Trimming trees, planting flowers, enjoying the morning sun, and savoring the smell of rose bushes in the afternoon. Gardener is an excellent job for people who love to work outdoors, prefer stress-free working environment, and feel affinity to the world of plants and trees.
And I have good news for you. Gardener isn’t a common career choice. You will neither compete with many people for the job (you can actually be the only job candidate), nor face any particularly difficult interview questions. Your chances of succeeding are very good, regardless of your interviewing skills.
Nevertheless, it is always better to have at least some idea about the questions. To think for a while about the answers you’d give to your interviewers. It helps one to relax, and to feel more confident before the start of the interview. Let’s have a look at the questions!
Why do you want to work as a gardener?
Try to talk with enthusiasm about working in the garden. Tell them how you enjoy working outdoors, that you have a feel for the job, that you understand how to keep a garden healthy, nourished, and beautiful.
You can take this even one step further, pointing to climate crisis and how important it is to build new green areas in the city, and maintain existing ones. Because you want to be the part of the movement, you opted for a career of a gardener. Hence you see a meaningful purpose in your job (and there is indeed one). One way or another, they should feel that you really want to do the work, and did not apply only because you studied gardening, or can’t get a better job at the moment.
Why do you want to work as a gardener here (in our park, hotel, ranch, nursery)?
You can refer to the location of the garden–near your place of living, great traffic connection, etc. Another idea is showing appreciation for the beauty of their place. You love their gardens, they way they are kept and nourished, and would be proud to be a part of an existing team of gardeners they employ.
If you have previous experience with similar work (for example you responded for flowers in another park in your last job), you can refer to it. Say that you have the experience, and would like to benefit from it in your new job.
Please tell us something about your working experience (walk us through your resume).
You can face two situations. First one is having a relevant experience. In this case, you should tell them what exactly you did in your last job of a gardener. If you managed to improve something significant in your last position (redesigned the garden from scratch, managed to cure some plague the trees suffered, etc), you should definitely mention it.
Second situation is when you have no relevant experience, or no experience at all. In such a case you should ensure the interviewers that you learned everything important at school. You can also say that you practiced your skills in your own garden (or garden of your family). Show confidence in your ability to handle the job.
How do you imagine a typical day in work in our garden/park/hotel?
Obviously the answer depends a lot on your place of work. You will do different things in a vegetable garden, and in the park full of trees. That’s why it is important to do some research about their place, before you interview for the job with them.
How big is the garden? How much attention and care do the plants they grow there demand? Do you need to water them on a daily basis, weekly basis, or never? Will you be the only gardener, or do more people work in the place? All of these things should help you formulate the right answer.
In any case, tell them that you expect to be busy, that there’s always something to do in a garden, and that you will proactively look for things to improve, in each season of the year.
How would you maintain the health of plants (trees) in our park?
Try to show them your holistic approach to work. Everything starts with choosing the right plants and seeding them at the right time–plants that can thrive in the given habitat. Then comes weeding, regular nourishment, trimming, using natural fertilizers, and of course watering the plants, and addressing any pests or plagues they may suffer from.
You can go even one step further and talk about permaculture, or other principles and forms of sustainable gardening. These are the trends of the future, and your prospective employer has surely heard about them. Show them that you keep your knowledge of trends up to date, and do not hesitate to take initiative, and recommend improvements to the existing gardening practices.
Do you have experience with working with machinery, such as lawn mowers, chain saws, etc?
Ensure them that you worked with all kinds of gardening machinery, either at school or in your previous gardening job. You can even narrate some details, such as that you trimmed the grass every week in your last job.
Remember that they aren’t going to hand you a chain saw and ask you to cut a tree… Therefor, while trying to get a job, you can exaggerate a bit about your skills with gardening machinery or with anything else.
Do you have any questions?
Try to ask them at least one or two questions. You can ask about the typical working hours, whether you’ll be working with other gardeners/staff members, you can also ask about the next steps of recruitment process and when will they tell you their decision.
I do not suggest to ask about the salary though. If they consider hiring you, they will start to talk about the salary (or will directly ask about your salary expectations). And we both hope it will happen :).
Some other questions you may get in your gardener job interview
- This job is physically demanding. How do you deal with carrying heavy loads, working in a scorching sun, or in the rain?
- What motivates you the most in this work?
- You have seen our gardens already. In your opinion, is there anything we can improve about them?
- What do you consider your biggest weakness when we talk about working in the garden?
- What goals would you set for yourself if we hire you for this job?
- Where do you see yourself in five years time?
Conclusion and next steps
Interview for a position of a gardener belongs to easy job interviews. You typically won’t face any difficult technical questions, and you won’t compete with many other people for the job. If you studied gardening or have a relevant working experience, and have decent communication skills, you should make it and sign a new job contract.
Do not forget to research about your prospective employer, and learn as much as possible about their gardens. Try to prepare a short answer to each question from our article. And most importantly, do not stress out. This isn’t a difficult interview, and you will for sure make it. We wish you good luck!
May also interest you:
- Salary negotiation tips – learn how to negotiate a better wage in your interview
- How to handle interview nerves – some simple techniques that will help you calm down
- Fifteen most common interview questions and answers