While many of the custom integration business owners reading this website don’t have a single employee, we know those who do often have difficulty finding and retaining top talent. There are numerous ways your business can keep employees motivated once they’ve been a part of the team for a while — but the act of hiring them itself is equally important.
Specifically, the interviewing process allows business owners to meaningfully assess the experience level of an employee. So we’ve put together some custom integration interview questions for several positions which might help you place some job candidates above others.
One quick disclaimer: don’t put all of your stock in these custom integration interview questions. A candidate may not always interview as well as another, but that doesn’t mean they won’t make a great addition to your team. A motivated employee who needs some on-site experience is almost always a better hire than a lazy one with years of experience.
Interview Questions for AV Technicians
Tell me about the things you’ve taught yourself because you needed to or wanted to learn them?
Having a long list of things they taught themselves or asked their seniors to teach them shows a positive, results-driven attitude. But getting to know the breadth of their actual skills is also valuable.
What was the most difficult work-related interpersonal issue you’ve had and what happened, and how did it end?
Technicians need to be able to work as a team in addition to being self-starters. They need to offer a comprehensive answer to this question.
What were the most surprising projects, what didn’t you know about them before you started that you wish you did?
How did this inform their desire to learn after? Are they willing to learn new skills?
Total Tech Summit is where the integration industry elite gather. It’s your chance to build rock solid industry connections to grow your firm and advance your career. We invite you to apply today for a free trip to join us in Orlando October 26-28, 2022. Apply now!
Tell me about your most spectacular failures and what you learned?
This question allows a bit of humor and “realism” into the interview — do they respond openly and intelligently?
What do you carry in your pocket or toolbox and why are these things important?
You don’t need a full tour of their daily carry, just ask them to highlight things of critical importance or an unusual item they couldn’t live without.
Do you know how to solder?
This skill may not come up often, but it’s a great one to have.
Tell me about the last really great day at work – what happened and what was fulfilling to you?
“You’ll get all kinds of questions from this, you’re looking for responses that showcase that they take pride in their work,” says Jeff Ashachik at HireSparks.
Interviewing Service Managers
Ashachik classifies the service manager role into two types: the experienced, design-capable person, someone who is very proactive; and the less-experienced, business-capable person who is more reactive. You may need one, the other, or both of these personalities. But critically, the former person will cost more to hire, while the latter should be hired for less, given relative experience levels.
Are they CTS? If not…“You’ve been in the industry for how many years…why didn’t you get your CTS?”
Do they make excuses? You don’t want to hear, “oh, my company never put me through it.” Did they try to pursue other forms of independent licensing or training? Look for someone who invests in themselves and their own development.
Did you ever have to fire someone, and if so, how did that go?
Compassion, but with a degree of realism. Those are two important traits to look for in this answer.
Have you ever worked with an as-a-service business model?
If your firm isn’t already looking for service contracts, perhaps this person can help forge the way.
What have you implemented to make a company more efficient?
So you’ve already established what they’ve done to better themselves. But have they ever instituted any efficiency initiatives at their workplace(s)?
What is your preferred method of organizing tasks?
Listen for mentions of Agile, Trello, or any means of good organization and a commitment to meeting goals on time or early.
Of the projects you begin, what percent are completed, what percent die on the vine, and what percent fail to launch at all?
Realistic answers are fine, as long as the person doesn’t make you feel as though they are always a “victim of circumstance.” Yes, sometimes unexpected things happen that they cannot help, but can they pivot the situation?
Sales Engineer Interview Questions
Tell me about something extremely technical you know inside and out and how you explained it and sold it to someone completely non-technical?
“A SE needs to be personable and present well in meetings. There’s nothing like a condescending tech guy using all the acronyms to bring down a meeting,” says Felix.
“They need to know the tech intimately AND be able to talk about it in a language buyers not only understand but see as better, different, must have.”
If they can’t do that with this first question, you may already have a decision made.
Follow up the first question above with these:
When even some of the features were too difficult, what’s your go-to to help someone understand something beyond them?
How would you handle being pressed during a meeting for specifications you don’t know or don’t understand?
Tell me about your working relationship with sales team members — what does that look like for you?
Parts of this story originally premiered on our sister site, Commercial Integrator.