In this post article, you will learn how to pass a health and safety manager or safety officer interview with high scoring answers to the kind of questions that you are likely to get asked. So please do stick around, take notes and read it from beginning to end.
So in preparation for your Health and Safety Manager interview, what do we need to demonstrate to your potential employer or the hiring manager?
Make sure you demonstrate the following skills and attributes during your Health and Safety Manager Interview
- You need to show that you can conduct suitable risk assessments to ensure all staff are familiar with, them and they are safe and they also abide by them;
- You should also be responsible for ensuring the business is legally compliant in respect of health and safety law and legislation;
- Organizing and facilitating staff safety training as required based on your risk assessments;
- Also conduct all safety inspections and drills and also ensure there are adequate first aid stations present within the workplace;
- You’ll also be required to create suitable health and safety management processes and monitoring systems and also very important, keep and maintain accurate records of your findings, but also advise the senior management team in respect to safe working practices in line with their legal duties and responsibilities. So obviously there needs to be a fine balance. Safety must always come first but you have to apply your duties as a health and safety manager in line with the strategic vision of the organization;
- Make sure that you maintain accurate records and also report all accidents and dangerous occurrences in line with the relevant regulations that are applicable to the country in which you are working within.
Health and Safety Manager Interview Questions and Answers (Safety Officer Interview)
So let’s now take a look at a number of health and safety manager interview questions and the perfect example answers. So let’s take a look at the first question.
Question #1: Tell me about yourself and why you want to become a health and safety manager.
So it’s pretty much guaranteed to be the first question of your health and safety manager interview. Below is a perfect example answer.
“I am a dedicated, organized and passionate person who takes my work very seriously. Now, as a health and safety manager, you have to be determined, knowledgeable and resolute in everything you do, and those are just some of the qualities I possess that I am proud of.
The role of a health and safety manager requires specific skills and qualities which I feel I have in abundance. These are being relied upon to create and instill a culture of ‘safety’ must always come ‘first’ within an organization; excellent communication skills, especially when dealing with people who perhaps might be skeptical about safety; and finally an understanding that you are running a business.
On that basis, safety has to run in parallel with your strategic aims and your objectives. Now, if you hire me as your health and safety manager, I will work with you to ensure everything you and your employees do is compliant and the risk is minimized to an acceptable level.”
That’s a great in-depth answer that gives the interviewer details about you, what you’re like as a as a person, your attitude to safety and also why you have chosen this role. Let’s take a look at a second question for your health and safety manager interview.
Question #2: Why have you chosen our company to work for as a health and safety manager? Why have you chosen our company?
As you know, the role of a health and safety manager needs the support of an organization for you to carry out your duties responsibly and compliantly. If you don’t have the support of the organization, you are fighting an uphill battle. So it’s really important that you have their support. Below is a perfect example answer to that interview question.
“The role of a health and safety manager is the type of position where you have to have the support of your employer. There are some organizations out there who, I believe do not take safety as seriously as they should. But having researched your organization, it’s clear you want to embed a culture of health and safety within your organization, and when difficult decisions have to be made, I believe you will support me in the process.
Now, for those reasons, and also the fact that you are a leader within your industry, make me want to become your health and safety manager.”
So that focuses on the fact that you get supported. The main thing is that you would not want to be a health and safety manager for an organization that doesn’t support you within your role, and that will be the main reason I would give for choosing their company.
Question #3: What duties and responsibilities do you expect to be carrying out on a daily basis as our health and safety manager?
So this basically assesses whether you’ve looked at the job description, do you know what you’ve got to do on it on a daily basis? This will also set the bar high in respect of your standards of what you’re going to do for them. Below is a perfect example answer to that interview question.
“My role as your health and safety manager would be first and foremost to monitor the various safety risks and hazards within the workplace to ensure all staff and visitors are safe from harm.
Furthermore, it would be my duty to ensure your organization is not at risk from litigation as a result of poor health and safety practices or policies. I would achieve this by creating a culture that insists ‘safety must always come first’ whilst also conducting suitable risk assessments that all staff are familiar with, and they actually abide by. I would also be responsible for ensuring your business is legally compliant, organizing and facilitating staff training, conducting all safety inspections and drills and also making sure there are adequate first aid stations present within the workplace.
Now, I would also be required to create suitable health and safety management processes and monitoring systems, keep and maintain accurate records, and also advise the senior management team in respect of safe practices in line with your legal duties and your responsibilities.”
So that’s perfect answer, it shows that you know what you’re doing, you know what you’re required to do and you know the remit of health and safety, which is absolutely crucial in any organization, would be in safe hands.
Question #4: Describe the risk assessment process to me?
All health and safety managers have to understand the assessment of risk. There are five step processes that we will go through in this answer, which you may be familiar with. Below is a perfect example answer to that interview question.
“There are five important steps to consider when creating a suitable and appropriate risk assessment.
Step one: Is where I would identify the hazards present. This might be an item of machinery or a potentially hazardous cleaning liquid, for example.
Step two: Is a process of determining who is at risk from harm and how. In the case of the machinery, this would be the person or people operating the machinery and also those who might come into close proximity with it.
Step three: Is where I would then evaluate the risks before deciding on the precautions that needed to be introduced. For example, if that potentially hazardous cleaning liquid gives off fumes, the precaution might be to only use it in a well ventilated area with personal protective clothing worn at all times.
Step four: Is where I would record my findings and then implement them. Now, during the implementation stage, I would also need to inform everyone within your workplace of the assessment and carry out relevant training if needed.
And finally, stage five: Is where I would regularly review the risk assessment and amend or update it as necessary.”
So that shows that you know what risk assessment is. Also, you’re not just giving five steps to risk assessment, but you are then given an example of it. Let’s take a look at another health and safety manager interview question.
Question #5: How would you deal with a situation whereby one of our employees was refusing to cooperate with health and safety regulations?
So this is a difficult one and one that you would get asked during a health and safety manager or safety officer interview. They might also word it in respect to where one of our employees is skeptical of health and safety. The answer should be the standard answer, they’re required to as part of their employment contract. Below is a perfect example answer to that interview question.
“At the end of the day, health and safety is law, and he o she would need to cooperate, or they would find themselves in breach of their employment contract.
However, a heavy-handed approach would not be my first attempt to resolve this issue. I would seek to sit down and educate them as to the benefits of health and safety and how it is a fundamentally important responsibility of everyone at work. I would provide them with interesting examples of health and safety being put to good use, before backing up my facts with statistics that are designed to show the real value of being safety focused within a workplace.
It would my intention to turnaround the employee’s attitude and approach to health and safety in order to get them on my side and encourage them to genuinely see the true value of it.”
That’s a good answer.
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