In the era when robots are replacing humans in jobs, and artificial intelligence is the buzzword of the day, an average man has lost most of this traditional skills. Repairing a window, changing a light bulb or a switch, or making sure that the door in the building fits right, and closes properly. Back in the day, almost everyone could do such tasks. Nowadays, however, when something happens, employees or residents automatically call the handyman. Sad news for humanity perhaps, but good news for you. The demand for skilled handymen is as high as ever, which makes it easier to succeed in the interviews for the job. Let me tell you what will happen.
First, they will ask you a couple of questions about your motivation, and relevant working experience. When applying for a handyman job in some big corp, they may add a couple of situational questions to the mix, such as one about a conflict with another employee, or one about feeling overwhelmed with the workload. Then they will ask you about your availability and salary expectations. In some cases they may include a practical test in your interview–asking you to fix something in their office, as a part of the hiring process. And they may also inquire about the last defect you’ve fixed.
Nothing difficult really. As long as you show some enthusiasm for the job and demonstrate your maintenance skills (either directly, repairing something as a part of the hiring process, or with your interview answers), they will typically hire you for the job of a handyman. Let’s have a look at the seven most common questions right now, one after one.
Why do you want to work as a handyman?
I suggest you to focus on a couple of things. First one, your skills. You are good in fixing all types of defects, ranging from lights and gaps on the walls, to more elaborate systems like HVAC, plumbing, and electric appliances. We always enjoy doing what we do well, and that’s exactly the case with you and one of the reasons why you want to work as a handyman, and not do some other job that pays a similar wage (and you can realistically get it with your qualification).
You can also say that you have right personality for the job. You enjoy being on your own and working independently, have great attention to detail, and can figure out your way around problems you haven’t fixed before, without losing your calm in the process. Considering everything, the job of a handyman seems like an ideal choice for you, at least at this stage of your professional career.
Do you have any relevant working experience?
They do not require any particular education, but they are looking for people with experience. Funny enough, unless they let you fix something as a part of the hiring process they can hardly verify your claims–because experience of a handyman can be gained in many ways. Maybe you’ve helped with building houses or build your own house where you live right now. With so much work around the house (and a garden perhaps), you are repairing or improving something almost every weekend.
What’s more, you own the power tools and hardware, and can work with any tools they can imagine, and need in the company. As you can see, you can have relevant experience without having worked as a handyman before. Of course, if you’ve had a job of handyman, or a maintenance technician, electrician, or anything similar, you should explain the core of the work, tools you used, and common defects you’ve repaired. Try to talk with some enthusiasm while narrating these things. They should get an impression that you still enjoy your work, and do not do it only for money.
How do you imagine a typical day in your work as a handyman?
Just do not say that you imagine sitting in your office, playing on your phone, waiting for a knock on the door, or for a phone call from an employee needing your assistance. Sure enough, some of your days may look like that. While interviewing for the job, however, you should show proactive approach to the work of a handyman.
Say that you imagine either fixing something, or walking around the premises of the company, trying to identify defects or areas for improvement. It is also good to mention some secondary duties, such as shoveling snow in the winter (in many places handymen take care of it), or perhaps even some light cleaning duties. I suggest you to read the job description carefully and also to think for a while about your place of work. What are the most common defects in such a place? And what secondary duties will you be responsible for? Finding answers to these questions will help you come up with the right words.
Here is a defect (broken light switch, leaking tab, window which does not close properly, etc). Repair it now.
In my opinion, letting you to fix something directly in the interviews is the best way to test your skills, and assess your readiness for the job of a handyman. Because anyone can say that they can repair this or that. But is it really true, or are they just saying it, hoping for the best? You should keep a few things on your mind when fixing something in the interviews.
First of all, try to have some system in your work. Do not rush, the goal isn’t to fix the defect in a record short time. On the contrary, approach the task with a cool head, carefully inspecting the issue, and then proceeding with the fix, step by step. Secondly, any commentary is highly welcome.
You can explain to the interviewers what caused the problem, and what they can do to prevent it from happening again. If you find it hard to overcome some obstacle while fixing the defect, explain what’s going on–perhaps some parts lacked the maintenance for years, and now it is difficult to unscrew them, or they do not have the right tools in place for a quick fix. Think out loud to show them that you know what you are doing, and why you are doing it. Of course, you should eventually solve the problem, or at least come to a point when you can say–okay, we need to buy this and that and then I will be able to fix it.
Imagine that one of the employees accuses you of poor maintenance, and starts a conflict with you. How will you react?
Many handyman are lonely wolfs. Working in a corporate environment, however, you cannot completely avoid contact with other employees. And many of them will be stressed, with all the goals and deadlines to meet, and some may vent their stress on you, accusing you of neglecting this or that.
Ensure the hiring managers that you won’t lose your calm. You understand that employees experience all sorts of emotions, and conflicts and tension simply belong to the workplace of 21st century. Instead of dwelling on negative emotions or pouring oil into fire, you will simply focus on the solution of the problem. You will fix what needs to be fixed, and move on.
You can also add that you will take the feedback seriously, or at least think about it for a few seconds. Though you approach your job responsibly, you are only a human being and can make mistakes, just like everyone else. If it happens to be the case, you will make sure to learn from the situation, and avoid making the same mistake again.
What is your availability? When can you start?
Schedule can be sometimes tricky for handymen, since things can get broken at any time of the day. That’s why it is good to show some flexibility. Of course, you will have your standard working schedule, from eight to four or nine to five or whatever. If something unexpected happens, however, you do not mind staying overtime and fixing it, or promptly come to the plant in the evening or even on weekend (of course only if it is really necessary).
Talking about the start date, this really depends on your present situation. Whether you have another job, notice period arranged in your contract, and so on, and so forth. But you should always ensure them that you want to start as soon as legally possible.
What are your salary expectations?
An average hourly wage for a handyman in the US is about $18. Needless to say, this changes a lot depending on your place of living, qualifications, type of the job, whether you work in public or private sector, and so on. I suggest you to do some research before the start of your interview, and eventually show realistic expectations.
You can also add that salary isn’t the deciding factor for you. Enjoying the work of a handyman, you will happily accept the standard wage they pay new hires for the position, at least for the start. Once you prove your skills and value for their organization, they will no doubt offer you a raise, or at least some interesting employee benefits…
Ready to ace your interview for a job of a Handyman? Not yet? Continue your preparation with the following articles:
- How to overcome interview nerves? – Learn how to get your anxiety under control and deliver your very best in the interviews.
- Salary negotiation tips – If you do things right, you can negotiate or or two extra dollars for each hour at work. Learn how to do it.
- Maintenance supervisor interview questions – Ready to up your game and apply for a better job in the field? Learn what questions you will face.