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Waste Management Interview
Questions

27 Questions and Answers by Ryan Brunner

Published October 9th, 2019 | Ryan has over 10 years of experience interviewing
candidates in the healthcare, public service, and private manufacturing/distribution industries.
Job Interviews     Companies     Talent     Commercial Services    
Question 1 of 27
What roles are you comfortable assuming in working as part of a larger team?
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How to Answer
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.
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Answer Examples
1.
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."
2.
In your point of view, what environmental issue will require the most attention in ten years?
As you come to Waste Management 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."
3.
What types of training and experience do you have in operating heavy equipment?
For laborer jobs with Waste Management, 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 Waste Management. 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 Waste Management because I've shown an ability to learn and be flexible with heavy equipment and to learn things quickly and efficiently on the job."
4.
In what ways would our clients here at Waste Management benefit from your knowledge and services?
This question is your chance to talk about the unique skills and knowledge that you would bring to Waste Management 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 Waste Management is client focused in all that they do. To be effective with this answer, be sure to do your research on the clients at Waste Management 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."
5.
Where have you seen common failures or breakdowns in customer service and how would you address these issues with the clients here at Waste Management?
When a consulting company like Waste Management 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."
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 Waste Management."
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 Waste Management, my clients would greatly benefit from my ability to both set and achieve goals with them."
7.
A key component to success here at Waste Management 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 Waste Management and I'd love the opportunity to bring these skills to the table for you."
8.
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."
9.
Rate your communication skills from 1-10 with proper examples backing your given rating.
On a scale of 1-10, how skilled are you in communication? Why did you choose that particular rating for yourself?

Ryan's Answer #1
"I rate my communication skills as a 9/10 as I will, on occasion, have times when I am not as clear as I would like to be. My supervisor and co-workers will attest to my clear and concise communication skills. Because I am an open leader, my team will let me know if I need to clarify anything."
Ryan's Answer #2
"I will rate myself an 8.5 because I consider myself a strong communicator. It is the foundation of all success in business. I am always striving to be a better communicator, so I leave the rest of the scale as an aspirational measure."
10.
We value accountability at Waste Management. 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 Waste Management customers with great care.

Ryan's Answer #1
"I understand that Waste Management 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."
11.
At Waste Management, 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.
At Waste Management, we look to hire those who will be a long term fit. Where do you see yourself 5 years from now?
It's impossible to know where you will be in 5 years but you need to assure the interviewer that, given all possible circumstances, you could see yourself as a long-term fit for the position at Waste Management.

Ryan's Answer #1
"Ideally, 5 years from now, I would love to see myself growing into a more prominent leadership role within your organization. My career interests align very nicely with your company's goals which helps me to see a great long-term fit here."
Ryan's Answer #2
"5 years from now, I would like to supervise or manage a team of my own with Waste Management. I feel like I am progressing in my career at a rate that will make this a possibility."
13.
The customers here at Waste Management 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?
Waste Management 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, Waste Management 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."
14.
Here at Waste Management, 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 Waste Management, 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 Waste Management 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.
How did you maintain a good relationship with your most recent boss?
The interviewer wants to know that you are capable of maintaining a harmonious relationship with those who are considered your leaders.

If your relationship with your boss wasn't fantastic, what efforts did you take to make it better? Here are some suggestions:

- Try to understand what your boss values the most
- Keep your cool, even when you want to lose it
- Anticipate their needs and stay one step ahead
- Take leadership opportunities to show your worth
- Adapt to their preferences

Some basic ground rules for a stable working relationship with your boss are open communication, proactive listening, and not taking things personally. Discuss the ways that you cultivated a healthy relationship with your boss.

Ryan's Answer #1
"My current boss is a very particular individual. Over the years I have taken the time to understand her preferences, her stress triggers, and what she enjoys seeing in my work. I find that if I stay one step ahead and maintain a positive attitude, we can work productively together."
Ryan's Answer #2
"I value having a strong working relationship with my boss. I want to learn what they do and take on as much work to help our team as possible. I scheduled regular update meetings with my boss and went the extra mile wherever I could."
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27 Waste Management Interview Questions
Win your next job by practicing from our question bank. We have thousands of questions and answers created by interview experts.
Interview Questions
  1. What roles are you comfortable assuming in working as part of a larger team?
  2. In your point of view, what environmental issue will require the most attention in ten years?
  3. What types of training and experience do you have in operating heavy equipment?
  4. In what ways would our clients here at Waste Management benefit from your knowledge and services?
  5. Where have you seen common failures or breakdowns in customer service and how would you address these issues with the clients here at Waste Management?
  6. Would you say that you are a goal oriented person on the job? Why would you say that?
  7. A key component to success here at Waste Management 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?
  8. What do you believe to be the number one quality that most influences the overall customer experience?
  9. Rate your communication skills from 1-10 with proper examples backing your given rating.
  10. We value accountability at Waste Management. If a customer sent a formal complaint about an interaction with you, how would you handle it?
  11. At Waste Management, safety is a top priority in all of the work that we do. Walk me through how you prioritize safety in your work.
  12. At Waste Management, we look to hire those who will be a long term fit. Where do you see yourself 5 years from now?
  13. The customers here at Waste Management 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?
  14. Here at Waste Management, 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?
  15. How did you maintain a good relationship with your most recent boss?
  16. A long-lasting career with Waste Management 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?
  17. To help determine your qualifications for this role here at Waste Management, please dive into your background in customer service. Do you have any direct experience in training others in customer service?
  18. Talk about a time you had to work with a very difficult person. What was the situation and how did you handle it?
  19. Customer service is our top priority at Waste Management. What is your customer service philosophy?
  20. At Waste Management we have many local competitors. In your opinion, what makes us stand out from the crowd?
  21. If you are hired for this position here at Waste Management, what do you think the biggest hurdle for you would be from the start?
  22. Which accounting platforms are you familiar working with?
  23. What are some of the bigger energy sustainability projects that you've been a part of during your career or training?
  24. We have a wide range of services at Waste Management. Have you ever used any of our services?
  25. Talk about a time that you successfully educated another individual or group in your area of expertise. What made your educational experience effective?
  26. Due to the nature of Waste Management business and services we may ask that you complete a full background check. Are you willing to comply?
  27. Give an example of a time that you brought an innovation to an accounting practice for an organization. What was your motivation to do this?
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