Many plumbers earn more than $80,000 a year. It’s a job a few want to do, but a service everyone needs. Unless you live in a car or under the bridge, you certainly had to call a plumber at least once in your life. Or your parents made a call. The bill a plumbing company sent over was big enough to make your head spin, but the work did not seem particularly difficult.
You decided to try your luck in the trade. You attended vocational classes, got some on hands training, and a certificate. Just one step remains before you can start the job and enjoy a juicy paycheck each month–a job interview.
But you do not have to be afraid. Interviews for plumbing jobs belong to easy job interviews. Now I will show you how to answer some questions you may get, and I will also give you some advice on how to win the favor of your interviewers. Let’s start.
Why do you want to work as a plumber?
Try to avoid talking about money--at least at this stage of your interview. Say that you studied the subject, and enjoyed your experience with the job (during apprenticeship or on hands practice at school).
You can also say that you notice how trades are slowly dying, that more and more people opt for studying law or economics or IT. As if a computer or a lawyer could solve common problems people experience in their households–leaking toilet, broken pipe, etc.
Basically you see a meaningful purpose in the job, you enjoy doing it, and it pays comparatively well to other manual labor. And the prospects for the future are great as well, because robots won’t be repairing pipes in households anytime soon…
Why do you apply for a job with our plumbing company?
Do some research before the interview. Look up their company on Google Maps and read the reviews from their existing customers. Try to find something positive, something people love about their service. Perhaps an excellent communication, great quality of work, availability on weekends, etc.
Basically you should praise your prospective employer for something. Everyone loves words of praise (if they make sense of course), and praising your interviewers for a good job will help you make a better connection with them in an interview. Alternatively you can refer to a location of the job. If the company serves customers in your neighborhood, it will be easier for you to commute to work, and more convenient.
* May also interest you: Electrician interview questions.
Please tell us something about your previous plumbing experience.
You can talk about studying and interpreting blueprints and building specifications while mapping layouts for pipes and drainage systems, and about installing pipes and fixtures, such as sinks and toilets, for water, gas, steam, air, or for other liquids, or the supporting work necessary for each plumbing job.
Refer to different types of buildings and installations. Your interviewer is likely a former plumber (or art least they understand the ins and outs of the job), so you can calmly use a technical language and specialized plumbing terminology.
Simply explain what you did, where, and for how long. The most important thing is to talk with some enthusiasm. They should get an impression that you at least somehow enjoy the plumbing work, and do not apply with them only to make a lot of money…
What are your expectations on your supervisor (experienced plumber)?
More often than not, you will start your plumbing career working under direct supervision of an experienced plumber (this is the regulation in most countries of the world).
First and foremost, you should ensure the interviewers that you are fine with the model. You are just starting in the trade, and need to learn a lot of things. You can say that you are eager to follow the lead of your supervisor.
In terms of expectations, you have a few options for a good answer. One is saying that you prefer to have high expectations on yourself. You want to be a great listener and do as much as you can while helping your experienced colleague in work. But you do not expect much from them.
Another option is saying that you expect them to explain you everything, to answer your questions, and to basically help you on your journey of becoming an excellent plumber. You can add that you hope to have a good relationship with your supervisor. What, of course, depends on both of you.
How far are you willing to travel for work?
Each plumbing company operates in a different radius. Some may serve customers in one city district only (with many apartment houses), while others may work in a rural countryside, traveling hundreds of miles almost each day.
Obviously each of us prefers to spend less time on the road. We work when we are in the houses, not when we travel there. But you should still read the website of the company and the reviews from customers, and adjust your answer accordingly, and show your willingness to travel if necessary.
If the plumbing company works in a big radius, you should say that you do not have problems with traveling–as long as the expenses are covered, of course. You can even add that you enjoy driving, and would not mind driving your colleagues to the site.
How do you feel about working on weekends?
When a pipe breaks on Saturday morning and a household is without water, the residents won’t wait until Monday to call a plumber. They want things to be fixed as soon as possible.
Plumbing companies that want to stay in the business have to offer repair services on weekends. And sometimes you will have to dodge the bullet. That’s why you should show some flexibility in your interview.
You do not mind working (or at least being available on a call) one or two Sundays in a month, because it means that your colleagues can spend time with their families or friends. On other weekends they will pay you back the favor.
Remember, if they ask about working on weekends, it almost always means that you’ll have to work on some weekends. Hence you should agree with the proposition.
What is your definition of an excellent customer service?
First and foremost, customers care whether you fix the problem they have with their water, gas, or with their toilet :). They expect you to arrive quickly, and do the job quickly (when possible, of course). But their expectations do not end here…
Communication is ever more important in the trades. Great customer service means being courteous to people, explaining them the problem and what they can do to prevent it from occurring in the future, and all in all your visit should be a pleasant experience.
Ensure your interviewers that you understand the importance of an excellent service, and hope to deliver such to their clients.
Some other questions you may get in your plumber job interview
- What are your salary expectations?
- How long do you want to have this job?
- What motivates you the most in work?
- Why did you leave your last job? (if you had any job before)
- What do you consider your greatest weakness as a plumber?
- Do you have any questions?
Conclusion, next steps
Interview for a job of a plumber belongs to easier job interviews. They won’t ask you any particularly difficult technical questions, and you typically won’t compete with many people for the job. Plumbing is not a popular career choice, and you may be the only job applicant.
All these things make your situation easier, but getting a job is still not guaranteed. Do some research about your prospective employer, and prepare a short answer to the questions I described in this article.
Do not forget to speak with enthusiasm about plumbing, and show realistic expectations in regards to the job and the salary. I wish you good luck!
May also help you prepare for your plumber interview:
- Salary negotiation tips – Negotiate the best possible offer for you at the end of the interview.
- 15 most common interview questions and answers
- Bricklayer interview questions and answers.