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Plumber Interview
Questions

28 Questions and Answers by Rachelle Enns

Updated August 17th, 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     Construction    
Question 1 of 28
We run a credit report and background check are you ok with that?
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How to Answer
Credit reports and background checks are very common in the trades, especially if the hiring company has a strong focus on residential plumbing and/or need you to be bonded.

If you have a strong credit report and clean background check there is nothing to worry about. (One single credit check will not dock you major credit points as many believe to be true.)

You could reply briefly such as: "I am absolutely okay with that. My credit and criminal background are clean."

If you have a bit of a marked past or poor credit now is the time to openly disclose that.
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Answer Examples
1.
We run a credit report and background check are you ok with that?
Credit reports and background checks are very common in the trades, especially if the hiring company has a strong focus on residential plumbing and/or need you to be bonded.

If you have a strong credit report and clean background check there is nothing to worry about. (One single credit check will not dock you major credit points as many believe to be true.)

You could reply briefly such as: "I am absolutely okay with that. My credit and criminal background are clean."

If you have a bit of a marked past or poor credit now is the time to openly disclose that.
Rachelle's Answer
"I am absolutely okay with that. My credit and criminal background are clean."
2.
Do you have your own plumbing equipment?
You will likely have some of your own equipment but perhaps not all of it. And, that's okay to admit!

If you do not have all of your own plumbing equipment you could answer like this: "I have a few of my own tools, mainly everything that is needed for a basic plumbing job. How do you feel about providing the more complex tools?" This way, you can gauge the interviewer's willingness to assist you with equipment.

If you do have all of your own equipment be sure to say so but also ask if they prefer you use their equipment or provide your own.
Rachelle's Answer
"I have a few of my own tools, mainly everything that is needed for a basic plumbing job. How do you feel about providing the more complex tools?"
3.
What would have to change about your current job, for you to stay where you are?
What is it that you are missing from your current opportunity? If given this new position, would you be receiving all that you need from this new opportunity?

Be sure to remain positive when you answer this question and avoid speaking poorly about your current supervisor or company.

Rachelle's Answer
"For me to stay in my current job there would need to be less 'on-call' work and a higher pay rate. Currently, I am on call 3 weekends per month and my current company does not offer a competitive pay rate for my level of expertise."
4.
What do you enjoy most about being a plumber?
Your answer can be a little bit personal if you are comfortable with that. This question is designed for the interviewer to get to know you a little bit better. What makes you happy to go to work every day?

You could answer something like this: "The thing I enjoy most about being a plumber is being able to solve serious problems for home owners. The relief that they feel once their issue has been fixed is great and it makes me feel good to know that I helped them out."

You could also answer in a more concise was such as, "Every day is an exciting challenge because there is always something new to learn. That is what I enjoy most about being a plumber."
Rachelle's Answer
"The thing I enjoy most about being a plumber is being able to solve serious problems for home owners. The relief that they feel once their issue has been fixed is great and it makes me feel good to know that I helped them out."
5.
How long do you want to be a plumber?
Answer this honestly. If you do not want to be a plumber for your entire career you could say "I have explored additional trades and would eventually like to become an electrician as well." If you are in this for the long term you could say, "My desire is to retire as a plumber. I really like this line of work."
Rachelle's Answer
"I have explored additional trades and would eventually like to become an electrician as well."
6.
Do you want to own your own plumbing business in the future?
It is okay to answer this question with a yes, or a no - but you should remain honest to what your long term goals really are. If the answer is no, you could say "So far, in my career, I have not had a desire to own my own plumbing business. It really hasn't been on my radar." OR, if the answer is yes, you could say "I have thought about owning my own plumbing business in the future but would like to gain more knowledge in plumbing and business operations."
Rachelle's Answer
"So far, in my career, I have not had a desire to own my own plumbing business. It really hasn't been on my radar."
7.
If a customer complains their house has too little water pressure, what steps would you take to fix this problem?
Be sure to answer this question by including the troubleshooting steps you would take in this instance.
Rachelle's Answer
"If a customer was complaining of low water pressure then I would first do some troubleshooting to find the source. I would check all of the taps in the home to ensure that they all have the same flow level. I would then check the shut off valves and look for water leaks. Once the issue was sourced, I would fix it from there. Prior to starting the job, I would refer to the customer and let them know what needed to be done."
8.
What is the worst thing you had to do as a plumber?
When you answer this question be sure to remain in a positive mindset. Treat this "worst thing" as your "best challenge" and the interviewer will see you as a problem solver rather than a complainer when a job becomes tough or unsavoury.

Rachelle's Answer
"worst thing"
9.
What advantages are there for PVC water mains?
Many plumbers prefer PVC over copper and vice versa. Despite your opinion between the two you can display to the interviewer that you are knowledgable in this area of plumbing work.
Rachelle's Answer
"I feel that there are a few advantages to using PVC for water mains. For one, it is resistant to corrosion and abrasion. Secondly, it is less noisy. Thirdly, it is more cost effective than copper."
10.
How long has it been since you've had a leak with copper piping?
This is a good time to talk about your level of customer service and troubleshooting skills. If you have had a leak with copper piping, what did you do? How did you handle it?
Rachelle's Answer
"I did experience a leak with copper piping about 2 years ago. This was incredibly unusual for me to see and I was sure to fix the issue by performing an external solder."
11.
Do you prefer your water mains be pvc or copper?
As you may know, there is some debate between PVC and copper for the use in water mains. Be sure to pick a side and then explain your answer.

Rachelle's Answer
"I prefer copper pipes as I feel that PVC isn’t always the safest choice. Many people are concerned that the chemicals used in the production of CPVC may cause health issues when exposed to heat. I find copper to be a safer choice especially when there will be consumption of water from those pipes."
12.
If you installed a copper pipe next to the shower head, and realized you ran out of fasteners, knowing this will create a problem ten years down the road, what do you do?
If you have run into this problem before you can certainly let the interviewer know about what you did when that happened. If you have not, it is best to answer this question in a "what if" manner rather than just saying that you don't know.
Rachelle's Answer
"what if"
13.
Have you ever changed a toilet before?
This question is designed to find out what level of experience you have as a plumber.

If you have changed a toilet before you could say, "Yes, I have changed many toilets in my career as a plumber. The most challenging time was when...." and be sure to give an insightful or entertaining example.

If you have not changed a toilet before, you can say, "I have not had the opportunity to change a toilet as of yet but I am confident in my ability to do so."
Rachelle's Answer
"Yes, I have changed many toilets in my career as a plumber. The most challenging time was when...."
14.
What training do you have in plumbing?
This should be a simple and brief answer but also include some information on the continued training you have had.
Rachelle's Answer
"My training has included all of the in-class work required as well as my apprenticeship hours. I would like to continue my training to include more work on commercial properties."
15.
What experience do you have with snaking clogged up pipes?
This answer will depend a bit on your level of experience. You could give an approximate number to the interviewer or talk about your level of comfortability with this common plumbing task.

Rachelle's Answer
"I have been plumbing for the past 8 years so I can safely say that I have snaked hundreds of clogged pipes. I am very comfortable with a task such as this."
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28 Plumber Interview Questions
Win your next job by practicing from our question bank. We have thousands of questions and answers created by interview experts.
Interview Questions
  1. We run a credit report and background check are you ok with that?
  2. Do you have your own plumbing equipment?
  3. What would have to change about your current job, for you to stay where you are?
  4. What do you enjoy most about being a plumber?
  5. How long do you want to be a plumber?
  6. Do you want to own your own plumbing business in the future?
  7. If a customer complains their house has too little water pressure, what steps would you take to fix this problem?
  8. What is the worst thing you had to do as a plumber?
  9. What advantages are there for PVC water mains?
  10. How long has it been since you've had a leak with copper piping?
  11. Do you prefer your water mains be pvc or copper?
  12. If you installed a copper pipe next to the shower head, and realized you ran out of fasteners, knowing this will create a problem ten years down the road, what do you do?
  13. Have you ever changed a toilet before?
  14. What training do you have in plumbing?
  15. What experience do you have with snaking clogged up pipes?
  16. Have you ever installed a shower with multiple shower heads? How did you keep water pressure high?
  17. Have you ever plumbed an office building?
  18. How many years experience do you have plumbing?
  19. What license do you have as a plumber?
  20. How many houses have you plumbed before?
  21. What are the advantages for installing steel plumbing underneath a sink? In what cases would you do it?
  22. Do you have any experience installing water based heating systems?
  23. Who taught you mostly what you know in plumbing?
  24. Is there any other trades you are looking to learn?
  25. Have you ever installed PEX plumbing in a concrete floor?
  26. How does your family feel about you being on call?
  27. If a customer needs a new toilet installed, you remove the old one and find the floor to be rotting all around the toilet, what do you do?
  28. If I were to ask a previous supervisor about your performance, what would they say?
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