The Best Questions for a Field Service Engineer Interview

November 21, 2017 | Read: 5 minutes

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It’s time to learn about the best field service engineer interview questions.

If you followed our advice on the best ways to attract the best field service engineers, you’re now need to interview your chosen candidates…

Asking the right questions during the field service engineer interview can help you figure out if a candidate has what it takes—and asking the wrong ones can waste everyone’s time and saddle you with a nightmare employee.

No pressure.

Your engineers are on the front line with customers all day, so it’s essential that they be able to present themselves well, break bad news to customers, work independently, and think on their feet.

So what questions will help you figure out if a candidate is perfect for your business?

You could flip through the dozens of books out there for hiring managers, and pore over the hundreds of websites that claim to have the perfect list of questions.

Or you could just keep reading here…

key steps to hiring engineers, look at the infographic

The Best Questions to ask in an Interview:

1. Position-Specific Questions

Position-specific questions let you know whether the candidate has the basic qualifications for the job. For example:

  • Do you have a clean driving record?
  • What kind of training or certifications do you have?
  • What’s the first step you’d take when diagnosing a fault in a customer’s boiler?
  • What’s the most common type of plumbing issue you’ve handled?
  • Are you familiar with any field service engineer apps?

If you missed any key questions during the application process or while on the phone, now’s the time to ask them.

2. Motivational Questions

Finding out what motivates candidates and what their goals and ideals are can give you a sneak peek at their future performance.

Some of the questions below are essential for your own interviews and can help you unpack a candidates motivations. Such questions include:

  • How would you describe your ideal boss or business owner?
  • What would a major ‘win’ look like for you?
  • What did you like best about your last job?
  • Where would you like to be in the next year (five years, 10 years)?

The way a candidate answers motivational questions can reveal just as much about them as their actual answer.

For example: if they can’t find a single positive thing to say about their last job or they need five minutes to come up with an answer to a question, they may not be the right field service engineer for you.

Bonus: This type of job interview question can help you figure out what makes a candidate tick—so if you do hire them, you’ll know how to keep them motivated. We’ll be offering creative, inexpensive ways to motivate your employees in next week’s post.

The WAY a job candidate answers interview questions can reveal as much about them as their actual answer.

3. Behavioural Questions

In their article ‘Field Service Technician Interview questions’, Workable suggests asking questions that reveal the candidate’s personality and how they would handle various situations in the field.

Behavioural questions include: 

  • Tell me about a time when you dealt with an angry customer. How did you handle their complaints?
  • What’s the biggest challenge you’ve faced so far as a field service engineer, and how did you handle it?
  • What new skills would you like to learn as a field service engineer? 

Listen carefully to the answers. For example:

  • Does the candidate sound excited about the idea of learning new skills?
  • Do they handle customer conflict well?
  • Can they deal with problems in the field without having to ask for help?

4. Curveball Questions

Hiring employees is time-consuming and expensive, and it stinks when it quickly becomes clear that your newest hire won’t work out.

“We can blame eighty-nine per cent of hiring failures on a poor cultural fit”.

Erika Andersen, Forbes

But asking curveball questions during the field service engineer interview can help head off this problem by revealing whether the candidate will mix well with your company culture.

Some examples:

  • What’s the first thing you should do in a zombie apocalypse?
  • What’s the last book you read?
  • On a scale from 1 to 10, rate me as an interviewer. (This one is from Jobsite’s article on curveball questions.)
  • What’s something you believe that no one else agrees with you on?
  • Would you rather fight one horse-sized duck, or 100 duck-sized horses? (Whole Foods interviewers ask this question, according to Glassdoor).

While we don’t recommend asking all of these questions (just one will do), the candidate’s answer to a curveball question—and also the way they react—will show whether they have the confidence, humour, or smarts to make it as an employee in your business. 

Hiring the right employees and managing them with field service software can turn your customers into raving fans, and your company bank account into an overflowing abundance of profits.

key steps to hiring engineers, look at the infographic
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Linda is a long-time journalist and content writer in Raleigh, North Carolina, USA.

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