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Recology Interview
Questions

26 Questions and Answers by
| Ryan has over 10 years of experience interviewing
candidates in the healthcare, public service, and private manufacturing/distribution industries.

Question 1 of 26

Where have you seen common failures or breakdowns in customer service and how would you address these issues with the clients here at Recology?

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Recology Interview Questions

  1. 1.

    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."

  2. 2.

    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."

  3. 3.

    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?

      Whether you are interviewing for a driver, equipment operator, mechanic, sales or other administrative position with Recology, a majority of your business will be conducting on your feet and on the move. The ability to be mobile and function well in doing so is vital to your success in a career with Recology. For this question, talk about your past jobs that have involved a lot of manual work on your feet and your ability to do this with ease. As well, don't hesitate to point out your own physical fitness and making it a priority in your personal life.

      Ryan's Answer #1

      "Outside of work, I am a very active person that mountain bikes, hikes and takes daily walks with our golden retrievers. Being active keeps me in shape and able to perform a job like a route delivery driver here at Recology on a daily basis."

      Ryan's Answer #2

      "As you can see from my experience, I have a lot of route sales experience. I would say that 50% of my days were spent in a vehicle and the other 50% on my feet over the past nine years of my career. I do not see being on my feet all day as any issue as I am a very active person that plays recreational sports throughout all of the seasons. I try to stay in shape as much as possible to keep me going during the work days."

  4. 4.

    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."

  5. 5.

    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."

  6. 6.

    What types of training and experience do you have in operating heavy equipment?

      For laborer jobs with Recology, the ability to operate heavy machinery is a must on the job. Based on your application and resume, your interviewer may not be able to get a good sense for your direct experience and training in operating heavy equipment, so they are asking this question. Talk about the different types of experience and training you've had throughout your career while keeping an open mind to learning and mastering new pieces of equipment if necessary for this job.

      Ryan's Answer #1

      "As you can see from my application, I have worked for five years with a large regional recycling center. I have operated several large balers and received training on operating those pieces of equipment. If hired for this position, I think this experience would be very helpful in the recycling center here at Recology. It also bodes well for potential training I would receive on other equipment as well."

      Ryan's Answer #2

      "As you can see from my resume, my time working in the warehouse industry has required me to have a CDL and operate tractor-trailer combinations in our yard on a regular basis. As well, I have experience operating fork lifts, balers, shrink wrapping equipment and general warehouse lines. My diverse equipment experience would be beneficial for this job at Recology because I've shown an ability to learn and be flexible with heavy equipment and to learn things quickly and efficiently on the job."

  7. 7.

    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."

  8. 8.

    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."

  9. 9.

    What are some of the bigger energy sustainability projects that you've been a part of during your career or training?

      In looking to move to the consulting world at Recology, your prior experience in energy sustainability projects will prove to be an asset for the clients that you will work with. Talk in detail to your interviewer about a major project or two that you were a part of. As you speak, be sure to reiterate that this type of project would be beneficial to clients that you will work with at Recology.

      Ryan's Answer #1

      "With my current organization, I have traveled throughout central and South America to help design and build geothermal power plants for countries in dire need of efficient and environmentally friendly electricity. These projects have put me working with people from all over the world and I've learned so much great information that I can pass forward to the clients here at Recology."

      Ryan's Answer #2

      "Solar energy has always been a passion of mine. I've had the opportunity to work with the installation of photovoltaic cells on the sides of large skyscrapers and the implementation of solar power towers in countries around the world. The power of the sun to create energy on earth is so powerful and I truly believe that our technology is just touching the surface of what we can harness. I would look forward to working with clients on new and exciting projects as we move into the future."

  10. 10.

    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."

  11. 11.

    What roles are you comfortable assuming in working as part of a larger team?

      Coming to work for a consulting business requires the ability to work as part of a larger team on the projects you will be heading. Teamwork in this setting requires versatility and your interviewer will be looking to hear that you have that versatility in your answer to this question. Many times, you will be taking the bull by the horns and leading the way. Other times, you will be the worker bee researching behind the scenes. You may be tasked with being the organizer of projects behind the scenes as well. Make sure that you highlight your ability to be flexible when working as part of a team here.

      Ryan's Answer #1

      "I am really comfortable working in any role within a team and I think my experiences throughout my career demonstrate this well. At many times in my career, I've been the legwork of team operations and have easily taken direction on projects and been able to hit pre-established deadlines. As well, I've lead many projects and have shown my ability to lead others in a team effort and the ability to delegate tasks and set milestones for projects. If hired for this position, you can be rest assured that I have the ability to be a key team players with your clients in helping better their business."

      Ryan's Answer #2

      "From a very young age in my career, I've always been a natural leader in a team based environment. My excellent communication skills, honesty, critical thinking and decision making skills have proven time and time again that I can lead others in the most effective way possible. And while being a leader comes naturally to me, I can easily let others take the lead on projects."

  12. 12.

    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?

      Depending on the potential role that you are interviewing for with Recology, the level of customer service that you would provide and how your provide can differ greatly. Prior to your interview, think about the role you will play with the customers of Recology and potential reasons they could feel their service lacked. In your answer, be sure to highlight your ability to listen attentively to the needs of the customer and do what is necessary to help fix any situation that you would face on the job. If you have experience in handling customer complaints, be sure to talk about that experience as well.

      Ryan's Answer #1

      "In my current role as a route driver in the beverage industry, I am often the whipping post for customers a I am face to face with them for a significant amount of time. I've had customers complain about price increases and products being out of stock, all when I've had no part of those decision making processes. I always take the approach of reflectively listening to the customers and ensuring them that I would make their voice heard. When needed, I would contact my sales rep or manager to pass along concerns and follow up with the customer as well. In this role, I would take that same approach while holding myself accountable for my own actions."

      Ryan's Answer #2

      "When on a collection route, I fully understand that I am the face of the company in front of customers. I would always hold myself in the most professional manner. If a customer were to vent about their service, costs or any other complaints, I would be sure to listen to all of their concerns, answer any questions that I could and take any question I couldn't answer to someone that could within the organization. Customers want to be heard and the difference between providing a listening ear and not doing so can mean a lost customer in no time."

  13. 13.

    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."

  14. 14.

    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."

  15. 15.

    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."

  16. 16.

    Talk about a time you had to work with a very difficult person. What was the situation and how did you handle it?

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  17. 17.

    In your point of view, what environmental issue will require the most attention in ten years?

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  18. 18.

    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?

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  19. 19.

    Recology values philanthropy and community giving. How do you choose to give back to others?

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  20. 20.

    At Recology we have many local competitors. In your opinion, what makes us stand out from the crowd?

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  21. 21.

    At Recology, we look to hire those who will be a long term fit. Where do you see yourself 5 years from now?

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  22. 22.

    When have you contributed to an effort to obtain a corporate goal?

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  23. 23.

    If you are hired for this position here at Recology, what do you think the biggest hurdle for you would be from the start?

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  24. 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?

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  25. 25.

    Rate your communication skills from 1-10 with proper examples backing your given rating.

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  26. 26.

    Customer service is our top priority at Recology. What is your customer service philosophy?

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