be a competitive process. As one of the most renowned engineering and architecture firms in the country they receive thousands of applicants every year. Standing out requires thorough preparation and insight into the types of interview questions you’re likely to face.

In this article, we’ll provide an overview of Freese and Nichols their hiring process and the top 20 most common interview questions asked by the company. We’ll provide example responses to each question to help you craft your own winning answers.

Whether you have an interview coming up or just want to get ready in advance, this inside look at Freese and Nichols’ interviews will help you put your best foot forward and land the job. Let’s get started!

About Freese and Nichols

Founded in 1894, Freese and Nichols is one of the oldest and most respected engineering and architecture firms in the United States. Headquartered in Fort Worth, Texas, they have offices throughout the southern United States.

The company has a storied history of pioneering major infrastructure and water resource projects. They designed the first reinforced concrete grain elevator and some of the earliest water pipelines in Texas. Throughout its existence, the firm has maintained a reputation for innovation and excellence.

Freese and Nichols provides services across a wide range of disciplines:

  • Water supply, treatment, and transmission
  • Transportation and roadways
  • Bridges and structures
  • Architecture and design
  • Environmental engineering
  • Construction services
  • Planning and landscape architecture
  • Utility master planning

They take on projects of all sizes, from feasibility studies to billion-dollar capital programs. The company has been involved in high-profile initiatives like the Trinity River Vision in Fort Worth and the $300 million expansion of the Houston Reliant Park.

Freese and Nichols is consistently ranked among the top engineering firms in the country. They received the prestigious Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award, making them the first engineering/architecture firm to earn this recognition.

Freese and Nichols’ Hiring Process

The hiring process at Freese and Nichols typically involves:

Initial Application: Submitting a resume/CV and completing an online application.

Phone Screen: A 30-45 minute preliminary interview focused on skills and experience.

Technical Interview: A 60-90 minute interview involving technical questions related to past projects and technical knowledge.

Panel Interviews: A series of in-person interviews with managers and senior leadership.

Reference Checks: Discussions with professional references.

Offer: An offer letter if all goes well. Timeline from application to offer ranges from 3-8 weeks.

Their interview process is quite rigorous, with some candidates going through 5-8 separate interviews. They want to ensure candidates not only have technical competency but also fit well with company culture.

Now let’s look at the top 20 interview questions asked at Freese and Nichols and how to best approach them:

Top 20 Freese and Nichols Interview Questions

1. Tell me about yourself and why you’re interested in this role.

This is likely to be one of the first questions asked. Focus on highlighting your technical background, relevant skills/experience, passion for the industry, and interest in the specific role. Keep it concise and relatable.

Example response: “I’m a civil engineer with over 5 years of experience designing water resource infrastructure. I’m particularly passionate about leveraging innovation to build more sustainable systems. When I saw this opening for a water resources engineer at Freese and Nichols, I was very excited by the chance to work on cutting-edge, environmentally focused projects. Freese has an outstanding reputation, so being able to contribute my skills in water conservation and learn from the firm’s experts would be invaluable.”

2. Why do you want to work for Freese and Nichols?

Show you’ve done research on the company and share why you’re drawn to their mission, values, and projects. Be specific.

Example response: “Freese and Nichols’ commitment to innovation and sustainability really resonates with me. The firm has been at the forefront of designing systems focused on water conservation and environmental resilience, like the Trinity River Vision project. I want to work for a company that takes a holistic approach and prioritizes community impact. Freese’s values around quality, integrity, and stewardship also align well with my own principles as an engineer.”

3. How would you describe your technical design skills and experience?

Provide an overview of your key technical skills, the methodologies you’re proficient in, and examples of successful past design projects. Emphasize complex undertakings.

Example response: “My core technical design skills are in hydraulic modeling, structural analysis, and master planning for water systems. I’m highly proficient in AutoCAD, WaterGEMS, and Civil3D. For example, I used WaterGEMS to model a comprehensive water distribution system for a 200,000 person city in India, optimizing pipeline routing and pump sizing to meet current and future demand. I also have experience leading technical design reviews and value engineering workshops to continuously improve quality.”

4. Tell me about a challenging engineering project you worked on. How did you overcome obstacles?

Share a specific example that showcases problem-solving, persistence, and leadership abilities. Outline your process for resolving issues.

Example response: “During the construction of a new wastewater treatment plant, we encountered groundwater levels substantially higher than initial surveys indicated, which threatened the structural stability. I took charge of investigating the cause by reviewing geotech reports and surveying the area. We determined the water table had shifted due to recent heavy rainfalls. To address this, I worked closely with the structural engineers to adapt the foundation design without impacting project timelines or the plant’s capacity. We ultimately added drainage pipes around the perimeter, preventing future flooding issues. This experience demonstrated the importance of continuously evaluating conditions and adapting designs to overcome obstacles.”

5. How do you ensure quality control in engineering projects?

Quality control is crucial. Discuss your processes for design reviews, analysis of project metrics, testing, and collaboration with team members to meet quality standards.

Example response: “I utilize a multilayered quality control process starting from the initial design phase. This includes in-depth peer reviews of drawings, specifications, and calculations at each milestone. I also analyze key project metrics like budget variances, schedule performance, and defect rates to quickly identify any areas for improvement. Extensive testing and commissioning are critical prior to project completion, so I coordinate closely with contractors and field technicians to verify functional performance. Throughout the process, I promote transparent communication and collaboration among all stakeholders to achieve alignment on quality standards.”

6. What do you look for when hiring engineers? Or what qualities make a good engineer?

Share key attributes like technical aptitude, problem-solving ability, teamwork, communication skills, creativity, attention to detail, and a commitment to continuous learning. Align with Freese and Nichols’ culture.

Example response: “The most important quality I look for in engineers is intellectual curiosity and a passion for continuous learning. Technologies change so rapidly in our field that being adaptive and eager to expand your knowledge is crucial. Of course, strong technical skills, problem-solving ability, and communication skills are also vital. But an innate desire to grow, collaborate, and innovate will enable someone to thrive as an engineer over the long-term. These align closely with the qualities that make Freese and Nichols’ engineers leaders in the industry.”

7. How do you stay updated on the latest engineering technologies and practices?

Demonstrate you’re proactive about professional development through things like conferences, research, professional organizations, and continuing education.

Example response: “I make learning new technologies a priority throughout my career. I regularly attend industry conferences to hear directly from thought leaders on emerging trends. For example, I try to attend the annual American Water Works Association conference each year. I also read publications like the Journal of Environmental Engineering to stay on the cutting edge of research. Completing ASCE webinars and online courses allows me to develop new competencies as well. Joining industry associations like the Society of Women Engineers provides networking and mentorship opportunities. Taking a multifaceted approach ensures I’m constantly expanding my skills.”

8. Tell me about a time you made a mistake on a project. What did you learn?

Be transparent and share an example that isn’t critical. Focus on what you learned and changes you made after the mistake rather than justifying errors. Demonstrate accountability, maturity, and growth.

Example response: “Early in my career, I made the mistake of not involving the construction team early enough during the planning phases of a drainage canal design project. This led to constructability issues down the road that required redesigns and caused delays. From that experience, I learned the critical importance of cross-functional collaboration, especially between design and construction teams. Now I actively involve contractors from the outset to leverage their expertise, which has helped avoid issues and optimize project schedules.”

9. How would you handle a disagreement with a supervisor or team member?

Emphasize collaborative conflict resolution focused on understanding all perspectives, finding common ground, and compromising respectfully. Share an example if possible.

Example response: “I believe disagreements are

Clean up your social media accounts

Ideally, you should do this as soon as you start looking and applying for jobs. Social media can be a huge factor for getting a job offer or not. Make sure you go through all your accounts with a fine-tooth comb. Delete any inappropriate, illegal content and s. You can also go a step further and make all your accounts private. Keep in mind that people can also see your activity (i. e. likes, shares, comments, etc. ).

Freese and Nichols: Urban Planning + Design – 2019 CW Summit


How is Freese and Nichols interview process?

The hiring process at Freese and Nichols takes an average of 18.5 days when considering 36 user submitted interviews across all job titles. Candidates applying for Engineering had the quickest hiring process (on average 2 days), whereas Intern – Hourly roles had the slowest hiring process (on average 30 days).

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