The HVAC industry has witnessed tremendous growth in recent years. This growth comes with new opportunities for technicians to advance their careers. According to Statista, the HVAC market is projected to reach about $368 billion by 2030, with an annual compounded growth rate (CAGR) of 3.9%.
While the expanding market is exciting to those who own businesses, the increased demand for qualified technicians represents a challenge for the HVAC industry as a whole. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the growth rate of 14.7% for the HVAC technician job market from 2018 to 2028 is significantly higher than the 6.85% national growth rate for most other jobs.
Hiring the right HVAC technician is not easy for a hiring manager. You will need to assess technicians adeptly to learn how they solve problems and if they can perform complex tasks. Your technicians are the face of your company and deal directly with your customers. An ideal technician will conduct themselves in a friendly, professional manner. It is not just their own reputations with customers that benefit from this, but also your company.
Word-of-mouth referrals don’t happen to every technician, and they certainly don’t happen every time. Still, a technician who delivers excellent customer service is much more likely to receive one. By hiring professional and friendly technicians, you increase your chances of having people talking about them—and your company–in a good way.
But to find the right technicians, you will need to ask the right questions. Here is a list of questions you can ask when interviewing an HVAC technician.
Common interview questions
1. Tell us about your background.
This should be pretty easy; everyone has a background. But the purpose of this question is not really to determine their academic or work history—that should be covered by their resume. What this question really allows for is assessing a candidate’s interpersonal skills.
How do they talk about themselves and where they have been? Are they open and warm, expounding on their past? Or are they more closed off and aloof? Either way, it gives some insight into how they might interact with a customer they are meeting for the first time.
2. Do you possess a valid driver’s license?
Your HVAC technician has to drive all over their service area; a valid driver’s license and clean driving record are essential. You need to know if your company vehicles and team members are in safe hands with this candidate.
And if they are unlicensed drivers… there is really no reason to think so. Besides, having unlicensed drivers on your staff could open you up to all sorts of liability issues! Ask the question up front, “do you have a valid driver’s license?” And if they do not have a license ask if they are in the process of getting one.
3. Do you have any HVAC certifications and training?
This is a necessary question in an HVAC job interview. By asking this simple question, you can screen for certified and trained HVAC technicians who have both technical knowledge and practical experience. It also gives you a better sense of where they fit in. Whether you are looking for a generalist or someone to specialize, asking this question will give you a better sense of where they are now and what you can expect from them in the future.
4. Why do you want to work with our company?
The candidate’s answer may tell you if they are aware of your company’s reputation in the HVAC industry. A knowledgeable candidate will have professional goals and seek better opportunities in a good work environment. A solid applicant should be able to answer this question by explaining how your company’s goals align with their own professional goals and the career path that they see for themselves.
5. What is the purpose of your seeking new job opportunities?
Asking this question helps you assess if the candidate is opportunity-oriented. Do they have professional goals, and are they looking to further their own career? Does this candidate see this as a lateral move, or are they looking to step up to the next level with you after having acquired and refined their skill with other companies?
6. How do you feel about your overall performance in your previous company or training?
This question is an opportunity to learn if HVAC technicians can self-assess their performance. When a candidate is able to self-evaluate and clearly articulate their strengths and weaknesses, it shows that they possess a level of self-knowledge and insight; these are attributes that you will want in any new hire. Everyone makes mistakes. Self-aware employees tend to learn and not make the same mistakes repeatedly.
7. Why should we hire you?
This question is an invitation for candidates to showcase their values, uniqueness, and qualifications to perform their duties. And it may give you an idea about which candidates are most likely to meet your expectations. It also provides a second chance for candidates who would make great technicians for your company, but whose qualifications may seem a little weak or be less traditional.
8. Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
Is the candidate planning their future? You can learn a lot about a candidate by paying attention to their long-term professional goals. A long-term planner will continually improve their performance by self-evaluating and learning from their failures. This question pairs well with question 6 – question 6 asked about a candidate’s ability to evaluate their past performance, which asks them to evaluate their future.
9. What is your wage expectation?
Wage expectations should align with the experience and expertise that a candidate brings with them. Do they have years of experience? Do they have an unusual certification that makes them desirable? With this question, you can assess a candidate’s capability to judge their qualifications and confide.
Candidates’ responses may indicate to the employer that they are aware of the wage scale for similar positions. You should also be mindful that compensation for the same job can vary widely from area to area. If you have recently relocated your business or opened a branch in a new location, it is possible your candidate has a better sense of their worth than you do. Don’t be too quick to judge an applicant just because their wage expectation does not align with your own.
10. Do you feel comfortable working on a physically demanding task or in bad weather?
HVAC technicians primarily work in a physically demanding environment. Knowing their willingness to work under stressful conditions is important information to have. A technician very sensitive to temperature may find themselves unable to endure the rigors of the job long-term.
Similarly, if working in cramped spaces for extended periods is problematic, it may limit the jobs a technician can perform. Getting an idea of what a technician is comfortable with is important when gauging their compatibility with your needs.
Hopefully, you have come away with a good grasp of the interview questions covered in this article. They are a good starting point, but only the beginning. In our next article, we will offer more HVAC interview questions, but with a focus on skill-oriented and technical knowledge analysis.
Continue with our next article and ensure you hire the right technicians for your needs. Stay tuned for more, including questions related to industry knowledge and experience, technical knowledge, and the ability to handle difficult scenarios.