Does the saying “when you know, you know” apply to hiring the best HVAC Technician for your business? Maybe!
But the true evaluation comes during their interview and the questions you ask them.
Asking the right questions to determine if the candidate is not only skilled technically, but communicates exceptionally can be the difference between hiring a good technician and a GREAT one that you’re excited to have in the office and confidently send out in the field to your customers.
The interview process can be rough for HVAC business owners to get a good gauge on an interviewee, especially during the early days of hiring your first employees.
That’s why we surveyed the top HVAC businesses in the country and compiled the interview questions they ask their potential technicians into this ultimate guide.
In this post, we’ll provide 100 examples of the best questions to ask in an HVAC technician interview and break down the different skill categories you should be evaluating them on.
Get a real gauge on how your newbie will perform technically, communicate with customers and your office staff, handle difficult situations, and will invest themselves in the growth of your company by asking a variety of both standard and out-of-the box questions.
Start your interview off with basic “getting-to-know-you” questions. This eases both you and the interviewee into the interview without getting too technical too fast. Questions like this can uncover the background, personality traits, company culture fit and goals of the tech you’re interviewing.
Examples of general interview questions to ask an HVAC technician
1. Why did you get into the trade?
This is an interesting question that can give you a lot of insight about their motivations and interests. It is also a good one to start the interview with to get the conversation started.
2. Why are you available or looking at new opportunities?
Did they just get fired, do they hate their boss, do they need more money, a different shift, closer to home etc. Their motivations for making a move are important and can be a good indication if they will be a long term fit with you.
3. What do you know about our company?
Did they do some research on you prior to interviewing? If so that is a good sign that they are serious. If not it is an indication that they just need a job and may not care who it is with.
4. Why do you want to work with us?
This gives you a good idea of not only their motivations but what your selling features are to other mechanics for future interviews.
5. What in your previous experience and/or training makes you feel you would be a good fit for us?
Ask this to see if “they are aware of how their unique skills, experience and education align with the position's responsibilities and duties.”
6. Tell me about a time that you delivered more than what a customer or supervisor expected and how you accomplished the task.
Do they do the bare minimum or go above and beyond?
7. Your supervisor asked you to complete a task of which you do not have any understanding or personal knowledge. How can you assure your success?
You want to see if they are comfortable asking questions when they don’t know for sure how to complete a task or if they would pretend they knew how and hacked whatever it is together.
8. How do you see yourself as a customer advocate – constantly working to achieve better results for the customer in a way that fits organizational goals?
In what ways will they ensure customer satisfaction?
9. Tell me about your personal use of technology, and how that can translate to helping you do your job more effectively.
The HVAC trade has evolved to include technology with materials on the job site and also in the office to improve dispatching and job completion efficiency and organization. Are they able to learn new softwares that organize your business like Housecall Pro or will they end up taking up more of your precious time training them on how to use an app?
10. What can you do for us that other candidates cannot?
Similar to question #5
11. What makes you want to come to work every day?
This shows you who or what motivate them every day. Is it because they love the trade and they want to grow their career, put food on the table for their family or are they just in it for the money?
12. What is your dream job?
This helps you understand what their long term goals might be. If it is not in HVAC, make sure to ask them why they are applying for this job when its not their “dream job” per say.
13. Do you prefer to work alone or with others?
Understanding how they work best will help you picture how they will work with you and your current team if you have one.
14. Describe yourself in three words?
Shows you what they think of themselves. Don’t be afraid to dig deeper after they answer and follow up with “why do you think each of those words describe you?”
15. How would your friends/ family/ former boss describe you?
These words should be different from how they describe themselves because the people closest to us often see our skills and personality in a different way than we do.
16. How do you keep each member of your team involved and motivated?
This shows you their leadership skills and potential.
Technical HVAC questions to ask
You obviously want your new hire to know their stuff. This includes different types of services, parts, and most importantly how they relay information to customers in a way they understand.
Use the questions below in addition to any other specific mechanical questions you have in your company.
Examples of technical interview questions to ask an HVAC technician:
17. What types/brands/models of HVAC equipment do you have experience with? i.e. What Air Conditioner brands, what size units etc.
18. What types of repairs and maintenance do you have experience with? What type of repair do you specialize on?
19. What are your favorite jobs to do?
20. What are your least favorite jobs to do?
21. What certification(s) do you have and is it up to date?
Check out our blog post on education and certifications you should look for when hiring an HVAC technician.
22. Could you describe the components that make a refrigeration system complete?
The answer to this question will demonstrate the candidate's technical ability. At times, HVAC Technicians assist with refrigeration systems as well. The candidate's answer will show their understanding of refrigeration.
23. Could you tell me about the most complicated HVAC problem you encountered in the past, and how you solved it?
The answer will demonstrate the potential hire's technical and problem-solving skills.
24. Who is the most challenging person you have dealt with as an HVAC Technician, and how did you deal with them?
Listen carefully. HVAC Technicians needs strong people skills, as they provide customer service and work together with various team members.
25. How do you continuously stay informed regarding the latest developments in the HVAC field?
The answer to this question will demonstrate the candidate’s ability to stay informed regarding new developments that could benefit your business.
26. Could you explain Constant Air Volume systems as you would to a client?
The answer to this question will further demonstrate the potential hire’s knowledge of HVAC. The potential hire’s ability to explain HVAC concepts in non-technical terms is an important skill for an HVAC Technician when they deal with customers.
27. What is the skill that you would most like to improve and how can you improve it?
It is a red flag if they answer this question with “nothing” because that means they don’t think they have anything they can work on or learn which we all know is never true especially in HVAC.
28. How do you prioritize your work?
The answer to this question shows you how they sort through information and projects in their head. Do they start with the hardest task first? Do they knock out any administrative work they need to do?
29. What types of situations do you consider “unfixable”?
How far are they willing to go to solve a problem and if they do deem something unfixable, do they create an alternative solution?
30. How meticulous are you with details?
Attention to detail is so important as an HVAC technician because one missed item on the checklist could result in a system failure or unhappy customer.
31. What role do you see technology playing in this position?
How up to date are they on HVAC softwares?
32. If you were the owner of this company, what would you do to grow it?
This is a great opportunity for them to show off any innovative ideas they have for how to streamline business or increase revenue.
33. Have you ever strongly disagreed with your boss? What did you do about it?
Do they stand up for what they believe in and is it warranted? Or do they frequently challenge their boss or manager at the smallest disagreement? This will show you how they communicate issues.
34. What do you say to customers that don’t approve of the job you’ve done?
The answer to this question shows you how they handle customer complaints.
35. What new skills would you like to learn more about?
This answer demonstrates their intellectual curiosity and interest in growing their skills in the trades.
36. How would you explain the benefits of [a common service]?
This shows you if they actually know how a certain service works mechanically and in a way that is simple enough for a customer to understand.
37. What does BTU/CAV/AHU mean?
38. What is the purpose of “Lock out tag out”?
39. When looking for leaks on a refrigeration system what “signs” should you be looking for?
40. Describe something technical for me, but describe it in plain English so any layperson could understand it.
41. Name some of the equipment, tools or machines that you use on a regular basis.
Situational and soft skill HVAC interview questions
Understanding your potential newbie’s soft skills and how your potential newbie thinks through different situations is equally as important to their technical skilled knowledge.
Soft skills are non technical skills that relate to how your future tech works including how they communicate with customers and other employees, how they problem solve and manage their work.
Situational and soft skill interview questions are a fantastic opportunity to get an idea how your potential tech thinks through past experiences and future scenarios. When listening to these answers, pay close attention to how they explain the situation and articulate their learnings.
Examples of situational/soft skill interview questions to ask an HVAC technician:
42. Tell me about a situation where you sacrificed safety for speed.
Don’t ask, have you ever sacrificed safety for speed, they will almost always say no, assume they have and see what they say.
43. Tell me about your favorite supervisor or manager that you have worked for, what made them great?
This will give you a good idea of what management style they respond best to, does this match up with your shops supervisor?
44. Tell me about a disagreement between you and another technician on the shop floor, how was it resolved?
45. You are working on a customer site and are late for the job. The reason you are late is not your fault but the customer is irate, how do you deal with them?
46. A Customer is angry about a bill, how do you deal with them?
47. Tell me about a time that you took ownership of a situation or took the lead on the floor without being asked to.
48. A customer job is taking longer than it should and you have somewhere that you need to be, what do you do?
49. What is one safety violation that you see happening often?
50. What can be done to ensure that this violation no longer happens?
51. What safety rule/procedure that is currently in place do you feel is unnecessary?
52. Are there any additional policies, procedures or rules that you think need to be put in place at your current employer to help improve safety?
53. You’re working on a job that you can’t complete, because you're waiting on work from a coworker. What do you do?
54. What is your typical way of dealing with conflict? Can you give an example?
55. Talk about a time where you wish you had handled a situation differently with a coworker.
56. Talk about a time when it was important to make a great impression on a customer. What did you do?
57. Tell me about a time when you disappointed a customer, and how you tried to resolve it.
58. Talk about a time when you failed at something. How did you react?
59. How have you made an impact on your team in the past?
60. If you started a company today, what would it’s top values be?
61. Name one of your strengths and one of your weaknesses, what would they be?
62. How would you impact the company?
63. Tell me about the tools of the trade.
64. How would you advise a customer with environmental or energy concerns?
65. Describe a situation where a co-worker made a mistake and you had to help fix it.
66. Here’s a scenario? (You fill in the scenario) How do you approach it?
Top HVAC interview questions – Submitted by HVAC companies
We surveyed the top HVAC companies that use Housecall Pro to run their business. We asked them their #1 question they ask in every interview. These questions are in no particular order and fall under either a general, technical, situational or soft skill question that they deemed to be the most important in their process.
67. Please give me an example where you were successful at closing an upsell.
68. What is your superpower?
69. "How is your day going today?"
The first interview question and one of the most important. It gauges mindset and the candidate's demeanor in a discreet and conversational manner.
70. What can our company do to help you succeed in the company?
71. What makes or breaks great morale between owner and employee?
72. Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
73. What traits or characteristics do you most admire in co-workers?
74. On your very best day at work... the day you come home and think you have the best job in the world...what did you do that day?
75. Are you easily offended?
76. Tell me about a difficult situation you had to deal with and how you handled the situation.
77. Do you prefer working on projects in a team or alone, and why?
78. Tell us your experience with both, the best boss you’ve had and the worst boss you’ve had to this point.
79. What criteria do you use to evaluate the organization for which you hope to work?
80. What is the longest you have held a job?
81. 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?
82. Think of three people you know well. How would you rate them in terms of cooperation, collaboration, and teamwork?
83. What is the biggest misconception others have of you?
84. What motivates you?
85. 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?
86. What's the toughest project that you've worked on, and what was your role within it?
87. Name a time you wish you had done things differently - shows the person's humility and and ability to reflect and grow.
88. 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?"
I've found that those that tend to choose to re-answer a question show a real skill-trait for attention to detail and a confidence in themselves.
89. If you can make your greatest weakness into a strength how would you do it?
90. Why did you choose this Career path and what can you do to make this organization successful?
91. What are you looking for in means of company culture at your company?
Wrap up questions
These are the logistical, “next-step” questions. End your interview with these wrap up questions to set expectations for both you and your potential technician for things like their availability and start date.
If you already know you’re not going to hire this person, you can skip out on these if you want.
Examples of situational/soft skill interview questions to ask an HVAC technician:
92. What are your wage expectations?
93. What shifts are you available for and what is your preferred shift?
94. If selected, when are you available to start?
If they are currently working you want them to say 2 weeks, if they say immediately that likely means they are not going to give their company notice which is a red flag. It may also just mean they know their company has a policy of not accepting notice and they could be available immediately.
95. Why did you leave your previous employers?
If they have routinely been terminated that is a red flag, if the same issue keeps coming up at multiple places that could also be a cause for concern.
96. Have you Ever Been Terminated From a Position Before?
97. Can you supply us with references?
Ask them to email them to you, this will give you an example of their written communication and ability to follow direction. You can also see how serious they are about the job based on how quickly they get the references to you.
98. Do you have a valid driver’s license?
99. Do you have a clean driving record?
100. Is there anything that was not covered on your resume or in this interview that you feel we need to know?
At the end of the interview, make sure you leave time for the technician to ask you questions as their potential employer. Happy interviewing!