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Water Treatment Operators Interview
Questions

21 Questions and Answers by Rachelle Enns

Updated September 17th, 2020 | 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     Technician    
Question 1 of 21
How detail oriented are you?
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How to Answer
Being a water treatment operator, no doubt, takes an incredible level of attention to detail. Give an example of a time when you were recognized for your strong level of attention to detail.
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Answer Examples
1.
How detail oriented are you?
Being a water treatment operator, no doubt, takes an incredible level of attention to detail. Give an example of a time when you were recognized for your strong level of attention to detail.
Rachelle's Answer
"As a water treatment operator I am given specific regulatory standards that must be adhered to at all times. I was recently recognized by my supervisor for so closely abiding by the guidelines of the Clean Water Act and Safe Drinking Water Act. Because the list of contaminants regulated by these statutes is ever-changing, I must pay attention to what is happening in the industry as well."
Anonymous Answer
"Being an electrical apprentice takes a high level of attention to detail, do to job site safety being the top priority and on a personal level because I take pride in my job, and it reflects on me."
Rachelle's Answer
It sounds as though you are very careful and detail-oriented. Be sure to let the interviewer know how your attention to detail will benefit them, should they choose to hire you.
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2.
How important is safety to you? In previous work, what types of safety measures did you practice?
This should be a two part, comprehensive answer. Safety is incredibly important and the interviewer would like for you to demonstrate that through your answer. You could answer something like this: "To me, safety is the primary concern on the job site. Water treatment plants see too many accidents with over 60 deaths in the industry in the last 10 years along with an addition 2,000 injuries. The safety measures that I practice include daily safety meetings, frequent safety testing and regular PPE checks."
Rachelle's Answer
"To me, safety is the primary concern on the job site. Water treatment plants see too many accidents with over 60 deaths in the industry in the last 10 years along with an addition 2,000 injuries. The safety measures that I practice include daily safety meetings, frequent safety testing and regular PPE checks."
Anonymous Answer
"To me, safety is the primary concern on the job site. In previous jobs, it was essential to know and inspect the area we were going to work for that day, look for any hazardous areas or objects also know what crafts were going to be nearby. We also made sure each team member knew what their responsibilities were, and they felt safe doing it."
Rachelle's Answer
It is apparent that safety is top of mind for you. Do you have any formal safety training that you could also mention?
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3.
Would you be willing to take additional classes, after work, to get a degree in water management?
Always answer this in a positive way and do not overcomplicate your answer. Now is not the time to talk about your schedule, baseball team, family obligations and need for 10 hours of sleep per night! The details would be ironed out should the opportunity be immediate. Answer in a willing and appreciative way.
Rachelle's Answer
"I would be very honoured to be considered for a leadership role that would require additional designations from me. I am always open to learning and would certainly be willing to expand my knowledge in this industry."
Anonymous Answer
"I would be honored to be considered for a leadership role. I am always open to expand my knowledge and learn this industry."
Rachelle's Answer
You sound enthusiastic and open to the idea, which is great! Nice answer.
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4.
What is your greatest weakness? What are you doing to improve it?
It is important to answer this question honestly but also keep the answer positive. Talk less about the weakness you feel you have and more about what you have done recently to improve upon it.
Rachelle's Answer
"During a recent performance review with my current supervisor he brought to my attention that my documentation was sometimes too brief for his liking. He asked that I use more words when describing the situation so that the new operators would be able to fully understand what my notes meant. I have been making a conscious effort since then to ensure that my documentation can be understood by even the most junior of operators."
5.
Why do you believe water treatment plants are important?
Answer this from the heart. Show your true interest in why you feel water treatments plants are necessary in our time.
Rachelle's Answer
"I feel that water treatment plants are so important because their primary purpose is to clear the water we use in our homes of solid materials. It's environmental impact is incredibly important and they keep us safe from sickness and disease found in wastewater."
Anonymous Answer
"I believe water treatment plants are important; it provides us with clean drinkable water that we use on our daily lives."
Rachelle's Answer
This answer is good; however, a touch basic. Remember to go into as much detail as possible and really let your passion for the industry shine through. Hint: what happens in communities when water treatment plants are non-existent?
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6.
Do you take pride in your work? Give me an example.
Answer this in a heartfelt manner and give an example of how you show pride in your work.
Rachelle's Answer
"Yes, I take great pride in my work. I have been in the water treatment industry for over 10 years now and not a day goes by where I don't ensure 100% accuracy in what I do. The quality of water that goes out is of extreme importance and I take my job seriously."
7.
What are the two common processes for separating water and flock?
You should answer this factually and as briefly as possible.
Rachelle's Answer
"The two most common processes for separating water and flock are sedimentation and filtration. I am very familiar with both processes and comfortable overseeing both."
8.
Have you had any on the job training yet?
Be sure to give a full list of your previous on-the-job training and finish the question by asking what type of job training is offered in this position.
Rachelle's Answer
"In my current position I have had 200 hours of additional job training. The majority of that training has been focused on treating contaminated water. I have been taught the operation and maintenance of all water treatment plant equipment and related piping. I have also installed pumps and piping."
Anonymous Answer
"Not related to this job, I have been trained on how to use fall training safety equipment and have experience in industrial job site safety."
Rachelle's Answer
This training should be valuable, for sure! Rather than starting your answer on a negative, I have offered a revision below.
"I have been trained on how to use fall safety equipment and have industrial job site safety training, both of which will be valuable for this role. I am eager to gain more water treatment-related training from your organization."
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9.
Why are you the best candidate for us?
In addition to outlining your skills you should also wrap up your answer by asking the interviewer if they see you as a fit. This will allow you to reply to any red flags they may have about your candidacy.
Rachelle's Answer
"I feel that my blend of education and experience is a strong match for this role. Also, I bring a proven track record of accuracy, care in my work and strong leadership skills. Is there any reason why you feel I would not be the best candidate for this position?"
Anonymous Answer
"I feel that my experience in my previous jobs would be a great starting point to launch my career in this industry, I bring a strong sense of being safe at my job and making sure my coworkers and myself go home every day safely."
Rachelle's Answer
Your focus on safety should be very well received. When it comes to your experiences in your career, be sure to point out a few transferable skills or achievements.
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10.
What is your greatest strength? How does it help you as a Water Treatment Operator?
It is best to answer this through an example of a time you were recognized for displaying this strength.
Rachelle's Answer
"I feel that my greatest strength is my work ethic. It has always been engrained in me that I need to give 100% to my employer every moment I am on the job. This dedication has helped me as a Water Treatment Operator because this job is demanding, requires attention to detail and requires me to be a safe worker. Strong work ethic keeps myself and my team safe and helps to produce a really great product."
11.
What do you know about our treatment plant?
You should always do extensive research on the company that you are interviewing with. Be sure to practice your answer as the likelihood that you will be asked this question is high. Your answer should include an example of how their mission aligns well with your career goals.
Rachelle's Answer
"As a water treatment operator I always want to ensure that I am working with a premium facility that takes great care in their reputation. After researching your treatment plant I discovered that you took great pride in your work and that your employees are frequently recognized and awarded for good work. The qualities that your plant possess are exactly what I am looking for in my next position."
12.
Tell me about your math skills, and how you have applied math in previous work.
You can answer this question briefly and if you recall, cite to the interviewer what your math grades looked like during post secondary education. Or, have you taken any additional math related coursework?
Rachelle's Answer
"My math skills are very strong. I was top of my class in University and have continued to showcase top-notch math skills. An example of the math I currently apply in my work would be calculating flow rate and detention time. I am confident that I can solve any related math problems."
13.
What are three different types of water pumps?
You can answer this briefly and factually. Take a moment to explain which water pumps you are most experienced in. You can follow up with a question for the interviewer as well.
Rachelle's Answer
"I am most familiar with Drum Pumps, Cryogenic Pumps and Circulator Pumps. Of those three I would say that I am most versed in Drum Pumps. What types of pumps does this facility use the most?"
Anonymous Answer
"I only know of two basic types of water pumps: centrifugal and positive displacement. Both models are designed to move water from one place to another continuously."
Rachelle's Answer
You have a good grasp of this, considering you come from a different industry. The more research you continue to do, the stronger your answers will become :)
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14.
Explain to me how a basic water pump works.
Be sure to answer this in a simple to understand way. The more simply you can answer how a basic water pump works, the more confident you will sound. Complicating things will lose the interviewer's attention and you will likely talk in circles which does not display a confident understanding.
Rachelle's Answer
"All pumps use basic forces of nature to move a liquid. As the moving pump part begins to move, air is pushed out of the way. The movement of air creates a low pressure vacuum which can be filled up by more air, or in the case of water pumps, water."
15.
What is ozone and how is that used in the water treatment process?
Answer this factually and as briefly as possible. If the interviewer would like for you to elaborate on your answer, they will ask you to do so.
Rachelle's Answer
"My understanding of ozone and it's role in water treatment is that it was first used in water treatment in the late 1800s. This technique is more common in Europe and Asia than in the the United States. Ozone is an unstable gas comprising of three oxygen atoms, the gas will readily degrade back to oxygen, and during this transition a free oxygen atom, or free radical form."
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21 Water Treatment Operators 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. How detail oriented are you?
  2. How important is safety to you? In previous work, what types of safety measures did you practice?
  3. Would you be willing to take additional classes, after work, to get a degree in water management?
  4. What is your greatest weakness? What are you doing to improve it?
  5. Why do you believe water treatment plants are important?
  6. Do you take pride in your work? Give me an example.
  7. What are the two common processes for separating water and flock?
  8. Have you had any on the job training yet?
  9. Why are you the best candidate for us?
  10. What is your greatest strength? How does it help you as a Water Treatment Operator?
  11. What do you know about our treatment plant?
  12. Tell me about your math skills, and how you have applied math in previous work.
  13. What are three different types of water pumps?
  14. Explain to me how a basic water pump works.
  15. What is ozone and how is that used in the water treatment process?
  16. How familiar are you with different types of pipe valves? Name a few.
  17. What are coagulant chemicals used for?
  18. Tell me about your most difficult experience at your last water treatment plant.
  19. Why are you passionate about water treatment?
  20. Have you ever led a group before in your past employment?
  21. Do you have an operator certification? What class are you?
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