If you enjoy the outdoors and you have a passion for conservation this could be the right job for you. You will enjoy the sun while smelling the scent of rose bushes. It’s a stress-free position and does not require any specific education. This role is not very competitive and you are unlikely to encounter many candidates in an interview. Nevertheless, it’s good to be prepared.
Look at the following questions and answers. Tailor them to your needs and the prospective employer to succeed in the next interview you attend.
1. Why are You Interested in This Role?
Show enthusiasm while explaining why you want to keep gardens beautiful, healthy, and nourished. Do not show that you want this role because you can’t get any other job at the moment.
“I like well-manicured gardens and was therefore drawn to this role because of how well your park looks. I enjoy working outdoors and the garden is the perfect spot for me. I am also happy that I get to contribute positively towards eliminating the climate crisis that looms all over the world because of destroying our forest cover. I see this as an opportunity to conserve nature so that it can also take care of our needs. I also like the impact that the park has had over the years in the surrounding areas. This will be a great opportunity for me to contribute towards this great project of conserving indigenous species of plants.”
2. What are the Roles of a Gardener?
The interviewer is looking to establish if you know your roles as a gardener. Share what you expect to handle in your daily activities.
“This role entails planting, transplanting, watering, pruning and weeding flower bushes and trees. It also involves developing and implementing landscape plans. The role involves managing greenhouses too. You also get to maintain trees, bushes and flowers. You also monitor the health of plants and take corrective measure as may be required. You need to be able to identify different kinds of weeds and how to handle them. The role may also include designing landscapes.”
3. What are the Qualities That a Gardener Need to Be Successful?
Unique qualities are needed in this role. The interviewer seeks to know what you would be bringing on board/ Share your unique skills.
“A gardener needs to be attuned to nature and understand the weather patterns. This will enable you to know when you should plant the garden for optimum results. Also, you need to be creative and good at reading and implementing landscape designs. It also pays to know the chemicals you will require for the different weeds that may have encroached on your garden. You should also know how to use the hand and power tools at your disposal to handle your work. It’s also key to understand the personal protective equipment required in your work. You should use them to minimize injuries and any harm that may arise.”
4. What Major Challenges Did You Face During Your Last Role? How Did You manage Them?
The interviewer is interested in how you overcome challenges. Give an example of a challenge that you have encountered before and how you were able to solve it.
“In my previous workplace, weeds attacked the flower garden. It was a new type of weed that I had not encountered before. Initially, the chemicals I applied did not work. I had not realized that the weeds were already deeply rooted and would require more work to get rid of. On realizing that they were not going away, I uprooted some and took them to an Agrochemical store looking for a solution. I was advised what to do and what chemicals to use. I implemented that and I managed to get rid of the weeds. Through this challenge, I learnt that action should be taken at the onset of weeds to prevent incurring extra costs when trying to eliminate them.”
5. Describe Your Daily Routine as a Gardener?
Share what you expect to handle on a day-to-day basis. The interviewer is interested in how you plan your activities for the day.
“The daily routine will depend on the weather sometimes. The main activities I handle daily include watering plants, weeding, applying fertilizer to plants, mulching, and removing any debris and litter from walkways. I also assess to see if there is a part of the garden that needs special attention then work out how I will address that. For the landscaping, I plan how the work will be done and implement when the weather is great for planting.”
6. Describe Briefly About Your Experience
The interviewer wants to know if you can do the work. Share the years you have worked in this role and the skills that you have developed in the process.
“I have seven years of gardening experience. This experience has been gained from different spaces including vegetable gardens, flower beds, leisure parks, and a commercial farm. Over these years, I have developed my experience in designing and delivering very creative landscapes. I also know how to manage different types of weeds. I am also able to predict weather patterns to ensure planting happens at the right time. I can also operate different types of tools depending on the needs of the particular garden. I have also been able to garden in sacks and plastic pots in places where there is limited land. Based on this experience, I believe that I will be able to deliver outstanding results in this role.”
7. What Kind of Strategies and Mindset is Required for This Role?
This role requires special strategies. Articulate this while keeping in mind the job description shared.
“As a gardener, I view nature as something to conquer, control, and nurture. I believe when we take good care of nature it also takes care of us. For this role, you need to enjoy the great outdoors. You need to strategize on the flowers and trees to plant so as not to affect the walkways in the park. An ability to understand weather forecasts and plan your work well. You should strategize on when is the perfect time to plant and weed as this will ensure you do not struggle with taking care of the plants. Nature will nurture them.”
8. What Is the Biggest Challenge That You Foresee in This Job?
Share what you expect will give you a hard time when taking up this role. Share also what measures you have in place to handle the difficulties when you take up this role.
“From my assessment of the park, it has many indigenous trees. I have not handled a garden with them and I would have to learn how to manage them when I take up this role. I believe they may have some unique features that I have to master first. I will take the first month in learning all about them and the care that they deserve.”
9. How Do You Stay Motivated in Your Work?
Motivation is key in this role. The interviewer is interested in knowing what makes you keep going. Share that while keeping your motivation.
“I get my motivation from my work. I like that I have the ability to make plants grow, create food for others and transform spaces. This gives me the satisfaction to withstand any challenges in my way. Digging the ground makes me feel alive from inside. The ability to see the transformation that my work does and how people enjoy the spaces and the food that comes from it makes me keep working hard.”
10. Describe a Time When You Failed in This Role and The Lesson You Learnt?
Failure is part of life. The lessons learned are what move us head. Share a failure you have had in the past and how that transformed your thinking or working style.
“One time I had a client who was faced with a tight budget. As a result, he ended up choosing low-cost plants for his garden. Planting them was a challenge as the plants did not thrive well in that type of soil. The project became a failure because the client would not listen to the advice I had given him. In the end, he accepted to work with the plan I had in mind. I suggested that we do the project in phases and he won’t strain financially. He accepted the plan and the project ended up being a huge success.”
11. Why Do You Feel You Are the Most Suited for This Role?
The role may attract several candidates and you need to demonstrate that you are better than the rest. Share what makes you stand out.
“With my vast experience in this field, I believe I’m the best-suited candidate for this role. I have seven years of experience handling different projects. I can successfully bring a design drawing into an actual landscape. I have experience handling different chemicals used in gardens. I have handled different types of weeds and therefore know how to manage them. I have experience designing landscapes for a variety of projects. With this experience and my desire to continue learning new things, I believe I will make a great addition to your team.”
12. Share with Us Your Greatest Achievement.
There are moments in our careers that make us proud of the contribution we have made. Share what has made you proud in the past and hence you continue working hard.
“In a previous project, a client presented a complicated drawing that he needed to be brought to life. It was the most complicated project I ever handled that comprised different types of plants. I worked hard at obtaining the different species. The garden came out beautifully. I am always proud that I was able to bring the client’s concept to life.”
13. What Safety Precautions Do You Take When Working in the Garden?
This role requires observance of certain safety precautions and wearing protective equipment. Tell the interviewer the precautions that you take in your work.
“In my work, I wear personal protective equipment at all times. I wear gardening gloves to protect my hands from insect bites, cuts and skin irritants. I use appropriate tools so that I do not have to use my hands for digging. I wear boots to protect my feet. During the summer months, I wear a hat to protect my skin from the sun.”
14. A client has a Tight Budget and Wants to Create a Magnificent Garden, What Would You Advise Him/Her?
Clients will have varying budgets and may require your advice on how to optimize their expenditure. Share how you will advise such a client keeping in mind their budget constraints.
“When faced with budget constraints, I advise the client to do the project in phases. Once one phase is complete we can move to the next. I do not encourage them to change their original idea. We keep the idea and implement it slowly. In the end, the client gets a magnificent garden without much strain on his or her pocket.”
15. How Do You Get Rid of a Garden Infestation Problem.
The interviewer wants to know what strategy you can use to contain a garden infestation. Share what you would do when faced with such a problem.
“First, I will identify the kind of weeds and insects that have encroached on the land. Once I have identified the real issue, I apply the required chemicals or any remedy required. The issue is dealing with infestation without affecting the plant and soil health.”
16. How Often Do You Water the Garden?
The interviewer wants to know if you are of the optimum water needs of plants. Share how you will go about it.
“Depending on the climatic conditions of the area, you may not need to water a garden every day. During the rainy season, the garden will derive its water from the rain. However n the dry season I aim for watering about 2 inches thick once a week. I do it in the evening so that the water can be absorbed overnight before it evaporates.”
17. Do You Have Experience Working as Part of a Team?
The interviewer wants to assess if you are a team player. Share your experience working with teams.
“Yes, I do. In the previous positions that I have handled, we are normally a team of people drawn from different backgrounds. The input of every individual has been instrumental in my career as a gardener. I work with agronomists and soil experts in order to work with optimum efficiency.”
18. How Do You Plan and Prioritize Your Work as a Gardener?
Planning any work ensures that you work based on a schedule. Share how you go about your gardening work.
“A lot of planting happens during the fall. Most plants thrive in this particular weather. I plan my planting around this time. I consider weeding when I see them germinating as it is best to handle them when still in their infancy. Year-round I inspect the plants for any form of infestation and handle that immediately.”
19. What Would You Improve in This Park if Hired as the Gardener?
It’s good to have a plan of action on what you will do once offered the position. Share your strategy keeping in mind the job requirements.
“I have realized the garden that many indigenous species of trees. That is hard to find in this part of the city. I will ensure that they are well maintained. I will also work at putting tags in the trees such that when people visit the park, they can learn about the different tree species. I have realized there are a few underutilized spaces. If hired, I plan to add various kinds of flowers that will transform the park into a more beautiful space. I also plan to develop my gardening skills as the role involves dealing with multi-disciplinary teams and therefore would benefit from the knowledge shared.”
20. What Does Quality Work Mean to You?
Quality may have different standards. The interviewer wants to assess how you judge your work. Share what brings you the satisfaction that you have delivered quality work.
“I judge quality based on my client’s satisfaction. Once I implement a project for a client, I deliver the best way I can. I also keep in mind best practices when it comes to gardening. When I deliver a project and the client is happy, I know I have met their quality standards.”
This role may not attract many candidates. Rehearse your answers to the above questions and show your enthusiasm for gardening work. This way the interviewer will consider you a strong candidate.