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DanHolohan Member, Moderator, Administrator Posts: 15,266
of the attachment?
Retired and loving it.


  • DanHolohan
    DanHolohan Member, Moderator, Administrator Posts: 15,266
    Recently, a contractor friend

    mentioned that he was trying to come up with some good questions to put on a test for prospective employees. I imagine others are facing the same challenge nowadays.

    If you'd like, list a question or two here. If we get a good thread going you'll be able to pick and choose from among the list of questions to come up with your own test.

    You up?
    Retired and loving it.
  • Alan R. Mercurio_3
    Alan R. Mercurio_3 Member Posts: 1,617

    Dan, the following are just a few of the questions that are given in the test after I do my Oil Tech Talk Burner Workshop. And anyone here is welcome to make use of them.

    For some of my clients I providing consulting for I have them use these and a few others during a pre-interview with a candidate that has more than 2 – 3 years experience.

    1. Air is composed of:
    A. More Oxygen then Nitrogen.
    B. More Nitrogen then Oxygen.
    C. Equal amounts of both.

    2. When comparing an O2 reading at the stack with the O2 reading over the fire, the reading in the stack should be:
    A. Lower.
    B. Higher.
    C. A 29% difference.
    D. The same.
    E. A & D

    3. Which of the following heat energies maximize the flame temperature for the most efficient heat production and transfer:
    A. Radiant
    B. Convective.
    C. Conductive.

    4. An oil-fired unit not producing a measurable amount of smoke is capable of CO Production.

    5. Draft is a suction of air up the chimney created by:
    A. Heat or natural air currents.
    B. A mechanical device.
    C. It is only created on very windy days.

    6. Draft regulation is often necessary, but not always necessary:

    7. It’s always ok to increase the pump pressure if you don’t have a larger enough nozzle for the application:

    8. Higher nozzle line pressure will produce:
    A. Larger fuel droplets.
    B. Smaller fuel droplets.
    C. The droplets will not change they will just move through the nozzle faster.

    9. An A2VA7116 single stage 3450 rpm fuel unit 1 pipe should not exceed a vacuum of:
    A. 3”
    C. 12”

    10. An A2VA7116 single stage 3450 rpm fuel unit 2 pipe should not exceed a vacuum of:
    A. 6”
    B. 12”
    C. 20”

    Your friend in the industry,
    Alan R. Mercurio

    Your friend in the industry,

    Alan R. Mercurio
  • Steamhead (in transit)
    Steamhead (in transit) Member Posts: 6,688
    First one I thought of....

    an essay question: "Why do you want to work for us"?
  • Jeff Lawrence_24
    Jeff Lawrence_24 Member Posts: 593
    Propane vs. natural gas

    we don't have a lot of oil here, so a lot of questions are NG.

    What's the WC pressure for NG at the gas valve?

    What's the WC pressure for LPG at the gas valve?


    To Learn More About This Professional, Click Here to Visit Their Ad in "Find A Professional"
  • Robert O'Connor_11
    Robert O'Connor_11 Member Posts: 42

    We will do xyz for you...

    What can you do for us...?

    All the best.



  • Glenn Harrison_2
    Glenn Harrison_2 Member Posts: 845
    A couple of things that come to mind are...

    What are your long term prospects/goals in this industry, and/or in life?

    What are some things you would like to achive in the next year?

    Why do you feel you are worth the dollar amount written on your resume? (If an expected dollar amount was asked for and given).

    As a employee, what do you expect from us, as a company.
  • DanHolohan
    DanHolohan Member, Moderator, Administrator Posts: 15,266
    Any more?

    Retired and loving it.
  • Dale
    Dale Member Posts: 1,317

    If you go on a no heat call, what's the first thing you do? A good answer is talk to the customer. What next, good answer, look at the entire system before doing any else. Carrier calls this the power off checks and I agree with them. On warm air, if the old blower motor is needing replacement what do you do next, good answer is a thorough inspection of the heat exchanger. What is the normal sequence of operation for a pilot light furnace, for an 80% furnace, for a 90 % furnace? What safety checks do you make on a steam boiler? What is the relief valve set to on steam, hot water? This is a good topic, I hope to see a long list too.
  • Eugene Silberstein
    Eugene Silberstein Member Posts: 1,380
    Digging Into the Good Stuff

    Here are some sample oil questions (about 25 of them).

    Have fun.
  • Eugene Silberstein
    Eugene Silberstein Member Posts: 1,380
    It's a Word Document

    Dan, It's a Word ducument... Should open right up.
  • Eugene Silberstein
    Eugene Silberstein Member Posts: 1,380
    Maybe this is better?

    High oil viscosity can cause

    a. Poor atomization

    b. Delayed ignition

    c. Noisy flame

    d. All of the above are correct

    Number 2 fuel oil is a hydrocarbon made up of approximately

    a. 15% carbon and 85% hydrogen

    b. 50% carbon and 50% hydrogen

    c. 85% carbon and 15% hydrogen

    d. 100% hydrogen

    Which is true regarding number 2 fuel oil?

    a. There are approximately 7.1 pounds of oil in one gallon

    b. One pound of oil will produce approximately 19,580 btu when burned

    c. One gallon of oil will produce approximately 139,400 btu when burned

    d. All of the above are correct

    If the pour point of oil is 0°F, which of the following is a likely cloud point?

    a. -20°F

    b. 0°F

    c. 15°F

    d. 50°F

    The oil de-aerator is located

    a. Between the fuel filter and the oil pumps

    b. Between the oil tank and the oil filter

    c. Between the fuel pump and the nozzle

    d. Between the nozzle tube and the nozzle

    Typically, the minimum pressure at the outlet of the oil pump is

    a. 100 psig

    b. 125 psig

    c. 150 psig

    d. 175 psig

    The process of breaking fuel oil down into tiny droplets is called

    a. Atomization

    b. Condensation

    c. Evaporation

    d. Degradation

    Flame retention oil burners

    a. Retain the flame longer and are therefore less efficient

    b. Result in the creation of 700% more soot than conventional burners

    c. Produce a flame that is 300 - 500°F hotter than conventional burners

    d. Do not mix the air and fuel as well as conventional burners

    Excess air does all of the following except

    a. Dilutes combustion air

    b. Absorbs heat

    c. Drops the temperature of combustion gases

    d. Increases the rate of heat transfer to the heat exchanger

    When performing a smoke test, which of the following represents a clean burn?

    a. Number 0 smoke

    b. Number 3 smoke

    c. Number 6 smoke

    d. Number 9 smoke

    The motor in the oil burner

    a. Turns only the fan in the burner

    b. Turns only the fuel pump in the burner

    c. Turns both the fuel pump and the fan in the burner

    d. Turns neither the fuel pump nor the fan in the burner

    In the stack relay primary control

    a. The hot and cold contacts are both closed when the burner initially fires

    b. The hot contacts are open and the cold contacts are closed when the burner initially fires

    c. The hot contacts are closed and the cold contacts are open when the burner initially fires

    d. The hot and cold contacts are both open when the burner initially fires

    If a stack relay controlled burner is operating with a very low stack temperature

    a. The cold contacts may remain closed and the burner will shut down

    b. The cold contacts may remain closed, de-energizing the safety switch heater

    c. The hot contacts will remain closed and the burner will shut down

    d. All of the above are possible

    A dirty cad cell

    a. Can result in the opening of the safety switch

    b. Can result in the overfiring of the burner

    c. Both A and B are possible

    d. Neither A nor B is correct

    When the cad cell senses flame

    a. The resistance of the cad cell will increase

    b. The resistance of the cad cell will decrease

    c. The burner will shut off

    d. Both B and C are correct

    A furnace with a very deep combustion chamber will most likely use a nozzle with

    a. A high spray angle

    b. A hollow cone

    c. A low spray angle

    d. A solid cone

    The nozzle is responsible for

    a. Metering the correct flow of fuel into the combustion area

    b. Creating the correct spray pattern and angle of the fuel oil

    c. Atomizing the fuel as it enters the combustion area

    d. All of the above are correct

    The owner of an oil burner should do all of the following daily except

    a. Check to be sure that nothing is blocking the burner inlet air openings

    b. Check the oil tank level

    c. Check to make sure that no combustible materials are stored near the burner

    d. Check for oil leaks around the burner

    On most oil burners, the two yellow wires are connected to the

    a. Cad Cell

    b. Thermostat

    c. Ignition and blower motor

    d. Pre-purge cycle

    Which ignition method utilizes a spark that is only energized to ignite the fuel at the beginning of the cycle?

    a. Constant duty ignition

    b. Intermittent duty ignition

    c. Interrupted duty ignition

    d. All of the above are correct

    What is meant by the term limited recycle?

    a. The system will only recycle a portion of the flue gases

    b. The system will only recycle for a limited period of time

    c. The system will only recycle when the burner is in lockout

    d. The system will only recycle when the burner is firing

    The acronym TFI stands for

    a. Temperature-fired ignition

    b. Thermal frequency index

    c. Thermal flame indicator

    d. Trial for ignition

    If an oil burner fails to operate on a call for heat, and the burner starts when the “T” terminals are jumped out, the problem is likely

    a. A defective thermostat

    b. A defective primary control

    c. A defective cad cell

    d. A defective igniter or transformer

    The “F” terminals on a primary control are connected to the

    a. Burner motor

    b. Cad cell

    c. Thermostat

    d. Igniter

    The term therm is a unit that is equivalent to

    a. 1 btu

    b. 100 btu

    c. 1,000 btu

    d. 100,000 btu
  • A.J._2
    A.J._2 Member Posts: 4
    I like the openended questions

    Mostly becuase I believe most of the our area are under trained anyway.
    1 Were do you see yourself five & ten years from now?
    2 What is the biggest challange you have ever faced,
    heating or otherwise ?
    3 What is your biggest weakness ?
    You get the idea ? If I get a good reliable tech. I can start to train them if they want to learn.
    Just my two cents.

    Kupetz's Plb & Htg
  • DanHolohan
    DanHolohan Member, Moderator, Administrator Posts: 15,266

    Retired and loving it.
  • SVDW
    SVDW Member Posts: 79

    My favorite interview question: "I'm interviewing six guys this week all with similar qualifications, Why are you my best choice? What sets you apart?" IMHO this question usually shows whether the guy can think on his feet.
  • thp_8
    thp_8 Member Posts: 122
    Nothing like

    a little hands on, to separate them out.
    I sometimes coach at our skill center and the book tests and questions don't impress me much. But when we get to the hands on section of the course, I have picked the over all winner of the meet everytime. Book knowledge is nice, but we all know that out in the field it is the imagineer that brings closure to those jobs that just can't be fixed by logic.
  • Anthony Menafro
    Anthony Menafro Member Posts: 180

    Who is your favorite American and why so? It lets me get a feel for the person's character and insight.

  • Rocky_2
    Rocky_2 Member Posts: 89
    Al Levi, says.....

    Ask a guy to sing to you during the interview process. If he is willing to sing "Twinkle Twinkle LIttle Star" or some such other ditty, then it shows the person is willing to step outside their comfort zone to perform a task. Gives a lot of insight into the persons willingness to perform. Have two interviews this coming week and will have them sing me a little Merle Haggard or something like that.
    Warm Regards from chilly Fairbanks,
  • Rookie_4
    Rookie_4 Member Posts: 18
    Singing for a job

    Merle Haggart? Isn't he the guy that did the song "Take this job and shove it"? LOL!!!!!!!

    I was firing up a boiler on a house that was being rehabbed.
    Two painters were singing to a song off the radio, their boss definately should have had them sing for him before he sent them out in public!! LOL............ROOKIE
  • midway
    midway Member Posts: 35

    no that was Johnny Paycheck
  • Al Gregory
    Al Gregory Member Posts: 260

    How many insurance claims did you cause at your last job

    Have you ever been caught drunk driving

    Do you have your own tools

    How many times have you been out on comp before

    Thats basically what it has come down to. Not much to choose from around here. It seems alot of people who lost their regular jobs are being sent to school and come out with an oil burner liscense. We need an apprentice program like plumbers have. What other trade can a person be on welfare on the 4th of July and be running his own oil heat repair business out of his KIA on Xmass. I'm tired of showing people how a pair of water pump pliers work.
  • thp_8
    thp_8 Member Posts: 122
    Hey I played that

    once over the P.A. at a job I once had. They jot the hint.
  • thp_8
    thp_8 Member Posts: 122
    Hey I played that

    song once for an employer of mine over the P.A. system while I was walkin out the back door. He asked me where I was going.
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