You have the heavy equipment operation skills and knowledge down. You know all the safety procedures and what you’re doing in the cab, and you’re ready to get to work. Interviewing, on the other hand, is an entirely different beast to conquer. It can be one of the most overwhelming parts of the job search process for some. Don’t sweat it though. With some solid preparation and Heavy Equipment Interview tips, you can be on your way to acing interviews in no time. Let’s get after it.
Interviews are basically tests about yourself and what you can bring to the company. You know yourself better than anyone else does, including what heavy equipment skills and certifications you have in addition to what your career goals are. Prospective employers want to hear about those things in interviews and how they fit into the position the employer is looking to fill.
Take some time to think about why you want the job and how it fits into your career goals. Knowing yourself will help you easily answer a lot of basic interview questions, including when they say, “Tell me about yourself.”
Know the company and the industry
Now that you’ve firmly established what you bring to the table and how you fit the role, it’s time to learn about the company you’re interviewing with. Prospective employers appreciate when applicants know a lot about their company. Knowing as much as you can about the company will help show them that you want the job.
In addition to knowing the company, it helps to do some research about the industry. If you’ve completed a heavy equipment training program, you likely know a thing or two about the heavy equipment as it pertains to construction. Staying on top of the latest trends will also help show your strength as a candidate.
You only get one shot at making a first impression. Make sure you dress appropriately for in-person interviews.
When it comes to interviewing heavy equipment operation, wear a pair of dress slacks and a nice top, such as a button-up shirt. If you’re unsure of the dress code, you can always ask the interviewer beforehand.
You’ll also want to make sure you properly groom yourself before the interview, including shaving or getting a haircut.
Prepare for common questions
Some interview questions are more common than others. You’ll notice this pretty quickly when you go on multiple interviews for the same kind of job, such as a heavy equipment operator role.
These can include:
- Tell me about yourself.
- Why are you interested in this position?
- How did you handle a disagreement with a boss or coworker?
- What kind of equipment do you have experience using?
- What are your career goals?
NOTE: When an interviewer says, “Tell me about yourself,” he or she want to know how your current experience relates to the role you’re interviewing for and why your skills and experience make you a good fit.
Taking the time to figure out what you’re looking for in a job and what you bring to the table can help prepare you to answer many of the most common questions.
When it comes to behavioral questions, such as ones that deal with on-the-job scenarios, it helps to draw from prior experiences. For these kinds of questions, the STAR method can help.
STAR stands for:
- Situation (What was happening?)
- Task (What were you asked to do?)
- Action (What steps did you take?)
- Result (What happened as a result of your action?)
Walking through each of those steps when answering a question can give the interviewer a better sense of how you’ve handled similar situations in the past. It’s OK if the experience comes from a job in a different field; interviewers just want to see your ability to think things through.
Remember that research you did on the company? You probably have some questions that were left unanswered by the information on the company’s website or the job description.
Employers generally give you some time at the end of the interview to ask questions about the company or the role. Asking a lot of questions will help you gain a better understanding of what it’d be like to work for that company and show the employer that you’re really interested in the position.
Remember, it’s not just the employer interviewing you; you also get to interview the employer.
Practice, practice, practice
You’ve heard the phrase “practice makes perfect.” There’s definitely truth to it. Have a friend or family member sit down with you for a mock interview. You can also use a mirror if there’s no one around to practice with.
Rehearsing what you’re going to say will help you smooth out your answers and be ready to go when it’s time for the real thing. Practicing can only make you more comfortable on the day of the interview.
Now you have the knowledge to crush your interviews. If you don’t have the heavy equipment operator skills you need to work in construction, or need additional training, Heavy Equipment Colleges of America (HEC) can help.
HEC is the place to be
HEC’s three-week programs provide you comprehensive heavy equipment operator training to help you succeed in the workforce. Our experienced instructors have years of knowledge in the industry to help you become the best heavy equipment operator you can be. What’s more, our support of students like you doesn’t end when classes are over.
We offer career services resources, such as resume critiques, mock interviews and assistance with online job boards. At HEC, we also have connections to employers in the heavy equipment operation industry thanks to our robust alumni base. We don’t just teach you the skills you need to succeed as a heavy equipment operator; we also help you put your skills to work. Step up in the cab of a new career by enrolling at an HEC campus today. Give us a call at 888-879-9492, or visit us online at heavyequipmentcollege.com.