Student Surveyor is determined to offer an inside look at the interview processes necessary in securing your first job as a trainee surveyor, which means providing a platform for real-life insights from students who have already completed interviews.
If you have completed interviews, please let us know about the hiring process including any difficult or unexpected questions or elements, whether you applied online, through your university or on spec., the number of interview steps (psychometric tests, telephone, presentations, competency tests, face to face interviews etc.), whether the company came to your university or whether you travelled to them, whether you could reclaim expenses, your overall view of how easy or difficult the process was and whether you received a job offer. Make sure you put the company’s name in the review title.
It is hard enough to get on the career ladder so please share you experiences and make sure that those following in your footsteps are prepared to meet their opportunity. It really is good for your soul to share!
Reviews will remain anonymous in order for you to feel free to reveal your experience; they are however intended to be constructive and not defamatory or abusive, so please be respectful.
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The staff were all friendly and unlike some interviews I've been for, this was really organised (more like an assessment day). Also one of the few interviews where I wasn't the only person not from Reading, Oxford Brooke's or Cass (not that graduates from there aren't nice, it's just there is a bias - or maybe it's a North-South thing).Don't put anything on your CV that's not true. You will be grilled on it. If they ask a question that you don't know the answer to, don't bluff it just be honest. They know you're a student, they don't expect you to be an expert.
I would recommend really researching the company to understanding what it has to offer and why you want to work for them as opposed to their competitors. Like all of these interviews, enthusiasm for the company and property is key. You also need to know what you can offer as an individual as opposed to other graduates applying for the role. Think about what differentiates you from the other applicants. Interview questions:
- What is your favourite building/development and why? (This came up in my JLL interview as well)
- How would you investment £100m?
After online application the first stage is a phone interview lasting about half an hour. I was asked things like: Can you tell how you have demonstrated leadership? Can you tell us about an achievement that you are proud of? What makes you tick out side of work?
I did a London interview for Skanska's graduate quantity surveyor scheme. The emphasis was on their core values so make sure you revise them! I had an interview with one senior surveyor, no hr present and no real technical questions in my interview. Mainly 'how do your core values match ours?' Then the standard 'why this company, why this job' plus usual competency questions on teamwork, leadership, conflict resolution.The afternoon consisted of: company presentation to candidates, group exercise, written situational judgement test, interview, lunch, your presentation.
I didn't have an assessment day. Interviewed in the office I had applied for. Questions were mainly technical/competence based questions. Quite stilted, no real eye contact. Wage really low. Not sure if this is standard or whether this was a one off for a job that came up after graduate applications had ended.
I completed the online application form and was invited to their London head office for an assessment centre . First was a presentation by Savills staff the graduate scheme and the company, then you have to do an individual presentation on a topic you get in advance (mine was something challenging I'd done), then a group exercise and a written and numerical test. You also had to write an email to your manager. At the end there is a networking session with staff.Make sure you have a good understanding of them and the industry, the group exercise is a proper project and how you would advise client. Quite similar to Oxford Brookes entry interview. Work experience also helps out here.Try and think in advance of some relevant questions and topics of conversation for the networking section in advance of the networking session.Pro's: Really impressive office,friendlyCon's: They have/attract a type. Up against a lot of Master's grads (or I was)
I applied online and was called for an Interview with a member of HR and head of department.
The interview was standard questions like:
'Why do you want a career in property?' and a run through and questions on my work experience.
Followed by competency questions like;
What measurement method would you use to aid rent review? How would you calculate NIA?
How would you work out a price to offer on a piece of land your client wishes to develop for student accommodation?
What would be a reasonable profit percentage level your client could expect to take?
What is holding back the market at the moment?
How do you keep up with what is happening in the market?
Followed by what I knew about them, what deals they had done etc.?