200+ Civil Engineering Interview Questions & Answers

Civil Engineering Interview Questions

Congratulation on being shortlisted for your career-changing civil engineering interview. But getting a civil engineering job is not as simple as that.

An essential part of preparing yourself for an interview is knowing what type of questions might be asked to you.

In this way, you can prepare your answer in advance, feel confident during the interview, and impress the interviewer with your response.

Here we share a list of frequently asked civil engineering interview questions and answers to assure your success in the interview.

Concrete Technology

1. What is Concrete Grade?

Concrete is designated based on its compressive strength at 28 days as measured in standard conditions with a 150 mm size cube. According to IS 456-2000, concrete is graded into three types.

  • Ordinary Grade 
  • Standard Grade
  • High strength Concrete

2. What do you mean by M 20 concrete?

In M20, M stands for mix, and the numerical number indicates its characteristic compressive strength in N/mm2 at 28 days as measured in standard conditions with a 150 mm size cube.

3. What do you mean by the characteristic compressive strength of concrete?

The concrete strength below, which not more than 5% of test results are expected to fail, means 95% of tested cubes should have this value.

4. What is the minimum concrete grade for RCC Work?

It should not be lower than M20.

5. What is the minimum concrete grade for PCC Work?

Lower than M20 grade concrete can be utilized for PCC work, 

lean concrete (M5, M7.5),  

Simple foundation for masonry walls, and other simple work.

6. What is the density or unit weight of Plain Cement Concrete?

2400 kg/m3

7. What is the density or unit weight of Reinforced Cement Concrete?

2500 kg/m3

8. What is the density or unit weight of cement?

1440 kg/m3

9. What is the volume of one bag of cement?

0.0345 m3

10. What is the Grade of Cement?

As per the Bureau of Indian standards, OPC cement has three grades that are 

  • 33 grade, 
  • 43 grade, 
  • 53 grade.
civil engineering interview questions

11. What are the types of Concrete Mix?

12. What is the Water-cement ratio?

The water to cement ratio by weight refers to the water-cement ratio.

13. What is the importance of the W/C ratio?

It decides the concrete quality, strength, and durability.

14. What is the idle water-cement ratio for hand mixing?

For hand mixing, it is 0.45, and a maximum of 0.6 is allowed. For machine mixing, it may range between 0.4 to 0.5.

15. What do you mean by the workability of concrete?

It measures the ease and difficulty of handling concrete from the mixing stage to its final fully compacted stage. Workable concrete should be free from segregation and bleeding effects.

16. What is segregation?

The separation of coarse aggregate from the concrete mass in its plastic state refers to segregation. Segregation occurs when the concrete mix is very lean and wet.

17. What is Bleeding?

When water rise on the surface of freshly placed concrete is known as bleeding.

18. What are the properties of fresh concrete?

Workability. Slump loss, segregation, bleeding, plastic shrinkage, water-cement ratio, temperature, and setting.

19. Why is the Slump test of concrete performed?

To know the concrete workability.

20. What are the different types of slumps of concrete?

  • True slump, 
  • Shear slump, 
  • Collapse slump

21. What is the slump value of concrete for normal RCC work?

It is 80 to 150 mm for normal RCC work and 25 to 50 mm for mass concreting. 

22. What are the various steps involved in the process of concreting?

  1. Batching
  2. Mixing
  3. Transportation
  4. Placing
  5. Compaction
  6. Finishing
  7. Curing

23. What should be the minimum value of concrete cover?

It should not be less than double the stirrup bar diameter.

24. Why is the concrete cover value for different RCC Members?

  • Slab = 20 mm
  • Beam = 25 mm
  • Column = 40 mm
  • Footing = 50 mm

25. What is the standard size of a concrete cube?

150mm × 150 mm × 150 mm

26. How many cubes are filled for 1 cubic meter of concrete?

1 sample = 3 cube

  • 1-5cum = 1
  • 6 – 15 cum = 2
  • 16 – 30 cum = 3
  • 31 – 50 cum = 4
  • 50 cum and above = 4 plus one additional samples for each 50 additional cum.

27. How much concrete gains strength after seven days?

7 days – 65%

28. What is the soundness of cement?

It is a property that makes sure the cement does not show any considerable expansion once it has been set. 

29. What are the names of different tests to check the concrete quality.

On fresh Concrete – 

  • Workability, 
  • Air Content, 
  • Setting Time

On hardened Concrete – 

  • Compressive strength, 
  • tensile strength, 
  • Modulus of Elasticity, 
  • Permeability test, 
  • In situ test

30. What is the specific gravity of OPC cement?

3.1 to 3.16 grams per cubic centimetre

31. What is the specific gravity of PPC cement?

3.08 g/cc

32. What are the different field tests of cement?

Colour test, float test, presence of lumps, Manufacturing date, Inside Temperature.

33. How many days of cement last long?

Three months

34. What is the normal consistency of OPC Cement?

25 to 35%

35. What should be the PH value of water used in concrete?

No less than 6

36. What is the Idle temperature for concreting?

It should be 26.7°C to 35°C As per the ASTM C1064 code.

37. What is grouting?

Grouting is the process of inserting material into cavities, concrete cracks, rock mass, soil, and masonry structure to increase their load-bearing capacity. The material used for this work is known as grout. Or  It is a concrete fluid form applied to fill up the voids.

38. What is shotcrete?

It is the process of spraying and depositing very fine concrete or mortar onto a prepared surface by jetting it with high velocity.

39. What are the different types of shotcrete processes?

  • Dry Mix Process
  • Wet Mix process

40. What is Gunting?

The dry mix shotcrete process is called guniting. 

41. Which material is used for filling cracks in masonry structure?

Plastic Bitumen

42. Which machine is used for testing the compressive strength of concrete?

UTM (Universal Testing Machine)

43. What is a honeycomb in concrete?

Honeycombs are voids or cavities on concrete formed due to mortar not filling the spaces between the coarse aggregate particles.

Building Design & drawing, Construction Material

Civil Engineering Interview Questions

1. What is a projection line?

A projection line is a way in which the earth is presented on a flat piece of paper.

2. What should be the slope of the staircase?

25° to 40°As per IS 456, 

3. What should be the size of tread and riser for residential and commercial buildings?

For residential = Trade 250 mm, riser- 160mm

For commercial = Trade – 270 to 300 mm, Riser = 130 to 150 mm

4. How can we check the level on a construction site?

We can check the level on the construction site with the help of spirit level, auto level, and level pipe.

5. What is the minimum reading which we can read on dumpy level staff.

5 mm

6. What is the Full form of BHK?

Bedroom, hall, and kitchen

7. What is the Full Form of FAR?

Floor Area Ratio

8. What is the formula of FAR?

FAR = Total covered area of all floors of the building/ plot area

9. How many levels are involved in the construction of a BUilding?

NGL, GL, FGL, Plinth level, FFL, Sill Level, Lintel Level

10. What should be the compressive strength of First-class Brick?

It should not be less than 105 kg/cm2

11. What is the standard size of Brick?

19 × 9 × 9 cm

12. What various tests are done to check the quality of Bricks?

  • Crushing strength, 
  • water absorption, 
  • shape, and size, 
  • Hardness, 
  • Efflorescence, 
  • Soundness, 
  • Colour, 
  • structure

13. What are the different types of bonds used in brick masonry?

  • Header bond, 
  • Stretcher bond, 
  • English bond,  
  • Flemish bond.

14. What are the types of Stonemasonry?

Rubble Masonry, Ashlar Masonry

15. What should be the standard height of the Floor?

3 meters

16. What are the different types of foundation?

Shallow Foundation, Deep Foundation

17. When is Pile foundation used?

When the soil bearing capacity is less than 24 kN/m3

18. What is the bearing capacity of soil?

It is the soil’s ability to bear the load coming over its unit area without causing unreasonable settlement. 

19. What is the Full Form of DPC?

Damp Proof Course

20. What is soil stabilization?

It is the process that improves the physical properties, such as increasing the shear strength, bearing capacity, resistance to erosion, dust formation, and frost heaving.

21. What are the standard methods of demolition?

  1. Hydro-demolition
  2. Pressure Bursting
  3. Dismantling

22. What is the minimum curing period for concrete?

As per IS 456 – 2000, Seven days with OPC Cement and ten days If exposed to hot weather.

23. What is the allowable % of silt in the sand?

It should not be more than 6%

24. What is the value of the fineness modulus of sand

It ranges between 2.2 to 3.2

Fine sand = 2.2 to 2.6

Medium Sand = 2.6 to 2.9

Course sand = 2.9 to 3.2

25. What is the size of sieves used in the finesse modulus of the sand test?

4.75mm, 2.36mm, 1.18mm, 0.6mm. 0.3mm, 0.15mm

26. What should be the thickness of the internal plaster?

Internal Plaster = 12 mm and External Plaster = 15 to 20 mm

27. What should be the minimum thickness of the Slab?

125 mm

28. What is the Carpet area?

An area on which we can spread a carpet or net useable space refers to a carpet area.

29. What is the built-up area?

Built-up Area = Carpet area + External Walls + Balconies + Service Shaft

Usually, it is 10% more than the carpet area.

30. What is a super built-up area?

Super built-up area = Built-up area + common areas

Usually, it is 10 to 40% more than the carpet area.

31. What is the de-shuttering time for the column?

16-24 hours

Structural Design & Drawing 

Civil Engineering Interview Questions

1. What are the different grades of HYSD bars?

Fe 250, Fe 415, Fe 500

2. What is 415 in Fe415?

Tensile strength in n/mm2 of the bar.

3. What is the formula to calculate the unit weight of steel bars?

d2/162.2

4. What is the density of steel?

7850 kg/m3

5. What is the full form of a TMT bar?

Thermo-mechanically treated Bar

6. What are the advantages of TMT steel?

  • High yield strength, 
  • Good weldability, 
  • great ductility, 
  • Better corrosion resistance.

7. What is the maximum allowed height for free fall of concrete?

Not more than 1.5 meters

8. What is the minimum diameter of bars for columns?

12 mm

9. What is the minimum diameter of the bar for stirrups?

8 mm

10. How many bars should be provided in a circular column?

Minimum 6 numbers

11. What are the various methods of RCC Design?

  • Working stress Method,
  • Ultimate load method or load factor method,
  • Limit state method.

12. Why are stirrups provided in columns?

To hold the main bar and resist shear stress.

13. What is the Full form of BBS?

Bar Bending Schedule

14. What is the value of Hook length?

9d or 75 mm

15. What is the value of crank length for slab?

0.45D, where D is the depth of the slab

16. What is lap length?

The length used to overlap two bars to transfer stresses from one bar to another safely refers to lap length.

17. What is the value of lap length?

For compression = Equal to Ld (development length) but not less than 24d

For Tension

Flexural Tension = Ld (development length) or 30d which is greater

Direct Tension = 2Ld (development length) or 30d which is greater

d = diameter of bar

18. What is development length?

The minimum length of the bar is required to be embedded in concrete to safely transfer stresses from bar to concrete.

19. What is the difference between development length and lap length?

Lap length transfer stresses from one bar to another, whereas development length transfers stresses from steel bars to concrete.

20. What is the general % of steel for different RCC members?

  • For lintel, slab = 0.7 – 1.0 %
  • For Beam = 1.0 – 2.0 %
  • For Column = 1.0 – 5.0 %
  • For Footing = 0.5 to 0.8%

21. How can you determine if a slab is one way or two way?

if the longer span to shorter span ratio is greater than two = One-way slab

If the longer span to shorter span ratio is less than or equal to two = Two-way slab.

22. What are the various diameter bars used in construction?

  • 8mm, 
  • 10mm, 
  • 12mm, 
  • 16mm, 
  • 20mm, 
  • 25mm, 
  • 32mm, 
  • 40 mm

23. Which diameter bar lapping should not be allowed.

If the bar diameter is more than 36 mm, lapping should not be allowed.

24. What is the suitable lapping zone for the beam?

For top reinforcement at mid-span

For bottom reinforcement – near the end of the beam or l/4 distance from column face.

25. What is the suitable lapping zone for the column?

Midsection of the column

26. What should be the spacing of the chair?

Maximum 1 meter or one number per square meter

27. What should be the minimum diameter of reinforcement for the chair?

No less than 12 mm

28. Why is steel used with concrete?

Because steel has better bonding with the concrete, it expands and contracts at the same rate due to temperature.

Engineering Mechanics

Civil Engineering Interview Questions

1. What is Shear Force?

It is a force acting in the direction parallel to the body’s cross-section or surface. Such as air pressure flow over an aeroplane wing.

2. What is Bending Moment?

It is a reaction induced in the structural member due to the externally applied force, causing the member to bend.

3. What is a Negative Bending moment?

A moment that produces tension on the top part and compression at the bottom part of a beam is called the negative bending moment.

4. What is Moment of Inertia?

It expresses a body’s tendency to oppose angular acceleration.

I = L/w

I = Inertia

L = angular momentum

W = angular velocity.

5. What are the equations of Equilibrium?

ΣFx = 0 = 0, ΣFy = 0 and ΣM = 0.

6. What is a zero-force member?

It is a structural member in a truss that is neither in tension nor in compression and doesn’t support any loading but helps in the stability of the truss.

7. How many types of beams are based on supports?

  • Simply supported
  • Cantilever
  • Overhanging
  • Continuous
  • Fixed

8. How can you identify zero force members?

At two-member joint

If two non-collinear members meet at the joint that doesn’t have any load, both are zero-force members.

At three-member joint

When three members of the truss meet at the joint that doesn’t have any load, two of which are collinear, the third member is a zero-force member.

9. What are the various types of load?

  • Concentrated or point load
  • Uniformly Distributed Load (UDL)
  • Uniformly Varying Load (UVL)

10. What is the Slenderness ratio?

The ratio of structural elements (column) length to its least radius of gyration.

11. Where does maximum bending moment occur on a beam?

Where shear force changes sign

12. What it is called If the material has all identical properties?

Isotropic

13. Where does the maximum bending moment occur on a fixed end beam due to moving load?

At supports

14. Where does the maximum bending moment occur on a cantilever beam?

Maximum at the fixed end and zero at the free end.

15. What is the Point of Contrafexure?

The point at which bending moment changes sign +ve to -ve or vice versa is called point of contra flexure.

16. What is the value of bending moment at the point of contra flexure?

Zero

17. How can you determine a bending moment is positive or negative?

With the help of sign convention, the clockwise moment is positive, and the anticlockwise moment is negative. Its direction is opposite to the direction of the force.

18. How many types of supports are used in Structure?

  • Simple Support
  • Pinned Support
  • Roller Support
  • Fixed Support

19. what is equal to the rate of change of bending moment?

Shear force

20. What is the modulus of rigidity?

Shear stress to shear strain ratio is known as the modulus of rigidity.

Estimating & Costing

Civil Engineering Interview Questions

1. What is the density of sand?

Dry =1600 kg/m3

River Sand = 1760 to 2000 kg/m3

2. What is the density of aggregate?

2400 – 2900 Kg/m3

3. What is the density of brick?

1600 to 1920 Kg/m3

4. How many cement bags are in one cubic meter?

28.8 bags

5. How can you calculate the volume of concrete?

It can be determined by multiplying the length, width, and height or depth of the member.

6. How can you calculate materials quantity for M15 grade concrete?

It can be determined with 1.54 divided by the sum of M15 grade concrete ratio(1:2:4).

1.54/7 = 0.22 cum

Cement = 0.22 × 1 = 0.22 cum

Sand = 0.22 × 2 = 0.44 cum

Aggregate = 0.22 × 4 = 0.66 cum

7. What is 1.54?

It is the dry volume of one cubic meter of concrete.

8. What is the full form of BOQ?

Bill of Quantities

9. What is an estimate?

It is a probable work cost usually prepared before the construction start.

10. What are the types of estimates?

  1. Approximate or rough estimate
  2. Cubical Content estimate
  3. Detailed estimate
  4. Quantity estimate
  5. Revised estimate
  6. Annual repair and Annual Main tenancy estimate
  7. Supplementary estimate
  8. Extension and improvement estimate

11. What are contingencies?

It refers to the incidental expenses of a miscellaneous character that can’t be classified under any specific item. A provision of 3 to 5% of the estimated cost is provided to meet the cost of unexpected items.

12. What is work charged establishment?

It refers to the establishment which is charged to work directly. 1.5 to 2 % of the estimated cost is provided to avoid excess of the administratively approved estimate.

13. What is rate analysis?

It is the process of fixing the rate of an item that is known as rate analysis.

14. What is SOR?

A schedule or rates list of different work items is prepared after analyzing the rate of these items. This document is called the schedule of rates.

15. What are the different methods of building estimates?

16. What is the full form of DPR?

Detailed Project Report

17. What is the formula to calculate the volume of trapezoidal footing?

V = H/3 (1 + A2 +√A1×A2)

A1 = Area of lower part

A2 = Area of uppar part

H = Height of trapezoidal

18. What is QA & QC?

Quality Assurance means the implementation of proactive methods that propose to prevent defects. 

Quality Control means the method of examining the output to identify defects and correct them.

Surveying

Civil Engineering Interview Questions

1. What is Surveying?

The branch of science helps determine the relative positions above or beneath the earth’s surface through direct and indirect measurements of distance, direction, and elevation.

2. What are the primary two divisions of surveying?

  1. Plane surveying
  2. Geodetic surveying

3. What are the principle of surveying?

  1. Always work from the whole to the part.
  2. Location of a point by measurement from two points of reference.

4. What are the various instrument used for linear measurement?

Chain, tape, arrow, Pags, ranging rod, offset rods, plumb Bob

5. What are the various types of chains practised in surveying?

  • Metric chain,
  • Surveyor chain,
  • Gunter’s chain
  • Engineer’s chain
  • Revenue chain

6. What is Ranging?

The process of fixing intermediate points during chaining to maintain the direction of the work is known as ranging.

7. What is compass surveying?

It is the part of surveying in which a compass defines the direction of the survey line, and their length by tape or chain is known as compass surveying.

8. What are the different types of compass?

  • Prismatic Compass
  • Surveyor’s compass

9. What is traverse?

A series of connected lines whose length and direction are known is called a traverse.

10. What are the different types of traverse?

  • Open Traverse
  • Closed Traverse

11. What is Meridian?

The fixed reference line is known as meridian.

12. What are the types of meridian?

  • True Meridian
  • Magnetic Meridian
  • Arbitrary Meridian

13. What do you understand by bearing of a line?

It is a horizontal angle which it makes with reference line or meridian.

14. What are the different systems of designation of bearing?

WCB (Whole circle bearing)

QB (Quadrantal or Reduced Bearing)

15. In which system does the prismatic compass works?

WCB (Whole circle bearing) system

16. In which system does the surveyor compass work?

QB (Quadrantal or Reduced Bearing) system

17. What is a reduced level?

It is the height of the point relative to the datum.

18. What is a benchmark?

Fixed point of known elevation.

19. What is Leveling?

It is the method of surveying to determine the relative position of the points on the earth’s surface.

20. What is the name of various parts of the dumpy level?

  • Telescope
  • Eye-piece
  • Object piece
  • Eyepiece focusing screw
  • Objective focusing screw
  • Longitudinal bubble
  • Foot screw

21. What is the full form of DGPS?

Differential Global Positioning System

22. What is back sight?

The first reading from any setup of the instrument refers to back sight.

23. What is foresight?

The last reading is taken from the instrument before disturbing it from its setup.

24. What is intermediate sight?

All reading taken between backsight and foresight refers to intermediate sight.

25. What are the types of level computation methods?

  • Height of Instrument Method
  • Rise and Fall Method

Transportation Engineering

Civil Engineering Interview Questions

1. What is the full form of WBM?

Water bound Macadam

2. What is Kerb?

It is the raised edge of the pavement that divides it from the pavement.

3. What are the types of camber?

  • Straight Line Camber
  • Two Straight Line Camber
  • Parabolic Camber
  • Composite Camber

4. What are the different types of gradients?

  • Ruling Gradient
  • Average Gradient
  • Limiting Gradient
  • Exceptional Gradient
  • Floating Gradient
  • Minimum Gradient

5. When traffic, is the rotary provided?

It is used when the number of intersecting roads is between 4 to seven.

6. In which parking maximum numbers of vehicles can be parked?

90° angle parking

7. Why is centerline marking used in roadways?

For two-way traffic.

8. What is the background colour of the informatory signboard?

Traffic Yellow

9. Why is camber provided on the road?

For effective drainage

10. A camber should be approximately equal to?

Half the longitudinal gradient

11. What is the preferred shape of the valley curve?

Cubic parabola

12. What is the maximum spacing of contraction joints in the rigid pavement?

4.5 meters

13. What is the maximum thickness of the expansion joint in the rigid pavement?

25 mm

14. In cement concrete pavement, in which joint tie bars are used?

Longitudinal joints

15. What is the function of the expansion joint in the rigid pavement?

Allow free expansion

16. What is the fundamental factor for the selection of pavement type?

Type and intensity of traffic.

17. What is the most suitable material for highway embankment?

Granular soil.

18. What is the maximum daily traffic capability of bituminous pavement?

1500 tonnes per day

19. For compacting clayey soil, which equipment is most suitable?

Sheep foot roller

20. In the construction of flexible pavement, which binder is usually used?

Bitumen

21. From where rolling starts in the construction of the highway.

Sides and proceed to the centre.

Soil Mechanics & Foundation Engineering

Civil Engineering Interview Questions

1. Which test is performed to determine soil ultimate bearing capacity?

Plate Load Test

2. What are the types of shallow foundations?

  • Strip footing
  • Isolated footing
  • Combined footing
  • Raft footing
  • Grillage foundation

3. What are the types of deep foundations?

  • Pile foundation
  • Pier foundation
  • Caisson foundation

4. What are the different types of shear failure?

  • General Shear failure
  • Local Shear failure
  • Punching Shear Failure

5. Which test is performed to determine the pile’s load-carrying capacity?

Pile load test

6. What is negative skin friction?

When a portion of the soil layer surrounding the pile shaft settles more than the pile, then the pile experience downward drag that is called negative skin friction.

7. What are the different types of caisson?

  • Box caisson
  • Open caisson
  • Numatic caisson

8. What is the difference between compaction and consolidation?

A gradual process of volume reduction under sustained static loading refers to consolidation. In contrast, a rapid volume reduction process by mechanical means like vibration, rolling, and tamping refers to compaction.

9. What is the use of the standard Procter test?

It is used to determine the compaction of various types of soil and soil properties with changes in moisture content.

10. What do you mean by consistency limit of soil?

In fine-grained soil, consistency is the physical state in which it exists. It is applied to express the degree of firmness of soil. Such terms indicate the consistency of soil as soft, firm, or hard.

11. What are the various types of consistency limits?

  • Liquid limit
  • Plastic limit
  • Shrinkage limit.

12. What are the different types of lateral earth pressure?

  1. At-rest pressure
  2. Active pressure
  3. Passive Pressure

13. What is At -rest pressure?

When the soil mass doesn’t experience any lateral yielding or movement, it is known as earth pressure at rest. This condition happens when the retaining wall is rigidly fixed at its top and can’t rotate or move laterally.

14. What is Active earth pressure?

When the soil mass yields or moves so that it tends to stretch horizontally, then it is called active earth pressure. When the retaining wall moves away from the backfill, soil mass stretches, and the active state of earth pressure exists.

15. What is passive earth pressure?

When the soil mass yields or moves so that it tends to compress horizontally, it is called passive earth pressure.

16. Which roller is best for compacting coarse-grained soil?

Vibratory roller

17. Lime stabilization is suitable for treating what kind of soil?

Plastic clayey soil

18. How undisturbed samples of soil are obtained?

With the help of thin-walled samplers

19. What is used for the mechanical stabilization of soil?

Proper grading

20. Which foundation is suitable for black cotton soil?

Under-reamed pile foundation

Final Words

I hope these civil engineering interview questions and answers will help you to get success in your interview.

Best of luck

Thanks!

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