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Nursery and Greenhouse Interview
Questions

33 Questions and Answers by Rachelle Enns

Updated September 15th, 2018 | Rachelle is a job search expert, career coach, and headhunter
who helps everyone from students to fortune executives find success in their career.
Job Interviews     Careers     Agriculture    
Question 1 of 33
What are your salary expectations?
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How to Answer
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.
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Answer Examples
1.
What are your salary expectations?
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.

Rachelle's Answer
"Currently, I earn $16 per hour plus overtime. Last year my earnings were $42,000 and I would like to stay in the same range or slightly higher."
2.
How do you feel about using pesticides?
Depending on the greenhouse or nursery where you are interviewing, they may go organic or use traditional pesticides. Before your interview, take some time to learn about the company or farm to find out their mission and their preference for killing off insects that might interfere with the growing process.

Rachelle's Answer
"I prefer to be organic when possible; however, I understand the importance of keeping insects and pests away. At home, I use Neem Oil pesticide on my plants. It is an all purpose pesticide and has prevented mites and fungus from growing on my strawberries and watermelons."
3.
Why do you want to work for our nursery / greenhouse?
You may be actively seeking a new job, and the interviewer wants to know why you are interested specifically in their company, over their competitors. To answer this clearly, you must do your research on the company. Write down three to five facts that stand out to you. Review their mission statement so that you have a clear understanding of what they do and why they do it. Consider talking about areas of their company vision that align with your interests and your goals.

Rachelle's Answer
"I'm interested in working for your greenhouse because I love your vegetable selection and I respect your environmentally conscious approach you take to growing fruits, vegetables and herbs."
4.
How do you show your co-workers the importance of communication in the workplace?
As a leader, 'telling' and 'showing' are two very different things. Talk to the interviewer about how you personally put communication into action in the workplace.

Rachelle's Answer
"I show my co-workers the importance of communication through my willingness to ask questions if I do not understand the first time. I do not pretend to know something just to save face. By creating an environment where questions are encouraged, we have increased communication greatly, and have seen a healthier safety record as a result."
5.
Have you ever witnessed a plant die and could not place a reason behind it?
The interviewer simply wants to hear about your experience with plants that have died unexpectedly. Even if you could not identify the cause, think critically to see if you can come up with a possible explanation to share in your interview. The interviewer really wants to see that you are proactive and have troubleshooting capabilities.

Rachelle's Answer
"Yes, I noticed that our anise and sorrel did not do well when I was working in the greenhouse a couple of years ago. At the time we couldn't figure out what happened. We later learned that they were not getting enough sunlight or water because of where they were positioned in the greenhouse."
6.
What are your favorite plants, and why?
This is a casual question that allows the interviewer to get to know you a bit better. Share your favorite plants in whichever category you prefer. You may be interested in growing hybrid tomatoes or you may love growing herbs. Be sure to explain why you enjoy that particular species of plant and consider discussing your experience with the planting, blooming and flowering season.

Rachelle's Answer
"I enjoy the challenge of growing fruits and vegetables. My favorite plants are fruit trees. I grew up with peach trees in my yard and get excited during their blooming season."
7.
Do you have any gardening experience?
Share some examples that demonstrate your experience in the field. The interviewer wants to hear about your industry related knowledge, and the work you have done as a gardener. This could be in a personal or professional setting!

Rachelle's Answer
"I have built garden beds and grown herbs and flowers from seeds. I have gained knowledge in both organic and conventional styles of gardening through working for local nurseries and practicing in my own backyard. I also learned the value of using natural pesticides on fruits and vegetables, as well as the challenges present when you are treating large quantities of produce."
8.
Would you consider yourself a team player?
Everyone can be a team player so the answer to this question should always be 'yes!'. Explain to the interviewer that you work well on teams and give examples of how that has been true for you in past roles.

Rachelle's Answer
"Yes, I work well in teams! I really enjoyed my last position working at a nursery because we communicated effectively with each other. We all worked really hard and we had fun together at the same time. I am quick to help when one of my co-workers needs assistance and I am willing to take direction from others as well. I'm also willing to ask for help when I need it."
9.
Which plants do you believe grow well in the shade?
The interviewer is testing your basic knowledge of plants. Be sure to know a few different plants that require more sun or shade. Before your interview, take some time to research plants and flowers in each of these categories if your gardening knowledge is limited.

Rachelle's Answer
"Hydrangea, Lily of the Valley, and English Ivy are some examples of plants that grow well in the shade. I have experience working with shade plants and understand the importance of giving them the right amount of shade, sun, and water to keep them healthy."
10.
In your own words, how are perennials different from biennials and annuals?
Be sure to refresh yourself on terms like these before your interview. You will want to be able to give examples of each one while keeping your answer concise and showing the confidence in your basic plant knowledge.

Rachelle's Answer
"Perennials last through the winter and can live longer than two years. Biennials take longer to grow and flower, dying after their second growing season. Annuals go through a complete cycle of growing roots and producing a flower, dying at the end of the same season."
11.
Are you committed to expanding your gardening and plant knowledge?
The interviewer wants to hear that you are truly interested in gardening. You may keep your knowledge strong through your hands-on experience in your backyard, or you may be the type of person who prefers reading publications and applying what you learn on the job. Share how you stay up to date and a little about what you have learned through your own research.

Rachelle's Answer
"I spend a lot of time in my own garden when I'm not working. I recently planted a vegetable garden, so I have been reading about growing lettuce, arugula, and eggplant. It's so interesting to me how different species of plants require different care. I've also done a lot of research on using organic fertilizer and pesticides."
12.
Do you consider yourself a team player?
The answer to this question should always be, yes! No matter where you work, you need to be a team player, to help your company achieve its goals. Be prepared with an energetic and enthusiastic, 'Yes, I am!'

Expand on this answer by sharing your philosophy on the importance of teamwork and being an active part of a team. Show the interviewer you understand that it takes a group of people for a company to achieve its goals, and you recognize that each person is a piece of the puzzle.

Rachelle's Answer
"Yes, I love working and collaborating together as a team. There is so much knowledge to learn in the nursery business and it's awesome to have team members around you can answer questions if they have them and vice versa."
13.
Why do you want a career in botany?
Take some time to reflect on why you are interested in this position. You want to be clear about why you want to work at the company and what your specific goals are in relationship to the industry. Prepare yourself for these types of questions by writing out some of your goals for short and long-term. Picture yourself working in a greenhouse or a nursery and identify a goal that this job will help you work towards.

Rachelle's Answer
"I love working outside and with a team of people who are passionate about caring for plants. I have enjoyed practicing with my own garden and I want to learn more by working for your company."
14.
What questions do you have for me?
It's always a great idea to have questions ready for the interviewer. Review the company website and other online resources to ensure the questions you are asking are not mundane, or redundant. The last thing an interviewer wants to hear is a list of questions you could have found the answers to from simply watching a video on their company site!

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 biggest change in this industry over the past 3 years?
- Is there any reason why you would not hire me?
15.
If hired here, how long do you believe you would stay at our company?
You may not know the answer to this. If this is your first job, how could you possibly know how long you'll be with the company! When you get hired into a new position, the company invests money into your training, office supplies and your paycheck. They want to know you're going to stick around! Rather than giving them a time frame, you may want to share your career goals. You can say, "I am working towards becoming a sales manager, and I would be thrilled to lead one of your teams here one day." By sharing you have a vested interest in the company, they will feel reassured that you are indeed going to stick around for a while.
Rachelle's Answer
"I am working towards becoming a sales manager, and I would be thrilled to lead one of your teams here one day."
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33 Nursery and Greenhouse Interview Questions
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Interview Questions
  1. What are your salary expectations?
  2. How do you feel about using pesticides?
  3. Why do you want to work for our nursery / greenhouse?
  4. How do you show your co-workers the importance of communication in the workplace?
  5. Have you ever witnessed a plant die and could not place a reason behind it?
  6. What are your favorite plants, and why?
  7. Do you have any gardening experience?
  8. Would you consider yourself a team player?
  9. Which plants do you believe grow well in the shade?
  10. In your own words, how are perennials different from biennials and annuals?
  11. Are you committed to expanding your gardening and plant knowledge?
  12. Do you consider yourself a team player?
  13. Why do you want a career in botany?
  14. What questions do you have for me?
  15. If hired here, how long do you believe you would stay at our company?
  16. Tell me about your experience with plant diseases.
  17. Do you have any education related to the care of plants?
  18. What do you enjoy most about your current nursery job?
  19. What sort of related tools, machines, or equipment do you have experience working with?
  20. Why are you the best candidate for our nursery / greenhouse?
  21. In your opinion, what three shrubs should every landscaping job include?
  22. Where did you first learn to care for plants?
  23. What sparked your interest in botany?
  24. How do you like to encourage ideas in others?
  25. Outside of work, what type of creative activities do you like to pursue?
  26. Rate your communication skills from 1-10 with proper examples backing your given rating.
  27. Are you familiar with what we do at this nursery / greenhouse?
  28. Tell me about your experience with plant propagation.
  29. What challenges do you most anticipate with this position?
  30. Tell me about your experience with hybrid plants.
  31. Tell me a bit more about yourself.
  32. How do you stay organized on the busiest of days?
  33. What is your communication style with customers when it comes to teaching them about plants, and gardening?
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