How to Ace Your Next Step Living Interview: The Top 20 Questions You’ll Be Asked and How to Nail Them

Getting a job at Next Step Living is no easy feat. As a leader in home energy efficiency they only hire the best of the best. With competition fierce, you need to enter the interview fully prepared to showcase your skills and experience.

I’ll walk you through the 20 most common Next Step Living interview questions in this detailed guide. The questions range from behavioral to technical. I’ll give you examples of how to answer each question and tell you what the interviewer wants to hear in your answer.

Arm yourself with this advice, and you’ll project confidence and land the job!

Overview of Next Step Living’s Hiring Process

Before we dive into the questions let’s review what to expect in the Next Step Living interview process.

Here’s the typical flow:

  • Initial phone screen – A 30-minute call with HR or the hiring manager to discuss your background and interest in the role This is where you’ll need to make a strong first impression,

  • In-person interview – If you pass the phone screen, you’ll be invited for a 1-1 or group interview at their office. This is your chance to showcase your abilities.

  • Assessment tests – Many candidates report being asked to complete a math test and computer skills test during the in-person interview. Brush up on your math competency beforehand.

  • Panel interviews – For some roles, a panel interview with multiple interviewers may be conducted. Stay cool under pressure here.

  • Immediate job offers – Next Step Living is known to make job offers on the spot. Come ready to accept if you receive one!

Now let’s get into the top 20 questions and answers to expect:

1. How would you approach building and maintaining long-term client relationships in a competitive market?

With this common opening question, the interviewer wants to assess your ability to cultivate loyalty and retain clients over time. In your response, you’ll want to emphasize:

  • Your commitment to understanding each client’s unique needs and goals. Explain how you dig deeper through active listening.

  • Personalizing interactions and developing partnerships, not just transactions. Give examples of how you tailor communications and recognize client preferences.

  • Consistent engagement through regular check-ins and transparency. Share how you proactively communicate and measure satisfaction.

  • Adapting products or services over time to meet clients’ changing needs. Provide an example of how you’ve evolved offerings to provide greater value.

  • Prioritizing feedback and continuous improvement. Illustrate how you use metrics and client input to enhance the client experience.

Here’s an example response:

“The foundation of my approach is taking the time upfront to understand each client’s needs and goals through active listening. This enables me to craft personalized interactions that make the client feel valued as a true partner. I’m committed to consistent check-ins to stay updated on any changes I should make to better serve them. For example, when a long-term client expanded internationally, I adapted their marketing strategy to resonate across multiple cultural contexts. This required keeping an open dialogue to ensure their regional needs were met. My priority is always on cultivating trust and loyalty for the long-haul by evolving with the client.”

2. Explain your strategy for conducting effective home energy assessments while simultaneously educating homeowners on energy efficiency.

Next Step Living wants to see you can balance technical assessments with simplified, engaging education for clients. In your answer, highlight:

  • Your systematic, thorough process for energy inspections using tools like infrared cameras.

  • Your command of building science and latest efficiency methods to make accurate recommendations.

  • Your ability to translate complex data into understandable, actionable insights for clients.

  • Your communication approach of focusing on the most impactful recommendations first.

  • Your consultative style of guiding clients through cost-benefit analysis of options.

Here is an example response:

“My strategy relies on a meticulous inspection process utilizing advanced tools like infrared cameras and blower doors to quantify energy loss areas accurately. I stay up-to-date on the latest building science through continued education. This enables me to provide homeowners with the most effective recommendations for efficiency gains. While the assessment is critical, I take equal care in presenting the findings in a simple, engaging manner. I highlight the most impactful fixes first and offer cost-benefit comparisons of each. My goal is to empower homeowners to make informed decisions on energy improvements that lower their costs and environmental impact. I’ve received great feedback on my ability to blend technical expertise with accessible insights and guidance.”

3. Can you walk us through a successful negotiation you’ve closed, specifically highlighting how you overcame objections?

This is a chance for you to showcase your negotiation skills and strategic thinking. Structure your story using the following:

  • Background – Set the scene by explaining the situation and objectives. Who was the negotiation with and what were you aiming to achieve?

  • Challenge – What objections or obstacles did the other party present? Detail the specific concerns raised.

  • Strategy – Describe your approach to empathizing with their position and crafting solutions to address their needs while achieving your goals.

  • Resolution – Share how you successfully resolved the objections and closed the negotiation. Quantify the result.

  • Takeaway – Note any key learnings that now inform your approach to objection handling and negotiation.

Here is an example:

“Recently, I was negotiating a new services contract with a long-term client. Our aim was to secure an expanded scope of work for an increased fee. The client pushed back on the proposed pricing increase due to budget constraints. I listened closely to understand their cash flow challenges. I then presented a tiered pricing structure that deferred some fees until later in the contract when their budget would allow. I also re-emphasized the value we would provide through broader services. This flexible approach allowed me to overcome the budget objection while protecting our profit goals. We ended up securing a 20% increase in contract value. Moving forward, I now ensure I have thoroughly researched the client’s budget and growth plans when proposing any pricing changes.”

4. Detail your experience with CRM software and how you have used it to track sales leads and customer interactions.

This common question tests your proficiency with critical sales tools like Salesforce, HubSpot or Zoho. In your response, highlight:

  • The specific CRM platforms and features you have experience with. Give examples.

  • How you leveraged these tools to organize and segment leads based on behavior, demographics, etc.

  • How you tracked and improved customer interactions and engagement through CRM data.

  • Metrics you analyzed in CRMs to optimize the sales process and funnel.

  • Any tangible results you achieved, such as increased lead conversion rates.

Here is an example:

“In my past role, I became highly proficient in Salesforce and leveraged its features extensively to manage the lead and sales process. For example, I used lead scoring and careful tagging in Salesforce to segment our leads based on behaviors like email engagement and site visits. Segmenting leads was critical to then tailor our outreach for better conversion. I also regularly analyzed the customer engagement metrics Salesforce provided, which allowed me to improve our email marketing approach. As a result, I increased lead conversion rates by 15% within the first 3 months of implementing these optimized CRM strategies.”

5. How would you tailor your pitch when discussing complex energy solutions to a potential customer without prior knowledge?

Here the interviewer wants to assess your ability to simplify complex concepts when interacting with clients. In your response, explain your approach:

  • Asking probing questions upfront to gauge the client’s familiarity with key concepts.

  • Actively listening to understand points of confusion or concern.

  • Explaining the complex solution by focusing on the most relevant benefits and value to that particular client.

  • Using layman analogies and visual aids to simplify complex details.

  • Checking for understanding frequently and welcoming questions.

  • Adjusting your pitch dynamically based on client feedback.

An example response:

“When discussing complex solutions, I take care to first probe the client with questions to understand their level of knowledge. From there, I focus my pitch on the benefits that matter most to that client, avoiding technical jargon they may not grasp. For example, when explaining solar energy concepts to a homeowner, I compare the energy grid to a communal water tank and solar panels to having your own personal well – a simple analogy everyone can visualize. I’ll use layman terms they are familiar with and offer analogies tailored to their experience. Throughout the discussion, I check for understanding and welcome questions. My goal is to take complex concepts and make them accessible and actionable for each client.”

6. Share an example of how you’ve planned and executed a promotional event that led to measurable results.

This behavioral question allows you to demonstrate strategic thinking and results orientation. Structure your response using the STAR method:

Situation – Describe the event goals and audience. What were you aiming to achieve?

Task – Explain the specific actions you took to plan and execute the event successfully.

Action – Detail your process of implementation, execution, follow-up, and measurement.


What is your biggest weakness?

Why ask this: This question, like the one about strengths, is also about personality and work style. It also shows a candidate’s ability to spin a perceived negative into a positive.

Red flag answers: If a candidate says they pay too much attention to details or are easily upset, check to see if that’s the end of their answer. If it does, this is a red flag.

When a candidate is honest about their weakness, they will follow up with how they have worked on it. This is a red flag. They will tell you how they use it to their advantage. You will end up believing their weakness can be a strength if they do this right.

2 What is the most interesting project you’ve worked on?

Why should you ask this? It will help you learn more about the candidate’s current job and work, as well as what interests them about their field.

Responses that raise red flags: If the most interesting work has nothing to do with what this person would be doing in your open position, that could be a red flag. Will this work really engage them? Will you be able to retain them as an employee?.

Green flag answers: Projects that show your candidate’s ability to work with others, be creative, and solve problems are a great way for them to show what skills they have (vs. just telling you what skills they possess outright). They should be able to do more of what they enjoy if they are passionate about their job and your role guarantees that.

Questions to ask at the End of an Interview


What are the next steps in the interview process question?

Depending on where you are in their typical chronology for hiring, the next step could be interviewing other candidates, another interview for you, checking your references, having you take a test (or multiple tests), or waiting for them to meet and discuss what happens next.

When an interviewer tells you the next steps?

As the interview came to a close, did the hiring manager tell you what the next stage would be (i.e. – a second interview), and when you could expect to hear back? In doing this, they are saying that you are in with a chance of making it to this stage, so don’t lose interest.

How do you politely ask for next steps?

Confirm your next steps It is polite to ask if the company needs you to take any steps to make this happen. Consider writing something such as, “Please let me know the next steps I need to take in this process. If you require any additional information from me, I am happy to provide whatever you may need.”

Should I ask what the next steps in the hiring process are?

At the end of an interview, it is common to ask about possible next stages within the hiring process and when you can expect to hear a decision. This shows you are still interested in the position after interviewing and are ready to take initiative to begin the job.

What questions do employers ask during an interview?

While we can’t know exactly what an employer will ask, here are 10 common interview questions along with advice on how to answer them. The questions include: Could you tell me something about yourself and describe your background in brief?: Interviewers like to hear stories about candidates.

What should I know before a job interview?

: Before you walk in for your first interview, you should already know what the salary is for the position you’re applying to. Check out websites such as Glassdoor, Fishbowl, or for salary information. You could also ask people in the field by reaching out to your community on LinkedIn. Where your work meets your life.

Is your first interview stressful?

She’s a sought-after speaker and seminar presenter and a popular media source, having made over 900 appearances in broadcast, print, and online outlets. Interviews can be high stress, anxiety-driving situations, especially if it’s your first interview.

How do you write a good interview story?

Interviewers like to hear stories about candidates. Make sure your story has a great beginning, a riveting middle, and an end that makes the interviewer root for you to win the job. How do you deal with pressure or stressful situations? : Share an instance when you remained calm despite the turmoil.

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