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Groundskeeper Interview Questions

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  1. What techniques and skills in landscaping and commercial property landscape care would you bring to our company? See answer
  2. When you came for your interview today, did you notice anything special about the landscaping or equipment that is used on our commercial property? See answer
  3. Can you tell me about your experience pruning and shaping trees or using pruning shears to trim shrubs in any previous groundskeeper jobs? See answer
  4. What is your greatest strength and weakness as a groundskeeper? See answer
  5. Have you worked on any jobs that require you to utilize mechanical skills, such as working with a sprinkler system?
  6. What do the numbers 10-20-30 mean when they are listed outside a fertilizer bag?
  7. What do you think about working in a role which requires you to be outdoors most of the time?
  8. What experience do you have using a zero turn mower?
  9. When is the best time to apply fertilizer to a lawn and why?
  10. Can you share a time when you encountered an issue while working with a supplier and explain how you resolved it?
  11. Will you please detail what you feel is your greatest strength as a groundskeeper and why?
  12. What are some ways you prioritize your tasks at work?
  13. What is your favorite aspect of being a groundskeeper?
  14. Can you relate a time where you made a mistake at work and tell what you learned from it?
  15. What is the most important thing you have learned from being a groundskeeper?
  16. What is one of the greatest challenges you have had to face as a groundskeeper and how have you overcome it?
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6 Groundskeeper Interview Questions and Answers

Q:

What techniques and skills in landscaping and commercial property landscape care would you bring to our company?

A:

Depending on the number of duties that your groundskeeper will be required to handle, you’ll want to look for someone who has experience with aspects such as fertilizing, watering, planting, trimming, mowing, laying down sod and sprinkler-system management. A candidate who also has special skills in areas like pest control will be beneficial if you need that type of job done. What to look for in an answer:

  • Knowledge of required landscaping tasks
  • Examples of specific lawn care duties
  • Experience working with an area similar in size

Example:

“I have experience using a commercial mower on the grounds of a 300-unit apartment complex. I also know how to choose and plant flowers and repair sprinkler heads.”

Q:

Have you worked on any jobs that required you to utilize mechanical skills, such as working with a sprinkler system?

A:

A number of landscaping jobs require the use of specialized mechanical tools. The applicant should also have an understanding of the safety measures that may be required. Being able to provide examples of specific tools will indicate experience. It’s also helpful if they are able to tell you about instances when had to rely on their special knowledge ir skill when using a certain item. What to look for in an answer:

  • Experience working with similar tools
  • Detailed description of a certain skill
  • Prior training a candidate may have received

Example:

“Yes, on a previous job, I assisted the head groundskeeper with the task of trimming hedges and was shown how to properly use pruning shears.”

Q:

What do the numbers 10-20-20 mean when they are listed on the outside of a fertilizer bag?

A:

Professional landscaping requires a groundskeeper to understand all aspects of care, which includes applying nutrients and spotting any potential problems that could cause damage to the grounds. A candidate for this position will have a basic knowledge of plant growth. They should be able to explain that nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium are the primary ingredients in fertilizer. What to look for in an answer:

  • Experience with nutrients used in lawn care
  • Detailed explanation of the amounts
  • Knowledge of fertilizing plants and flowers

Example:

“It indicates that there is 10 percent of nitrogen, 20 percent of phosphorus and 20 percent of potassium included in the fertilizer bag.”

Q:

When you came for your interview today, did you notice anything special about the landscaping or equipment that is used on our commercial property?

A:

The job of a groundskeeper requires both technical skills and an appreciation for beauty. A strong candidate will be able to point out certain aspects of specific grasses, plants or flowers that have been used to create a successful design. They will also have knowledge of trade techniques and be able to describe and explain how they’ve been used. What to look for in an answer:

  • Ability to recognize specific varieties of plants
  • Examples of caring for the same type of landscaping
  • Mentioning techniques used

Example:

“I noticed the use of marigolds in the area surrounding your front entrance. These grow well in the summer and create bright colors.

Q:

Can you tell me about your experience pruning and shaping trees or using pruning shears to trim shrubs in any previous groundskeeper jobs?

A:

The shrubs and trees on commercial property will become overgrown and require pruning at least once a year. A groundskeeper should know how to use loppers to cut off overgrown tree branches. They should also have experience with electric pruning shears and be able to trim and sculpt hedges as well as individual shrubs and bushes. What to look for in an answer:

  • Level of knowledge with specialized equipment
  • Confidence exuded when providing an answer
  • Detailed description of techniques used when pruning

Example:

“I have had over three years of experience trimming hedges on individual bushes as well as shaping up small trees that have long, overgrown branches.”

Q:

What is your greatest strength and weakness as a groundskeeper?

A:

This is an effective question because it allows for the candidate to show self-reflection. It reveals the candidate's skills and allows him or her to detail ways in which they can grow and develop their skills. An ideal candidate will be able to express his or her pride in their expertise and allow you to understand their depth of knowledge and experience in their field.

The candidate's response should focus on:

  • Experience and expertise in their field
  • Willingness to develop professionally
  • Self-reflection

An answer to this question may look something like this:

Example:

"I've had a lot of opportunities to develop my skills in the area of grounds keeping and I have learned that there is a lot of science to it. I excel in that area and I know which plants need more alkaline and how to design ornamental flower beds that bloom in different colors year-round. One area that I would like to further develop is my pruning skills. There are several resources that cover the principles of pruning that I have been considering investing in recently. I feel that acquiring more knowledge in this area will help me become a stronger groundskeeper."

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