Finding extraordinary engineers for exceptional clients

Questions all Civil Engineer Candidates Should be Prepared to Answer During an Interview

March 10th, 2015

So, you’ve got an interview for a civil engineer position at one of the top companies in your area. Congratulations are in order. Before you can truly celebrate, however, you need to perform well when under the gun. You want to earn a second interview, or better yet, a job offer.

With that in mind, here are a few lines of questioning all civil engineer candidates need to feel comfortable with during their interview.

Expect to Detail the Tangible Engineering Achievements in your Career

Before the interview, spend some time reviewing previous projects from your work history while focusing on the innovative engineering solutions you either derived or helped to implement. If your resume is filled with these career examples – as it should be – the interview offers you the opportunity to go into more detail. You can illustrate how you’ll make a positive difference for their company when on the job.

Hiring Managers Want to Know How You’ll Work within a Team

Teamwork is very important in civil engineering, as is the ability to deal with clients or the public at large. Expect some questions aimed at finding out how well you work as part of a team, as well as your general communication skills as it applies to handling clients. Additionally, you can expect to be asked about the organizational structures you’ve been a part of throughout your career.

An Affinity for Technology Remains Important

Interviewers will want to understand your grasp of the state of the art when it comes to technology. This includes your comfort level with engineering software, as well as the mobile apps many engineers use while in the field. Civil engineering is a rapidly changing world, and companies want to ensure you will always strive to learn new things.

If you need any additional insight into interview preparation for a civil engineering position, talk to the experts at The Talley Group. As one of the top engineering staffing agencies in Washington, we are also a great source of Seattle engineering jobs. Schedule some time with us at your earliest convenience.

What makes the Ideal Civil Engineering Manager?

January 20th, 2015

Project managers in any technical discipline bring a wide range of skills and abilities to the table. Those who work in civil engineering combine these capabilities with others unique to this niche within the engineering world. Needless to say, well-rounded individuals able to see a project from many different perspectives tend to thrive in this role.

So what makes an idea civil engineering project manager? Let’s take a closer look.

Understanding the Triple Constraint is Vital for Any Project Manager

Most projects — civil engineering and otherwise — rely on something called the triple constraint, which describes the interrelationship between time, cost, and quality within said project. A common refrain regarding this constraint states “you can have any two of those three.” In short, if you want something done quickly and cheaply, the quality will suffer.

Civil engineering project managers must have the ability to successfully balance the three items on the proverbial triple constraint. This takes great technical and analytical skills combined with intuition as well as strong communication abilities, especially when a project is taking too long or goes over-budget. Navigating the triple constraint is why project managers are well-paid.

Financial Skills are a plus for the Civil Engineering Manager

Most civil engineering projects must be completed on time with superior quality. Thus, being able to understand the financial aspects of a project is vital, considering that a project completed quickly with no defects will usually stress that project’s budget. Understanding costs and finances is an important skill of the project manager.

Don’t forget Leadership and People Skills

A civil engineering project manager is also a leader with exemplary people skills. The ability to inspire other engineers and team members plays an important role in the success of any project. Ultimately, the best engineering project managers are great leaders who inspire their team members to a high level of performance.

If you are a civil engineer looking to move into a management role, talk to the experts at The Talley Group. As one of the top staffing agencies in Washington State, and a great source of Seattle civil engineering jobs, we can help your career immensely. Make it a point to meet with us today!

Restoring Urban Infrastructure

January 30th, 2013

You may hear the word “infrastructure” from time to time when hearing news about your town or government. But what is it? And what makes it so important? How can we sustain the infrastructure of our cities to create less problems in the future?

Urban infrastructure is the system of fundamental, internal operations and functions that operate a city. They can include everything from water lines and sewer systems, to power grids, roads and bridges. Nowadays, many cities are looking at wireless connections, telecommunications and Internet as part of their overall infrastructure.

In 2005 the American Society of Civil Engineers gave an average grade of “D” for most American urban infrastructures. Our current infrastructures are aging and failing, and are in need of an upgrade in many areas. Engineers are at the forefront of modernizing these fundamental structures, finding challenges when funding is an issue.

Urban infrastructures need repair most, because of the added stress higher populations bring in using vital entities. Natural disasters and security issues also continuously threaten our safety, particularly in these urban areas which hold large numbers of people.

The challenge continues as many of these structures must be designed for sustainability. Cities use the most energy and produce the most waste, without a lot of land encompassing. Energy and environmental concerns are at the top of many civil engineers’ lists when recreating urban infrastructure.

How Can We Change Infrastructure?
With many of our lines and pipes buried beneath the surface, creating change takes discipline and creative thought, as well as patience.  One of the first goals for engineers is to map and label buried infrastructure, which will allow for projects to be updated regularly.

Another goal is to diversify urban infrastructure. There is a growing elderly population, as well as a population that doesn’t necessarily depend on cars. An integrated focus will be best, taking all methods into consideration, and making room for all, as things like roadways and sidewalks continue to improve.

In addition, we must look at new inventions, tools and methods for construction. The same old methods from 40 or 50 years ago will not work in today’s society. Advances in computer science and robotics can aid design, construction and implementation.

And also at the heart of any urban infrastructure plan, is aesthetics. In years past, engineers and designers would create infrastructure that was functional, but not necessarily pleasing to the eye or cognizant of the surrounding architecture. Today, careful urban planning allows for bridges and buildings, roads, parks and windmills to all follow an aesthetic plan, pleasing for the city dweller.

The Talley Group, one of the top civil engineer staffing agencies in the country, hires  innovative civil engineers, looking to put cities on the map. If you know some one looking for a rewarding civil engineering career, refer an engineer today!

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