Top 10 Quantity Surveying Interview Questions and Answers

Are you getting ready for a job interview as a quantity surveyor? We have put together a list of Quantity Surveying Interview Questions and Answers to help candidates prepare for interviews in the construction industry, especially those applying for jobs in cost management, estimation, tendering, contracts, and commercial advisory services.

The field of quantity surveying is a dynamic and challenging one. If you want to be a quantity surveyor, you will probably have to go through a number of interviews before you get your dream job.

This article aims to provide you with a comprehensive guide on the quantity surveying interview questions and answers. We will cover general questions, as well as those specific to civil quantity surveying and quantity surveying.

Quantity surveying is a vital role in the construction industry. As a quantity surveyor, you are responsible for managing construction costs and contracts on a project. This requires technical knowledge, analytical skills, attention to detail and strong communication abilities.

If you have an upcoming quantity surveying interview, you need to be prepared to answer questions that will assess your qualifications for the job. Here are 10 of the most common quantity surveying interview questions along with sample answers:

1. What do you see as the key challenges faced by quantity surveyors on a day-to-day basis?

As a quantity surveyor some of the main challenges faced on a daily basis include

  • Maintaining accuracy in measurements and cost estimates – Even small mistakes can lead to significant cost overruns It takes diligent verification and cross-checking to ensure complete precision

  • Managing fluctuating material costs – Construction material prices are constantly changing and this directly impacts budgets Keeping up-to-date on market prices is essential

  • Resolving discrepancies between plans and actual site conditions – When unforeseen conditions arise on-site, it can result in delays, disputes and added expenses if not addressed promptly.

  • Navigating contract complexities – The contractual terms that govern projects can be complex. Interpreting these accurately helps avoid costly disputes.

  • Collaborating effectively across teams – Quantity surveyors need to communicate frequently with architects, engineers, project managers and contractors. Ensuring everyone is on the same page is key.

My approach focuses on proactive planning, precise verification processes and transparent communication to tackle these daily challenges.

2. How broad is your experience with different types of contracts?

Over my [x] years in quantity surveying, I’ve gained experience with a diverse range of standard contracts including JCT contracts, NEC contracts, FIDIC contracts, and bespoke contracts.

Specifically, I’m well-versed in JCT contracts including the Design and Build Contract, Standard Building Contract, Minor Works Building Contract, and Intermediate Building Contract. I understand the unique aspects of these contracts and how to apply them appropriately based on factors like project scope, risk and procurement strategy.

Beyond standardized contracts, I’ve worked on bespoke contracts tailored to major development projects. This has enhanced my skills in analyzing contractual terms and conditions and identifying potential risks or gaps in contracts. I’m comfortable collaborating with legal teams to negotiate favorable contract conditions while balancing project objectives.

Overall, my well-rounded contract experience allows me to adapt to different contract types and operate effectively regardless of the specific form of contract used in a project.

3. Do you prefer being office or site based?

I find that a balanced combination of both office and site work produces the best results in quantity surveying.

In the office, I can thoroughly analyze project plans, accurately prepare estimates, and efficiently manage documentation. Being office-based improves focus for tasks requiring deep concentration and attention to detail.

However, spending adequate time on site is also invaluable. Site visits allow me to proactively identify variances, reduce discrepancies between drawings and site conditions, and collaborate face-to-face with contractors to resolve issues promptly.

I make it a priority to have a regular site presence throughout all project stages rather than just occasional visits. The hands-on, in-the-field perspective combined with concentrated office work enables me to deliver excellent quantity surveying outcomes.

4. Have you ever had to deal with a dispute over the valuation of work carried out?

Yes, occasionally disputes do arise related to the valuation of completed works. Most recently, while working on an airport extension project, the client contested our valuation of the M&E works during the final account stage, deeming it excessive.

To address this, I carried out a thorough re-measurement of the M&E quantities and engaged with the M&E contractors to verify application of the correct rates. Following this review, I identified an error in our initial quantities for ducting works arising from inaccurate as-built drawings provided to us.

I presented these findings to the client, along with our recalculated valuation, which was significantly lower and satisfactory to the client. This demonstrated the importance of a methodical approach, open dialogue with contractors, and willingness to thoroughly re-examine our own work when disputes arise. Maintaining professionalism and aiming for an equitable outcome is key.

5. How do you ensure you capture the full scope of works in the Bill of Quantities?

My process for developing comprehensive Bills of Quantities involves:

  • Meticulously reviewing all project plans, drawings, specifications and surveys to gain a complete picture of the scope. I take notes and clearly flag any ambiguities.

  • Breaking down the project into logical sections and elements, such as foundations, structural work, finishes etc.

  • Performing thorough quantity takeoffs for each section, cross-checking against plans to ensure no omissions.

  • Collaborating with architects early in the design stage to align on scope assumptions and measurement methodologies.

  • Comparing the Bill of Quantities against the project scope checklist.

  • Requesting the contractor to perform an independent review of the BOQ prior to finalization.

  • Updating the BOQ through all design iterations to capture any changes.

Adhering to this systematic methodology minimizes the risk of missing components in the Bill of Quantities. Comprehensive BOQs provide accurate budgeting and fairness in the bidding process.

6. How would you effectively handle a situation where a contractor submits claims for delays or extra costs?

When claims arise, I follow these key steps:

  • Objectively review the claim merits by examining project records and correspondence to validate stated circumstances, events, and costs.

  • Verify the contractual provisions related to claims liability, compensation events, and cost recovery.

  • Quantify the cost and schedule impact of the claimed disruption through analytical methods like productivity loss calculation.

  • Present my analysis to the contractor to align on facts. Engage in principled negotiation to aim for an equitable settlement.

  • Consult with clients and project teams to discuss potential settlement strategies that optimize outcomes.

  • Document agreements reached and update budgets and forecasts accordingly.

Through this structured approach, I can respond to claims in a methodical manner upholding contractual integrity and mitigatingprotracted disputes, while also aiming for win-win solutionswith contractors and clients where possible.

7. How would you evaluate the lifecycle cost of a building as part of a feasibility study?

Evaluating the lifecycle cost is crucial for determining capital investment feasibility and whole-of-life value. My methodology would include:

  • Estimating upfront construction costs through detailed BOQ takeoffs and analysis of construction methods.

  • Forecasting future maintenance and operating costs by researching typical costs/m2 for the building type, such as cleaning, utilities, periodic repairs etc.

  • Incorporating replacement costs for assets with shorter lifespans like HVAC systems.

  • Using NPV analysis to project costs over the lifetime based on discounted cash flows.

  • Advising on design strategies to optimize energy efficiency and lower operating expenses.

  • Comparing lifecycle costs of different structural and finishing material options.

  • Recommending renewable features with higher upfront costs but lower operating costs.

  • Re-evaluating projections regularly through design stages to track changes.

  • Presenting lifecycle costs in a clear, visual format for stakeholders.

This holistic approach helps determine realistic capital budgets and demonstrates the long-term cost implications of different design decisions.

8. How would you deal with a situation where the contractor’s work output is not as per the construction schedule?

I would address this in a systematic manner:

  • Identify the specific activities that are delayed and quantify the magnitude of the delays.

  • Determine the reasons for the delays through discussions with the contractor and examination of site records.

  • Assess the overall impact on project completion timelines through delay analysis techniques.

  • Check whether the contract provides for liquidated damages for delays and notify the contractor accordingly.

  • Discuss schedule recovery options, like increasing workforce or resources.

  • Present proposed solutions to the project owner/client and facilitate negotiations if required.

  • Update the construction schedule with revised timelines through agreement.

  • Enhance monitoring of schedule performance going forward.

The goal is to first objectively quantify and validate the delays and then collaborative explore solutions while also upholding contractual provisions regarding delays. A flexible but firm approach helps minimize schedule overruns.

9. What are some of the common risks in construction projects and how can they be mitigated?

Some major risks and mitigations include:

  • Inaccurate estimating – Thorough verification of quantities, rates and historical data improves accuracy.

  • Scope creep – Strict change control procedures and clear contracts prevent uncontrolled growth.

  • Delayed approvals – Engaging authorities early and allowing sufficient time reduces approval delays.

  • Material price volatility – Price escalation clauses and flexible budgets help manage this risk.

  • Unsafe working conditions – Robust site safety plans and training promotes safe site environment.

  • Poor workmanship – Pre-qualification of contractors, quality inspections and testing ensures standards.

  • Liquidity issues – Strong pre-qualification, interim payments and monitoring contractor finances.

Proactive identification and mitigation of these key project risks is essential through all

I General Quantity Surveying Interview Questions and Answers

Sample: Quantity surveying involves managing all aspects of the contractual and financial side of construction projects. Cost planning, contract administration, and commercial management are all part of making sure the project stays within the agreed-upon budget.

II Common Quantity Surveying Interview Questions and Answers

A civil quantity surveyor should do a few important things to make sure that a civil construction project is cost-effective:

  • Thorough Planning: The first step towards cost-effectiveness is thorough planning. To figure out costs, it helps to know about the whole project’s lifecycle, from planning to carrying it out.
  • Costs Must Be Checked Regularly: During the project, a civil quantity surveyor must check costs regularly. If the actual cost is different from what was estimated, they need to fix it right away.
  • Using Efficient Building Techniques: Picking the right building methods and tools can help cut costs by a large amount. To come up with the best solutions, a civil quantity surveyor should keep up with the latest construction technology trends and new products.
  • Getting suppliers to agree to good terms They might have lower prices, better payment terms, or more flexible delivery times, which can save you a lot of money.

QUANTITY SURVEYOR Interview Questions & Answers!


How to prepare for a quantity surveying interview?

In your quantity surveyor interview, it is important to show your knowledge of construction industry regulations that will affect costings and contracts. These might be changes to wage legislation, tax, health and safety or building materials, for example.

What questions are asked in a quantity interview?

Tell me about a time when you assessed your own performance on each project that you have worked on? What methods do you use to prepare time, cost, materials and/or labour estimates? Give me an example of where the materials supplied were not up to the standard, what did you do?

Why should we hire you as a quantity surveyor?

As a Quantity Surveyor, it is our job to ensure that the client is protected. The Quantity Surveyor will ensure that each contract holds the contractors liable for their actions if they decide to take a shortcut to “save extra costs” or whatever other reason they have to excuse their mistakes.

What skills do you need to be a quantity surveyor?

As someone who’s gearing up for an interview as a quantity surveyor, it is imperative to be well-versed not only with the technical aspects of construction cost management but also with the soft skills that will enable you to thrive in this field.

How many quantity surveyor interview questions are there?

In this article, we share 39 quantity surveyor interview questions, explain how to formulate effective answers and provide sample answers that you can use to prepare. At the beginning of your job interview, a hiring manager may decide to ask you a few general quantity surveyor interview questions.

Why would an interviewer ask a quantity surveyor a question?

There are a few reasons why an interviewer would ask this question: 1. To gauge the level of experience and expertise of the quantity surveyor. 2. To see if the quantity surveyor is up-to-date with the latest challenges faced by those in the profession. 3.

How do I prepare for a quantity surveyor job interview?

Additionally, the increasing focus on sustainability and green construction practices will likely create new opportunities for Quantity Surveyors and Valuers with expertise in this area. If you’re preparing for a Quantity Surveyor job interview, it’s essential to be well-versed in common interview questions.

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