Top Ten Interview Tips to Land that HVAC/R Job!
It is certainly important to have good training and/or experience in the field prior to applying for an HVAC/R position. However, some do not have HVAC/R experience and are relying on prior job experiences, a professionally made resume, and the interview process to land the job. As in any field of work, there are certain interview strategies and techniques that will help you get hired. This article covers ten top interview tips when applying for a career in HVAC/R. A successful interview includes what you say (verbal) to the interviewer as well as how you present yourself (non-verbal). Be aware of this as you prepare for, and participate in your interview. Tip # 1: Prepare by Researching the Field Prior to being interviewed, research the different types of heating and cooling systems, and refrigeration systems that are currently popular. Have some idea of what supplies and tools are used when working on these systems. Is the work inside or outside? Is it in attics or crawlspaces? Is it residential or commercial? Find out what some of the current trends, practices, and issues in the HVAC/R field are. Research this online or speak with someone who currently works in the field. Being prepared will help you be more relaxed during the interview. Being prepared will also help you be better able to answer any questions that you may be asked by the interviewer. You should be capable of responding intelligently to any work scenario(s) that may be presented to you during the interview. Tip # 2: Research the Company Before Being Interviewed To know nothing about the company in which you are trying to join shows a lack of preparation, a lack of strategy, a lack of concern for yourself and for the company. If you have a specific company you want to work for, go into the interview knowing at least some details about the company history. This is easily found during a quick website search. Find out how and where the company operates, along with some details you find interesting or appreciate. Make a list of specific questions you want to ask the interviewer. Let the interviewer know why you want to work for this particular company. What does this company offer that other companies don't? In your mind, what makes this company special/unique? How do you see this company helping you accomplish your career goals? These questions and comments let the interviewer know that you have done some preparation and that you care. Tip # 3: Compile a Good Resume Take a neatly typed, one page resume with you to present to the interviewer. Also make sure this is included in the employment application for the company beforehand. Be sure to include your contact information, your career goal, your education, past work experience, related clubs/sports/hobbies, etc. Do not include unrelated hobbies that may be looked upon negatively (example: likes to play video games) Include relevant information on your resume, and wherever possible, link it to the specific job you are interviewing for. Be honest. Do not try to pad your resume with false information. You can find excellent examples of resumes online. These will help you develop your own unique resume. Tip # 4: Pay Rate / Salary List on the application the amount of money you are looking to make on the job you are interviewing for. Be realistic: Take into consideration your training. Take into consideration your previous work experience. Know what the pay range is in the area where the company is located. If there is a question on the application asking how much money you made at your last job, I would leave it blank. This is because your past pay rate is not necessarily relevant for the job you are interviewing for. ( NOTE: There are differing views than what is presented here.) If the interviewer asks why you didn’t answer the question about how much you made at the last job, be prepared to answer. If asked, you can explain. (example: You would like to be paid based on what the company thinks you are worth, not based on your past pay rate.) Tip # 5: Tattoos and Piercings You want the interview to be focused on you and your abilities. So, at least for the interview, it is suggested that you remove any piercings and cover up tattoos that are visible. You don’t want the interviewer to be judging/evaluating you based on your piercings and tattoos. The interviewer will probably notice the holes for your piercings, and hopefully will appreciate the fact that you removed your piercings for the interview out of respect. One of your questions for the interviewer could be “What is the company’s policy on piercings and tattoos?”. The interviewer's reply to your question will let you know whether your piercings and tattoos are acceptable for this job at this company. Companies/bosses have different views on piercings and tattoos. However, if the piercing is a safety hazard, for your safety and for insurance reasons, it may need to be removed while you are at work. If the company policy does not allow piercings and tattoos, you need to decide whether you are willing to remove your piercings and cover your tattoos in order to get a job with the company. Otherwise, you may want to work for a business that allows piercings and tattoos, rather than a one that doesn't allow them. Remember, you only get one chance to make a good first impression! Tip # 6: Eye Contact, Handshake, and Posture Having a nice, firm handshake, good eye contact, and good posture are important. They are non-verbal features which help you come across as being confident and self-assured. ( NOTE: You don't want to come across as being arrogant and cocky.) Be prepared to shake hands with the interviewer. Due to considerations such as Covid-19, the interivewer may not offer you a hand shake. You may also explain the same. If shaking hands, do this firmly no matter who is interviewing you (unless you are in a situation where the culture dictates otherwise). Be sure not to grip the interviewer’s hand too firmly, causing pain or discomfort. Make every effort not to have a limp, weak handshake. If you extend your hand for a handshake, and for whatever reason the interviewer does not respond, pull your hand back. (Don’t make a big deal about it and don’t take it personally). Look into the eyes of the interviewer in such a way that they knows that you are paying attention and are fully focused. (Be careful NOT to stare in a way that makes the interviewer uncomfortable.) Sit up straight in your chair with your hands comfortably folded on your lap. Don’t lean back and don’t lean in too far toward the interviewer. Remember, you only get one chance to make a good first impression! Save 8% on any purchases from TruTechToolS.com With code: acservicetech Tip # 7: Dress Neatly and Appropriately Do not wear a hat during the interview. Dress one level up for the position you are interviewing for. If you are interviewing for an install or service tech position, don’t wear a tuxedo (quite a few levels above the position!), and don't wear shorts or jeans with holes in them (a few levels below the position). Someone interviewing for a sales position will dress differently than someone interviewing for an install or service technician position. Remember, you only get one chance to make a good first impression! Tip # 8: Be Punctual Arrive at least 15 minutes prior to the scheduled start of your interview. This gives you time to use the restroom, freshen up, and gather your thoughts. If you arrive later than 15 minutes early, it may be taken as late. Your interview start time may be pushed back if the interview before yours runs longer than expected. Use this time to calm yourself, review any questions you want to ask, etc. If possible, a few days prior to the interview, drive from your home to the location of your interview. Do this around the same time as your interview. You will experience what traffic is like at that time of day. You will also see if there is anything that may delay you, such as heavy traffic, road construction, or detours. You will see which is the best route to take and where to park. If your interview is taking place around the time when schools are either starting or letting out, bear in mind that traffic will be slower than when schools are in session. Tip # 9: Participate in A Mock Interview Have someone who is familiar with HVAC or construction work do a practice interview with you. During this mock interview, they should ask you both questions related to the field, as well as general questions: How do you like to spend your free time? Where do you see yourself in five years? What is one thing you have done that you are proud of? This practice interview will help you get familiar with the types of questions you may be asked during the real interview. This preparation will hopefully keep you calm during the actual interview. Ask for feedback and suggestions from the interviewer on how to improve. Tip # 10: Anticipate As best as possible, think about what the employer may be looking for in an employee. Are you someone who they can invest in and train because you plan on staying with the company for a long time? Do you have a good work ethic? Can you work well with others? Are you punctual, honest, and reliable? Are you teachable? Are you willing to ask questions if you are unsure about something? Often at the end of an interview, the interviewer will ask, “Do you have any questions or have anything you'd like to add?”. This is your opportunity to sell yourself. Ask questions that relate to you being there long term. This lets them know you are serious. Be sure to communicate your positive characteristics and traits to the interviewer. "I did it. I got the job!" Looking for a video on Job interviews for HVACR? Check out our "Top Ten Interview Tips to Land that HVAC Job!" video below! Check out our free Quizzes to test your knowledge here! Check out our Free Calculators here! If you want to learn about refrigerants and how they work in a system, check out our “Refrigerant Charging and Service Procedures for Air Conditioning” book . Test your knowledge with our 1,000 question workbook along with the answer key! We also have quick reference cards for use out in the field! Bundle Packs are a great way to save and get faster shipping! Check out www.acservicetech.com/store Tools that we use: www.amazon.com/shop/acservicetech Tools that we use: www.trutechtools.com 8% off coupon code "acservicetech" Follow us on Facebook for Quick Tips and Updates here! Follow us on Instagram for Quick Tips and Updates here! Published: 9/7/2022 Author: Craig Migliaccio About the Author: Craig is the owner of AC Service Tech LLC and the Author of the book “Refrigerant Charging and Service Procedures for Air Conditioning”. Craig is a licensed Teacher of HVACR, Sheet Metal, and Building Maintenance in the State of New Jersey of the USA. He is also an HVACR Contracting Business owner of 17 years and holds an NJ HVACR Master License. Craig creates educational HVACR articles and videos which are posted at https://www.acservicetech.com & https://www.youtube.com/acservicetechchannel