The interviewer would like to see that you are able to easily explain the concept of 3 phase electric power. Generally speaking, the easier it is for someone to explain a concept, the better they understand it. Keep your answer concise and easy to understand.
"If I had to explain 3 phase electric power, I would want to make sure that my explanation was understood even by the lay person. Three phase electric power has three waves of electricity that overlap each other. This allows for a safer, more reliable, and less expensive power solution for large businesses and manufacturers."
The interviewer would like to assess the amount of safety training you currently have so that they can understand which gaps they will need to fill, should they hire you. Likely, your safety training is listed on your resume already. Elaborate slightly on your training and certificates. If you have a physical certificate or safety ticket that you can bring with you, that's always a great idea!
"I have a variety of safety related trainings from my lineman internship, including Fall Arrest, First Aid, and CPR. I have brought you my tickets if you'd like to take a copy of them. A full list of my training, certificates, and expiry dates are listed on my resume also."
The interviewer would like to know that you have an interest in growth and development within your trade. Think of areas where you could potentially grow in your lineman career. What further education will you need, in order to get there? Many supervisors will take additional courses in safety, leadership, or even upgrade some electrical coursework. Show the interviewer that you have a keen interest in bettering yourself. If you are currently taking any type of professional development course, this is a great time to refer to that as well.
"I believe that professional development is important for everyone. If I could choose one particular area for professional development I would take additional coursework in underground wiring. Currently, I am upgrading my First Aid and CPR courses."
The interviewer would like to see that you are able to easily explain why a power plant increases voltage and drops amps when sending power through. Generally speaking, the easier it is for someone to explain a concept, the better they understand it. Keep your answer concise and easy to understand.
"If I had to explain this concept, I would want to make sure that my explanation was understood even by the lay person. Increasing the voltage and dropping the amps, when sending power through the lines, will ensure that the power travels faster without interruption."
The interviewer would like to know if you are the type of person to report unsafe work or if you would rather fit in by protecting your co-workers, even when it's dangerous. There is a fine balance when answering a question like this because you do not want to seem like an annoying whistle blower but you also do not want to come across as passive when it comes to safety in the workplace.
"If I saw a coworker doing something unsafe on the line, I would speak to them about it in private, immediately. Safety is a major concern in this line of work and I don't take it lightly. If the coworker continued the behaviour, I would then notify my supervisor."
The interviewer wants to know that you take the time to determine what equipment is needed before going on the line. Proper planning and having the right work tools will ensure that you optimize time and safety.
"Organization is incredibly important to ensure that I am always working safely and efficiently. Before I start a new job, the foreman and I will review the job at hand, lay out all of the required equipment and test that equipment for readiness."
The interviewer would like to ensure that you will be able to take on all of the challenges involved with being an electrical lineman, including the heights related challenges. Your answer can be brief but ensure that you are clear on your abilities and understanding of the role.
"I fully understand the expectations of this role and the fact that working in heights will be a part of that. At this point, I have never had a fear of heights. I am confident in my ability to perform the duties outlined in your job description."
The interviewer would like to be assured that you are fully aware of the dangers associated with being a lineman. Tell the interviewer that you are capable of working in varying situations while giving an example of a time when you have done this.
"I am fully aware of the dangers associated with this position. Before working as a lineman, I worked offshore oil rigs so I understand the hardships that can come with risky work."
As a lineman, safety should always be your number one priority. The interviewer wants to know that this is a priority of yours, in any situation. If you have been asked to perform unsafe work in the past, draw on that experience and talk about it with the interviewer. Be sure to avoid naming any names or speaking poorly of another company or co-worker. What you want to do it show the interviewer that you have values in the workplace that do not waiver.
"I worked for a company earlier in my career that had little regard for the small details such as double checking equipment for readiness. I would spend the extra few minutes before a job to make sure that my equipment was properly prepared. I was teased for being too "
Experience with underground wiring may or may not be a requirement of this position so be sure to refer to the job posting or the company website to see if underground wiring is a required skill. If you have experience with underground wiring, discuss how many months or years' experience you may have. Also, be sure to mention any formal training or certificates.
"Just last year I started working with underground wiring. My employer put me through the Underground Electrical Distribution System training at our local vocational school."
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."
Perhaps you have led a club at work, been a coach for a youth sports team, or were on the advisory board for a non-profit organization. You should always be prepared to show the interviewer that you have a natural ability to lead others. Whether you have led a group of 500, or a team of 2, you must display to the interviewer that you are capable of handling the responsibility that comes with being a leader and mentor. Talk about your desire to be a leader. Share with the interviewer that you strive to be a role model for others. Explain that you jump at the opportunity to lead groups, encourage your counterparts, and be a face of the organization when challenges arise.
"In my current position, I am the president of the social committee. I love that I have the opportunity to encourage employee engagement while being a positive influence on the workplace culture. I am a natural leader because I start with leading by example. As a leader, I make myself available to others who need mentor-ship, a bit of assistance in adjusting to their role, or just a listening ear when they've had a tough day. I am confident in my leadership abilities and look forward to joining your team in a leadership role."
The interviewer wants to know if your reactions to problems reflect maturity and professionalism. How you react will greatly determine how you fit with their existing team. Perhaps your computer crashes and you realize you may have just lost all of your hard work. Or maybe you are limited on time and have a deadline rapidly approaching. Demonstrate to the interviewer that you take a very methodical approach to problem solving, rather than reacting in an impulsive way when a problem occurs.
"When a major problem arises, my first instinct is to take a step back and absorb what just happened. I then go into "
Being terminated does not have to be an embarrassing or shameful thing. Be open and honest with the interviewer regarding your dismissal. Be sure to let the interviewer know that you can provide positive references despite a previous termination.
"I was terminated from my last position due to my inability to relocate to the new plant that my company was opening. It was unfortunate but I am confident that I will find the right fit again shortly. Despite my termination, I am able to provide you with strong work references."
If you feel that your performance in the interview is going well: "I believe that this interview has been quite informative and I am happy with my performance. Is there anything that I can clarify for you from this conversation?" If you feel that your performance in the interview is not going well: "I am not sure if I have been able to portray myself 100% accurately in this interview; although, I am trying my best. If there is anything more that I can clarify for you I would be happy to do so."
"I believe that this interview has been quite informative and I am happy with my performance. Is there anything that I can clarify for you from this conversation?"
Workplace relationships are important 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."
Being able to face a challenge or difficult situation, and still gain some type of accomplishment in the end, is very satisfying. Talk to the interviewer about a time when you were able to come out on top despite being faced with an obstacle.
"In my career,so far, I feel that the most difficult accomplishment for me to achieve were the 3 back-to-back promotions in my current company. Because promotions are granted based on results, I had to put in a lot of overtime hours, and hustle, to get there."
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 personal work values. Some characteristics you may want to use are: - Determined/Driven - Accountable - Humble - Respectful - Dependable
"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 when it comes to safety. My work ethic is the same. I am honest, flexible, and come ready to work hard for my employer every day."
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.
"Ideally, 5 years from now, I would love to see myself growing into a more prominent leadership role within your organization. My career interests align very nicely with your company's goals which helps me to see a great long term fit here."
The point to this interview question is to find out your level of tenacity when company guidelines and processes are not clear. Give the interviewer an example of a time when you had to cope with very few guidelines.
"One of my earlier positions was for a family run furniture company with very few guidelines or rules of engagement when it came to sales, service, and everyday protocol. It was pure chaos but I did my best by following what I intuitively felt was the best decision. I ended up being the lead of the delivery team within 3 months because they trusted that I had the company's best interest in mind."
Have you ever had to take on a task or a role that you felt was over your experience level? Talk to the interviewer about a time when you have dealt with this type of situation. What was the outcome, and what did you learn?
"When my manager went on unexpected medical leave for 3 months last year I was asked to step into her position in the interim. I knew the basics but was certainly not trained on the specifics of the role. I was able to take it on successfully by leaning on my team, reading a lot of company manuals, and asking many questions. Once my manager returned she was very please with the progress that I made and I was awarded a promotion."
Many hiring managers will choose one candidate over another because of their volunteer experience. They feel that it shows strong character and selflessness...all qualities that make a great employee. Talk to the interviewer about your willingness to give back to your community in some form of volunteerism. If you do not have formal volunteer experience you can draw on things you do in your spare time to assist friends, family, or even your current employer. If you do have volunteer experience: "For the past 8 months I have volunteered every Wednesday evening at our local animal shelter. I will help with grooming the animals, feeding them, and walking them. It's been a really fun experience and rewarding at the same time." If you do not have volunteer experience: "I have not formally volunteered in these most recent years, however; I spend a lot of time helping my sister who is a single mom. I will babysit on weekends, cook dinners for her and drive the kids to appointments when necessary. I feel that it is very important to take care of the needs of family."
"For the past 8 months I have volunteered every Wednesday evening at our local animal shelter. I will help with grooming the animals, feeding them, and walking them. It's been a really fun experience and rewarding at the same time."
The best way to discuss your salary expectations are to use your current earnings as an example. Be open, and honest. Transparency is the best choice when salary based questions arise.
"Currently, I earn a base salary of $68,000. I would like for my next opportunity to be slightly ahead of where I am now. $70,000-75,000 would be ideal."
The interviewer would like to be assured that you are a team player who will go the extra mile in emergency situations. One of the duties of an electrical lineman is to work during storms to help restore power. Show the interviewer that you are up for the challenge!
"Absolutely I will make myself available in emergency situations. I fully understand that my skills will be needed during certain situations and am happy to do so."
The interviewer is asking this because they want to know if you are lacking any specific skills that are outlined in their job description. The way you answer this will also reveal to the interviewer how much research you have actually done on the company before going into your interview. If you are confident in all of the skills required for this role: "I have read through your job description thoroughly and am excited about the opportunities this position offers. I am very skilled in all required areas." If you are not confident in all of the skills required for this role: "I have read through your job description thoroughly and am excited about the opportunities this position offers. Even though I do not have the 3 years of supervisory experience that you ask for, I do have one year of experience leading a team. I am still quite well skilled in this area."
"I have read through your job description thoroughly and am excited about the opportunities this position offers. I am very skilled in all required areas."
There is a good chance that you are already aware of the shiftwork / on call components of the role by reading the job posting or job description. Reassure the interviewer that you are able to meet the requirements of the job. If you do have some restrictions in your availability, this is the time to bring those up.
"I am accustomed to working shift work and also being on call every other weekend. The only restriction that I currently have in my schedule is on Wednesday evenings. Other than that, I am happy to make myself available when needed."
Your answer to this question should be pretty cut and dry. They are not looking for your opinion on whether or not you like IBEW. The interviewer simply wants to know if you have any exposure to the organization. If you are familiar with the IBEW: "In my current position, we work closely with the IBEW in our utilities department. We are a smaller company and so we are able to utilize their organization when it comes to safety and regulatory standards, as well as some program development needs." If you are not familiar with the IBEW: "I have not personally interacted with the IBEW; however, I am familiar with their purpose. Do you collaborate with the IBEW here?"
"In my current position, we work closely with the IBEW in our utilities department. We are a smaller company and so we are able to utilize their organization when it comes to safety and regulatory standards, as well as some program development needs."
Troubleshooting is like reverse engineering - it takes skill, effort and patience. You have to understand the problem in order to know how to work backwards from it to find a solution. Knowing how to solve problems with technical equipment is always a solid skill, and a great way to demonstrate your example. Show that you are insightful in your approach.
"Last week, while operating the ultrasound machine, I was receiving a repeated error. I entered in a few different codes but that didn't solve the issue. I then did a hard reset, removing all power sources. Then, I referred to the online manual for additional suggestions. It took a little time and patience but I was able to resolve the issue without calling a technician."
Linemen are responsible for installing, inspecting and maintaining electrical or power lines. They work in a wide range of industries, from telecom and construction to software and aerospace. As part of their job, linemen remove or repair damaged power lines and ensure that all circuits are safe and effective for customer user.
You must complete post secondary training in the relevant field and also complete a recognized apprenticeship before you can be hired to work as a linesman. This is a high-risk job and knowledge of precautionary measures is mandatory.
Prospective employers will want to gauge your knowledge of the job as well as your knowledge of safety protocol in this role. Your answers must be compelling enough to convince the interviewer that you have the necessary knowledge. One of the best ways to prepare for your upcoming interview is by rehearsing your answers to some of the more commonly asked questions. You can find these listed at Mock Questions.