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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?
Professional Answers Preview
"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."
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.
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Question 3 of 39
What steps do you take when a piece of equipment starts performing poorly?
Professional Answers Preview
"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."
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.
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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?
Professional Answers Preview
"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."
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
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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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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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User-Submitted Interview Answers

Question 1 of 39
Why do you want a career as a Heavy Equipment Operator?
User-Submitted Answers
1.
I am happy to work with any machinery as long as know how to operate or trouble shoot the equipment. I do not have much experience with heavy machinery. In endoscopy I use computers, endoscopy stacks and Lancer re-processors which are stationary and simple to use.
2.
I've wanted to since I was a boy in the back yard with tonka trucks making little excavation sites, the training grounds were 4 hrs away and I never had the opportunity to move there. I'm 10 min away from the training facility and the union hall.
3.
Tbe able to have that experience and traininh.
4.
Because that's what I love to do and im good at it.
5.
I want to work with Heavy Machinery because it has always been the logical career choice for me, because it combines my best abilities. It has always been a facination of mine and I wish to make a career out of it.
6.
I enjoy using todays modern technology to perform tasks that are helpful in the workforce.
7.
I have always had a passion for heavy equipment.
8.
Because I love to work on heavy mechine.
9.
I want to work with heavy machinery because I enjoy using my skills with heavy machinery to accomplish tasks set out before me. I have 25 plus years experience with heavy machinery and am highly competent. In addition, I enjoy working outdoors.
10.
I have always been enticed by them and once I sit in one I know I am where I belong.
11.
It was not what I grew up wanting to do but when I was given the opportunity for a new career, I couldn't pass up a new learning opportunity. It turns out I excelled at it and now I'm very passionate about my job.
12.
It's something i've wanted to do as a child.
13.
I am experienced in machine work.
14.
Heavy machinery has always been my passion.
15.
Seeking to help develop large commercial projects.
Question 2 of 39
This role will require full commitment in varying weather conditions. Do you have experience working in tough conditions?
User-Submitted Answers
1.
Mainly yes. My favorite days are rainy with fog. Like most people snow or icy weather is not the best days to be out and about however as long as it is a safe environment to work in I am happy to do the job at hand.
2.
Depends on the weather or climate.
3.
I do . I was a landscape crew leader for 3 yrs and worked yr round in all 4 seasons landscaping, and snow removal, and drove a regional route for 4 yrs in all 4 seasons.
4.
I really enjoy it because it's challenging.
5.
Yes, I do enjoy working in all weather conditions outside, because not everyone can do it. It takes a special type of person to be able to withstand most weather conditions.
6.
Absolutely. I work equally well in both extreme heat or extreme cold, and accept working in the rain as a given. Working in perfect weather is a bonus, but it is a given that I will be working in the heat, cold, and wet; no different than the previous 25 years of my career with the City of Melville.
7.
Yes but sometimes weather can slow you down.
8.
Yes out doors is my life rain or shine.
9.
I do enjoy working outdors but not any weather. Only when need arises I would'nt mind working in any weather provided I will be safe and the machine shall be safe too.
10.
I like to operate equipment in any environment, all come with challenges.
11.
Yes I love to be outside I have washed semi trucks in winter and enjoy the weather.
12.
I love the outdoors. The heat is a little harder to work in for me but I always stay well hydrated.
13.
Yes I do! i'll take the task in whatever condition it comes.
Question 3 of 39
What steps do you take when a piece of equipment starts performing poorly?
User-Submitted Answers
1.
I would follow the the protocol and guidelines provided to determine my course of action. Normally a poor preforming machine would be picked up by daily checks or users. I would document my observations and report the issue to the correct facilitator or manager. This may result in repair or worse a new machine.
2.
I would follow the procedure and guidelines provided to determine the solution.
3.
Stop machine and notify a sup.
4.
Immediately stop what I am doing, park the machine in a safe area and, depending on what portion is not working, either shut it down or apply the brakes and, after ensuring it is secured, inspect for anything obvious that may be wrong. If I cannot figure out what is wrong, I will not run the machine until someone with better knowledge has inspected the machine.
5.
Report to the superviser so that can organise mechanic to do check upon machine.
6.
Inform my supervisor so it can get fixed before becoming to costly.
7.
To ask th operator when did he noticed the poor performance and go from there.
Question 4 of 39
In your opinion, what skills and behaviors are most important, in order to be a successful Heavy Equipment Operator?
User-Submitted Answers
1.
Knowing the maintenance and safe operation of the machine.
2.
Knowledge in safety operation of heavy equipment, team player and can follow safety rules and regulation of company.
3.
The skills essential for this position are heavy equipment safety, first. The second is backhoe operation and basic maintenance. The third is a basic understanding of how plumbing systems work.
4.
Work with the rules and regulations given by the company to avoid accident.
5.
Plant operating skills, good decision making and accuracy.
6.
Operation of excavators safely and skillfully.
7.
Good with your hans and quick in problem solving.
8.
How to drive and know what;s going to be done.
Question 5 of 39
How important is safety to you? What type of safety training do you have?
User-Submitted Answers
1.
Safety is an every day thing in this industry, if your doing something un safe you might not be there for long.
2.
Staying alert at all times and know lock out tag out procedures.
3.
I have seminar in safety and I had attend toolbox meeting always, I am implementing this always.
4.
Safety must to be put in the forefront of everything we do. It must be demonstrated throughtout the organization. We must all be informed of safety standards and policies and must have the tools available to implement those standards.
5.
First, I make sure I myself, the operator, is in good condition and ready. The second, I make sure that OneCall has been contacted and that we know where the buried utilities are, if there are any. I will refuse to dig unless OneCall has checked out the area first. Next, we must ensure that we all have one universal "Stop" command, and that all signals are understood. If I do not understand, I do not move, simple as that. Next, I ensure the machine is secured, and not going to move unexpectedly. I also inspect the machine before operation. I watch for bystanders and crew as I operate. Lastly, I will not, for any reason, swing over crew members, bystanders, or anyone else, and I will not do anything that could be considered dangerous.
6.
All the time before climbing in to the machine evaulate around the place gonna and do checklist on the machine.
7.
Always go through the vehicle checklist and always look for pedestrians.
8.
By ensuring I as an operator I put on safety gears before operating the machine, ensure I inspect the machine first before I operate it and ensure my surroundings are safe to operate the machine.
9.
I always wear the required safety gear. I am very observant of my surroundings especially my coworkers.
10.
First of all wear eye protection and acknowledge what part of the vehicle one is going to work on. Also, keep in mind all the hazards that come working in that part of the vehicle.
Question 6 of 39
What types of heavy machinery are you experienced in?
User-Submitted Answers
1.
11 years private industry and 10 years military.
2.
Yes. I have years of experience on two skid-steers on a farm, I have been trained on multiple pieces of equipment, and I have operated equipment on the job.
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?
User-Submitted Answers
1.
It depends on the situation really, but yes, I do pay attention to detail in most cases.
2.
Yes, I pay attention when neccessary.
Question 8 of 39
What kind of people do you enjoy working with?
Question 9 of 39
What causes you to feel dissatisfied on the job?
Question 10 of 39
On a scale from 1 to 10, how honest are you?
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?
Question 12 of 39
How would you react if your supervisor asked you to perform a task that you were not comfortable with?
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?
Question 14 of 39
What are your salary expectations?
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.
Question 16 of 39
What decisions did you routinely make in your last position?
Question 17 of 39
How do you deal with conflict on your team?
Question 18 of 39
When have you used an inventive method to stretch company resources beyond the normal level?
Question 19 of 39
Why did you leave your last job?
Question 20 of 39
What is your availability?
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?
Question 22 of 39
If you were given a choice, which work related task would you leave for last? Why?
Question 23 of 39
How do you handle a larger than average workload?
Question 24 of 39
When have you worked amongst a diverse group of people?
Question 25 of 39
How would you fill your time, if faced with downtime during your working day?
Question 26 of 39
When you have a situation that could cause you to be unexpectedly absent from work, how do you handle it?
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?
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?
Question 29 of 39
Describe an ongoing problem at your current or former employer that you were able to overcome.
Question 30 of 39
When you suffer a setback, how does that emotionally affect you and your work?
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?
Question 32 of 39
Tell me about a time when you had to work with someone who was difficult to get along with.
Question 33 of 39
Do you have experience working in a unionized environment? What are your thoughts on union based roles?
Question 34 of 39
Why is this job right for you at this time in your career?
Question 35 of 39
What are your strengths?
Question 36 of 39
What are your weaknesses?
Question 37 of 39
Would you say you are a better verbal or written communicator?
Question 38 of 39
After receiving information from your supervisor, how do you ensure you properly communicate this information to your team?
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?

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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