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Why this matters:

One crucial qualification for welders is the ability to set up and operate different manual and power tools. What’s more, welders should be able to do so with limited technical guidance. This question will help determine which candidates have the ability to select the appropriate tools based on project requirements and use them unassisted.

What to listen for:

  • Confidence in their ability to weld using manual and power tools
  • Mentions of specific welding techniques like shielded metal arc and gas metal arc welding
  • Willingness to teach themselves any skills they lack

Why this matters:

Often, welders have to use their skills to repair a customer’s factory equipment or construction machinery. When this circumstance arises, welders should be able to restore the equipment with minimal supervision. The best welders have the expertise and confidence to adapt to different challenges and make various machine repairs using the appropriate welding techniques.

What to listen for:

  • Explanations of the steps it takes to fill gaps and weld equipment pieces together
  • The ability to use welding tools in vertical, horizontal, and overhead positions
  • Knowledge of the basics of industrial machinery

Why this matters:

This question will highlight the candidate’s familiarity with not only the welding process, but the integral pre-welding process. Though this phase does not involve actual welding, it is important nonetheless as it ensures that all materials are clean and all measurements correct. Qualified candidates will come prepared to approach every step in the process with the same careful attention to detail.

What to listen for:

  • Knowledge of how angle grinders can be used to clean parts before welding
  • Understanding of cutting materials with a power saw according to project specifications
  • Indications of a methodical approach even to pre-welding steps

 

Why this matters:

While welding might seem like an insular role, welders primarily accommodate the objectives and follow the guidelines of their customers. When a mistake or another circumstance leaves the customer unhappy with a component of the project, candidates should be prepared to take steps to remedy the situation — whether that means reversing an error or working with the client to come up with a new approach.

What to listen for:

  • Willingness to take direction from customers and supervisors and learn from their mistakes
  • The ability to communicate clearly and approach setbacks with a positive attitude
  • Demonstrated attention to detail and drive to fix their mistakes

Why this matters:

In addition to detailed planning and technical expertise, it takes significant strength and agility to combine and shape materials. The best candidates for a welding position will come to the job with both the coordination and physical fitness necessary to successfully complete all of the welding tasks the company throws their way.

What to listen for:

  • Indications of hand-eye coordination and overall physical fitness
  • Demonstrated strength such as the ability to lift at least 50 pounds
  • Previous experience working in cramped or confined spaces is a bonus

Why this matters:

Though candidates should all understand common welding practices, they should also not be afraid to get creative when it comes to satisfying their customers’ needs. By selecting candidates who can deliver innovative welding solutions, companies can boast cutting-edge techniques and original designs in addition to high-quality solutions.

What to listen for:

  • A creative problem-solver with demonstrated outside-of-the box thinking
  • The ability to work with clients to come up with the optimal solution to meet clients’ needs
  • Willingness to put in extra effort perfecting an innovative design

Why this matters:

Welders face many occupational hazards. Industrial chemicals, gasses, torches, blazing metals — when handled improperly, these materials can put the welder and others at risk of serious harm. To protect their workplace and coworkers, candidates must be prepared to undertake strict health and safety measures whenever they are on a job.

What to listen for:

  • Compliance with OSHA standards at every project site
  • Understanding of the importance of keeping a clean and safe work area
  • Willingness to attend health and safety training and comply with updated company practices

Why this matters:

Welding projects are often very complex — requiring careful planning, review, then action. Professional welders do not show up for a job without first putting thought into the project materials, equipment, and blueprints. The best welders will be those who create and study methodical plans for a welding solution to ensure customer satisfaction and prevent mistakes.

What to listen for:

  • Thorough review of the project blueprints before beginning their work
  • Careful consideration of necessary equipment and required materials
  • The ability to create clear project guidelines, instructions, or blueprints to direct other welders

Why this matters:

Welders primarily work off of the needs and visions of their company’s customers. This requires a keen attention to specific customer needs and a customized approach to each welding project. Candidates who fully understand the customer-facing component of this role will be best qualified to develop meaningful relationships with customers and bring their visions to life.

What to listen for:

  • Readiness to listen to customer goals and fulfill their specific needs
  • Strong interpersonal skills and openness to collaboration
  • Experience working with a customer, developing a relationship, and overseeing their project is ideal
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