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Top 35 Heavy Equipment Operator Interview Questions

Question 1 of 39
Why do you want a career as a Heavy Equipment Operator?
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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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Question 6 of 39
What types of heavy machinery are you experienced in?
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Question 7 of 39
Attention to detail is very important in this role. How do you ensure you remain focused and accurate at all times?
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Question 8 of 39
What kind of people do you enjoy working with?
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Question 9 of 39
What causes you to feel dissatisfied on the job?
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Question 10 of 39
On a scale from 1 to 10, how honest are you?
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Question 11 of 39
We are asking for 8 years of industry experience and you have just 5. Why do you think you are qualified for this position?
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Question 12 of 39
How would you react if your supervisor asked you to perform a task that you were not comfortable with?
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Question 13 of 39
Would your former or current boss describe you as a worker who gladly goes the extra mile to complete their tasks?
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Question 14 of 39
What are your salary expectations?
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Question 15 of 39
When have you had to make a split second decision? How do you react under unexpected pressure? The interviewer wants to know how you handle pressure when an unexpected stressor arises.
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Question 16 of 39
What decisions did you routinely make in your last position?
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Question 17 of 39
How do you deal with conflict on your team?
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Question 18 of 39
When have you used an inventive method to stretch company resources beyond the normal level?
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Question 19 of 39
Why did you leave your last job?
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Question 20 of 39
What is your availability?
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Question 21 of 39
Tell me about a time when you received criticism from your manager. How did you react to that criticism? How did you make improvements based on that criticism?
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Question 22 of 39
If you were given a choice, which work related task would you leave for last? Why?
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Question 23 of 39
How do you handle a larger than average workload?
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Question 24 of 39
When have you worked amongst a diverse group of people?
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Question 25 of 39
How would you fill your time, if faced with downtime during your working day?
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Question 26 of 39
When you have a situation that could cause you to be unexpectedly absent from work, how do you handle it?
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Question 27 of 39
The role of Heavy Equipment Operator requires high amounts of physical activity. What experience have you had within a physically demanding role?
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Question 28 of 39
As a Heavy Equipment Operator, you will be asked to work a variety of shifts. Do you have any restrictions on your availability?
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Question 29 of 39
Describe an ongoing problem at your current or former employer that you were able to overcome.
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Question 30 of 39
When you suffer a setback, how does that emotionally affect you and your work?
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Question 31 of 39
We measure productivity in a variety of ways. In your opinion, what are the most important performance metrics for this position?
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Question 32 of 39
Tell me about a time when you had to work with someone who was difficult to get along with.
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Question 33 of 39
Do you have experience working in a unionized environment? What are your thoughts on union based roles?
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Question 34 of 39
Why is this job right for you at this time in your career?
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Question 35 of 39
What are your strengths?
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Question 36 of 39
What are your weaknesses?
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Question 37 of 39
Would you say you are a better verbal or written communicator?
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Question 38 of 39
After receiving information from your supervisor, how do you ensure you properly communicate this information to your team?
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Question 39 of 39
Tell me about a time that you naturally took on a leadership role without being asked. Did you enjoy being a leader? Were you happy with the outcome?
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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.

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