Discussion Thread

  • 1.  Geotechnical Engineer-industry

    Posted 11-05-2019 07:27 AM
    Hi all,

    Hope you all are doing well.


    I am doing my PhD at University of Surrey, UK on 'Behaviour of simply supported bridges in liquefiable soils'. I am now writing up my thesis, so will be graduating in few months. I recently attended one career fair in my university and followed up with few companies after that. One of the companies was quite interested and they have now scheduled my face to face interview in the coming week, without any job description.

    I am quite excited. But I want to get some suggestions towards the preparation for interview. 

    For my background: I have been working as a scientist in India in the field of Geotechnical engineering in one of the public funded research organization for 6 years. I have worked on many small scale industry projects/solutions to their problems. Have worked on: design of machine foundations, pile foundations, assessment of pile integrity, ground improvement method (stone columns) etc.

    How do you suggest me to prepare for the interview? If possible, can you please share your experience in the interview.

    Thanks in advance.

    Kind regards,


    ------------------------------
    Piyush Mohanty S.M.ASCE
    University of Surrey
    Guildford
    ------------------------------


  • 2.  RE: Geotechnical Engineer-industry

    Posted 11-06-2019 08:39 AM

    Hi Piyush, Congratulations on getting a face-to-face interview!

    I presented on interview preparation a few years back, so hopefully the following presentation will help you prepare: Drexel SWE: Ace the Interview, Land the Job



    ------------------------------
    Danielle Schroeder EIT, A.M.ASCE
    Associate Engineer
    Pennoni Associates
    Philadelphia PA
    ------------------------------



  • 3.  RE: Geotechnical Engineer-industry

    Posted 11-07-2019 10:15 AM
    Thanks Danielle,
    It's really a good piece of information.

    Piyush

    ------------------------------
    Piyush Mohanty S.M.ASCE
    University of Surrey
    Guildford
    ------------------------------



  • 4.  RE: Geotechnical Engineer-industry

    Posted 11-07-2019 10:15 AM
    What is usually the approach of interviewers for PhD candidate:
    More questions on PhD topic or practical experience of the field?

    Piyush

    ------------------------------
    Piyush Mohanty S.M.ASCE
    University of Surrey
    Guildford
    ------------------------------



  • 5.  RE: Geotechnical Engineer-industry

    Posted 11-06-2019 09:55 AM
    Piyush,

    A first step would be review the company website and make particular effort to check what openings may currently be posted.  Does your background match well for any of them?  Additionally, consider sending an e-mail or calling the person who arranged the interview for you and ask if there is anything that you should bring to the interview and is there something that you can do to specifically prepare for the interview.  Do you know how long the interview is planned, such as 1 hour, 1/2 a day including lunch, meeting with just 1 person, several people at one time, several people at different times over an entire day?  Is there a schedule planned for the interview, particularly if you are meeting with more than 1 person.  Finally, just be direct & honest and ask if there is a description for the position.  Even if no clear position is identified, that may not be bad (a negative).  Companies, both small & large, may create a position or rearrange duties if a "good fit" is found with a potential new hire. Given a strong economy and low unemployment, such as in the US these days (not aware of conditions in/near Surrey), finding quality employees is challenging.

    It is great to be invited for interviews, particularly if you are a student close to completing a degree.  An employer invests resources: time, people, money to interview people.  However, you are investing your own time and possibly some money too if travel is needed and not reimbursed.  If the info. you receive or lack of info. is something you are not comfortable with, then decline the interview opportunity.  From my own experience, I have declined both phone and in person interviews on occasion when I found out info. or did not get info. such that I judged participating in the interview was not worth it, would not benefit me, is not something that I wanted.  As I have progressed in my career, this has occurred more. During a recent job search, for a couple of responses to applications or follow-ups to phone interviews, I inquired about salary ranges, before continuing in the process.  That is not something I would have done when I was younger or unemployment was high.

    I hope the interview works out well.

    Dave

    ------------------------------
    David Devine P.E., P.S., M.ASCE
    Fort Wayne IN
    ------------------------------



  • 6.  RE: Geotechnical Engineer-industry

    Posted 11-07-2019 10:15 AM
    Thanks David.

    I have already actioned on some of your suggestions.

    Piyush

    ------------------------------
    Piyush Mohanty S.M.ASCE
    University of Surrey
    Guildford
    ------------------------------



  • 7.  RE: Geotechnical Engineer-industry

    Posted 11-06-2019 09:56 AM
    1. The basics: Be calm, be honest and talk about your best achievements.

    2. Sometimes, it is not about the technical knowledge. Communication skills and how to work inside a team are always important. If you are applying for a lead position as technical manager, leadership and management skills are necessary.

    3. For the experience, they would like to know about the organizations and their projects. What have they obtained? Were those projects successful? Were their problems solved thanks to your results? If yes, how?

    4. Finally, the basics again: Be calm and be honest. Remember to investigate about the company values and previous projects.

    ------------------------------
    Roberto Anton, ENV SP, M.ASCE
    Ecuador Development Bank
    Portoviejo, Ecuador
    ------------------------------



  • 8.  RE: Geotechnical Engineer-industry

    Posted 11-07-2019 10:15 AM
    Thanks Roberto for your advice.
    I will certainly prepare in line with this.

    Piyush​

    ------------------------------
    Piyush Mohanty S.M.ASCE
    University of Surrey
    Guildford
    ------------------------------