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January 18, 2020

 

Plumbing Interview Questions for Job Seekers and Employers

Prepare for your next job interview with these six common plumbing job interview questions.

Few things in life are as exciting and nerve-wracking as job interviews, especially in a competitive industry like plumbing. Everyone wants to say the right things that showcase their ability to do the job, but the pressure of the situation often becomes an obstacle. The best way to get past this? Preparation.

Proper preparation can calm your nerves and give you the confidence you need to make a great impression. An interview isn’t a test, per se. If you already have your plumber’s license, then the employer knows that you have the basic know-how to do the technical parts of the job. From the employer’s perspective, the main goal of the interview is to gain an understanding of the candidate’s strengths and weaknesses and decide if they seem easy to get along with. 

With that in mind, here are some plumbing interview questions for job seekers to practice and for employers to ask.

1. Why did you become a plumber?

Employers like to know what motivates you. Do you like helping people? You’d probably make a great addition to a company that emphasizes customer service as a core value. Do you enjoy problem solving? Having a work life where no two days look the same? Be honest so that your potential employer can understand how to best use you. 

Try to make sure your answer has some oomph behind it. Don’t say something thoughtless like “my parents told me I had to” or “it seemed really easy.”

2. Describe a project that didn’t go as expected.

Be prepared to talk about some sort of difficulty you’ve faced on the job. Whether it was an incredibly long day or a project that seemed bound by Murphy’s law, you’ll need to not only explain what happened, but also how you got through it. This helps to show that you know plumbing requires effort and perseverance. Things don’t always go as planned and you can’t quit a job until you finish it. So, how do you react when the job never seems to end? 

Stay on point when answering this question. Don’t start going off on a tangent where you speak ill of your former coworkers, boss, etc. By the same token, avoid blaming the customer for the issue.

3. Walk me through a customer call, start to finish.

This question uncovers what kind of customer service and plumbing procedure you’re used to. The employer might give you a more specific scenario to work off of, but this is your time to show off what you know. Explain everything from checking the schedule to signing out equipment to communicating with office dispatchers. Describe what you do once you arrive at the customer’s home, including how you greet the customer. 

If the employer gives you a specific scenario, talk about how you assess a problem. What methods do you try before choosing more invasive or expensive options? How do you finish up and invoice?

This question can easily lead to follow-up questions, so it’s a good idea to sit down and think about your typical process and procedures before you find yourself on the spot during the interview. The employer can use this question to see if there are any gaps in your training or how difficult it may be to on-board you as a new team member. Don’t get discouraged if you don’t have much in the way of procedural training, because some companies see the advantage of having a “clean slate” to work with (rather than retraining someone already set in their ways). 

4. What software are you familiar with? 

These days, field service technician jobs often require an ability to use apps and software with ease. Sometimes work order management apps can have a learning curve. If you’re already familiar with how to use the features on such programs, you’re already one step ahead of the competition. 

5. How would you advise a customer who wants to use less water?

Before your interview, try to do some company research to determine their core values. This question could indicate a focus on environmentally-friendly plumbing solutions, or it could indicate a simple desire to help families save money on their water bills. Either way, you should list a variety of solutions, including fixing leaking faucets, using low-flow shower heads, and even wearing clothes a few times before washing them. 

Impress your interviewer by asking what’s motivating this customer to conserve water. If it’s to protect the environment, you could discuss additional eco-friendly plumbing options, like solar water heaters. The employer may admire your ability to upsell, as well as your interest in helping the customer as much as possible.

6. What’s one plumbing mistake that you wish your colleagues knew to avoid?

Remember to keep your cool with this one and not to start bashing your former coworkers. The employer wants to know that you can play nice with others, and it’s a bad sign if you can’t politely answer this question. Instead, you have the opportunity to demonstrate your leadership skills. Talk about safety or efficiency in a solution-oriented way, and tell the interviewer that you definitely speak up if you notice something unsafe.

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