Skilled Trades

Acing the Skilled Trades Interview

Skilled TradesApril 30, 2022

National Skilled Trades Day is May 4, 2022. Held each year on the first Wednesday in May, the observance was created to celebrate and raise awareness of the importance of those who work in the trades, such as electricians, welders, and HVAC technicians. 

If this is the career path you are considering, you may be curious about getting started. Once you’ve completed your trades program, you’ll be ready for an entry-level position. To land your first job, in addition to demonstrating or showcasing skills you have acquired, you’ll also need to ace the interview. To help you get to that point, the Career Services staff at Fortis offers resources for students, including how to prepare for your job search. And once you’ve secured an interview, here are some tips for making a great impression.

Do Your Homework 

Employers look for candidates who have put effort into the interview. Start by researching the company. By visiting its website and social media platforms you can often find information about the owner and/or founder, how long the company has been in business, and any specialties or areas in which they focus. Sometimes, you’ll be asked what you know about the company during your interview. Should this come up, doing your homework helps you be prepared with a good answer. You can also weave in what you learned in your research during the interview, such as mentioning that you want to work for a large employer or that you are interested in their specialty. 

Practice Your Responses 

While every interview is different, many hiring managers ask common interview questions. You may have already faced some of these questions if you’ve interviewed for previous jobs. Consider these frequently asked interview questions and be sure to practice your answers before you go for your interview:

  • Why did you decide to go into the trades?
  • Tell me about your experience and training
  • Why are you a good fit for this type of work?
  • What are your strengths?
  • What are your weaknesses?
  • Why do you want to work for our company?
  • Why should we hire you?

Preparing your answers and practicing helps prepare you and can calm your nerves when you go into an interview. 

Dress Appropriately

While you don’t have to wear a suit to an interview for a job in the trades, you should still make sure you’re dressed in neat, clean clothes and that you are well groomed. A nice dress shirt and pants will show that you are professional and want to make a good impression. 

Show Up on Time

Being late for your interview can be a serious red flag for a potential employer. Would you also be late to your job? To avoid delays, make sure you know how to get to the location; you may even want to drive by the day before so you know how long it will take to get there and where you can park. The day of your interview give yourself extra time in case something unexpected happens, such as a road closure or an accident that could delay your arrival.

Bring the Right Documentation

If you didn’t fill out a formal application on the employer’s website, make sure you have the information you need to complete one in their office. You may need your driver’s license or other official form of identification. You may also be asked to give personal and professional references, and it can help to have that information at the ready. And if you need industry certifications, bring copies of the paperwork with you.

Limit Distractions

During the interview, make sure you’ve turned off or silenced your phone. You don’t want the sound of an incoming call or text message to distract you. It’s important to give the interviewer your undivided attention. Before the interview ends, ask when you can expect to hear a decision.

Follow Up

When you get home, follow up with a note or email, thanking the interviewer for their time. It can be a good idea to underscore your interest in the job and remind them why you would be a good choice. If you don’t get the job, respond by thanking the interviewer for the opportunity to meet with them. You never know if you’ll meet again in the future and keeping your network open is a good career move.

The skilled trades can offer a fulfilling career. If you’re considering a role in this field, Fortis can help you with your next step. Visit our website for more information. Or call 1-855-436-7847 to speak with an admissions advisor today.