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Interview questions for HVAC students

Perry_2 Member Posts: 381
I am a homeowner and not a HVAC professional.

I do work in a technical trade and have worked for field service companies.

I have been a person who has made hire and fire decissions at several companies.

The single most revealing question that I use - and have found to work is: "What or where do you volunteer some time in?"

I don't care what cause, charity, or religious function they volunteer themselves in - even if it is for a cause I disagree with. The very fact that they are volunteering themselves somewhere is an important character indicator. They see more needs than "just themselves." People who do not volunteer in some way somewhere often have a harder time relating to the needs of other people (either internal or external to the company).

People who tell me that they donate lots of things or money do not impress me. Anyone with resources can do that. It takes a personal committment to volunteer time into something.

Hope that helps.



  • John R. Hall
    John R. Hall Member Posts: 2,246
    Topics needed

    As a member of the Advisory Panel to the HVAC School of Ferris State University, I particpate in annual mock interviews with 2-year and 4-year students. I will be doing this in a couple of weeks and am always interested in what employers want to know from graduating students. If any Wallies have questions they'd like answered by students or samples of questions they use during interviews, please let me know (serious, okay folks?)

    It's tough to keep young people in the mechanical trades and anything we can do to keep them interested is a plus.

  • Empire_2
    Empire_2 Member Posts: 2,343
    Great topic.

    I would stress wiring, and trouble shooting practices among the many topics. Also, let them know that a test is not to tell you what you know, but what you don't know..... I remember when coming into the field that all was very intimidating.

    Mike T.
  • Brad White_9
    Brad White_9 Member Posts: 2,440
    Design or Installation side, John?

    Each interview we do depends on the individual and position. Most come to us with known reputation anyway, (the MEP/FP design being a small community in Boston).

    As a training question, I would give a situation, a problem, asking what the potential causes might be. For example, an air system is operating not delivering sufficient air. What are the first five things you would look at in descending priority?

    (Firing a pistol over their head and shouting at them is optional.)
  • Ken_40
    Ken_40 Member Posts: 1,320
    My favorite question is:

    At what age could you take your bike completely apart, put it back together, and have no parts left over.

    If you get a blank stare, switch the question to motorcycle, lawnmower, or their car/truck.

    If you still get a blank stare, suggest your most despised competitor is also looking for help...

    I have never seen an exception to the rule: "Mechanical aptitude is not "taught." Granted, some wizardly-like kid may have parents that are non-mechanical, and therefore were never exposed to things that go "bump" in the night... But one can hardly escape an attraction to the physical world when exposed to shop, mechanical drawing, physics, chemistry and 8th grade science.

    Cars and S.S. seniors come together like white and rice. What kid is not exposed to tricycles, bikes, scooters and what it means to own a "hot" car?

    Okay, other than a kid raised in Spanish Harlem that is (:-o)
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