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Electrician Interview

25 Questions and Answers by Rachelle Enns

Updated August 17th, 2018 | Rachelle is a job search expert, career coach, and headhunter
who helps everyone from students to fortune executives find success in their career.
Question 1 of 25
Why did you want to be an electrician?
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How to Answer
You may have chosen to be an electrician because you like to work with your hands and it comes naturally to you. Perhaps you like to learn how things work, and you enjoy technical challenges. Share what you enjoy about your job and why. The interviewer wants to understand your motivation and see that you are driven enough to explore and learn on your own to grow in your knowledge.
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Top 25 Electrician Interview Questions with Full Content
Why did you want to be an electrician?
You may have chosen to be an electrician because you like to work with your hands and it comes naturally to you. Perhaps you like to learn how things work, and you enjoy technical challenges. Share what you enjoy about your job and why. The interviewer wants to understand your motivation and see that you are driven enough to explore and learn on your own to grow in your knowledge.

Rachelle's Answer #1
"I have always loved doing hands-on projects. I enjoy the technicality. When I get stumped about how something works or how to fix it, I enjoy the trial and error aspect of diagnosing a problem. Troubleshooting is interesting to me."
Rachelle's Answer #2
"I started trade school in a more generalist program. After taking a couple of electrical courses, I chose to major in the electrician program. It's a challenging career path that I believe will see a lot of demand over the years."
Electricians have a big responsibility. How well do you pay attention to details and safety?
The only way to prove you have impeccable attention to detail is by painting a picture through giving a well-articulated example. Electricians thrive on the details, and if they miss them, it can cost time, energy and money!

Break it down. What details did you look for when you identified the problem? Were you successful in solving the problem by taking that approach? If you are detailed oriented, you should be able to offer up detailed examples. Take some time to prepare and think through how you used precision to sort through the issues like a fine-toothed comb.

Rachelle's Answer #1
"I have worked on some complicated problems in the past including repairs on an old factory. I take a systematic approach to check for specific problems first. I know my tools and when to use them which greatly eliminates chances for error. I will triple check my work on challenging tasks. I feel that it is essential to submit error free work as an electrician."
Rachelle's Answer #2
"I am so accustomed to working under pressure and tight deadlines as a university student that sometimes small errors have been made on my part. I am careful to double check my work especially when it comes to meeting code on a project."
What overall experience do you have in construction?
When an interviewer asks if you have experience in a specific area, like construction, they want to know that you'll be able to handle the tasks that come along with it. Show that you have an understanding of the full scope of work present in this particular position.

1) Talk about your most recent work and how it applies to this role
2) Talk about difficulties you have had in the past and how you handled them
3) Share the tools and skills that have made you successful

The interviewer will appreciate a concise answer that shows you are prepared and confident in your ability to work in construction.

Rachelle's Answer #1
"In my current role I work primarily with construction clients such as new home builders. At first, the challenge for me was understanding the order of work they set forth on their projects. I spent some time studying project management and construction further. Once I had a strong idea of it all, I was able to work with the clients on a much clearer level."
Rachelle's Answer #2
"I am a recent graduate of Miami Dade College, where I took a couple of courses in general construction. I would rate myself as a beginner when it comes to my construction knowledge; however, I am keen to learn and will do what it takes to advance my knowledge quickly."
Where do you see your electrical career taking you in the next five years?
It's impossible to know where you will be in 5 years but do assure the interviewer that, given all possible circumstances, you could see yourself as a long-term fit for their position.

Perhaps you aspire to work on larger scale projects in a management role. Use your electrician skills. Planning, strategy, and ability to follow through are vital skills you'll need to be successful. How do you use those skills when setting and attaining a career goal?

Talk about the details. What skills and knowledge will you gain from this job you're applying for that will help you to accomplish your goal? Knowing how this new position will fit into your career goals and articulating that to your interviewer will help you score extra points!

Rachelle's Answer #1
"Ideally, five years from now, I would love to see myself growing into a team lead role within your business. My career interests align very nicely with your business goals of growth which helps me to see a great long-term fit here."
Rachelle's Answer #2
"In 5 years I would like to be seen as an authority in the electrical industry. I would like to be well-connected and trusted when it comes to my work here."
If your supervisor asked you to do something in a way you were not used to, how would you react?
The interviewer wants to know that you can take direction and that you aren't too proud to accept feedback, and additional training, from time to time. Every manager has their style of communication, so it's a great time to ask the interviewer what their leadership style is.

Rachelle's Answer #1
"First I would make sure I understood what you were asking. If it was another way of doing something, like repairing, I might ask if you can show me what you're talking about. I would rather get something done right the first time than have to waste time and energy doing it a second time just because I misunderstood what you needed."
Rachelle's Answer #2
"If my supervisor asked me to do something in a way I was not used to, I would make sure that I was clear on expectations. Clear communication is important to me, and if there's anything that I could be doing better, I want to know about it right away. Could you share with me your leadership style?"
What are your weaknesses, as an electrician?
It helps to know the company well before your interview. In this example, knowing whether or not the company does industrial or residential jobs would be helpful. If the company is more focused on residential, describe how you're a little less knowledgeable in three-phase power. Or, if you are new to the area, say you are still learning the local building codes but have a book at home and you're reading through it currently.

You will want to avoid saying things such as: 'well my wiring tends to come out twisted and sloppy'. It's obvious at that point you have yet to perfect your craft.

Rachelle's Answer #1
"I believe I could improve on some technical skills including Excel and PowerPoint. Currently I am at a beginner to intermediate level; however, I would be more comfortable at an advanced level. I have enrolled myself in an evening/weekend workshop for the next six weeks. We will see how stellar my skills are after that course!"
Rachelle's Answer #2
"I tend to be a perfectionist with my work. It had gotten me into trouble when I got sucked into a project and couldn't perform the repairs promptly. I've learned to set restrictions for myself, sticking to deadlines and focusing on quality rather than perfection."
How do you handle criticism from other trades professionals?
As an electrician, you will receive feedback about your work from either your boss, your client, or your co-workers. Regardless of how reasonable or accurate the observation may be, think before you speak. Be humble and don't take it personally.

Depending on who the criticism is coming from, you will want to approach it differently. If it's coming from your boss, you will want to respond respectfully, saying something like, "I appreciate the feedback. Now I know how I can improve next time."

If it's coming from a client, you may want to tell them, "I am so glad you noticed! I'll make the changes right away."

You may have a similar response to anyone's critical comments, but the key is to stay calm and never express frustration towards the person. Give an example where you stayed professional when someone gave you negative feedback.
Rachelle's Answer #1
"I appreciate the feedback. Now I know how I can improve next time."
Rachelle's Answer #2
"I handle criticism well; however, if it's harshly communicated to me, I do take it somewhat personally. That's something I will become better with, as I gain more confidence in my career as an electrician. Because I am just starting out, I expect to receive more constructive feedback than a tenured electrician would."
As an electrical apprentice, what was your most challenging task?
When you are new at any job, cultivating new skills can seem intimidating. Working with a well-trained, experienced electrician exposes you to new challenges that take time to learn. Overcoming the problem is sometimes as simple as repetition and knowing the safety measures you need to take. Talk about what was challenging about the task and what it took for you to gain confidence handling that type of situation.

Rachelle's Answer #1
"Wiring issues on an old house, hands down, was the most challenging task I faced as an apprentice. There were some weathering issues and different types of wiring, like aluminum. I learned how dangerous those issues could be when I almost started a fire! I used to be intimidated about doing repairs with old wires because of the hazards, but after getting more familiar with the precautions, I no longer feel that way."
Rachelle's Answer #2
"The most challenging aspect of my apprenticeship was learning all of the different codes and regulations. There is a lot to learn! I took my work home quite often, and studied guides online, to give me a leg up."
How do you maintain positive relationships with building engineers and architects?
Team players can efficiently communicate with their coworkers. They are flexible and take the initiative. Even when you're working with new contractors on a temporary project, until the work is finished, you will be on the same team. There may be difficult personalities; some may fail to meet expectations or even show up on time. Learning the communication styles of others will help you tremendously.

Let the interviewer know that you have learned to be open and flexible when working with engineers and architects.

Rachelle's Answer #1
"I maintain positive work relationships by acknowledging their efforts. Everything that I have achieved in my current role is not only due to my hard work but is also due to the great collaboration of my uber-talented team."
Rachelle's Answer #2
"Some qualities that make you a strong team player:

- Having the ability to empathize
- Humility
- Willingness to highlight the wins of others
- Strong listening skills
- The ability to encourage others
- Willingness to go beyond your job description
- Participating in extra-curricular activities
- Showing respect to everyone in the workplace
- Being proactive on projects
- Offering creative solutions
- Contributing when it is not expected of you
- Displaying self-awareness
- Accepting feedback on your performance"
Electricians often need to be in client-facing situations. Tell me about your customer service skills.
Even though you are surrounded by wires and with tools in hand, you may be expected to know how to work with clients in person, or on the phone. Interviewers will want to know your experience dealing with clients. Depending on the job, this could be a make or break deal for the interviewer. Make sure you are well aware of the job description, whether or not communication with clients is important for the interviewing company. Do not lie in this situation. Be honest if you have little experience facing clients. If that is the case, tell the interviewer you have little experience with clients but you are more than happy to engage with clients and walk them through any job you are completing and are willing to answer any questions they may have.

Rachelle's Answer #1
"I am good at communicating with my clients and my team. I know when it's okay to use technical terms and when I need to explain things in other terms that are easier to understand. Patience and good listening skills have helped me on every project."
Rachelle's Answer #2
"Before becoming an electrician, I worked as a server in a restaurant chain. It was a family-friendly facility and we had a lounge so I had the opportunity to meet customers from all walks of life. My conversational skills are strong, and I am able to read body language very well. Rest assured, you could put me in any client facing situation and I would perform well."
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