Are you a homeowner or building manager?
Find a Contractor »

Leadership Lessons: Finding the Right People

Posted on:

Man shaking hands with interviewer

Keys to Success in HVACR and plumbing services rely heavily on certain attributes that set exceptional technicians apart. These attributes not only contribute to technical proficiency but also play a crucial role in delivering outstanding customer experiences, building trust, and achieving success in the industry. Unfortunately, some people tend to exaggerate or blatantly lie during interviews, so it’s important to ask the right questions. 

Here’s a short list of some desirable attributes and how to cleverly ask better questions to get genuine answers. 

Technical Expertise  

Technical expertise is the cornerstone of master HVACR or plumbing technicians. They stay updated with the latest advancements in technology and undergo continuous training to enhance their skills and knowledge. A strong foundation in technical expertise enables technicians to tackle complex problems effectively and deliver high-quality solutions.  

Interviewer’s Pro Tip: Share with me the sequence of operation for a gas furnace, or, explain how to properly leak check an evaporator coil.

Problem-Solving Skills 

Great technicians excel in problem-solving. They approach each service call with a logical and analytical mindset, diagnosing issues accurately and devising strategic solutions. Whether it’s troubleshooting a malfunctioning HVACR unit or identifying the source of a plumbing leak, their ability to think critically, and solve problems efficiently ensures prompt and effective resolution for customers. This also includes being resourceful to finding the correct solution. 

Interviewer’s Pro Tip: Can you recall a service call where it was difficult to diagnose? How did you handle it?

Communication and Interpersonal Skills  

Effective communication is a key attribute of highly desired technicians. They communicate clearly and professionally with customers, explaining technical concepts in simple terms, discussing service options, and addressing customer concerns and questions. Strong interpersonal skills allow technicians to build rapport, establish trust, and maintain positive relationships with customers, leading to enhanced customer satisfaction and loyalty.  

Interviewer’s Pro Tip: Walk the candidate around the office during the interview and watch how they meet and greet people. 

Customer-Centric Approach  

Highly skilled technicians prioritize customer needs and satisfaction. They listen actively to customer concerns and often ask additional questions. The most skilled techs that I get to teach engage the customer by getting them involved during the service call. They often have customers hold flashlights, tape measures, gauges, or take videos of the equipment and issues. They assess requirements accurately and offer personalized solutions that align with customer preferences and budget constraints. A customer-centric approach involves being responsive, attentive, and empathetic to customer concerns, ensuring that their experience is positive and memorable 

Interviewer’s Pro Tip: Please role-play the exact conversation you may have with a customer in the first 2 minutes of a service call.

Attention to Detail  

Attention to detail is a hallmark attribute of top-notch technicians. They pay meticulous attention to every aspect of their work, from conducting thorough inspections to taking accurate notes using the customers’ words.  

Interviewer’s Pro Tip: Take a few minutes to prepare, and then share with me the exact steps you would take to make a peanut butter sandwich at home.

Time Management and Efficiency  

Efficient time management is essential for high performing technicians. They prioritize tasks effectively, manage workloads efficiently, and meet deadlines consistently. By optimizing their time and resources, technicians minimize downtime, maximize productivity, and deliver timely services that exceed customer expectations. 

 Interviewer’s Pro Tip: Tell me one or two things you do to speed up the service call by using your time effectively.

Adaptability and Flexibility 

The ability to adapt to changing circumstances and environments is another crucial attribute. Highly skilled technicians are flexible and adaptable, capable of handling unexpected challenges, adjusting their approach as needed, and working effectively in diverse settings. Their adaptability ensures smooth service delivery and customer satisfaction even in unpredictable situations.  

 Interviewer’s Pro Tip: How do you adjust to changes at work? Tell me about a change you didn’t agree with and what happened.

Professionalism and Integrity 

Professionalism and integrity are non-negotiable attributes for top-tier technicians. They conduct themselves with professionalism, demonstrating reliability, punctuality, and respect in all interactions, not only with customers, but also with coworkers.  

 Interviewer’s Pro Tip: Share with me a story when you did the right thing, even though nobody was watching, you knew you wouldn’t get caught, but you did the right thing anyway.

Continuous Learning and Improvement 

The desire for continuous learning and improvement sets highly desired technicians apart. They proactively seek opportunities to expand their knowledge, acquire new skills, and stay updated with industry trends and advancements. By embracing lifelong learning, technicians enhance their expertise, stay competitive in the field, and deliver innovative solutions that meet evolving customer needs.  

 Interviewer’s Pro Tip: Tell me about the latest new technical or soft skill habit that you started using.

Teamwork and Collaboration 

Highly desired technicians work well in teams, communicate effectively with colleagues, and contribute positively to a collaborative work environment. They share knowledge, support each other, and work towards common goals, fostering a culture of teamwork and excellence.  

 Interviewer’s Pro Tip: Share with me three words that your former boss would use to describe you. How about three words from a previous coworker? 

We can all agree that the most desired attributes of a technician encompasses technical expertise, problem-solving skills, communication and interpersonal skills, customer-centric approach, attention to detail, time management, adaptability, professionalism, integrity, continuous learning, and teamwork. These attributes collectively contribute to service excellence, customer satisfaction, and success in the industry. Employers and customers alike value technicians who embody these attributes, as they not only deliver superior technical solutions but also provide exceptional experiences that build trust, loyalty, and long-term relationships.  

If your service manager or any person interviewing potential new hires will use these simple Pro Tips, you’ll be surprised just how your interviews will become more of a conversation and let you better understand and get the truth out of a potential candidate.

Read this article and more in the May/June 2024 edition of ACCA Now. 

Jerry Rollins
Latest posts by Jerry Rollins (see all)

Posted In: ACCA Now, Hiring & Firing, Leadership & Planning, Leadership Development, Soft Skills, Workforce

Looking for an ACCA QA Accredited Contractor?

Are you a homeowner or building manager?


join now

PLUS It's Risk Free!