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100 Interview Questions To Ask A Plumber To Find The Best Candidate For The Job


100 Interview Questions To Ask A Plumber To Find The Best Candidate For The Job

Posted by Trade Academy

May 03, 2022

Greyscale image of plumber connecting two pipes in  new construction building.

You’re looking for the ideal candidate to join your growing plumbing company. That’s great! As a business owner, you don’t have time to create a list of questions for each candidate you schedule to meet. We’ve compiled a list of 100 questions that will help you narrow down your search and save you time.

Once you have a good understanding of the candidate's background and interests, begin to ask about their plumbing experience. Are they comfortable working with water and pipes? Do they have any experience with specific types of plumbing fixtures or systems? 

After you've determined that the candidate has the necessary skills, it's time for the skill test. This test will help you determine if they'll be a good fit for your company and whether they're capable of meeting your high standards. Ask them to demonstrate their skills by completing a simple project, such as installing a faucet.

Questioning can go both ways. Allow the interviewee to ask questions at the end of the interview. Be prepared to answer questions the prospective plumber may have. Remember, once you find the right tradesperson for your company, it’s your job to recruit them.

Think how you might answer a few of the following questions: Do you have a current plumber on staff? How many hours per day do they work? Do you have any open positions and if so, what qualifications are required for the job? Do you have a budget in mind for the new hire? What is your company culture like, and how would the new hire fit into it? Do you offer benefits such as health insurance or 401k plans?

A great plumber is out there and ready to meet the demand of your customers. Use the questions below to reveal if the interviewee is the right plumber for you.

Examples of general interview questions to ask a plumber

1. What made you decide to get into the trades as a plumber?

This question can help you understand the motivation behind the individual. It's always good to know up front what their reasons are that made them decide to become a plumber.

2. Why are you looking for new opportunities?

Maybe they are a brand new trained technician or they left their current employer. Allow this question to reveal their past work history.

3. Can you tell me what you know about our plumbing company?

4. Why would you like to work with us?

5. How many homes would you say you’ve plumbed before?

6. What motivates you?

7. How would you say your previous experience or training makes you feel you would be a good fit for us?

8. Tell me about a time that you delivered more than what a customer or manager expected and how you accomplished the task.

9. Here's a scenario: Your supervisor asks you to complete a task which you don't understand or have personal knowledge of. How would you approach this in order to achieve success?

10. How do you see yourself as a customer advocate?

11. Can you tell me how you feel toward using technology? How would your personal use of technology transfer to getting your job done more effectively?

12. What can you do that other candidates may not be able to?

13. What motivates you to come to work every day?

14. What would you describe as your dream job?

15. In three words, describe yourself.

16. How do you prefer to work - with others or alone?

17. If your friends, family, or former boss were here, how would they describe you?

18. How do you keep members of your team motivated or involved?

19. What do you enjoy most about being a plumber?

20. How do you best handle conflict or a disagreement either at your old job or in general?

21. How important is showing up on time to a job?

22. What is most important to you in your next company or position?

23. What is your most memorable mistake?

24. Can you think of a time when you weren’t given sufficient instruction to complete a task? What did you do in that instance?

25. Can you think of an example when you went above expectations in your job?

26. Are you certified or have a license to be a plumber?

27. How many people were on your team at your last job?

28. What kind of plumbing software are you familiar with? Have you ever used Housecall Pro?

29. Tell me about your proudest professional accomplishment.

30. What does meeting a customer’s expectations mean to you?

31. What types of plumbing systems are you familiar with?

32. What do you think the benefits of plumbing are?

33. What would you say are the most difficult challenges of plumbing?

34. How do you manage or prioritize when you have more than one customer to deal with in a given situation?

35. You are on a call at a customer’s home to replace their old toilet with a new toilet. After removing the old one, you discover the floor is rotting. What would you do?

36. What qualifications or experience do you have when it comes to plumbing?

37. What safety steps or procedures do you follow when installing or repairing a plumbing system?

38. If you had to install a new plumbing system for an entire floor of an apartment or office building, where would you start?

39. How long would you like to be a plumbing professional?

40. Does running your own company sound appealing to you? Is that something you could see yourself doing in the future?

Examples of technical interview questions to ask a plumber:

This is an opportunity to evaluate what level of plumber you may have in front of you. Can they mention any of these common tools: sink auger, closet auger, adjustable pipe wrench, faucet valve seat wrench, faucet packing, faucet valve reseating tool, teflon tape, tubing cutter, or cup plunger. Some business owners like it when a plumber is brand new – they are green, yes. But they are a blank slate to train without years of bad habits attached.

41. What types, brands, or models of plumbing equipment do you have experience with?

42.  What do you think are the benefits of using those types of equipment?

43. What do you think are the challenges of using the specific types of equipment you mentioned?

44. What types of repairs and maintenance do you have experience with? What type of repair do you specialize in?

45. What are your favorite jobs to do?

46. What are your least favorite jobs to do?

47. What tools are essential to the job? Which ones would you bring with you to every job?

48. Can you describe for me how you would unclog blocked pipes?

Perhaps they can list the following drain cleaners: caustic drain cleaners, oxidizing drain cleaners, or acid drain cleaners.

49. How familiar are you with different types of chemical drain cleaners used in plumbing?

50. What steps would you follow if you were exposed to certain chemicals while on the job?

The candidate should be aware that there are potential occupational hazards associated while working at a job site. It’s important they understand the risks involved as well as knowing how to handle such a situation or how to report it.

51. What are some ways customers could prevent plumbing issues in the future?

Look for someone who can list off solutions and demonstrate how important it is to educate the customer.

52. How would you locate a hidden pipe blockage?

53. How do you snake a clog pipe?

54. Would you recommend installing steel plumbing under a sink? Why or why not?

55. How do you maintain water pressure when installing multiple shower heads?

56. Have you ever designed a plumbing system? Can you tell me about it?

57. What would you recommend in replacement of a conventional water heater?

58. How would you explain what an angle stop is to a customer?

This is a good opportunity to evaluate the plumber’s communication skills. Yes, they may be very good at their technical abilities, but how do they communicate to your client? Remember, an angle stop is a shutoff valve found between the owner’s water supply and the fixture it runs to. Its purpose is to shut off the water to a fixture in the event of a leak, repair, or failure.

59. What would you say is the most common reason a sump pump fails?

60. Can you explain what Pipe Dope is?

61. Do you have experience plumbing an office building?

62. What precautionary steps do you take in order to make sure there are no safety code violations on a job site?

Top trades industry interview questions submitted by small business owners

After surveying the top business owners that use Housecall Pro, we compiled a list of some of the most common questions they found to be helpful in their search for potential employees.

63. Please give an example of where you were successful at closing an upsell opportunity.

64. What would you say is your superpower?

65. How is your day going today?

This may seem like a strange question to include, but the openness of the question allows the candidate to reveal their mindset. Is this someone who focuses on the positive or negative? It’s a good gauge to see how they interact with someone new and the direction they choose to move the conversation in.

66. What can our company do to help you succeed in the company?

67. What makes or breaks great morale between owner and employee?

68. Where do you see yourself in 5 years?

69. What traits or characteristics do you most admire in co-workers?

70. On your very best day at work, you come home from work that day and think you have the best job in the world. What did you do that day?

71. Are you easily offended?

72. Tell me about a difficult situation you had to deal with and how you handled the situation.

73. Do you prefer working on projects in a team or alone, and why?

74. Tell me your experience with both, the best boss you’ve had and the worst boss you’ve had to this point.

75. What criteria do you use to evaluate the organization for which you hope to work?

76. What is the longest you have held a job?

77. Tell me about a time when you think you showed great leadership. What did you do? What was the outcome? How did you coordinate with others?

78. Think of three people you know well. How would you rate them in terms of cooperation, collaboration, and teamwork?

79. What is the biggest misconception others have of you?

80. What motivates you?

81. Tell me about a time when you went above and beyond for a customer. What was your role in the situation and what was the outcome?

82. What's the toughest project that you've worked on, and what was your role within it?

83. Name a time you wish you had done things differently - shows the person's humility and and ability to reflect and grow.

84. Toward the end of the interview, "Is there any question you've already answered today, that you'd like to answer again and replace what you said earlier with no judgement?"

Those who tend to choose to re-answer a question show a real skill-trait for attention to detail and a confidence in themselves.

85. If you can make your greatest weakness into a strength how would you do it?

86. Why did you choose this Career path and what can you do to make this organization successful?

87. What are you looking for in means of company culture at your company?

Examples of situational, soft skill, and wrap-up interview questions to ask a plumber technician

88. What are your wage expectations for this job?

89. What shifts are you available to work and what is your preferred shift?

90. If selected, when are you available to start?

91. Why did you choose to leave your previous employer?

92. Have you ever been terminated from a position before? If so, can you explain the situation?

93. Are you able to supply us with references?

94. Do you have a valid driver’s license?

95. Do you possess a clean driving record?

96. Is there anything that was not covered on your resume or in this interview that you feel we need to know?

97. How would you handle a coworker you were unable to form a positive work-relationship with?

98. How would you approach a situation if your coworker disagreed with your solution to complete a project?

99. What makes you the right plumber for this position?

100. Do you have any questions for me?

Be ready to answer questions from the interviewee

Don’t forget, it’s important to ask yourself as a manager or business owner a few questions as well. Do you have a current plumber on staff? How many hours per day do they work? Do you have any open positions and if so, what qualifications are required for the job? Do you have a budget in mind for the new hire? What is your company culture like, and how would the new hire fit into it? Do you offer benefits such as health insurance or 401k plans?

Be prepared to answer questions the prospective plumber may have. Remember, once you find an ideal candidate, it’s your job to recruit them to your company or team.

By asking various plumbing interview questions, your interviews will improve the quality of conversation as well as gaining deeper insight into the candidate’s professional abilities.