There’s a bright future for the men of the craft. Since people will always live in houses, and each house has a roof, and less and less people are manually skilled to repair anything on their own, you do not have to be afraid of the future of your profession.
What’s more, roofing companies and contractors struggle with employees. While there are no education requirements for roofers or other barriers to enter the field, not enough people apply for these jobs. Maybe because roofing is dangerous (with 32 fatalities in each 100,000 workers, roofing ranks 6th on the list of most dangerous jobs). Or the job just has a bad reputation–definitely unjustified…
Anyway, all these things make your situation much easier. Less applicants mean less competition, and less expectations in the interviews. Let’s have a look at the questions you will typically deal with while interviewing for this job.
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Can you please tell us something about your previous working experience?
Talk about any manual and building work you’ve done before. You do not even need a real job experience. Maybe you just helped your father changing some tiles, or repairing the house. You got your hands dirty, you learned the basics, and that’s pretty much enough for most roofing companies.
In almost all cases you will get the on-the-job training, so you do not need to have previous experience with the work on the roofs. But you should have some experience with manual and hard labor. If you said that all job you’ve done up to this point was done on a computer, they would not hire you…
Are you afraid of heights?
Roofs are not on the ground, and most of them aren’t flat. That’s exactly the reason why there are comparatively many fatalities in this profession. Ensure the interviewers that you have enough experienced with high and exposed places.
You don’t necessarily have to talk about the tops of the buildings. Perhaps you enjoy scaling mountains, or walking up high buildings in the cities to see the view and amaze on the landscape below your feet. One way or another, if they hear that you’ve been to high places before and your head wasn’t spinning, it’s good enough for them to give you a chance.
How do you feel about working for 12 hours, or even more during the day? What about working on weekends?
When a roof leaks, or falls apart, people won’t wait until Monday morning for you to arrive. And when there is a deadline in the contract, and a penalty a roofing company will have to pay if they do not meet the deadline, you can’t expect them to send you home at 3pm…
This is a competitive business, and good reviews are important for the roofing companies. They want to please their customers and do the job quickly. As always, the worker, the blue collar, pays the price. Ensure the interviewers that you know how it goes in this profession, and are ready to work overtime, or even on Sunday sometimes, as long as you are properly compensated for your efforts.
What will you do to ensure your safety, and safety of your colleagues?
Tell them that safety is your first priority. You like your life, and do not apply for the job to fall from the roof and end it :). You can say that you will always wear a helmet. Never drinking alcohol in the job, and not looking at your smartphone all the time, you will stay vigilant and attentive to the things that happen around you.
You can basically say that you will respect all the safety measures and precautions set by your employer, and will also warn your colleagues anytime they do not respect them. That’s the attitude they seek in a good applicant for a roofer job.
This is a physically demanding job, and sometimes you can work in an extreme heat, or in other tricky conditions. Do you think you will handle it?
You should have confidence in your ability to handle the job. If you show a lack of confidence, they will doubt your ability to handle the job and may send you home.
Instead of simply saying that you will handle it, explain why you think you will. Narrate a situation in which you dealt with extreme weather conditions. This can be something from your past job, from your home (repairing your own house), or even something from sports. Perhaps you are crazy and enjoy running 50 miles in the woods each weekends, straining your physical abilities to the limit.
Anything you say, they should get an impression that you are ready for the demanding work of a roofer.
What are your salary expectations?
Roofing and construction companies do not really have a unified policy when it comes to salaries for roofers. Take ten roofers from one city. Some of them can make barely $10 per hour, while others will make $30, and even $40 or more when working on weekends.
Try to do some research before the start of your interview. How much do roofers in your city or area earn in average? Google will typically help you with the answer. Aiming for the average number is never a bad idea. If it is too much for the employer, they will tell you. But if you say that you will be happy with $13 per hour, they have no reason to pay you more... even though they may have a budget for $20 per hour, and that’s what they originally intended to pay you.
Another idea is saying that salary is not the deciding factor for you, and that you will accept the standard salary the company pays to other roofers working for them.
Do you have any questions?
You do not have to force a question. If things went well, if you have a good impression from the interview, you can just thank them for inviting you and that’s it. However, you should definitely ask about certain things, especially if they weren’t clearly explained on the job description, or during the interview:
- whether the company covers your insurance
- shift patterns, weekend work
- salary structure, payment schedule, etc
- area of work–you do not want to spend 3 hours commuting to work and back each day…
How to dress for your roofer interview
Your clothes should reflect the job you try to get. No need to wear a shirt and tie here, really. They would send you home immediately if you arrived overdressed for this interview.
Working trousers, overalls, boiler suit–they will all send the right signals to the interviewers. Of course your clothes and shoes should be reasonably clean. Normal jeans and t-shirt will also do the trick.
What’s more, I suggest you to avoid wearing any golden or silver necklaces or rings or expensive watch. Maybe you enjoy to buy nice shiny items (and there’s nothing wrong with that), but you should leave them home. You should not look like someone who’s in only for money, and wants to earn big, to buy new flashy things. This job simply doesn’t offer such possibilities…
Conclusion, next steps
Interview for a job of a roofer belongs to easy job interviews. Roofers are in high demand, and in many cases the hiring managers in roofing and construction companies will pray that you do well, that you do not remain silent when they ask you their questions. They need you badly, and hope for the best from you.
Prepare for the questions from this article, dress appropriately, and do some research about your prospective employer. With an adequate preparation, you should not have a problem to pass this interview and get the job. I wish you good luck!
May also help you prepare for your roofing interview:
- Salary negotiation tips – Salaries for roofers vary a lot. Knowing the basics of salary negotiation will help you to get the best possible salary in your interview.
- 15 most common interview questions – Learn how to answer questions such as “Why should we hire you?”, “What motivates you in work?”, or “What are your weaknesses?”. You may definitely get some of them while applying for a job of a roofer.