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Republic Services Interview
Questions

27 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 27
Due to the nature of Republic Services business and services we may ask that you complete a full background check. Are you willing to comply?
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How to Answer
Many companies will ask for a background check before employing you. This due diligence could include a criminal record check, a credit check, a drivers' abstract, and education verification. The request will vary from company to company so you should always be prepared to comply with all requests. If there is a mark on your record, this is the best time to disclose that information.

If you have a clean record: "I can fully understand why Republic Services would need to conduct background checks on all potential employees. I have a squeaky clean record and am happy to comply with any of your requests."
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Top 25 Republic Services Interview Questions
1.
Due to the nature of Republic Services business and services we may ask that you complete a full background check. Are you willing to comply?
Many companies will ask for a background check before employing you. This due diligence could include a criminal record check, a credit check, a drivers' abstract, and education verification. The request will vary from company to company so you should always be prepared to comply with all requests. If there is a mark on your record, this is the best time to disclose that information.

If you have a clean record: "I can fully understand why Republic Services would need to conduct background checks on all potential employees. I have a squeaky clean record and am happy to comply with any of your requests."
Ryan's Answer #1
"I can fully understand why Republic Services would need to conduct background checks on all potential employees. I have a squeaky clean record and am happy to comply with any of your requests."
Ryan's Answer #2
"If you have a mark on your record: "I can fully understand why Republic Services would need to conduct background checks on all potential employees. I did have a charge against me approximately six years ago for a DUI. I have gained my drivers' license back since then, but I thought I should disclose that to you ahead of time."
2.
At Republic Services we seek to hire those who think outside the box. When was the last time you made a suggestion for workplace improvement? What was the outcome?
The interviewer would like to know if you are an engaged employee; offering suggestions and providing more profound thought when it comes to processing improvement in the workplace. Give an example of a time when you suggested an improvement in the workplace. It can be big or small! Did anything significant come out of your suggestion?

Ryan's Answer #1
"Last year I made a recommendation for our office to incorporate a recycling program. We were going through a lot of single-use coffee pods. It bothered me how wasteful it all seemed. I presented a spreadsheet to my supervisor comparing the single-use pods vs. investing in a built-in coffee machine. The savings over two years were significant, and my boss has now presented my idea to our head office. It feels nice to be heard in the workplace, so I continue to keep my eyes out for opportunities for process improvements."
Ryan's Answer #2
"I made some recommendations for change in our CRM system. The suggestions were surrounding how items received documentation and how outstanding tasks became highlighted. Our head office made the changes and a lot of people in our office commented on how much they liked the changes."
3.
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."
4.
What types of training and experience do you have in operating heavy equipment?
For laborer jobs with Republic Services, 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 Republic Services. 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 Republic Services because I've shown an ability to learn and be flexible with heavy equipment and to learn things quickly and efficiently on the job."
5.
What importance do you feel that policy plays in the customer service experience? Do you have experience writing customer service policies?
Organizational policies and procedures play a vital role in setting the stage for employees to carry forward excellent customer service. Make sure that you reiterate that to your interviewer while discussing why you feel that customized policies are important for organizations to have. If you have any direct experience in policy writing, be sure to talk about that as well because this role with Republic Services may find you helping clients create and implement new policies and procedures.

Ryan's Answer
"For organizations that provide customer service, having distinct policies and procedures in place for employees to follow is extremely important. Just like a manufacturing company will have step by step processes for their assemblers and line workers, customer service associates and other employees need procedures to work off of to provide consistency to customers. With my current organization, I worked on a team that developed a customer service mission statement and customer service goals based on customer survey feedback. With those in hand, we developed a great set of procedures that employees still use to this day."
6.
Would you say that you are a goal oriented person on the job? Why would you say that?
Success in business consulting is most often measured in the achievement of goals for clients and for this question, your interviewer will ideally be looking to hear that you are driven by goals and that you have the ability to set them as well. In your answer, give your interviewer the sense that you are goal oriented by giving an example or two of a time where you set and worked towards a goal as part of a team effort. Explain your part in the achievement of the goals and your ability to stay focused on the end result.

Ryan's Answer #1
"If hired for this position, one of the first things that you'll learn about me is that I am very driven to succeed in all that I do on the job. For me, personal drive definitely centers around goals and my desire to achieve them. I have the focus to set goals myself and to work towards goals that are set by my organization, my leaders or my customers and I would bring this ability with each client that I work with here at Republic Services."
Ryan's Answer #2
"I would definitely say that I am goal oriented in the work that I do on a daily basis. In project management, I work off of both time related goals and production related goals and these really drive my daily tasks and my delegation of responsibilities to other team members. If given the opportunity to come work for Republic Services, my clients would greatly benefit from my ability to both set and achieve goals with them."
7.
Talk about a time that you successfully educated another individual or group in your area of expertise. What made your educational experience effective?
The role that you are interviewing for with Republic Services will likely involve providing education to clients in your area of expertise. For this question, your interviewer will be looking to hear that you are comfortable and effective in providing education by having you talk about a time that you have done so. In the example that you provide, try to point out some key items to making business education successful like developing a plan/goals, respecting differing viewpoints/opinions, making it hands on and making it fun.

Ryan's Answer #1
"Probably the aspect that I love the most about my current job is being the lead for training new hires into our department. Because of my years of experience and my innate ability to effectively orientate new employees, my director asked me to take this duty about four years ago. My approach with any new hire is to customize their training based on their knowledge and experience so the training is effective for them. What works for one person may not work for another and I always need to be fluid with this. I also prioritize the need to make orientation and training a hands on experience for the new hire because classroom learning can only take a person so far in the learning process."
Ryan's Answer #2
"As you can see from my resume, I've spent the last seven years working in the corporate tax field. While in this job, I worked very independently for a private organization, so I've been out of the training and education side for a while now. During my first job out of college as a CPA though, I was very adept at providing education to the clients that I worked with on a daily basis. What I learned in that experience was the importance of putting material out there in a manner that the person being trained understood. As well, talking to clients and understanding my client's wants and needs were very important for me to be able to best educate them. I really believe that these skills would enable me to hit the ground running with Republic Services and your clients would benefit greatly."
8.
At Republic Services, 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."
9.
Working with our clients here at Republic Services often involves some initial conflict with our clients. How would you rate your ability to handle conflict or disagreements in the workplace?
When a consultant comes into an organization to help better an aspect of their business, there are many factors that can lead to initial conflicts with the consultant and their firm. Big egos not wanting a fresh new face and the fear of change are inevitable in this business and your interviewer wants to hear that you have the experience and ability to handle inevitable conflict that will come your way if hired for the position. While obviously rating yourself highly in this area, try to talk about a time where you handled difficult conflict on the job with ease.

Ryan's Answer #1
"In my role as a Project Manager with a large private organization, one of my first steps on any new project is setting a budget. Last year, I was leading the effort on a project focused on waste reduction in our manufacturing facilities. In the initial meetings for new projects, our CFO is always involved so she has a high-level overview of what the project will entail. In the meeting, she immediately berated me for the initial budget that I was proposing and vehemently insisted that the amount just wasn't correct or feasible. Rather than taking offense to her thoughts, I wanted to make sure that she, and the rest of the group, had a solid understanding of all that was taken into consideration for setting the budget. After I explained and showed line by line what the proposed budget broke down to, she was very thankful and didn't realize that team member labor was part of that equation. I think that my ability to understand why she was conflicted and my ability to keep a calm, cool head in that situation was vital and a perfect reason for me rating myself high on my conflict resolution skills."
Ryan's Answer #2
"From my call center days, I think I developed great conflict resolution skills where I would rate myself an 8 out of 10. Handling customers who were upset about a product or service they received required a calm tone, an educational approach and the ability to not take things too personally. If hired for this position, I would be able to bring this same approach to the client of Republic Services."
10.
In what ways would our clients here at Republic Services benefit from your knowledge and services?
This question is your chance to talk about the unique skills and knowledge that you would bring to Republic Services and that is exactly what your interviewer is looking to hear. In your answer, keep your focus centered on how clients of the organization will benefit from the things that you bring to their table because Republic Services is client focused in all that they do. To be effective with this answer, be sure to do your research on the clients at Republic Services and think about how your experience will be beneficial for them.

Ryan's Answer #1
"As you can see from my resume, I have extensive experience in risk management in the healthcare industry. Having worked with some major players in the industry, your healthcare clients would benefit the most from the experience and solutions I could help provide them. Not to leave other industries out, I think my experience in the healthcare realm will also translate nicely to your clients in other areas of the private sector."
Ryan's Answer #2
"Having worked in accounting and tax law in a few different industries during my career to this point, I also have the unique experience of creating new organizational policies and procedures in my current role. In hearing more about this role, I think this experience would be very beneficial for your clients as I would be helping advise them in their practices and creating new policy would be crucial in that process."
11.
A key component to success here at Republic Services 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 Republic Services and I'd love the opportunity to bring these skills to the table for you."
12.
Part of our work here at Republic Services entails obtaining buy-in from clients on energy conservation. How would you sell energy conservation ideas to clients?
As Republic Services moves into the future, part of the work that they do will be selling companies on the need to be more energy conscious and efficient. For this question, your interviewer will be looking to hear your tactics for educating clients on the importance of sustainability in their operations. The reality is that many clients don't have energy conservation at the top of their minds and your job will be to convince them otherwise. Be sure to speak passionately about this aspect of the job.

Ryan's Answer #1
"As you can probably already tell from our conversations so far, I am very passionate about sustainable energy and the need for every organization and person to keep that in the front of their mind in all of their efforts. I would approach clients with statistical data that proves the positive facts that sustainability projects can achieve. I understand that the clients here at Republic Services are driven by data and I would be able to deliver that to them."
Ryan's Answer #2
"Being a firm believer that utilizing energy on the earth in a wise way is the right thing to do, my approach with clients here at Republic Services would be to take an educational approach that is empathetic to the environment and even their own pocketbooks. What most organizations don't realize is that while costs up front can sometimes be a little higher to implement energy savings programs, it doesn't take long for initial costs to be negated due to cost savings down the road."
13.
Where have you seen common failures or breakdowns in customer service and how would you address these issues with the clients here at Republic Services?
When a consulting company like Republic Services 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."
14.
Here at Republic Services, 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 Republic Services, 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 Republic Services 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."
15.
A long-lasting career with Republic Services 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 Republic Services, 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 Republic Services. 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 Republic Services 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."
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