Top 10 Questions You Should Be Prepared For in Your Next HVAC Interview

When hiring in HVAC remember it’s a high demand industry and top talent is hard to come by and they don’t stay available for long. Each interview should be considered a two way sales conversation which will determine if the candidate will be a good fit, and if your company can deliver what they’re looking for. You need to sell them why they should want to work for your company, so if you want to hire them they are ready to join your team rather than a competitor. Get beyond the ordinary interview questions and gain real insight into how your newbie will handle customers, difficult situations, and professional challenges of all sorts with these interview tips.

1. Give an example of when you faced a specific challenge and how you overcame it ?
Answer :- Nearly everyone who is working in a specific field has made recommendations on how to do something differently – whether it is how to exactly time when to put the fries down for a short-order cook, or how to prepare taxes with higher levels of efficiency for an accountant. HVAC service technicians face specific challenges on a daily basis, but it can be some of the basic problems that become the most painful for them. This could be things such as scheduling, assuring they have the right tools for the job at hand, and how to up-sell to customers to meet a specific quota that they may or may not feel is fair.

2. Tell me about a time that you delivered more than what a customer or supervisor expected and how you accomplished the task ?
Answer :- When you are interviewing for this type of position, you want someone who is not going to waste time complaining about a specific challenge but instead who can come up with a workable solution. Consider asking your interviewee about a recent suggestion for improvement that they came up with that was implemented – the implementation being the most important part of the question. It does not have to be a huge change, even something as simple as using mapping software to get to the next service call faster is a change that helped improve the work environment. Finding problem-solvers who can sell the answers to problems is a critical need for service technicians.

3. Your supervisor asked you to complete a task of which you do not have any understanding or personal knowledge. How can you assure your success?
Answer :- A committed and engaged employee is often one who is seeking continual growth and improvement, both in themselves and in the organization that they choose to serve. Consider asking potential employees what type of challenges they are looking for in their new position – and see how they are able to relate past performance to future developmental needs. You are looking for individuals who are able to articulate that they want to work in a situation where their skills are continually honed and where they have the flexibility to meet the demands of the position – whatever they may be. Have them spend the time telling you about the last time they felt challenged and unpack how that helped them grow as a person and as an asset to their organization.

4. How do you see yourself as a customer advocate – constantly working to achieve better
results for the customer in a way that fits organizational goals?
Answer :- Some people approach work as “just a job”, while others will cheerfully tell you that they believe in what they are doing wholeheartedly. You are looking for people with a passion for the work, and who are not afraid to tell you that. These are the same people who will be amazing customer advocates in the field, driving best practices and bringing back knowledge to share that makes your company better and your customers happier. Happy customers share with their friends, and in this world of always-on social media, referrals are easy to come by. You want your business on the tip of people’s tongues when their friends need HVAC service – and not in a bad way.

5. Tell me about your personal use of technology, and how that can translate to helping you
do your job more effectively ?
Answer :- Millennials can be considered “digital natives”  growing up with the technology tools that are in use today, and being so comfortable with them that they are akin to breathing. However, a slightly older generation can also have a high comfort level with tech, and seeing how people utilize technology in their personal lives can give you some insight into how they are likely to leverage their knowledge from home into a work environment.

6. What are your long-term career goals?
Answer :- What you are looking for here are individuals who state that they want to have a business of their own someday. While commendable, someone pushing towards independent business ownership is not likely to go as far above and beyond as someone who is fully committed to a long-term relationship with the organization. Look for a respondent who ties their goals to the future of your company, as they will be the ones who will help you thrive.

7. What can you do for us that other candidates cannot?
Answer :- This is a tough one. By asking this question, you are expecting the candidate to have done a fair bit of soul-searching, and to have the self-awareness to know what their unique contribution to your organization will be. While “I’ll show up every single day, no matter what” may not be a ringing endorsement or differentiating factor in some businesses, in a consumer-facing business such as HVAC, this may be just the quality you are looking for to ensure you are always delighting customers with on-time service. Keep in mind your organization’s goals and ideals, and jot down (ahead of time) what an ideal answer looks like to you.

8. What makes you want to come to work every day?
Answer :- When you understand what motivates an employee, then you have the key to their happiness, and to your success. You want someone who comes to work for more than simply a paycheck, and who will be inspired to excel and find new solutions to difficult problems. Someone who is customer-focused and understands why customers are the most important part of the daily work equation. Someone who knows the value of an upsell, both to the customer and to the company.

9. What is the skill that you would most like to improve and how can you improve it? 
Answer :- Someone who will be successful in a HVAC technician position is someone who wants to learn constantly. Creating an organization of learners will allow you to excel at offering the ideal solution for each particular customer, and to only provide those systems that are needed. Just as customers get frustrated and annoyed with a non-working system, they also quickly see through a HVAC technician who is being pushed to sell nonessential items that will not benefit the customer. Having a technician who understands their growing points and wants to take steps to improve is a huge step forward.

10. What is the best type of personality for a HVAC technician?
Answer :- Just like with many of the answers, you’re looking for someone to be honest with you. If there are parts of a potential new hire’s personality that are lacking – for instance, if they are painfully shy  you need to know that they recognize the issue and are taking steps to ameliorate the situation. For a shy technician, it could be that they’re actively searching for ways to get out of their comfort zone, or writing and memorizing a script in advance of their calls to ensure they don’t get flustered and miss something. These are all proactive approaches to “fixing” something that is not ideal and shows a good deal of self-knowledge and awareness.

Hiring the best can be extremely challenging, but taking the time and attention to focus on hiring upfront should mean that you are finding a committed, resourceful and passionate employee to help support your business both now and in the future.

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