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September 21, 2018

 

HVAC Interview Tips That Work

Do you feel confident in your HVAC interviewing skills? No? Read this.

Whether you just graduated from an HVAC program or have been working in the business for 50 odd years, interviews can be scary. How you present yourself at an interview can make or break your chances with the HVAC company hiring you.

Sealing the deal requires a delicate balance of people skills and technical skills that can be difficult to master. Since you have the HVAC skills down pat, here’s how you can ensure your new role.

Focus on these parts of the interview:

  1. A Convincing Resume
  2. An Appropriate Outfit
  3. Proper Interview Etiquette
  4. Thorough Preparation
  5. Well Thought-Out Answers
  6. Important Questions
  7. Saying “Thank You”

HVAC Resume Tips

Since your resume is your ticket to an interview, you should spend time refining and perfecting it. While you should always tell the truth on your resume, you should pull out all the stops to present yourself in the best possible light.

Use choice wording and highlight skills that are required for the job you are applying for. Keep in mind that a resume should be catered to a particular job. Try going through the job description to see if each qualification they are looking for can be aligned with a point on your resume. If the job description says, for example, that the company wants an “HVAC trade school graduate with a 3.5 GPA,” but your resume normally only says “HVAC trade school,” edit your resume to include your GPA when applying to that particular job.

What should you wear to your HVAC interview?

Opinions vary on what one should wear to an HVAC interview. Depending on the HVAC company you are interviewing with and the position you have applied for, your interview outfit can range from a professional suit and tie to your regular working garb.

Companies have different sizes and cultures. If you don’t know how to dress for a particular interview, the best decision is to call before and ask what you should wear and what (if anything) you should bring. It is common to show your technical skills after a typical question-answer session, and you don’t want to recuse yourself from such activities just because you’re afraid of ruining your favorite business suit.

Regardless of the outfit you wear, make sure you look presentable and clean. If you can, get a haircut prior to the interview. It is good to look like you’ve put effort into your appearance because it means you are serious about working for the prospective employer. Even if you wear normal working clothing, make sure it is ironed and clean.

When in doubt, dress up. If your interviewer questions your ability because you look too professional, assure them that you can show what you can do—even if it means rolling up your sleeves and getting a little dirty. Bring in your tool box in case they ask you to prove your skills!

HVAC Interview Etiquette

First impressions are everything, so one should always do the best they can to put the best version of themself forward in a job interview. We covered part of this in the previous section, now let’s talk about the rest.

What to remember:

  1. Don’t forget to make eye contact! You don’t want to appear nervous. People skills are important when you’re working in HVAC, so show your interviewer that you are capable of connecting with your customers. Eye contact is the first step.
  2. Listen carefully to what the interviewer is saying so that you can respond properly.
  3. It should be a given, but brush your teeth before your interview. Don’t eat or drink anything directly before. If you do, brush those shiny whites again. Pop a mint in before the interview. If you’re chewing gum, spit it out beforehand! You don’t want to get caught with a leaf of lettuce (or something else equally silly) stuck between your chompers.
  4. While using profanity can emphasize a point, it’s best to leave the foul language for when you’re with your friends. Keep the language professional and appropriate.
  5. Smell good! Shower before your interview and remember to use deodorant. If you want, use your favorite cologne or perfume—just don’t overdo it! A spray or two is more than enough.

Be prepared.

You should prepare for your interview as if you are preparing for a test. Find out more about the company’s background and the person who will be interviewing you.

If you are new to the field, become familiar with the lingo. You don’t want to draw a blank when put on the spot! If you rehearse your answers to common questions you will appear more confident to the interviewer.

How do your qualifications line up with the job description? Take a look at your resume and compare it to what the company wrote about the position. Every requirement or characteristic should be matched to a bullet point on your resume. If you do not meet a certain qualification, know what strengths you have that can make up for this shortcoming. Show that you are eager to learn more!

If you need to bring in any paperwork, make sure you have that on you when you go to the interview. Most HVAC companies require technicians to have a good driving record. Printing it out prior to the meeting will show that you are proactive and responsible (the DMV website has state-specific information for how to obtain your driving record). Bring in whatever other paperwork or recommendations you need along with copies of your resume.

Common HVAC Interview Questions

Practice these questions to prepare for your HVAC interview:

  • Where do you see yourself in five years?
  • What was your last job?
  • What was your favorite project in school?
  • Why are you interested in working in HVAC?
  • What qualifications do you have?
  • What’s your greatest weakness?
  • What’s your greatest strength?
  • How is your driving record?
  • Draw a refrigeration cycle.
  • How would you handle a difficult customer?
  • What is Ohm’s Law?
  • What is the first thing you check on a service call?
  • How do you take care of your tools?
  • What is cooling or heating load?
  • What factors would you consider if you had to design an HVAC system in Saudi Arabia, Russia, and China?

ASK good questions.

While you should always be prepared for questions an interviewer may ask you, it is just as important for you to get a taste of who the HVAC company is as an employer. Try to understand if they are a good match for you. At the end of the interview, ask the interview questions about company culture, safety in the workplace, and job expectations. If you don’t show up with any of your own questions, the interviewer could interpret this as a lack of interest in the position.

Send a thank you note.

After the interview, send a thank you note to show your interviewer appreciation for their time. If you have been corresponding through email, an emailed thank you will suffice. You can send this email as early as the evening after the interview, but no later than three days afterwards. The note will remind the interviewer of your application and angle you as respectful and responsible. Sending a follow up will also help distinguish you from the vast majority of competing job seekers.

Conclusion

While interviewing for an HVAC role can be scary, hopefully these HVAC interview tips and tricks were helpful in preparing you to win your next job. Even if you’re the most skilled technician the world of HVAC has ever seen, it is still necessary to excel in the interview so that you can seal the deal. People skills matter. If you can’t bring them to the interview room, your prospective employer will assume you can’t bring them to customer interactions. First impressions make a difference, and with the right preparation—and your killer HVAC background—you can win the job of your dreams.

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