21 Water Treatment Operator Interview Questions and Answers

Updated: June 29, 2022

A water treatment operator’s interview process includes determining what the applicant possesses in terms of skills, and experience in the work.

The interview process is designed to gauge if the applicant fits into the company.

Therefore, you need to make sure that you prepare to ace the interview, by going through possible questions, and their answers.

At the interview for a water treatment operator position, you will be asked what you know about water and wastewater plant and system operations.

In addition, you will be gauged on your ability to add chemicals to disinfect water and monitor operating conditions, meters, and gauges.

The interview process to hire a water treatment operator will include questions pertaining to tending to water plant equipment, and using charts and graphs to determine readings.

If you want to ace the interview, be sure to go through the following set of interview questions and answers for this position:

21 Common Interview Questions and Answers for Water Treatment Operators

1. Tell me a little bit about yourself.

I started out by working as an apprentice in a water treatment plant 5 years ago. After learning the trade, I was promoted to the position of a water treatment plant operator, and have been working in this role for 3.5 years now.

2. What duties have you performed in the role of a water treatment plant operator?

As a water treatment plant operator, I have performed many duties, including operating, monitoring, and maintaining water and wastewater treatment plants. Specifically, my work involved adding chemicals such as chlorine to disinfect water and inspecting plant equipment regularly. Collecting and testing water samples has also been part of my work. And I have been busy operating equipment to purify and clarify water.

3. Tell me something about the skills that you possess.

I am a highly intuitive person, which makes it easy for me to perform my tasks in a solid manner. In particular, I am well-versed in determining the right chemical amounts to add to water, and can effectively monitor operating conditions, meters, and gauges. Also, I am competent in cleaning and maintaining equipment tanks, and filter beds.

4. What is most enjoyable about this work?

I love working on all processes of this work. I cannot pinpoint just one area that is more enjoyable than the other.

5. Do you find this work challenging?

At times, the work becomes highly challenging, which actually makes it even more fun to do.

6. Describe your perfect work environment.

I love working in an environment where everyone works collectively to achieve a common goal.

7. Have you ever worked in such an environment?

I am one of the lucky ones who have actually worked in an environment where everyone is working to achieve company goals.

8. How do you handle conflict in the workplace?

Conflict is not an issue if you don’t let it be. I handle it by exercising calm and reasoning. It always works to bring it down.

9. What is your greatest strength?

My greatest strength is my ability to work non-stop when the going gets tough so that I stop only when the work is done.

10. What is your greatest weakness?

I have recently overcome a weakness that I thought was a big one, which was not being able to work in a team environment. Thankfully, I love working with people now.

11. Can you work on rotating shifts?

I do not mind working rotating shifts.

12. Tell me about your biggest achievement.

I was once asked to check the water quality of a sterilization plant, where I discovered that the water was highly contaminated with arsenic. This meant slow death for the people who used water from that particular plant. I feel that this was my biggest achievement, as I saved many people’s lives from getting negatively affected by a simple thing like water.

13. What motivates you most about this work?

I love the fact that I get to work in a challenging environment. Everyday challenges are huge motivators for me.

14. What do you dislike most about this work?

I wouldn’t say that I dislike anything about this work. However, I do not like the consistently competitive nature of coworkers who want to get ahead by trampling others.

15. Why do you want to leave your current job?

I am presently working for a small water treatment plant, which does not offer much room for growth. I am interested in working for a place where I can learn and then contribute.

16. Why do you want to work for us specifically?

I feel that working at your facility will help me gain the exposure that I am looking for, and in turn, I will be able to contribute highly to its success as well.

17. Tell me of a difficult situation that you came across, and how you overcame it.

About 6 months ago, a fellow water treatment plant operator suggested that we leave one 2-hour check on the plant, and go to a nearby restaurant for lunch. I explained that it was not possible because we will be putting lives at risk. He was convinced otherwise and kept insisting that one missed check procedure won’t matter. I told him to go ahead, and I will do it myself, without his help.

18. How do you handle the stress associated with this work?

In all honesty, the work is not stressful if you follow procedures. I don’t have to think about the stress this way.

19. If we hire you, when is the soonest that you can join us?

My present workplace has a stringent 30-day notice period policy. Once I get an offer from you, I will be able to give my notice, and then join your organization after 30 days.

20. Where do you see yourself years from now?

I am actively working towards gaining supervisory insight into this work. Within the next 5 years, I hope to be working in a supervisory and training capacity.

21. Do you have any questions for me?

I would like to know a little about the water treatment and filtration processes that you use at the facility.


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