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36 Interview Questions for an Environmental Specialist (With Sample Answers)

36 Interview Questions for an Environmental Specialist (With Sample Answers)

Interviews are often a big part of the process of hiring environmental specialists. Employers usually use the interview to find out more about a candidate’s personality, skills, education, and knowledge. If you want to become an environmental specialist and have an interview coming up, it might help to look at some of the most common questions you might be asked. In this article, we look at some of the general, background and experience, and in-depth questions an employer might ask an environmental specialist during an interview. We also show you examples of how to answer these questions.

General questions

Interviewers will usually start by asking you some general questions about yourself and how you work. They might ask you about your goals, how you work, or what is most important to you. These questions can help them learn more about you as a candidate and figure out how well you’d fit into their company’s culture. Here are some general environmental specialist interview questions you may encounter:

  • What made you decide to pursue a career as an environmental specialist?
  • How did you hear about the job we are looking to fill?
  • What makes you want to be a good environmental expert?
  • How would you explain how you work with others?
  • What do you say to other people?
  • What are your long-term goals in the field of the environment?
  • What do you think is the biggest problem with the environment right now?
  • How do you handle disagreements at work?
  • What do you think makes you different from the other applicants?
  • How familiar are you with our group?
  • Why do you think this is a place you could work?

Questions about work and history from the past

After asking some general questions, many interviewers will want to know more about a candidate’s education and work history. To do this, they might ask about your education, skills, or jobs you’ve had in the past. When you apply for a job as an environmental specialist, you might be asked the following questions about your background and experience:

  • Do you have a bachelor’s degree in environmental science or a similar field?
  • What was the most important thing you learned in college about this field?
  • Have you completed any graduate-level degrees?
  • Have you ever worked as a volunteer or in a job you didn’t get paid for?
  • Have you ever done anything to help protect the environment?
  • Why would you want to work for us instead of where you are now?
  • What has been the best part of your job in the field of the environment?
  • Do you think that the work you’ve done in this field in the past has prepared you for this job?
  • Have you worked in the field before? YES? WHERE?
  • Have you ever checked water for pollution?
  • Have you worked on any projects that needed to gather information?

In-depth questions

After hiring managers learn more about your background and experience, they may ask you technical questions about being an environmental specialist or ask you to solve problems that don’t exist yet. How you answer these questions can show that you have the skills needed for the job. Here are some examples of in-depth questions:

  • How much do you know about the Toxic Substances Control Act?
  • How much do you know about the Clean Air Act and the Clean Water Act?
  • How could you tell if a body of water is dirty or not?
  • What do you know about the dangers animals and plants in this area face?
  • Have you ever worked with the types of soil that grow in this area?
  • How would you write and turn in a report on your field research?
  • What would you do if a client asked you to keep the results of your research a secret?
  • How would you work with a coworker if you and they had different ideas about how to read data?
  • What kinds of pollution are most common in our area?
  • How would you inspect a business district on the ground?

Sample interview questions and how to answer them

Here are some sample interview questions and answers to help you get ready:

Why do you think working as an environmental specialist is important?

This question can help your boss figure out how you approach work and what motivates you to do well. They might also ask this to see if you’d fit in with the way their company works. When answering this question, it’s important to be honest and talk about why you wanted to become an environmental specialist in the first place. By how excited you are, interviewers can tell if you care about your work and want to do well in a new role.

Example: “I’ve always loved being outside, so I’ve spent most of my free time there since I was a kid. As I got older, I realized that many of the things I love are at risk of getting dirty and might not be clean for much longer. I think our job is important because it can help us protect nature for future generations and make us and our neighbors healthier.”

What are the most important laws and rules that your job depends on?

The interviewer can find out how well you know the law and how to do your job by asking you this question. When answering this question, it might help to give a long, detailed list of all the environmental rules that apply to your job. This can show how good you are at your job and how much you know about your field.

Example: “The most important environmental laws that I use in my work are the Clean Air Act, the Toxic Substances Control Act, the Endangered Species Act, and the Safe Drinking Water Act.

The Safe Drinking Water Act was very important for the work I used to do because it told me and my team how to improve the quality and safety of drinking water in our area. After reading the rules and testing the water, we found that it had too much lead and iron to be safe. Then, we worked with the local government to improve the quality of our water filters. People who lived in areas with a lot of pollution got their own water filters.”

How do you stay up to date on what’s going on in our field?

Interviewers might ask you this question to see how much you know about the current state of the environmental field and how committed you are to getting better at your job. You might want to include a list of specific resources you’ve used in the past when you answer this question.

Example: “I’ve used many different sources over the past few years to keep up with changes in the environment. I’ve also built up a large network of other professionals in the field with whom I talk often about their jobs and the problems they face. I get three different environmental magazines and a few newspapers so I can keep up with environmental trends and keep an eye on local and national court cases and laws so I can keep track of changes in environmental law that are important to me.”

Have you ever had to make decisions about something?

This question can help an employer decide if you would be a good fit for a position of leadership or management they may be hiring for. You might want to talk about specific tasks or responsibilities you’ve had as a leader in the past when you answer this question.

Example: “I was in charge of a group that checked the water quality in our area at my last job. As part of my job, I led field research teams and taught new employees as they joined. I was also in charge of writing reports about what we found and giving them to local officials. With the information we got, the people in charge of our water were able to come up with ways to make it better.”

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