AndreyPopov/iStock/Getty Images

Interview Questions for a Safety Manager

Growth Trends for Related Jobs

Safety managers work in a variety of workplaces, including manufacturing, offices and on construction sites. They oversee the setup of the workplace to verify that the equipment is assembled safely. They also observe employees to ensure that employees follow safe work practices. Safety managers earned an average salary of $66,790 in 2012, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Individuals attracted to a career as a safety manager should have a passion for safety and an ability to share that with interviewers.

Potentially Dangerous Situations

Some workplaces experience hazards, such as working with certain pieces of equipment or using specific chemicals. In other workplaces, employees may work with violent clients, such as in a correctional facility. Interviewers for these employers might ask questions to determine how well you handle these situations. The interviewer might ask what process you follow when faced with a potentially dangerous situation. You should respond by sharing an experience where you’ve faced a dangerous situation and explain what steps you took.

Proactive Approach

Avoiding safety hazards represents as much of the role of the safety manager as reacting after something happens. Employers want the safety manager to anticipate potential hazards and rectify them before an accident occurs. The interviewer may ask about situations where you observed a safety risk and addressed it. The interviewer may also give you a scenario and ask you what you would recommend to minimize any risks. These questions give you the opportunity to demonstrate that you are safety-minded and focus on keeping employees and customers safe.

Overcoming Obstacles

Most jobs face obstacles that can prevent the employee from focusing on their primary responsibilities or reaching their workplace goals. For example, a safety manager might be overscheduled for meetings preventing her from visiting sites and observing employees. Interviewers might ask you how you maintain focus when other activities in the workplace also demand your attention and can keep you from your main job. Respond by sharing your personal strategy for staying on task and addressing potential obstacles.

Strategy Versus Operations

Safety managers play different roles in different organizations. In some, the safety manager focuses on operational activities and addressing potential hazards on the operation floor. In other organizations, the safety manager focuses on strategy making and collaborates with management to design and implement a strategy focused on safe practices. The interviewer might ask you whether you consider yourself more operational or more strategic. Or the interviewer might ask what role you’ve played to design safe practices. You should respond by sharing examples of your past work in both an operational capacity and a strategic capacity. This demonstrates your ability to work wherever you are needed.

2016 Salary Information for Occupational Health and Safety Specialists

Occupational health and safety specialists earned a median annual salary of $70,920 in 2016, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. On the low end, occupational health and safety specialists earned a 25th percentile salary of $54,320, meaning 75 percent earned more than this amount. The 75th percentile salary is $88,050, meaning 25 percent earn more. In 2016, 83,700 people were employed in the U.S. as occupational health and safety specialists.