The ability to operate off road vehicles will be an advantage for you in this job. This is a straightforward question which won't require much effort in answering. Either you can drive these vehicles or you can't. You can also mention any special licensing you may hold.
"I am a skilled driver and have many years' experience operating ATVs. I grew up on them as a kid, and am confident in any terrain."
"Although I have not operated any ATV's in a work environment, I have operated them in my leisure time, off-roading in the mountains during camping trips, for instance. Is there any special licensing that you would like for me to obtain?"
"I have approximately ten years driving ATV's and off-road equipment in all terrains. I have a variety of licenses including Class A, B, and C."
The interviewer would like to know if there are any restrictions on your physical abilities. Although in most regions you are not legally required to disclose a physical disability, you need to be honest when answering this question.
"I am in peak physical condition with no restrictions on physical activity. I like to be out in nature, on my feet, and look forward to meeting the physical demands of this role."
"I understand that the role of a forester can be physically demanding. I have been training to prepare and recently entered a CrossFit competition and had no concerns about my ability to meet the physical requirements of this position."
"I wear a knee brace for a few hours a day to support an old sports injury; however, I have been in this line of work for many years now and have not encountered any issues with the physical requirements of being a forester."
The interviewer wants to gauge if you can maintain healthy relationships in the workplace. They want to know more about the dynamics with your coworkers. Think about what you enjoyed about some of your relationships with past coworkers. Excellent communication, sense of humor, and support are all great qualities that make co-worker relationships healthy and harmonious.
"I get along great with my coworkers. I try to maintain a positive attitude and be supportive, whether I am offering to assist someone who is overwhelmed, or if I am taking time to listen to someone who is having a bad day."
"I have never had an issue when it comes to getting along with others at work. I am a conscious communicator and am sure always to express myself in a kind and professional manner."
"I enjoy the people I work with and can get along with anyone. I have made some of my closest friends from different workplaces, and I know how important workplace relationships are for not only camaraderie but also for accomplishing tasks within your team."
Before answering scheduling questions, it's important to be clear on the interviewer's expectations. If you haven't had a chance to clarify their scheduling needs, now would be the perfect time to ask! Consider asking, 'What are the scheduling expectations for this position?' If they expect you to work 12 hour days, it would be important for you to know that before you respond with, 'Absolutely! No problem!' You want to be sure that you can meet their expectations. If it turns out their schedule expectations won't work for you, think about what you CAN offer and see if you can meet in the middle. It's much better to discuss these things in an interview than for you to commit to a schedule that won't work for you.
"I am available for full-time work which is preferably 8-5 Monday to Friday. I am happy to be a team player and work some overtime, as required. Will these hours meet your expectations?"
"If overtime is required in this role, I am happy to accommodate whenever I can. My only restriction is that I cannot work Wednesday nights as I have online coursework those evenings."
"In a salaried role such as this, I don't expect a strict 40 hour per week schedule, but I also know that I'm looking for a work-life balance. As needed, I'd be available to dedicate more time to the team, while hoping to preserve that balance."
On a scale of 1-10, how skilled are you in communication? Why did you choose that particular rating for yourself?
"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."
"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."
"I will rate myself a nine because I value communication but, just like most people, I have things to learn. Some ways that I ensure clear communication are by utilizing multiple methods of delivering messages, and I give ample time for questions before implementing changes."
Are you accustomed to working with a very large or diverse team of individuals? Assure the interviewer that you can handle an environment that offers diversity.
"I have worked with diverse groups of people most of my career, including my time in University. I am most comfortable, and happy, in this type of environment because it offers a great learning opportunity."
"In my current role, I work alongside cross-functional teams regularly. It's provided a diverse, and helpful, work environment. I also have a great deal of exposure to diversity through my time in university."
"I would say that pretty much every company I have worked for has valued diversity. Working with people from all walks of life help shed different perspectives and identify potential problems faster."
The interviewer is looking to hear about your ability to communicate with your team and professionally handle issues when they arise. Think of an example where you worked closely with your team to resolve a conflict. You could also offer a scenario where you mediated an issue between two coworkers. Show that you can keep your head on your shoulders when dealing with conflict.
"I have strong conflict management skills and in my current position, have had to exercise those skills from time to time. We are in a high-stress, remote work environment which can cause a lot of unnecessary conflict among the team. When a conflict arises, I like to deal with it swiftly, openly, and with poise. Transparency and openness are how I lead my team, so I will call a group meeting where we express concerns and get it all out on the table."
"Conflict is a normal part of the business, and certainly in a forestry environment where many people work away from home for extended periods of time. I believe that conflict is most easily remedied by clear, open, and honest communication among team members."
"In my current role, we all have a bit of leeway to voice our opinions and know it's okay to disagree. As we disagree, we find new spaces for growth and new directions can be taken because of those uncomfortable conversations. As long as it remains in check and everyone behaves as adults and treats one another and our differing opinions with respect, constructive conflict can be very beneficial."
Workplace relationships are essential to nurture. Talk to the interviewer about how you plan to earn the trust of your new co-workers, should you be offered the position.
"I feel that the best way to earn the trust of my co-workers is to be helpful, always do what I promise, and be honest with them at all times. Strong relationships have to be built on these principles."
"I will win my new coworkers over by going above and beyond the expectations given to me. I want to be a helpful team member that they can always come to."
"Trust is something you earn over time with people. I will lead by example and be transparent in my communications. Trust happens when people deliver on doing what they say they will do. I take the approach of under promising and over delivering to accelerate the trust process. With strong trust, teams can accomplish great things together."
As a forester, you may receive specific allowances for fuel, food, and other expenses if you work in a remote location. Assure the interviewer that you can be honest with your expense reports. Discuss your past expenses and how you keep track of them.
"I always keep very close track of my expenses, and I keep an exact spreadsheet which I update weekly, supported by receipts. I have never falsified an expense report."
"No, I have not kept the remainder of an expense that was allotted to me. That would be dishonest, and I am a very trustworthy person."
"No, I do not practice this as it is something unethical to do. I keep an accurate count of my expenses, records/receipts, and payments. If there is an overpayment, I will credit the expense report, and include the backup, on the next expense request."
When the interviewer asks about your work ethic, they are looking for specific examples or keywords they can relate to. When you read the company job, posting or job description do they refer to particular company ethics? Talk about their values and how those align well with your work values.
"I am a very dedicated and loyal employee. I saw on your website that you describe your company as honest, transparent and you go the extra mile for your employees. My work ethic is the same. I am honest, flexible, and come ready to work hard for my employer every day."
"Some characteristics you may want to use are: - Determined/Driven - Accountable - Humble - Respectful - Dependable "
"I see myself as driven, dependable, and loyal. I always have my eye on the prize and what I want to achieve; I am always ready to jump into action whenever someone needs me; I stick with a company for the long term and love to grow with one organization."
The interviewer would like to know your preference for when it comes to working within a routine, and your ability to adapt to ever-changing situaitons. Are you the individual who prefers to know what the method of work will be, or do you thrive on the challenge and excitement of unpredictability?
"I prefer working in a more predictable environment because I can be more effective in my tasks. With that said, I can certainly work in an unpredictable environment from time to time."
"I am accustomed to working in an unpredictable environment and tend to prefer that pace. It's fast and makes every day different. I certainly enjoy the challenge!"
"I like to have a bit of both, honestly. I have a general schedule that I follow in the morning including a team huddle, setting objectives for the day, following up with clients, and then setting new meetings with prospects. That said, the in-between of that framework is always pretty unpredictable."
The best thing that you can do when asked about your salary expectations is to be open and honest about what you are currently earning, and where you want to be in the future.
"I can share with you what I am currently earning, and where I would like to be in my next position. Currently, I am earning a base salary of $68K plus an annual bonus opportunity of an additional 10%. Last year my earnings were $85K, and I'd like to earn a bit above that in my next position."
"As I am new to my career and this industry, I am happy to negotiate my earnings based on your typical salary for this role."
"I am negotiable with my salary expectations. However, I am not inclined to lose compensation. Compensation to me, though, is not just net pay. I take into account work hours, drive time, benefits, etc."
The interviewer would like to know if you have any involvement with groups related to the cause of a healthy foresty industry, or another related topic. There are many options available, so it's a great idea to research some way, big or small, that you can become involved in a cause outside of the workplace. If you are not supporting any groups or programs, discuss some options that interest you.
"For the past three years I have been a member of the Canadian Institute of Forestry. Their primary purpose is to speak up for sustainable forest practices in Canada. I agree with the importance of their cause which is why it's important that I support them."
"This past summer, I volunteered with Fairfax ReLeaf in Northern Virginia. We worked to plant and preserve trees because I do believe that an important part of forestry is to remember the importance of habitat restoration."
"Forest sustainability and habitat restoration are both important topics for me. I currently donate my time and funds to the Houston Area Urban Forestry Council. They provide a platform for different parties in urban forestry tp collaborate and enhance urban forest in the Houston area."
As a forester, continued education is essential. It's also required to remain in good standing with the Society of American Foresters. If you could choose any focus for your continued education, which would it be?
"I recently took a course on Pacific Northwest Timberlands Management: Regulations, Litigation, & Business. It was very informative, and I look forward to my next course. I do have my eye on Applied Forest Finance. I believe that a stronger knowledge base in budgets and profitability will always be a helpful resource."
"As I recently graduated with my Bachelor's Degree in Forestry, I have not had much opportunity to explore further education. I do, however, believe that it is incredibly important to my success as a forester. Do you have any continuing education courses to recommend? I am happy to hear any recommendations from you."
"Continued education is essential to me which is why I take one to two courses every year. This year I have my eye on attending The Impact of Climate Change on Forests of the Rockies as well as Healthy Habitats for Native Wildlife."
The interviewer would like to be assured that they are hiring someone without restrictions on travel, driving, operating machinery, and more. If you have a criminal record, you must disclose it at this time. Regardless of the situation, assure the interviewer that you are transparent about your past and that you have no concerns regarding background check compliance.
"I am happy to comply with any background checks that you require. I will disclose that I went through a drivers' license suspension in 1999 after received a DUI. My license was reinstated shortly after; however, the mark is still on my record. I have kept a clean record since."
"I do not have any restrictions when it comes to my criminal past of drivers' history. I am happy to comply with any background check that you require."
"Through my eight-year career as a forester, I have been through many background checks. My criminal history is clean, and my drivers' abstract is as well. Can I fill out any background check paperwork for you today?"
Some states require licensure to legally operate as a forester. These state enforced laws include licensing and registration statutes, according to the Society of American Foresters. Depending on your region, you may or may not need to have additional licensing on top of your formal education. Your answer should be short and straightforward - a yes or no! If you are not permitted, be sure to express your willingness to comply. If you are not sure of the exact requirements in your state, then visit the SAF website where you can find the correct contact information for each state board.
"I am licensed by the State of California and fully understand the importance of keeping my licensing and registration up to date. I have brought my licensing documents with me today if you would like to take a copy of my file."
"I am not yet licensed. However, I have been talking with my rep from the Society of American Foresters on planning next steps for my licensing and registration."
"I have worked in three different states as a Forester and am very well versed in the licensing and requirements for this particular state. I have all licensing required to legally work in South Carolina, North Carolina, and West Virginia. I have brought all of the necessary documentation with me, and you are more than welcome to take copies for my file."
The interviewer would like to understand better where you started your career, and where the basis of your fundamental knowledge and training came from. If you did not complete an internship, speak about the first junior level position that you held in forestry. Be sure to keep your answer positive, even if your placement was not your favorite experience. The forestry industry can be tight-knit, and you do not want to step on any toes in your interview!
"Because I do not have a completed degree in forestry, I did not complete an internship. With that said, I had the opportunity to go to Canada and train on a weekend cleanup crew with Weyerhaeuser. The hands-on experience I gained was immeasurable."
"I completed my internship with West Fraser Timber Company, training under a senior forest technician. It was an incredible six months, and I look forward to taking the knowledge gained and applying it to this position."
"While completing my Bachelor's Degree in Forestry, I was lucky enough to land a coveted Forestry Summer Student position with the Teal-Jones Group. I learned the fundamentals of forestry including timber and road reconnaissance, deflection lines, GPS surveying, and creek assessments. After my summer internship was complete, I received a wonderful letter of reference which I brought for you to see today."
Although not always necessary, if you work in the United States, being certified by the Society of American Foresters (SAF) looks great on a resume. This is a simple yes or no answer; however, if you are not certified it would be advantageous to let the interviewer know that you are open to gaining certification through this professional association.
"Yes, I have been certified by the Society of American Foresters since 2011. This society has been a great resource to me in my career so far, and I visit their website often for the latest news in the forestry industry."
"I recently learned about the Society of American Foresters. Although I am not yet certified, I have a strong interest in taking this step to help launch my new career a forester."
"I am certified by SAF, and I have also taken a variety of courses through them to keep my knowledge relevant and competitive. They are also a great forestry news resource for me."
As a forester, you are expected to care about wildlife genuinely. The interviewer wants to know that you fully understand the way in which your decisions will impact wildlife and ecosystems. Think about the weight that wildlife has in your decision-making process.
"I believe that whatever I am doing as a forester is for the forest and everything that inhabits it. Every decision I make is surrounding the importance of sustaining the forest and its ecosystem."
"Wildlife wholly impacts every decision that a forester makes. I understand the importance of my role as a forester and have vowed to make smart decisions as I pave my career."
"The impact that wildlife has on my decision-making process is huge. As a forester, it is my responsibility to ensure that we disturb wildlife as little as possible. I train all of my junior staff to keep wildlife top of mind as well."
It's always a great idea to have questions ready for the interviewer. Review the company website and other online resources to ensure the questions you are asking are not mundane, or redundant. The last thing an interviewer wants to hear is a list of items you could have found the answers to from merely watching a video on their company site!
"Yes, a few questions come to mind. Why is this position open at this time? Also, what is the career trajectory for this particular role?"
"Here are some sample questions: - When would you like to have this position filled? - How long has this role been vacant? - Is this a replacement search or a newly created role? - What is your favorite part of working here? - What is the company's primary goal for this position in the next 12 months? - Is there anything from my background and experience that I can clarify for you? - What do you see as the most significant change in this industry over the past three years? - Is there any reason why you would not hire me? "
"Thank you for asking - I do have a few questions. What is top of mind when it comes to filling this role? Also, what types of career growth opportunities would follow this position? And lastly, do you have internal candidates who are also interviewing for this position?"
A forester is a person who practices forestry, the science, art, and profession of managing forests. Foresters engage in a broad range of activities including timber harvesting, ecological restoration and management of protected areas. Foresters manage forests to provide a variety of objectives including direct extraction of raw material, outdoor recreation, conservation, hunting and aesthetics. Emerging management practices include managing forestlands for biodiversity, carbon sequestration and air quality.