Updated on January 6th, 2019 | Rachelle is a job search expert, career coach, and headhunter who helps everyone from students to fortune executives find success in their career.
Question 1 of 25
What do you know about our facility?
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A good hiring manager will always want to know that you are keen on the role and that you have taken time to research the organization, or facility, prior to your interview. Display to the interviewer that you have committed to researching their facility prior to your interview.
"I have been aware of your facility for quite some time now and did conduct some research on your website and through a Google search. It appears that your facility is very well respected with a great safety record. One point that really stands out to me is the time your employees spend volunteering and giving back to the community."
Entry Level Example
"I have researched your facility and understand that you work primarily on A/C and HVAC repairs off-site. Your company has been around for the past eight years, and it appears that you have strong employee tenure. I look forward to growing my maintenance career here."
"I have a few former colleagues who have come to work for your company and have said amazing things about the organizational structure here. I know that you are very profitable and that you collaborate with the local technical school for your apprentices. I look forward to learning more about your company, first hand."
Although you are a general maintenance professional, do you have specific abilities as a plumber? Talk to the interviewer about your ability to perform plumbing related tasks.
"I have some plumbing experience from my previous position; however, it is basic plumbing such as clogged drains and leaking toilets. For severe plumbing issues, I do call a professional and accredited plumber."
Entry Level Example
"I wouldn't say that I have plumbing experience; however, I do have plumbing knowledge. Which types of plumbing tasks do you expect I will encounter in this role?"
"I have performed a great deal of residential and commercial plumbing ranging from appliance repair to installing and repairing water supply lines. Could you share with me the types of plumbing work that would come up in this role?"
The interviewer would like to know what led you to a career in maintenance. How did you arrive on this career path? Talk to the interviewer about why you chose this career and briefly discuss what keeps you engaged.
"After graduating High School, I attended our local trades college to become an electrician. I decided over time that I most enjoyed the variety of general maintenance and re-focused my career. I haven't looked back a day in my career because the variety keeps me happy."
Entry Level Example
"I chose a career in maintenance because I wanted to follow in my father's footsteps. He has his machine shop, and I would hang out with him every day after school. I loved tinkering around with his tools and figuring out how parts worked together."
"I have always had a keen eye for mechanics and how machinery works. After working in a machine shop after high school, I chose to attend trades school to become a general trades professional."
The interviewer would like to know what your ideal employer looks like. Share with the interviewer the type of company that you are ideally looking to work for. Support your answer by including the reasons why you want to work for this particular company.
"My ideal company is an organization that puts their customers first. Being able to respond to a maintenance call quickly is half of the battle when it comes to effective building maintenance. I have researched your company and see that there any many great reviews from your customers online. This is great news to me."
Entry Level Example
"Because I am new to my maintenance career, I am looking for a place where I can learn from someone much more knowledgeable than I. I desire to become a well-rounded maintenance professional, and I believe I can do that here."
"My ideal company to work for is an organization where I can let my leadership skills shine. I understand that you have a maintenance crew that needs some guidance. This is my ideal situation."
Why are you qualified to be our maintenance person?
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The interviewer would like to know that you are a fit for the position. This is where familiarizing yourself with the job description and requirements, before your interview, will come in handy. Are you sure that you are a fit for this particular role? Tell the interviewer why you think so.
"In your job posting you were asking for a minimum of 8 years' experience in a general maintenance role with a highlight on electrical experience. I am a journeyman electrician with 12 years' experience in general maintenance. In addition to this, I come with excellent references and strong tenure."
Entry Level Example
"In addition to meeting the 'must-have's' for this role, I also bring my knowledge from apprenticing at Company ABC. There, I learned a great deal about commercial electrical infrastructure. This experience will help me succeed in this role, in a significant way."
"I have been a maintenance professional for the past fifteen years and look forward to bringing this knowledge with me to your company. I can train your employees further on blueprint reading and schematics as well as electrical infrastructure."
6. How would you describe your work ethic? Do you feel that work only is a necessary evil? Do you enjoy keeping your hands and mind busy during the day? 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. Here is an answer example: "I would describe my work ethic as 'old school.' My previous supervisors have often commented on my strong ethics and old-fashioned values. When it comes to a work motto, I often say 'Work Smart, Have Fun.' " Here is an entry level answer example: "Some characteristics you may want to use are:
- Dependable" Here is an experienced answer example: "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 clients. My work ethic is the same. I am honest, flexible, and come ready to work hard for my employer every day."7. What do you like most about being in maintenance? The interviewer would like to know which aspect of your maintenance career you find the most exciting. Assure the interviewer that you genuinely enjoy this career path by discussing which aspect is the most fulfilling for you. Here is an answer example: "What I enjoy most about being in maintenance is the variety that I experience every day. I face new challenges and learn new skills on a regular basis. This keeps me very motivated in my career." Here is an entry level answer example: "What I like most about being a maintenance professional is that every day is different. I can fix almost anything which is an incredibly valuable skill. I like to help others who are in a pinch, by using my maintenance know-how." Here is an experienced answer example: "Being a maintenance professional, I find that I am called on for a wide range of needs. I learn something new everytime I am tasked with repairing a new piece of equipment or troubleshooting a machine that I have never worked on before. The learning opportunities never end."8. How do you handle stressful situations? Stressful situations will often arise in the workplace, and it is up to you how you handle them. Assure the interviewer that you can control stressful situations. Here is an answer example: "I am well trained when it comes to effectively managing stressful situations. Before losing my cool, I am sure to review the situation, break the issue down to the simplest factor, and work my way through the problem from there. When you look at most problems for what they are you can see that the majority of situations are simple to solve." Here is an entry level answer example: "Stress is part of any demanding job, and I embrace it to the fullest. I take good care of myself and prioritize my workload to maintain a healthy balance in my stress levels." Here is an experienced answer example: "I handle stress very well, and when you call my references, they will attest to this fact. When I am under pressure on the job, I focus on the task at hand and make sure not to get distracted. Staying on deadline is very helpful, and I will delegate when necessary to alleviate some stress."9. Would you consider yourself to be a "Jack-of-all-trades"? As a general maintenance professional it is very helpful to have a long list of skills. Talk to the interviewer about the variety of skills that you possess. Here is an answer example: "I would consider myself a very well rounded maintenance professional because my background is so diverse. I began my career as an electrician and have trained professionally as a plumber and also bring experience in HVAC. If I don't have direct experience, I will conduct some research on the topic and can generally pick it up very quickly." Here is an entry level answer example: "At this time, the bulk of my educational focus has been on plumbing, with a small amount of knowledge in electrical. I do hope to consider myself to be a jack of all trades. However, I am not quite there yet." Here is an experienced answer example: "I have been a maintenance professional for over twelve years and can say, with certainty, that I am a jack of all trades. I can do it all! Are there specific skills that you would like me to highlight for you?"10. If you see a problem, but are unsure of a solution, what do you do? When has this happened to you? The interviewer would like to know how you tackle problems on the job. The steps that you take to problem solve will tell the interviewer a lot about you. Assure the interviewer that you can efficiently manage workplace issues, even when you may not have an immediate answer. Here is an answer example: "Recently I came across a major plumbing concern in one of our residential buildings. The situation was severe and required more specific expertise than I could offer. I had to call in additional resources. If I come across a problem where I do not personally have a solution, I have no concern calling other industry professionals for assistance." Here is an entry level answer example: "If I am stuck on a particular problem, I will take a break from trying to figure out what's wrong and ask a coworker for advice. Getting another person's perspective when you start to feel like you're hitting a wall can help one to see a problem with a fresh set of eyes. As humans, sometimes we overthink! The biggest hurdle can be asking for help, and I am not above asking for help when I'm stuck." Here is an experienced answer example: "In the start of my career, I was a shift manager in a warehouse. I had a staff member who was stealing supplies. Rumors were going around that she was dishonest; however, there was no evidence. I didn't know what to do, so I carefully waited and, after two days, the rumored infractions were caught on camera. At that point, I was able to terminate her employment. I went beyond regular expectations by gaining evidence before terminating her. I knew this approach to solving the problem would prevent a human resources issue down the road, and it also saved my company from having to pay this employee any severance pay."11. Where did you get your knowledge in maintenance? ThDo you have formal education in maintenance or have you primarily learned on the job? Discuss with the interviewer where the majority of your knowledge has come from. Here is an answer example: "The majority of my maintenance knowledge has come from learning on the job. I began doing small maintenance jobs as a teenager, for my family's property management business. I do have some formal education in plumbing as well." Here is an entry level answer example: "I recently completed a 12-week pre-employment carpentry course and had taken a couple of electrical courses as well. The bulk of my knowledge in overall maintenance is on-the-job training as I have worked for my fathers' maintenance business for the past four years. Are there any formal courses you would suggest I take, to make me more successful in this role?" Here is an experienced answer example: "My maintenance training has been primarily on the job training. I started twelve years ago as an apprentice for an HVAC professional. Since that time, I did return to school to obtain my Project Management Certificate so that I can better understand the ins and outs of project timelines and budgeting."12. How important is strong customer service to you? The interviewer would like to know how much emphasis you put on customer service. Strong customer service skills are crucial to success in nearly every career path. Assure the interviewer that you see the importance of reliable customer service. Here is an answer example: "I understand that in today's competitive market, strong customer service is of utmost importance. It is easy for someone to complain using social media and email, so you have to have your best face forward at all times." Here is an entry level answer example: "Customer service is essential to the success of a company. It's important to me, and I do spend a great deal of time ensuring that my customers are satisfied with the quality of my work." Here is an experienced answer example: "Strong customer service is incredibly important. Maintenance can be a competitive industry, and customer service is at the heart of gaining repeat business. Rest assured, I will work hard to ensure that your customers are well taken care of."13. Are you comfortable working with hand tools? The use of hand tools will likely be a common requirement in any general maintenance type of role. Assure the interviewer that you are capable and comfortable with the use of hand tools. Here is an answer example: "I am incredibly comfortable working with hand tools and it comes second nature to me. Even when I am not at work I am in my shop at home working on renovation projects." Here is an entry level answer example: "Although I am new to my career as a maintenance technician, I do have a solid amount of experience with hand tools. I am most experienced with A, B, and C." Here is an experienced answer example: "I have been a maintenance professional my entire career and have experience with any tool you could think of. I consider myself an expert with all hand tools and can teach these skills to your junior tradespeople as well."14. Do you have any questions for me? Before your interview, make sure you conduct research on the company and thoroughly review the job description for any clarification you may need on the position. Asking intelligent questions demonstrates to the interviewer your level of interest in their company, and the position.
If, for some reason, you are not prepared for the interview, and you need to think of questions off the top of your head, ask questions regarding company culture, traits they are looking for in the ideal candidate, and if there is anything not listed in the job description that this position will be in charge of. Typically, pay is not discussed during phone interviews, so avoid asking any compensation related questions in the phone interview. Here is an answer example: "I do have a couple of questions. What are you looking for in an ideal candidate?Also, what is the last successful practice your team implemented and how is it going?" Here is an entry level answer example: "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 about 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 move me to the next stage of interviews?" Here is an experienced answer example: "From what I understand this is a newly created position, so can you tell me how you identified the need and what types of duties not listed in the job description you might foresee falling under the position's umbrella?"15. What are your salary expectations? Before your interview, make sure you have researched the median salary for the position (and location). You can look at salary reviews on Glassdoor.com or Payscale.com.
Always make sure you give a salary range, not just a number. Providing a range allows you to negotiate down the road if you are given an offer. However, if you just tell the employer you are looking for $50K it doesn’t leave room for negotiating later on. Also, make sure the lowest number of your range is something you are comfortable with!
Another great option is to tell the interviewer what you are currently earning and tell them that you are seeking a competitive offer. Here is an answer example: "I am currently earning a base salary of $50K per year. I am looking for a position that will offer me competitive growth and salary." Here is an entry level answer example: "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." Here is an experienced answer example: "Currently, I am earning $53k with holiday and other significant incentives, amounting to approximately $29k in perks. With the additional responsibilities and pressures, I would be looking to have a base pay in the $60,000 range and a bonus incentive package commensurate with my experience and responsibilities."16. How do you handle conflict in the workplace? You spend so many waking hours in the workplace and conflict between co-workers can happen. HOW you handle conflict is what the interviewer would like to know more about. This is not an opportunity to start venting about your current workplace culture.
An interviewer wants to see that you will take accountability for conflict whether the occurrence is considered your fault, or not. Handling workplace conflict tactfully, and with grace, should be the only option. Give a clear example of a time when you professionally managed workplace conflict. Here is an answer example: "My style of conflict management can best be described as upfront, yet - I swiftly move on. In the five years that I have worked for my current company, I have only come across one instance of conflict. One of my staff members did not show up for their shift, so I was forced to cover their shift. Because of this, I missed my daughter's dance recital. I was upset about it but wanted to do my part as a team player. The next day, the delinquent employee came in and didn't say a word. He didn't apologize to me or thank me for my time. I approached him and told him how his actions impacted my day. He did not respond how I wanted; however, I let it go after I said my part. You cannot change the actions of others but you have to take responsibility for how you handle your side." Here is an entry level answer example: "Conflict is often a symptom of poor communication, so when conflict arises in the workplace, I am sure to address the situation by starting at the root of the issue - communication breakdown." Here is an experienced answer example: "I start by identifying the possible reasons for the conflict, poor communication, absence of required materials, etc. From there, I talk directly with the person or persons that are conflicting to find solutions and get everyone back on track."17. Would you be willing to work over 40 hours a week? 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. Keep in mind that, in most states, an employer cannot demand that an employee work more than 44 hours per week. Here is an answer example: "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?" Here is an entry level answer example: "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 an evening course those days." Here is an experienced answer example: "Currently, I am earning $53k with holiday and other significant incentives, amounting to approximately $29k in perks. With the additional responsibilities and pressures, I would be looking to have a base pay in the $60,000 range and a bonus incentive package commensurate with my experience and responsibilities."18. Tell me about your greatest work related accomplishment. Talking about your most significant accomplishment will give the interviewer a definite idea of where you place your values. It will also show the interviewer more about your personality, how you like to be motivated, and how to coach you in the future. It is okay to brag a little bit when answering this question. Show that you are proud of yourself and your career accomplishments! Here is an answer example: "I would have to say my greatest accomplishment was reducing departmental costs by 15% by thoroughly reviewing the amount of wiring used during electrical repairs and then further training our junior maintenance techs on the importance of aiming for zero waste." Here is an entry level answer example: "The greatest accomplishment in my career was graduating University as an honors student while still working full time in a related field. I was top of my class, and working full time. This showed me that I could dedicate myself to my career and reach the goals that I set for myself. It felt great to accomplish so much and be recognized for my dedication." Here is an experienced answer example: "I have many accomplishments that I am very proud of. Overall, I would say that my greatest work accomplishment is the positive reputation that I have in this industry."19. When do you best demonstrate yourself as a leader? The interviewer wants to know that you are confident about your leadership abilities and that you understand when your leadership abilities have been most useful.
Perhaps you best demonstrate yourself as a leader when your manager is away. Maybe you often jump into a leadership mindset when a co-worker is struggling. Think about a recent time when an employee on your team was successful at something because of your leadership skills. Discuss the scenario and how your leadership skills made the difference. Here is an answer example: "I best demonstrate myself as a leader when I know that a coworker could use my assistance. I seem to be a natural teacher and mentor which means that when someone is struggling, my first instinct is to train them. Just recently, I coached a new employee on a technique that helped her to troubleshoot significantly faster. I look forward to working in this role with you because it will allow me to take on further leadership opportunities." Here is an entry level answer example: "In my current position, every time my current manager is away, I take on the role of leader for our team. This is usually one day per week. When you call him for a reference, he will be able to tell you that I have naturally stepped into the responsibilities associated with being a leader." Here is an experienced answer example: "I feel as though I rise to the occasion whenever it presents itself, whether that's by stepping into a leadership role in a collaborative maintenance project, when my boss is away, or when a new hire is wide-eyed and without direction. Whenever the group is lacking a leader, I love the opportunity to step in and help the team along with a bit of an opportunity to shine."20. Are you interested in any continued education? While some post-secondary education will be very helpful in a general maintenance role, it is not always a requirement of the position. Talk to the interviewer about the value that you would see in earning additional credentials. Here is an answer example: "Additional education would always be an asset, no matter what your career path. If I were to continue my education I would be interested in completing my electrician certifications." Here is an entry level answer example: "Yes, I certainly do have an interest in continued education. I would appreciate further training in elevator mechanics and operating heavy machinery. Are there any special areas of training you would recommend for me, to be most successful in this role?" Here is an experienced answer example: "As a general maintenance professional, you can never know too much. For that reason, I always welcome opportunities for continued education. Are there any courses you recommend? Just this year, I have taken additional coursework in electrical infrastructure."21. Have you ever been in a customer-facing role? If you are able to be in a customer-facing role, this will be a big bonus to your current employer. Talk to the interviewer about any experience that you have working directly with customers. Here is an answer example: "My earlier career was in a retail based customer service position and since then I have always had some sort of customer facing component to my position. I have a lighthearted personality and am able to easily connect with a variety of personalities. You can be comfortable knowing that your customers are in good hands with me." Here is an entry level answer example: "Before attending trades school, I worked in a restaurant as a waitress. I am well versed in what customers want and can make conversation with a diverse range of people." Here is an experienced answer example: "Maintenance work is often customer facing so yes, I have a great deal of experience in a customer-facing role. I am comfortable working with customers."22. How do you get along with others at work? 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. Here is an answer example: "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." Here is an entry level answer example: "I have never had an issue when it comes to getting along with others at work. I am a conscious communicator and am sure to always express myself in a kind and professional manner." Here is an experienced answer example: "I am a people person and have loved all of my coworkers. Typically, I've learned just to love them for their quirks and be glad I don't live with them and move on with my life. If they're negative, the longest I'm with them at any one time is about 9 hours, and I can handle most anything for that time."23. What type of maintenance work do you dislike doing? The interviewer would like to know if there is a particular type of maintenance that you dislike doing. Maintaining a positive tone during your interview is essential. If there is a specific part of your work that you do not enjoy, try to keep the answer light. Avoid giving an answer that may eliminate you from consideration. Here is an answer example: "There will always be aspects of a job that are not my favorite, and that is okay. Plumbing work is not always my favorite, but I will certainly do my best with it." Here is an entry level answer example: "I am up for any work, and considering that I am new to my career as a maintenance professional, I am willing to do any work. I am not choosy, and you can count on me to do my work without complaining." Here is an experienced answer example: "If I had to choose one particular area, I would say that domestic plumbing tasks are my least favorite. I am most experienced with welding which is where I am most comfortable."24. What type of electrical training do you have? Although you are a general maintenance professional, do you have specific training and abilities as an electrician? Talk to the interviewer about your ability to perform electrical related tasks. Here is an answer example: "I have some electrical training from our local technical school. Also, I bring about 3 years' experience from my previous position; however, it is basic electrical knowledge such as fuses and lighting fixtures. For severe electrical issues, I do call a professional and accredited electrician." Here is an entry level answer example: "I have some training in electrical code specifications. One of the reasons I was drawn to this particular job posting was the focus you put on further electrical training. I look forward to taking my current knowledge and applying it here while growing my knowledge in the area of electrical." Here is an experienced answer example: "I have a great deal of experience with electrical, both on commercial and residential jobs. I have worked on electrical wiring of buildings new and existing. I have also installed A/C and Telecommunications systems."25. List the different types of piping materials you have experience with. (Example, PVC, Copper, PEX, etc.) The interviewer would like to know if you have experience with a variety of piping materials. As a general maintenance professional, the more knowledge you have in a variety of areas - the better. Talk to the interviewer about your level of expertise in PVC, Copper, and PEX piping. Here is an answer example: "I have experience in all three types of piping; however, I am most versed in PVC piping. In addition to these types of piping, I also have limited exposure to galvanized steel (metal)." Here is an entry level answer example: "During University I learned a great deal about all three types of piping; however, I have worked mainly with PVC piping on the job. I look forward to gaining additional experience with your organization." Here is an experienced answer example: "Through my six years' experience as a maintenance professional, I have worked with all three types of piping materials. I do have the most experience with PVC and copper piping and would rate myself as advanced with those two. I have intermediate level experience working with PEX piping."
Writers for Maintenance Answers and Questions
Rachelle Enns is a job search expert, executive headhunter, career catalyst, and interview coach. Utilized by top talent from Fortune companies like Microsoft, General Electric, and Nestle, she helps professionals position themselves in today's competitive digital marketplace.
Rachelle founded Renovate My Resume and Executive Resume Solutions, two companies focused on helping job seekers get their edge back. She helps everyone from new graduates looking for their first placement, to CEO's who want more out of their career.
Rachelle coaches students to executives on how to master the toughest interview questions and how to handle the most bizarre interview situations; all with confidence and poise.
Rachelle trains other career coaches, recruiters, and resume writers, globally. A big part of her job is also spent coaching HR professionals on how to bring the human touch back into their interview and hiring process.
Ryan Brown, is the creator of MockQuestions. He has over ten years experience creating interview questions. His website has helped over 10 million job seekers in their interview preparation.
First written on: 09/20/2010 Last modified on: 01/06/2019
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