When you’re interviewing for a job as an electrician, it’s important to demonstrate both technical knowledge and general professionalism.
By the time you get to the interview stage, you’ll no doubt have the skills you need to land the job. In order to interview for a position as an electrician, you must have completed the necessary professional training and technical education. You will have likely trained to one of three levels: apprentice, journeyman, or master electrician.
While your job application and resume reflect your experience, you need to be prepared to discuss your qualifications in-depth during the interview process. To prepare, review and practice common electrician interview questions. It’s important to be able to demonstrate that you have the technical knowledge necessary to do the job.
Then, when you’re done with those, make sure that you’re able to answer general interview questions that often come up. Your goal is not only to show that you can do the job, but that you’re a hard worker and a good employee.
Common Electrician Interview Questions
Some interview questions are common for a person applying for an electrician job. If this is your first job, run your answers by a seasoned professional who can help craft your responses. Some of the questions are more generalized:
- Why did you become an electrician?
- How many years have you been working in the industry?
- How and where did you receive your training?
- What was a time when you had a problem you could not figure out and you had to find a solution on your own?
- Could you describe some recent projects you have worked on, in detail?
- What does a fuse or breaker do? What are the differences between the two?
- Can you describe the electrical systems you have worked on and are most familiar with?
- Do you specialize in any specific areas of electrical work?
- What do you do to protect yourself from electrical accidents or injuries?
- How do you protect coworkers from electrical accidents or injuries?
- If you saw a coworker making a mistake, how would you handle it?
Often during the process, if you have made it past the initial inquiries, the interviewer will throw in some technical questions. Winging it through these types of questions is difficult, so be prepared:
If you were in a room with three light switches and the room next door had three lightbulbs, how would you find out which switches controlled which bulbs if you could only go in the next room once?
What does "PPE" stand for? How important is safety on the job?
What is CSA approval?
What does "14-2" mean?
Make sure that you can answer these types of questions with confidence, using your answers to highlight what sets you apart as a candidate. Remember that how you answer interview questions can be just as important as the answers themselves.
A Note on Dress Code
As a trained electrician, you know that working conditions for electricians vary depending on your specialization. For most electricians, the work is physically demanding. Occasionally you must work in a tight space, having to bend, squat, or kneel to make connections in awkward locations. Industrial electricians may find themselves in the heat, dust, and noise of an industrial plant. Your typical work attire likely suits your everyday work, but it won't be appropriate for an interview. You want to present yourself as the professional you are.
The typical advice for trade job interview attire is to go business casual, so leave the jeans and work boots at home. For men, business casual might mean a nice pair of slacks, a buttoned shirt, and clean, polished shoes. For women, slacks and a professional business top are advisable. This is not a time for a formal suit, but do present yourself as organized and with attention to detail. Your interviewer will notice and assume that you put the same care into your work.
General Job Interview Questions
In addition to job-specific interview questions, you will also be asked more general questions about your employment history, education, strengths, weaknesses, achievements, goals, and plans. Although these questions are usually used as a warm-up, it’s a good idea to practice answering them before your interview, so that you can make a good impression even before you get to the more technical questions.
What kinds of general interview questions should you expect? The most common questions include overcoming a challenge, how do you handle stress, and your greatest strength and weakness.
Remember when you answer these questions that your goal is to present yourself as a calm, competent, informed professional who will make the right decisions under pressure and leave clients with a good impression of the company.