20 Clean Harbors Interview Questions and Answers

Prepare for the types of questions you are likely to be asked when interviewing for a position at Clean Harbors.

Clean Harbors is the leading provider of environmental, energy and industrial services throughout North America. The company serves a diverse range of customers, from small businesses to Fortune 500 companies.

If you’re applying for a job at Clean Harbors, you can expect to be asked a variety of questions about your qualifications, work history, and availability. In this guide, we’ve assembled a list of Clean Harbors interview questions and answers to help you prepare for your interview.

Clean Harbors Interview Process

The interview process at Clean Harbors can vary depending on the position you are applying for. However, most interviews will consist of a phone screen with a recruiter, followed by one or more in-person interviews with managers or other members of the team. The difficulty of the interviews will depend on the role you are applying for, but overall they are not too difficult. However, some candidates have reported being ghosted after their second interview, so be aware that this may happen.

Common Clean Harbors Interview Questions

1. What are your thoughts on the current state of the environmental industry?

Clean Harbors is a leader in the environmental industry, and they want to know that you’re aware of what’s going on in the field. This question helps them determine if you are up-to-date with current events and trends. Use your answer to show that you have an interest in the environment and how it’s changing.

Example: “I think the current state of the environmental industry is exciting. There are so many new technologies being developed every day, which makes me feel optimistic about our planet’s future. I’m excited to be part of this growing industry because I believe we can make some real progress when it comes to protecting the environment.”

2. How do you think Clean Harbors can improve their services and make a larger impact in the community?

This question is an opportunity to show your leadership skills and how you can contribute to the company’s success. When answering this question, it can be helpful to think about what Clean Harbors does well and what areas could use improvement. You can also consider ways that you would like to see the company change or grow in the future.

Example: “Clean Harbors has a great reputation for providing excellent services to its clients. I believe there are several ways we can continue to improve our services and make a larger impact in the community. For example, I think we should expand our recycling program to include more hazardous materials. This will help us reduce waste and prevent pollution from entering the environment.”

3. Describe your experience with hazardous waste management.

Clean Harbors is a global leader in hazardous waste management, so it’s important that you have experience with this type of work. When answering this question, be sure to highlight your relevant skills and how they can benefit Clean Harbors.

Example: “I’ve worked with hazardous waste for the past five years at my current job. I started as an entry-level technician but quickly moved up to senior level due to my excellent performance. In my role, I’m responsible for identifying hazardous materials, disposing of them safely and ensuring compliance with all regulations. My previous employer also provided me with training on how to manage large-scale cleanups.”

4. How would you handle a situation where a customer was unhappy with the service you provided?

Clean Harbors is a company that provides services to customers, so it’s important for employees to be able to handle customer complaints. Your answer should show the interviewer that you can remain calm and professional when faced with an upset customer.

Example: “I would first apologize to the customer and ask them what I could do to make things right. If they were unhappy because of something I did or didn’t do, I would offer to fix the situation by providing additional service at no cost. If there was nothing I could do to improve their experience, I would offer a refund.”

5. If hired, what would be your approach to managing a team that handles biohazardous materials?

Clean Harbors is a large company that handles hazardous materials, so it’s important to show you can handle the responsibility of managing employees who work with these types of materials. Your answer should include your leadership skills and how you would motivate your team members to perform their jobs safely and efficiently.

Example: “I have experience working in teams where I was responsible for motivating my colleagues to do their best work. In my last position, I led a team of five people who handled biohazardous waste at a hospital. We had weekly meetings where we discussed our progress on projects and any challenges we were facing. I also encouraged my team to ask questions if they needed help or guidance from me.”

6. What would you say is your greatest strength and weakness?

Employers ask this question to learn more about your personality and how you view yourself. They want to know that you are self-aware, so it’s important to be honest when answering this question. When answering, try to focus on a strength rather than a weakness.

Example: “My greatest strength is my ability to work well with others. I am always willing to help someone out or lend them a hand. However, I would say my biggest weakness is my attention to detail. While I do my best to make sure everything is done correctly, sometimes I miss small mistakes. I have been working hard to improve in this area.”

7. Do you have experience working in a team environment?

Clean Harbors is a large company that offers many opportunities for growth and development. The interviewer may ask this question to learn more about your teamwork skills and how you might fit into their organization. Use your answer to highlight any experience you have working in teams, including any leadership roles you’ve held or team-building activities you’ve participated in.

Example: “I’ve always enjoyed working with others, especially when it comes to solving problems. In my last position as an environmental engineer, I was part of a five-person team that worked together to solve client issues. We each had different skill sets, which allowed us to work efficiently and find solutions to the most challenging projects.”

8. We want our drivers to be able to work independently. Do you think you would be a good fit for that type of environment?

Clean Harbors is looking for drivers who can work independently. They want to make sure you have the skills and experience necessary to be successful in this type of environment. When answering this question, it’s important to show that you are a self-motivated individual. Explain how your past experiences have helped you develop these skills.

Example: “I think I would be a great fit for this type of environment. In my previous role as a driver, I was responsible for delivering hazardous materials to various locations. This required me to work independently most of the time. I developed many skills that help me succeed in this type of environment. For example, I am very comfortable with technology and know how to use GPS tracking systems. I also learned how to manage my time effectively so I could deliver shipments on time.”

9. Describe your experience driving large trucks.

Clean Harbors often uses large trucks to transport hazardous materials. The interviewer wants to know if you have experience driving these types of vehicles and how well you can handle them. If you do not have any experience, you can talk about your ability to learn new things quickly.

Example: “I’ve driven a few different types of trucks in my career, but I am most comfortable with the larger ones. In my last position, I was responsible for transporting hazardous waste from one location to another. I had to be careful when handling this material because it could cause serious damage if spilled. I also needed to make sure that I met all safety regulations while on the road.”

10. Which area of chemistry are you most interested in?

This question is a way for the interviewer to learn more about your background and interests. You can answer this question by describing an area of chemistry that you are passionate about, such as environmental or medical applications.

Example: “I am most interested in chemical reactions because they’re so fascinating. I love learning how different elements interact with each other and change their state. For example, when sodium reacts with water it produces hydrogen gas and heat. It’s amazing to me that these simple interactions can create something like fire.”

11. How often do you like to be in contact with your team when working on a project?

Clean Harbors is a large company that works on many projects at once. The interviewer wants to know how you will communicate with your team members and ensure everyone stays up-to-date on the project’s progress. Your answer should show that you value communication and teamwork.

Example: “I like to be in contact with my team as often as possible, especially when working on a new or challenging project. I find it helpful to check in with my team every few hours to see if they have any questions or concerns about their work. This helps me learn more about what my colleagues are doing so I can help them if needed.”

12. Clean Harbors is a company that emphasizes innovation. What do you think is the most important thing to remember when trying to be innovative?

This question is an opportunity to show your knowledge of innovation and how you apply it in the workplace. When answering this question, think about what makes innovation important and how you can use that information to help your team be innovative.

Example: “In my experience, I’ve found that one of the most important things when trying to innovate is to have a willingness to try new things. If you’re not willing to take risks or try something different, then you may never discover something truly innovative. In my last role, I was tasked with finding ways to reduce costs for our company. After some research, I decided to implement a new software program that would allow us to track employee hours more efficiently. This resulted in a 10% reduction in overall labor costs.”

13. What is your experience with testing chemical compounds?

Clean Harbors is a chemical testing company, so your interviewer may ask you this question to see if you have experience with the process. If you do not have direct experience, you can talk about how you would test compounds and what steps you would take.

Example: “I’ve never tested compounds myself, but I know that it’s important to follow protocols when doing so. In my last position, we had an outside lab come in once a month to test our chemicals for us. I always made sure to read over the results of those tests to make sure everything was going well. I also took notes on any changes or new information that came up.”

14. Give an example of a time when you had to solve a problem that was not straightforward. How did you approach the problem?

Clean Harbors is a company that values problem-solving skills. This question allows you to show the interviewer how you approach problems and come up with solutions. Use your answer to highlight your critical thinking, communication and teamwork skills.

Example: “At my previous job, I had to solve a problem where we were not able to get all of our recycling bins back from customers after collection. We tried different methods to encourage customers to return their bins, but it was still an ongoing issue. So, I decided to take a more direct approach by calling each customer who did not return their bin. After speaking with them, I found out that many people didn’t know they could recycle plastic bags in our bins. I then created a brochure explaining what types of materials can be recycled and distributed it to every household.”

15. Can you tell me about a time when you were working on a team project and there was conflict, how did you handle it?

Clean Harbors is a company that values teamwork and collaboration. They want to know how you handle conflict in the workplace, especially when it involves other team members. This question can also help them determine if you have any leadership qualities.

Example: “In my last position as an environmental engineer, I was working on a project with two other engineers. We were all tasked with finding ways to reduce our carbon footprint at work. One of the engineers wanted to implement solar panels while the other wanted to use wind turbines. There was some disagreement between the three of us about which method would be best for the company.

I suggested we do both methods and see what works better. The other two agreed, and we implemented both wind turbines and solar panels. After six months, we found that the solar panels were more efficient than the wind turbines. By listening to everyone’s ideas and coming up with a compromise, we were able to find a solution that worked for everyone.”

16. Tell us why you want to work at Clean Harbors.

This question is a great way for employers to learn more about your interest in their company. They want to know that you have done some research on the organization and are excited about what they do. When preparing for this interview, read through Clean Harbors’ website or any other information you can find online. You should also talk with people who work there to get an idea of what it’s like to be part of the team.

Example: “I am very interested in working at Clean Harbors because I love helping the environment. I’ve heard so many good things about how Clean Harbors has helped reduce waste and pollution in communities all over the world. I think it would be amazing to be part of such a forward-thinking organization.”

17. Why should we hire you over someone else?

Employers ask this question to see if you have the confidence and self-awareness to sell yourself. They want someone who can confidently explain their skills, experience and qualifications without sounding arrogant or insincere. When answering this question, be honest about your strengths but also try to highlight what makes you unique as a candidate.

Example: “I am confident that I am the best person for this position because of my extensive knowledge of hazardous waste management. I’ve worked in this industry for over 10 years, so I know how to handle all types of situations. I’m also highly organized and detail-oriented, which is why I rarely make mistakes at work. My communication skills are excellent, too, which means I can effectively communicate with both clients and coworkers.”

18. Do you have any experience handling radioactive material?

Clean Harbors provides a variety of services, including waste management and disposal. Some of the materials they handle are radioactive, so it’s important that employees have experience working with these types of materials. Your answer should show your ability to work safely with this type of material.

Example: “I’ve worked with radioactive materials in my previous role as an environmental engineer. I was responsible for monitoring the levels of radiation at different sites. This involved collecting samples from various locations and testing them for radioactivity. I also had to ensure that all equipment used to test for radiation was calibrated properly. These tasks were part of my daily responsibilities, so I’m confident I can do the same here.”

19. Are you comfortable working outdoors in all types of weather conditions?

Clean Harbors is a global company that provides environmental services to clients. The interviewer wants to know if you’re willing to work in all types of weather conditions, including extreme heat and cold. Show the interviewer that you can adapt to different environments by describing your previous experience working outdoors.

Example: “I have worked for Clean Harbors’s competitor for five years now, so I am familiar with working outside in all kinds of weather conditions. In fact, I enjoy working outdoors because it gives me an opportunity to get some fresh air while doing my job. I also find that being outside helps me stay focused on my tasks. However, I do understand that there are times when I need to work indoors, such as during inclement weather.”

20. What makes you stand out from other candidates?

Employers ask this question to learn more about your qualifications and how you can contribute to their company. When answering, it’s important to highlight a skill or experience that makes you unique from other candidates. You may also want to mention something that relates to the job description.

Example: “I have five years of experience in environmental cleanup, which is more than most applicants for this position. I’m also an expert at working with hazardous materials, so I know what safety precautions to take when on the job. My previous employer also praised my ability to work independently and solve problems as they arise.”


20 Cinnabon Interview Questions and Answers

Back to Interview

20 Cogent Communications Interview Questions and Answers