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Recology Interview
Questions

26 Questions and Answers by Ryan Brunner

Published October 10th, 2019 | Ryan has over 10 years of experience interviewing
candidates in the healthcare, public service, and private manufacturing/distribution industries.
Question 1 of 26
Have you had the opportunity to fully design a training program? If so, what were the keys to it being successful?
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How to Answer
Depending on your career experiences up to this point, you may or may not have developed a formal training program. If you have, your interviewer will be looking to hear about a successful program you saw through the whole design process was on. Talk in detail about the keys to it being effective. On the flip side, if you are looking to break through into the business education consultant side of things and don't have direct experience designing a program, use your career experience and your knowledge of training programs to discuss your strong points that you would bring to the role and your willingness to become successful in this role.
26 Recology Interview Questions
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  1. Have you had the opportunity to fully design a training program? If so, what were the keys to it being successful?
  2. Talk about a time that you utilized a creative solution to help with an environmental issue on the job. What resources did you use to help make the creative solution a reality?
  3. What do you believe to be the number one quality that most influences the overall customer experience?
  4. Where have you seen common failures or breakdowns in customer service and how would you address these issues with the clients here at Recology?
  5. We value accountability at Recology. If a customer sent a formal complaint about an interaction with you, how would you handle it?
  6. To help determine your qualifications for this role here at Recology, please dive into your background in customer service. Do you have any direct experience in training others in customer service?
  7. Talk about a time you had to work with a very difficult person. What was the situation and how did you handle it?
  8. Part of our consulting business here at Recology is advising clients on new technology and advancements in environmental engineering. When have you had to learn and implement new technology during your career?
  9. In your point of view, what environmental issue will require the most attention in ten years?
  10. If you came to work for Recology, an expectation of the job would be facilitating training for staff with our clients. What do you feel are the keys to being an effective trainer?
  11. At Recology, safety is a top priority in all of the work that we do. Walk me through how you prioritize safety in your work.
  12. A key component to success here at Recology is building solid relationships with new clients. How do you effectively get to know new people and lay the groundwork for a long lasting relationship?
  13. Recology values philanthropy and community giving. How do you choose to give back to others?
  14. The customers here at Recology depend on us to be dependable on a day to day basis. If we hire you, how can we be sure that you will be a reliable employee?
  15. At Recology we have many local competitors. In your opinion, what makes us stand out from the crowd?
  16. Here at Recology, customer service is a priority because we are in a very competitive industry. How would you handle a customer that was upset with the work you provided or the company in general?
  17. What are some of the bigger energy sustainability projects that you've been a part of during your career or training?
  18. At Recology, we look to hire those who will be a long term fit. Where do you see yourself 5 years from now?
  19. What roles are you comfortable assuming in working as part of a larger team?
  20. When have you contributed to an effort to obtain a corporate goal?
  21. What types of training and experience do you have in operating heavy equipment?
  22. If you are hired for this position here at Recology, what do you think the biggest hurdle for you would be from the start?
  23. A long-lasting career with Recology requires an ability to work on your feet for long periods of time. Do you see this as an issue for yourself as you pursue this position?
  24. Part of our work here at Recology entails obtaining buy-in from clients on energy conservation. How would you sell energy conservation ideas to clients?
  25. Rate your communication skills from 1-10 with proper examples backing your given rating.
  26. Customer service is our top priority at Recology. What is your customer service philosophy?
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15 Recology Answer Examples
1.
Have you had the opportunity to fully design a training program? If so, what were the keys to it being successful?
Depending on your career experiences up to this point, you may or may not have developed a formal training program. If you have, your interviewer will be looking to hear about a successful program you saw through the whole design process was on. Talk in detail about the keys to it being effective. On the flip side, if you are looking to break through into the business education consultant side of things and don't have direct experience designing a program, use your career experience and your knowledge of training programs to discuss your strong points that you would bring to the role and your willingness to become successful in this role.

Ryan's Answer #1
"After a few years of our customer satisfaction surveys dropping regarding customer satisfaction, I put together a training program for our sales staff that focused on the customer experience. The program was designed to help promote an empathetic approach from our sales staff when working with their customers. My process for designing the program started with a simple survey to our sales staff on their perspective of what impacted the customer experience and how they demonstrated empathy. After results were received, there was a pretty significant gap that likely had a huge impact on the satisfaction of our customers. With goals then set for the training, I designed a fun and interactive experience for our sales staff that involved some role playing, a video and slides with direct feedback from our customers. When we held the training during a monthly sales meeting, I could see a lot of eyes open in the room and our Director of Sales and Service, who I worked very closely with during the creation of the program, really helped hammer home key points with his staff. I received a lot of compliments from our staff following the training. Being only six months out from that training, I'm eagerly awaiting results after we send out the next customer satisfaction survey."
Ryan's Answer #2
"As you can see from my resume, this would be my first venture into designing training programs, but I think my experience in my supervisory and management roles make me a great fit for this position. I have a lot of experiencing in coaching individuals on a 1:1 basis and also facilitating training for my staff. I have an innate ability to speak in front of a large group and lead by example while making training and education both interactive and fun. While actually designing programs would be a new effort for me, I feel like I'm ready for the challenge and would use my knowledge and training in effective business processes to be successful in this role."
2.
Talk about a time that you utilized a creative solution to help with an environmental issue on the job. What resources did you use to help make the creative solution a reality?
As an environmental engineer/expert, being creative and innovative should be a part of your soul and DNA. For this question, your interviewer will be looking for your ability to use education and/or research to come up with a creative solution to an issue. Be sure to speak in detail about the steps you took to put a creative plan into action and don't forget to talk about final results as well.

Ryan's Answer #1
"During my time working for the state of New Jersey, I was tasked with water cleanup projects to help save natural lakes and ponds that were subject to major pollution from nearby factories. To first help sustain life in the waterways, I researched and attending some training on biofiltration systems. With the training I underwent, I utilized a strain of cabbage in the ponds that effectively filtered and destroyed many of the VOC's in the ponds. This allowed life in the waters to thrive while we searched for more solutions on the contaminants."
Ryan's Answer #2
"Last year, I worked hand in hand with mechanical and design engineers on new wind turbines that would dramatically decrease the killing of birds and bats in the areas where wind farms currently existed. I utilized my knowledge of bird flight patterns and flight control to help convince the team that vertical turbines were the best route to take. While a little more costly to produce and get up and running, the lessened effect on the local ecosystems were well worth the efforts."
3.
What do you believe to be the number one quality that most influences the overall customer experience?
As a consultant in the customer service arena, you will be considered to be an expert on customer experience and customer satisfaction to the clients that you work with. While this question is certainly open ended, your interviewer is looking to hear that you have passion and belief in your answer because there is indeed no right or wrong answer to this question. Be sure to prepare for your interview ahead of time and be able to speak openly and passionately about what you believe is the most important factor for a satisfied customer.

Ryan's Answer #1
"As I've worked in customer service my entire career in retail sales and in dining, I truly believe that the best customer experience is provided by happy and engaged employees. If employees are satisfied with their work and believe in the product that they are selling, they are able to speak to customers intelligently and wisely about the product and they do it with a big smile on their face. This factor is what helps keep customers coming back time and time again."
Ryan's Answer #2
"I'm a firm believer that a positive customer experience, no matter the business or industry, comes from the basic human need of trust. Any customer of any business is inherently putting their trust in the company, the product and the associate that they are working with that the will receive a quality product and quality service. In projecting this out to those that provide customer service, there are many factors to building trust with customers. Being knowledgeable, being friendly and considering the needs of the customer are of utmost importance to gain trust. These factors are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to building that trust."
4.
Where have you seen common failures or breakdowns in customer service and how would you address these issues with the clients here at Recology?
When a consulting company like Recology is called, it is likely that that organization has seen some failure in the service that they have been providing to customers. In this role as a consultant, you will be asked to help diagnose the issues and help fix them for your clients. For this question, your interviewer is first seeking to see what you have seen in your career as common failures in customer service. Second, and most importantly, your interviewer is looking to hear how you would go about solving the issue with clients. Make sure to be as detailed as possible in this aspect of your answer.

Ryan's Answer #1
"In today's digital age where people are looking for results and looking for them now, time is a huge hindrance in providing excellent service to customers and I've personally witnessed timing issues and helped diagnose them for my employers. Most important is setting realistic time expectations with customers that you are able to deliver on every time. In some instances, this has been easily remedied with simple education between departments. In other instances, it has been solved through the creation and implementation of timing policies for customers."
Ryan's Answer #2
"Having consulted now for five years and having worked across many industries, the most common failures in customer service stem from staff that are poorly trained and/or poorly equipped to do their job. Assessing the competency of employees is my first step when consulting a new business and based off my assessments, I can make recommendations for education and training for the staff. Often, general customer service training suffices. At times though, this training needs to be very industry or product specific and I've helped create several specific training programs for employers."
5.
We value accountability at Recology. If a customer sent a formal complaint about an interaction with you, how would you handle it?
Assure the interviewer that you are a person of integrity who will take responsibility for any shortcomings in the workplace. Briefly explain to the interviewer that you will handle Recology customers with great care.

Ryan's Answer #1
"I understand that Recology has put a lot of work into building these long-term client relationships. If one of your clients complained about my communication with them, I would take full responsibility for my actions and issue an apology. I would also be open to feedback to avoid future incidences. Rest assured, in my 15 years of employment, I have not had any clients complain to my employer about my work ethic or delivery of service."
Ryan's Answer #2
"Constructive feedback is difficult to swallow at times, but it's helpful for me to remember that everyone receives constructive feedback from time to time. I will always do what is required of me to renew a client relationship."
6.
To help determine your qualifications for this role here at Recology, please dive into your background in customer service. Do you have any direct experience in training others in customer service?
Consulting in customer services can vary greatly from industry to industry and organization to organization. This is no different than consulting for Recology. To get a better feel for your resume and your experiences, your interviewer is looking to hear about your experiences first-hand during your interview. Most importantly, to gauge your direct experience that will translate well to a consultant role, talk about your experiences in training others in sound customer service techniques and policies.

Ryan's Answer #1
"As you can see from my resume, my career in customer service started in college while working toward my undergraduate degree. Working for a large call center, I learned the importance of listening to customers and solving their issues creatively. Following college, I started in retail management with a large clothing store. Since being in that role for over 12 years, not only have I spent extensive hours training staff on customer experience, handling adversity and other subjects of the like, I've also helped create and implement successful training programs in these areas. My experience there could prove to be a big asset here at Recology."
Ryan's Answer #2
"Having spent my career in the hospitality and tourism world, customer service has always been priority number one in ensuring the happiness, safety and return of every customer for another stay. Whether it was during my time working front desk or concierge of high profile hotels or in my current role as General Manager, customers have always been my top priority. Through Hilton, I've trained in the Hilton Hospitality & Service program and am now a certified trainer for new staff. I can take that training and apply it across many industries here at Recology."
7.
Talk about a time you had to work with a very difficult person. What was the situation and how did you handle it?
At some point in any person's career, they have to work with a colleague or customer who is extremely difficult. Rather than looking to hear the fine details as to why this person was difficult, your interviewer will be looking to gain insight into how you personally handled the situation and others like it to ensure that a sound relationship was fostered even when you faced difficult circumstances. In your answer, some key things to focus on are your ability to be tolerant, understanding and a great communicator in these situations.

Ryan's Answer #1
"In my current role, I have a customer that flies off the handle very easily if things don't happen just right and I learned this from my first interactions with him. In seeing this happen from the start, I have always maintained a calm demeanor when he was upset and showed empathy by asking questions about his expectations and how to fix situations for him. To this day, I expect difficulty from him when we work together and the years we've had a working relationship together have better prepared me for more clients like him in the future."
Ryan's Answer #2
"A couple of years ago, a close colleague of mine had a very abrupt turnaround in her attitude and performance on the job. She was very curt and abrasive in conversations when she was normally very talkative and friendly on the job. After noticing some concerns in her work, I approached her with an open mind and asked her what was going on to cause these things to change. I showed concern and approached her as a friend and this approach prompted her to tell me about some issues happening in her personal life. By taking this approach, rather than getting upset or even made with her, I showed her that I cared and valued her as a person and my approach helped her open up and turn her life at work back around to the positive side."
8.
Part of our consulting business here at Recology is advising clients on new technology and advancements in environmental engineering. When have you had to learn and implement new technology during your career?
As a consultant, you must be well versed in changing technology in the environmental engineering field. As you answer this question, be sure to speak to your ability to both learn new systems/technologies while also being able to educate others on the advancements as well. If you have a particular time that you did this, be sure to let your interviewer know.

Ryan's Answer #1
"Over the last couple of years, my projects with major urban areas have incorporated roof gardens on buildings. Once believed to be incorporated in ancient Babylon, the rooftop gardens do a great job of absorbing CO2 and giving off oxygen while lessening the need for air conditioning in the buildings. During the process of learning about implementing the gardens, I trained many different contractors on our process for building and sustaining these gardens. I am very comfortable in the role of providing education to others and think I'd be a huge asset to the clients here at Recology."
Ryan's Answer #2
"Having worked in the auto industry for many years, I feel very fortunate to have been a part of the design and implementation of the current electric cars that are on the market. As a leader of the program with General Motors, I was tasked with bringing new ideas to our design and engineering teams. I helped build great training programs for staff to help build buy-in to the new technology and to help put ideas into motion for new vehicles on the road."
9.
In your point of view, what environmental issue will require the most attention in ten years?
As you come to Recology to interview, your interviewer has a pretty good understanding of your skills and abilities that you'll bring to the table by looking at your past work history and speaking to references. For this question, your interviewer is looking to hear your philosophical view on what you believe is the key environmental issue in ten years. Be sure to speak openly and honestly with what you feel is the key issue and focus your answer on why you believe it is important and give some ideas with how you feel it can be monitored and fixed.

Ryan's Answer #1
"To me, the availability of quality water on our planet will continue to be a major issue and if desperate measures aren't taken, it will continue to worsen as we move forward. Water is one of the key elements of survival in the human race and that's why I've dedicated a lot of my effort in my career towards wastewater treatment using nanotechnology."
Ryan's Answer #2
"I think to truly answer this question and all of the issues that face our field moving forward, we have to look at overpopulation of the planet and how we will deal with pollution, water and natural resource issues. Each year, global industrialization and expansion creates less and less natural areas on the globe and resources like forests are wiped out on a regular basis. There are many theories to tackling this issue and more research and education of the general public will be important."
10.
If you came to work for Recology, an expectation of the job would be facilitating training for staff with our clients. What do you feel are the keys to being an effective trainer?
As you may well know, the number one fear of people is public speaking and the mere thought of standing up in front of a group and talking strikes fear in most folks. One thing your interviewer will be looking to hear for this question is that you can thrive in that situation. On top of that ability, talk about any experiences you have in providing training to staff and highlight the key areas you feel are important. Talk about the importance of making training both fun and interactive to help drive points home to your learners.

Ryan's Answer #1
"Whenever I have the opportunity to provide training to groups, the first focus of my design is to promote interaction from the people I am training. Active participation promotes motivation and I do this through role-playing, asking questions and even having people come up front with me to give real world examples to the group so they can hear the perspective of a peer versus me as the trainer. Another key thing that I try to bring to training sessions is energy. I bring high energy to a room and try to promote it among the staff. From a colleague, I recently learned about an ice breaking game to start an all day training that involves blind folding all participants in the room and assigning each person an animal. There are two people in each session with matching animals and the participants have to make the sound their animal makes and have to find and meet up with their matching animal. The two times I've used this have been a big hit and got the group laughing and having fun from the start."
Ryan's Answer #2
"For me personally, the first key to being an effective and efficient trainer is knowing my topic inside and out. As the trainer, I will be asked questions and be expected to be the subject matter expert on what I'm presenting. If needed, I study and prepare diligently prior to facilitating training sessions. Another key for me is creating the right atmosphere to promote learning. This starts with small things like providing beverages and snacks and ensuring the temperature of the room is appropriate. It extends to much bigger things like ensuring training materials are well prepped and motivating all of the learners to participate in the program. If hired here at Recology, you can be sure that I'd bring this same approach to your clients."
11.
At Recology, safety is a top priority in all of the work that we do. Walk me through how you prioritize safety in your work.
In the garbage and waste industry, heavy equipment and toxic waste exposure are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to potential safety hazards on the job. Prior to your interview, think about the particular job that you are interviewing for and pinpoint the key safety hazards. Then, during your interview, highlight our ability to be conscientious of those safety hazards and talk about the steps you take to ensure that you and others you work around remain safe while on the job.

Ryan's Answer #1
"Having driven professional routes for a majority of my career, safety for me starts on the road by coming to work well rested and ready to start the day attentively. I have a clean driving record and take great pride in my ability to navigate large trucks safely and efficiently. In looking to transition to the filed of trash disposal, learning how to operate the garbage trucks safely would be a top priority. I would take my initial days on the job to learn how to safely operate the packer blade and hopper parts."
Ryan's Answer #2
"Having been a mechanic for four years now out of tech school, safety in the shop is something that I never take for granted. I have been trained in and utilize safe lifting techniques, wear safety equipment like gloves and safety glasses and proper fuel disposal when needed. I am proud to say that I have never experience a work related injury and I owe my focus on being safe in the shop to that."
12.
A key component to success here at Recology is building solid relationships with new clients. How do you effectively get to know new people and lay the groundwork for a long lasting relationship?
The fast paced world of business consulting requires the ability to build relationship after relationship with all of the clients that you will potentially be working with. For this question, your interviewer will be looking to gain insight into how you build relationships with new people from the first time you interact with them. In your answer, talk about how you gain and build trust with new people and explain how the little things in your initial interactions go a long way toward building long lasting working relationships.

Ryan's Answer
"I am a firm believer that success in any role I've played in my career was due in part to the relationships that I've built in those roles. Whenever I have the chance to work with a new colleague or a new customer, my approach is to create an initial connection with them to build trust. After that point, my interpersonal skills take over through active listening. I use my listening skills to learn about the motivating factors and needs of the person that I will be working with and this helps mold that respect and trust between us even more. I think this approach would be very critical in working with new clients on a regular basis here at Recology and I'd love the opportunity to bring these skills to the table for you."
13.
Recology values philanthropy and community giving. How do you choose to give back to others?
The interviewer would like to know that you are socially responsible and a team player - even outside of the workplace. Your answer can be as simple as babysitting your grand-kids every Sunday, to a standing-volunteer gig, to charitable contributions.

Ryan's Answer #1
"I work a lot but, when I do have free time, I spend that with my grand-kids. It helps to give my son a bit of a break as he is a full-time single dad. In addition to this, I volunteer at the local drop-in center every Christmas to help feed the homeless. Giving back is very important to me."
Ryan's Answer #2
"Volunteering and charitable acts are important to me. I spend time volunteering at the local drop-in center every Sunday."
14.
The customers here at Recology depend on us to be dependable on a day to day basis. If we hire you, how can we be sure that you will be a reliable employee?
Recology runs their services at least five days per week and customers see a truck by their curbside at least once per week. Their dependence on your service will be recurring on a weekly basis and, in turn, Recology will be reliant on you to show up for work every day and be ready to perform to the best of your abilities. In your answer to this questions, try to give your own personal philosophy about being reliable while also giving an example or two that really proves your ability to be counted on in this job.

Ryan's Answer #1
"As a true team player, I know that my colleagues rely on me to be on time to work each and every day and do what it takes to get the job done before heading home. In turn, this reflects positively on customers. My personal attitude towards reliability is best reflected in a situation last year where we had several fleet vehicles break down on a cold winter afternoon. In preparation for a big day the next day, several colleagues and I volunteered to stay as long as necessary to make sure our entire fleet was up and running the next day. While this turned into a 14 hour work day, I wasn't satisfied until our work was done."
Ryan's Answer #2
"During my career, I am very proud to say that I've only called in sick to work twice and that both of these instances were extreme cases of sickness in the stomach flu and bronchitis. I can play and work through little aches and pains and I know that my coworkers depend on me to do that, just as I expect that out of them. In this job, I know that my route would be running five days per week and it just isn't in my blood to expect someone else to pick up for me when I can't be counted on."
15.
At Recology we have many local competitors. In your opinion, what makes us stand out from the crowd?
It is crucial that you research Recology before your interview and be sure to learn about their business landscape. Who are their competitors? What are customers saying online? Check out some favorite review sites to get an idea of what the public is saying about Recology vs. their local competitors. Keep your answer positive and complimentary.

Ryan's Answer #1
"After researching Recology online, I found that you stand out from the many ways that you give back to your community. On the Recology website, as well as third-party review sites, people are talking about the charitable contributions and generosity coming from Recology. These factors make your company a big stand-out to me because I am serious about working for an organization that is aware of their social impact."
Ryan's Answer #2
"I believe that Recology has superior services and products. Your competitors seem to scratch the surface with some, but your offerings are so much more robust."
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