Common Interview Questions for Trade Jobs

May 28, 2021
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If you’re struggling to find qualified workers, you’re not alone. Despite steady work and good pay, field service companies are finding it difficult to attract and retain good job candidates.

We’ll assume you’ve already checked the boxes on technical skills. Without those prerequisites, they likely aren’t getting to the interview stage. When you find someone with the skills needed, though, it’s tempting to hire them immediately. However, how can you be sure they will fit with your company’s environment, provide the type of high-quality customer service you require, and represent your company well?

Here are some of the key interview areas you need to find out about and some sample questions to help you assess job candidates.

Cultural Fit

You’ve put a lot of time and effort into your business and you likely have a core set of beliefs and values that are important to the way you want your field service business to operate. You want to hire workers who will embrace those values.

When there is cultural alignment between companies and employees, workers perform better and tend to turnover less. Conversely, nearly a quarter of employees say they’re more likely to quit if they don’t like an organization’s culture.

Either way, you want to find out the cultural fit before investing in a hire.

Sample Interview Questions – Cultural Fit

  • Tell me about the work environment in which you are the most productive?
  • What expectations do you have of managers and co-workers?
  • Why did you leave your last job?
  • Why do you want to work with us?

Be careful when assessing cultural fit, however, it can easily discourage diversity of thought. Probe more for the ability to learn and adopt cultural fit than whether a candidate is currently aligned.

Behavioral/Situational Skills

Beyond the technical skills, field service recruits will also have to deal effectively with customers.

Sample Interview Questions – Behavioral/Situations Skills

  • A customer gets angry with you over the cost of a repair. How do you respond to them?
  • Can you tell me about a time you delighted a customer, how you did it, and why you did it?
  • Have you ever turned an unhappy customer into a happy one?  Explain.
  • How do you balance the need for speedy resolutions with safety?

You may also want to create common scenarios that field service reps face in your industry and ask them to walk you through how they would handle them.

Cognitive Abilities

Cognitive skills are necessary to process information, recognize patterns, analyze problems, and develop solutions. The best field service technicians have strong cognitive skills to diagnose problems quickly and come up with the best solution for customers.

In short, they’re great problem solvers.

Sample Interview Questions – Cognitive Abilities

  • Describe a scenario and ask them to diagnose the problem, taking you step-by-step through their thought process.
  • Tell me about a time you had to solve a problem, but didn’t have the information (or knowledge) to do so?  What did you do?
  • What do you do when you make a diagnosis, get the OK from the customer, make the repair and it doesn’t solve the problem?
  • How would you handle it if you couldn’t meet the deadline on a project?

Another effective question is to ask how a candidate stays up to date on new trends and technology in your industry. You want someone that stays current and has the curiosity to learn on the job.

Work Ethic

Field service employees often work on their own in the field without direct supervision, so you want to make sure they can manage their time wisely and possess a strong work ethic.

Sample Interview Questions – Work Ethic

  • How do you define work ethic and what does it mean to you?
  • When things at work are slow or you’ve finished your work, what do you do?
  • Tell me about a time you went the extra mile at work.
  • Tell me about a time you felt overwhelmed at work and what you did about it?

Make Your Work Life Easier

These questions can help get you started on the path to hiring workers that are more likely to fit your company, represent you well, solve problems, and work hard. If they can do these things — and they have the technical skills you need — they're a strong candidate.

Whether it’s hiring new employees or running the day-to-day operations, managing a business can be challenging. FieldPulse helps makes it easier.

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