Generic Ranking System for Engineers or Consultants

These general topics may be discussed when interviewing a consultant about a variety of the tasks necessary to develop new wastewater treatment systems. The search committee should review these issues before the interview, agree on the total number of points you want to assign to each category, and provide clear guidance on the scoring scale. For example, you might rank each on a scale of 1 to 5, where:

1 = No experience/clueless; 
2 = Subcontractor on project similar to ours; 
3 = Active participant in project similar to ours; 
4 = Designed, installed or managed project similar to ours; and 
5 = Clearly expert on this issue or situation

Evaluating engineering firms is similar to interviewing new employees. To the extent possible, ask for specific experiences and examples that address the issues described below. If an answer is unclear or not specific, ask the same question in a different manner. If a group is interviewing the consultant or engineering firm representative, rotate the role of questioner so that everyone has the opportunity to interact with the interviewee. Review insights or reactions immediately after the interview while impressions are still fresh. Take notes during the interview so that you can explain your ranking to the others.