For a general maintenance job, you need to be a Jill-of-all-trades. Maintenance jobs usually involve everything from electrical systems to plumbing and mechanical repairs. You’ll troubleshoot problems and diagnose the source of the difficulty before fixing it. The main idea you want to get across in a job interview is that you're capable of wearing many hats, finding solutions and making repairs. Once you’ve got them convinced of your technical skills, let recruiters know you can handle all the other aspects of the job as well.
Tell Me About Yourself
This is one question you'll hear at almost every interview, regardless of the industry. In your case, however, you want to talk about how you’ve always loved to get your hands dirty and how you were the girl who enjoyed taking things apart and putting them back together. Don’t use this question to rehash what’s on your resume. Instead, talk about the first radio you fixed and how you followed your dad around when he needed help fixing the plumbing or putting on a new roof. Let the recruiter see how you got into the business and how much you enjoy your trade.
What Tools Are You Experienced Using?
Do your research before going to the interview so you have a good idea of what kind of equipment you’re going to use on this job. Talk about the general tools you’re most comfortable with, such as wrenches and screwdrivers. Relate specific experience you’ve had with plumbing pipes and electric meters. Talk about the training you’ve had in reading blueprints and how you’ve fixed everything from a loose tile in a kitchen to a rattling window.
Do You Work Better Alone or on a Team?
A maintenance worker needs to be able to work alone and often as part of a team, so you want to be careful about this question. Talk about how you love the autonomy of the job and being able to work at your own pace to meet deadlines. Go on about the people you’ve met in the industry and how you enjoy their company. Explain your idea of a perfect workweek -- to do many jobs on your own and to work closely with a team on bigger jobs. The wisest answer is that maintenance work gives you the best of both worlds.
Why Should I Hire You?
The recruiter has seen your qualifications, and you’ve talked about your dexterity and experience with a range of tools and equipment. Now’s the time to wow her with your soft skills -- those attributes that you can’t learn in school. Relate how you never missed d day of work in the past five years to illustrate your reliability. Talk about how you spent a couple of years running your own company, so you know the value of every hour and understand what she, as the owner or manager, goes through. Discuss your ability to understand directions and how you get along well with all kinds of people, from your co-workers in the trenches to the building tenants.
2016 Salary Information for General Maintenance and Repair Workers
General maintenance and repair workers earned a median annual salary of $36,940 in 2016, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. On the low end, general maintenance and repair workers earned a 25th percentile salary of $28,180, meaning 75 percent earned more than this amount. The 75th percentile salary is $48,520, meaning 25 percent earn more. In 2016, 1,432,600 people were employed in the U.S. as general maintenance and repair workers.
- Bureau of Labor Statistics: General Maintenance and Repair Workers
- iSeek: Building Maintenance Worker Interview
- U.S. News and World Report: Maintenance and Repair Worker
- U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics: Occupational Outlook Handbook: General Maintenance and Repair Workers
- Career Trend: General Maintenance and Repair Workers
- Polka Dot Images/Polka Dot/Getty Images
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