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Heavy Equipment Operator Interview Questions

39 Heavy Equipment Operator Interview Questions
Question 1 of 39
Why do you want a career as a Heavy Equipment Operator?
How to Answer
The interviewer wants to gauge whether you may be a long term fit for their company, or not. Be sure to give an example of why you are passionate about your career as a Heavy Equipment Operator and tell the interviewer that you are in this career path for the long haul.

Answer Example
"I have always had an interest in heavy equipment. As a teenager, I helped my dad on the job site in the summers and he would let me operate the smaller pieces of equipment. I guess you could say it's in my blood. I plan to be an operator for many years to come."
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Question 2 of 39
This role will require full commitment in varying weather conditions. Do you have experience working in tough conditions?
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How to Answer
The interviewer wants to know that you are able to work in any type of work conditions required in this role. If you are unsure of the work conditions, it is absolutely okay to ask the interviewer to elaborate, before you fully agree. You can respond by describing the work conditions you have previously been exposed to, and assure the interviewer that you are ready and capable of handling the position as it's been described.

Answer Example
"I understand that you have indoor and outdoor facilities, and that work must go on...rain or shine! I have worked in a variety of environments including outdoor yards, and even a chemical plant. I am happy to commit, even through tough working conditions."
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Question 3 of 39
What steps do you take when a piece of equipment starts performing poorly?
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How to Answer
The interviewer wants to see if you are experienced enough to know the proper steps you take if a piece of equipment starts to malfunction. Show that you are technically minded, and safety driven. Be sure to include an example of a time when you faced this type of situation in the workplace, if you can. If you have any education related to maintenance and mechanics, this is a good time to highlight that training as well.

Answer Example
"When a piece of equipment fails to work properly, I follow a 5 step troubleshooting plan. I verify that a problem actually exists. Then, I isolate the cause of the problem. Once isolated, I correct the cause of the problem. I will then ask a third party to verify that the problem has been corrected. Finally, I document the situation. I learned this 5 step process while earning my degree in mechanical engineering."
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Question 4 of 39
In your opinion, what skills and behaviors are most important, in order to be a successful Heavy Equipment Operator?
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How to Answer
The interviewer knows that you will likely list skills and behaviors that you personally possess. Assure the interviewer that you understand what it takes to be successful as a Heavy Equipment Operator. You want your answer to be unique. This will help you to stand out from the other potential candidates. For instance, saying that you think a Heavy Equipment Operator should be safe, and detail driven, may be a mundane answer that anyone would give. Dig deeper!

Here are some ideas:

- Reliable
- Independent
- Aware
- Capable of stress-management
- Patient
- Honest
- Alert
- Open to feedback
- Dedicated

Answer Example
"I believe the most important skills as a Heavy Equipment Operator would be to have technical and mechanical abilities, quick-decision making skills, and be capable of exercising patience."
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Question 5 of 39
How important is safety to you? What type of safety training do you have?
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How to Answer
The interviewer wants to see that you understand the importance of safety in the workplace, and that you are dedicated enough to your trade to have participated in some formal training. Walk the interviewer through your safety-related training and be sure to ask them if they are looking for specific experience. This will allow you to overcome any objections related to your level of exposure to safety training.

Answer Example
"Safe work practices are the groundwork to everything that we do. In regards to safety training, I have completed courses on Ground Disturbance, Occupational Health and Safety, and Excavation Safety. Are there any other safety courses you would like to see me have?"
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Author of Heavy Equipment Operator Answers and Questions

Rachelle Enns
Rachelle Enns is an executive head-hunter and job search expert. Utilized by top executives from Fortune 100 & 500 companies like Fitbit, Microsoft, General Electric, Nestle, and more, she helps professionals position themselves in a competitive marketplace. Rachelle founded Renovate My Resume, a company that focuses on helping job seekers get their edge back. Renovate My Resume creates stand-out resumes, cover letters, LinkedIn profiles and professional summaries for new grads, all the way to corporate executives. Rachelle spends much of her time training career coaches, recruiters, and resume writers. She also holds interview workshops for students and interns, globally. For great tips and tricks, follow Rachelle on Instagram @_rachelle_e or @renovatemyresume.
First written on: 02/25/2014
Last modified on: 08/21/2018

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About Heavy Equipment Operator

May 6th, 2017

Heavy equipment operators typically work in the construction industry. They have the physical strength, skills, and know how to operate various types of heavy machinery safely and efficiently. They may operate heavy duty excavators, bulldozers, forklifts and cranes amongst others. As part of their job, heavy equipment operators read blueprints to understand the requirements of a specific job. They are also responsible for ensuring that their equipment operates smoothly through regular maintenance.
This is an entry level job. There are no minimum educational qualification requirements. Employers are more interested in determining if applicants have the necessary strength, skills, and experience. At the interview, you will be asked about your experience in this field and what were the responsibilities that you handled at the time. The most important question you will be asked is if you can handle the rigors of the job. Want to find out what other questions to expect at your heavy equipment operator interview? You can find the necessary information when you go through mock interview questions.