Finding technicians is hard enough. There’s no need to make it more difficult with a cumbersome interview process.
But what does a successful interview process look like? Where do you start? What questions do you ask? We polled our network to find out what questions they ask technicians during the interview process.
We talked to our network and came up with some interviewing tips and questions for shops to use to help them find the best technicians for their shop.
4 Steps to Conducting Successful Technician Interviews
1. Set the Tone & Settle the Nerves
Interviews are nerve-racking. Take a step back, and give the technician a chance to catch his/her breath and calm their nerves. Use this as an opportunity to chat about your shop or even give them a tour of your shop. This is your time to chat about:
- Your busy season
- What’s unique about your shop
- What type of cars your shop works on
- The types of positions your shop is hiring for
During the overview of your shop remember to be truthful. Don’t sugarcoat equipment, shop conditions, or situations because if the technician does catch you in your fib during the interview, they will for sure learn about it later. It is best to be honest upfront.
2. Give the Technician the Floor
After giving your overview of the shop, ask the technician to tell you about their background and how it might be a good fit for the position(s) you’re hiring for. This will allow you to figure out what high points about your shop stuck out to the tech and will give you an idea of their experience and what they are looking for.
3. Assess the Technician & Their Skills
Here is a list of possible questions you can use to assess if the technician’s skill set matches what you’re looking for in your shop.
- I see from your resume that you are a(n) __, can you tell me a bit more about your experience?
- What do you hope to accomplish in your next position?
- Could you ever see yourself as a manager at this shop?
- Note: Use caution with this question. If your shop doesn’t have room for managers now or in the near future, maybe skip this question as it could provide false hope to the tech. If you are looking for manager material at your shop, this question will give you an inside look at their future goals and maybe an idea of how long the tech is considering staying at your shop.
- At our shop, we commonly work on _____. Are you used to working on that type of equipment?
- Note: This is a great relay question. Let’s say your shop primarily works on big rig engines and trailers. But, when you begin chatting with the tech, you might find out they are only used to working on rig engines, but not trailers.
- We use a Snap-on ___ version ___ for diagnostics. Have you worked with that before?
- Note: This is another great relay question to find out the skillset of the technician without putting them on the shop floor.
- What’s your step-by-step approach to identifying a knocking in the engine of 2019 Toyota Highlander (or name another type of car your shop sees a lot)?
- Note: A good interviewer will mostly be listening for a confident, coherent answer which will indicate the skill of the technician.
- Can you tell me about a time when you worked really well with a coworker to accomplish a task?
- Are you comfortable helping out the team, or are you looking to put your time in and make hours?
- All of the applicants are equally qualified, why should I choose you over the other applicants?
- What is the value of your tools (minus toolbox)?
- Note: Knowing this can tell you where they are at in their career and how much stock they have in the industry.
- What is the most challenging job you have ever completed?
- What are the values you bring to our shop?
4. Determine Shop Fit
Here is a list of possible questions you can use to assess if the technician is a good fit for your shop.
- What’s going on that has you checking out new opportunities at the moment?
- Note: This is a softer way of asking, why are you looking for a new shop?
- What type of schedule are you looking for?
- What are you looking for in a shop environment?
- Are you looking to train more? If so, how often?
- Note: Training is important to technicians. We polled our WrenchWay Insiders and 30% of them agreed that their top goal in 2022 is to train more. This is your chance to tie in how much your shop trains or how easy it is for technicians to take time off of work to train.
- What’s the ideal environment that inspires and motivates you to perform at your best?
- Other than pay, what aspect of the shop is going to influence you to accept or decline a position?
- Note: This is one of your last chances to sell your shop to the technician. Any doubts they have about your shop, the role, or transitioning to a new shop… This is your chance to nip them in the bud.
- Do you currently receive performance bonuses?
- What pay are you looking to make at your next shop?
Once you reach this point in the interview, you should have a good feel for if the technician is a good fit for your shop and the position you’re hiring for. Just be sure not to leave any questions unanswered, and don’t forget to follow up after the interview quickly.