Electrical Interview Questions For Employers

December 21, 2021
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Need a little help getting your electrician interview questions before approaching your technician candidates? You’re in the right place. We’ve compiled the following  electrician interview questions to help you figure out who your candidates are, their technical and cognitive abilities, social skills, and how they’ll mix with your team. Keep in mind that these are sample electrician interview questions to get your started but, by all means, add or remove questions wherever you see fit to create the perfect question set for you. 

Housekeeping


These are the basic bread-and-butter questions you’d ask in any job interview, regardless of the field. These questions are designed to add context to the candidate’s past work history, and their motivation for applying to join your team.

  • Is there a specific reason you’re looking for a new role?
  • Do you have a criminal record?
  • Do you have a driver’s license?
  • Do you have references you’d be willing to let us call?
  • Why did you leave your previous position?
  • What’s your educational background?


General Electrician Interview Questions

While general background questions are important, it’s more important that you have ample questions ready to test if your candidate is actually qualified for the role. It’s not uncommon for individuals to apply for jobs that they aren’t qualified for, so be prepared to dive into the nitty gritty details of their role knowledge and capabilities. It’s best to ask these questions early on in the interview process so as not to waste time on under qualified candidates. 

Role Understanding


First and foremost, you’ll want to make sure that they understand the role they’re applying for thoroughly. Depending on how thoroughly they researched your company (and read your job description) they might have something different in mind for the role than you do. 

  • What are your expectations for this role?
  • What areas of expertise are you looking to grow in with this role?
  • Have you heard of our company before or done any research on us?
  • What about our company caught your interest?
  • What qualities do you have that would help you succeed in this role?
  • What are some of the challenges you typically face when starting a new role?
  • Describe your perfect boss - what qualities do they have?
  • Do you look for roles with high levels of autonomy or do you prefer to have a more hands-on manager?
  • Do you like working in groups or do you prefer to work alone?
  • What’s your ideal salary range for this role?
  • Have your previous companies used performance-based compensation?
  • What expectations do you have for performance-based compensation such as SPIFs or bonuses?
  • What’s your ideal work environment?



Job History

You want to make sure that the candidate is not only qualified for the job, but also that their work history lines up with what they’ve previously put on their resume. While resume padding is common, it’s essential that you spot any differences between someone’s resume and the way they answer your questions. Did they fluff their work history? Are they really qualified for this position? This is where you get to find out!


  • Why did you choose to work in the electrical industry?
  • What previous experience qualifies you for this role?
  • Do you have any previous experience in the electrical industry?
  • Where did you receive your previous training?
  • What levels of training have you completed? 
  • Do you have a specialization?
  • How many years of experience do you have in the electrical industry?
  • Describe your role at your previous job
  • How does this role compare to your previous role?
  • What’s the most important thing you learned from your previous experience?
  • What brands or equipment do you have experience working with?
  • What kinds of projects have you worked on?
  • Tell me about the most challenging project you’ve taken on.
  • Tell me about your last three projects.
  • If you were hiring someone for this role, what qualities/traits would you be looking for?


Electrical Aptitude Test Questions

Now that you’ve covered general and housekeeping questions, it’s time to move on to the technical knowledge questions! This question set should help you gain a better understanding of how the candidate prefers to work on the job, their flow of logic, and their aptitude for all things electrical. 

Electrical Safety Knowledge

Safety is one of the most important parts of the job, be sure that your applicant understands that! A quick rundown on what they know safety wise should help you judge how comfortable they are in an emergency situation.


  • Have you received any jobsite safety or health training?
  • If you see a team member performing an action unsafely, what would you do?
  • In your work which do you prioritize: safety or speed?
  • Do you feel that any current safety procedures are unnecessary?


Critical Thinking


Sharp critical thinking skills are essential in electrical work, as the slightest error in judgement can lead to life threatening consequences. Your candidate must be able to think critically without direct supervision and be able to troubleshoot and diagnose problems on the fly, all while practicing proper safety measures. Use these questions to determine how ready your candidate is for split-second decisions on the job.


  • Tell me about a time where you didn’t receive complete direction or information about a job, what did you do and how did you adapt to the situation?
  • Tell me about a time that you made a mistake while on the job. What was the reason for the mistake and how did you correct it?
  • Describe a problem and ask them to walk you through the thought process of their proposed solution
  • Describe a scenario or past experience where you had no idea how to fix a problem. How did you adapt and overcome the situation?
  • Do you keep up with current events and technological advancements in the electrical industry?
  • If you’re unable to complete a project by it’s assigned deadline, what would you do?


Example: You’re halfway through a project and your manager calls to tell you that the scope/requirements of the projects have changed. What would you do?


Example: Someone on your team decides to quit, how do you adapt?


Example: You’ve made a repair diagnosis, gotten the go-ahead from both the customer and your manager, and finished the repair. However, your repair hasn’t solved the problem. What do you do next?



Detail Orientation


While a strong attention to detail may not be essential for all lines of work, it’s definitely something you have to have when working in the electrical field. Make sure your potential employee knows that now, otherwise they have the potential to cause more harm than help in the future.  

  • What processes do you use to check your quality of work? How does this change when you’re on a tight deadline?
  • Are you “big picture” or “detail” oriented? Give an explanation for your choice.




Knowledge of Electrical Systems

 

These questions are designed to test your candidate, seeing just what they do (and don’t) know.  Some of these are basic questions to weed out candidates who don’t know the basic fundamentals of electrical systems, while others are questions that’ll give them a chance to shine if they answer correctly and add their own spin on it. A win-win!


  • Explain the difference between a circuit breaker and a fuse.
  • Do you think PPE is necessary for every job?
  • Walk me through your process for servicing a malfunctioning transformer. 
  • What methods do you use to prevent over-lamping?
  • Do you have experience with PLC programming?
  • Do you have experience with using mobile technology to diagnose an issue?


Soft Skills/ Interpersonal Skills


Finding out whether or not the candidate has good interpersonal skills should be a top priority, especially if they’re doing residential work where they’ll frequently be in contact with customers, as well as in their homes. These will help you get a better feel for their decision making abilities and put yourself in the shoes of the customer they may potentially have to deal with in the future.

  • How do you deal with difficult customers?
  • Tell me about a time where you impressed a customer, how did you do it?
  • Tell me about an instance when you provided above-and-beyond customer service.
  • How do you explain a complex diagnosis to a customer?
  • Have you ever turned a dissatisfied customer into a satisfied one? Explain how you did it.
  • Tell me about a time when a customer was critical of your work. What did you learn and how did you respond?
  • How would you respond if a customer complained that the pricing of our products or services was too high?
  • A consumer becomes enraged over the cost of a repair. How did you react?
  • Tell us about a challenging team member personality  you dealt with at work and how you handled it.
  • Do you take criticism well?
  • What are your expectations of your boss and coworkers?
  • On a project team, what role do you prefer to play?
  • What about coworkers can easily upset you?
  • What attributes in a companion would you want if you were stuck on a deserted island with them?
  • What would you do if you noticed a coworker making a mistake?
  • Tell me about a situation where you were able to motivate a member of your team.


Situational & Behavioral Questions


It’s hard to know exactly how you’ll react in a situation until you’re in it. Use these questions to figure out how they think, how they’d react, and more to see if they’ll be effective in the field and with other employees and customers.


  • A consumer becomes enraged over the cost of a repair. How would you react?
  • Can you tell me about a time when you surprised a customer, what you did, and why?
  • Have you ever changed a dissatisfied customer into a satisfied one? Explain.
  • How do you balance the demand for quick decisions and the necessity for safety while on the job?
  • Do you like to make friends with your coworkers or keep things purely professional?



Work Ethic and Motivation


Not everyone who applies for a job actually wants to be a high performer, so do your due diligence with this section to be sure you are hiring someone that you can trust, and will do their work without having someone there to force them into it.  


  • What does work ethic mean to you, and how would you describe it?
  • What do you do when things at work are slow or you've finished your work?
  • Tell me about an instance when you went above and beyond at work.
  • Tell me about a moment when you were overwhelmed at work and what you did to deal with the situation.


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Strengths and Weaknesses


It's important to know that your employees can not only be honest with you, but that you understand them. Ask them their strengths and weaknesses, and use their answers to decide if they’d be a good fit with the group of workers you already have. 


  • What are your strengths?
  • What are some of your flaws?
  • What unique qualities do you possess that no one else possesses?
  • What do you think your greatest strength is, according to your prior supervisor?
  • What would former coworkers have to say about you?
  • What plan do you have to make up for your lack of experience?
  • What qualities make you think you'd be good at this job?



Time Management

 

These questions will help you figure out what priorities your future employee has and what they consider to be the most important thing in their working day. 

  • Tell me about the most productive work environment you've ever had.
  • Was there ever a time when you felt overwhelmed at work? What did you do to deal with this?
  • Describe a time when you failed to meet a deadline. What steps did you take to make things right?
  • How do you prioritize your day? What factors do you consider when deciding which tasks to do first?
  • What methods do you employ to efficiently manage your time, and why do you believe this is important?
  • Tell us about a time when you had to tackle a pressing issue on the job site. What exactly was the issue, and how did you resolve it?



Electrical Sales Interview Questions


If your job involves selling electrical wares, as well as installing them, these questions will be a great help. If your candidate knocks it out of the park on your technical questions, but fails to meet your standards on the sales portion of the interview, it’s always possible you can still hire them for a strictly technical position. 

  • Do you have any sales experience?
  • What is the best way to define your selling style?
  • What was your quota for sales? Did you fulfill or exceed your quota in the last few quarters?
  • Describe a time when you didn't meet a sales target. What happened, and what did you take away from it?
  • What's the most recent deal you closed that you're most proud of, and why?
  • Are you familiar with our products? Why do you believe you can sell our products?
  • What challenges do you frequently face during the sales process, and what techniques did you use to overcome these challenges?
  • Give me 20 unique selling points about this BIC pen.


Leadership Skills


Thinking ahead in regards to a new hire is important because you might want to promote from within one day. Are they interested in advancing into a leadership position? How would they perform in that type of role? Even if your candidate isn’t interested in leadership now that doesn’t mean they won’t be later – and it’s always good to know how ready they would be if the need arises for them to step up. 


  • Describe your leadership style.
  • What, in your opinion, are the three characteristics that distinguish someone good at your trade from someone great?
  • How would you deal with an angry customer? Have you ever changed an interaction with a dissatisfied customer into a positive experience? Explain.
  • How would you introduce yourself to your new coworkers if you were hired? How would you get to know the people on your team?
  • Describe a situation when you had to make an unpopular decision. How did you handle the criticism? Is there anything you would have done differently in this situation?
  • Do you prefer to make the majority of decisions when working on a collaborative project, or do you prefer to step back and follow someone else's lead?
  • Do you prefer to make decisions alone or in groups? Why? When do you seek assistance?
  • How do you keep track of team members' performance?
  • How would you try to persuade your coworkers to adopt an alternative manner of working if they had a "this is how we do it" attitude?



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Other Common Electrician Interview Questions

 

You can wrap your interview up any way you choose, but here are a few suggestions that we find helpful for the end of an interview. Use this time to ask any final questions that you haven’t already addressed in the interview!

  • What are your expectations of your supervisors and coworkers?
  • Why do you want to work with this company?
  • In five years, what do you see yourself doing?


We hope that these sample electrical interview questions will help you in the process of vetting your candidates, as well as give you a better understanding of the type of person you’re looking for to fill the role. 


Hiring new employees for your company shouldn't be a hassle. By staying organized throughout the process and truly thinking about what you need, you should be able to build a team that will help your business thrive. Now, it’s time to start hiring!

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