Next Step Living

  www.nextstepliving.com
  www.nextstepliving.com

Next Step Living Interview Questions

Updated Nov 24, 2014
Updated Nov 24, 2014
22 Interview Reviews

Interview Experience

Interview Experience

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Candidate Interview Reviews

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  1.  

    Home Energy Advisor Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    Interview Details

    The company's hiring process is very similar to their sales techniques. Make grandiose claims, promises they can't keep, try to convince you they are doing good for the planet. It doesn't take long to realize that the only way to hit the incentives numbers they promise you is to work the maximum hours, and pressure your customers into taking sales visits they don't want and/or don't need. This entire company is a sales and marketing show, they have no interest in, or knowledge of, the energy efficiency or home improvement industry. As soon as they make a sale, they are on to the next one, and the customer is given little guidance in navigating the incentive process, the financing options, or how to operate their new system. Similarly, with regard to their employees, they employ a sink or swim strategy, constantly shift the targets and how you are incentivized/compensated, and when you burn out they tell you that "maybe this job isn't the best fit for you..."

    Interview Questions
    Negotiation Details
    no negotiations
    Accepted Offer
  2.  

    Lead Home Energy Advisor Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate in New Haven, CT
    Anonymous Interview Candidate in New Haven, CT
    Application Details

    I applied online. The process took 1+ weekinterviewed at Next Step Living in October 2014.

    Interview Details

    Answered an ad on Craigslist for Lead Home Energy Adviser. Sent resume, received email from recruiter in MA asking for times we could set up phone interview. Phone interview with Collin, he told me about the company, and got some background on me any my experience. Collin mentioned that there was also a sales aspect to the job, which I knew there would be, and explained the salary and how it worked. Starting salary is $30,000 for training period, then jumps to $40, 000 after plus commissions. Sounded good to me. Also worth mentioning, work week is Tuesday-Sat, not M-F. Phone interview went well, set up group/in person interview for one week later in New Haven, CT.
         In person interview completely different story. Group interview was three of us. Sat through a presentation about company and their "mission". Basically, this is a sales job. People at in person interview could not care less about technical background, or building and hands on experience. Most questions in the 1 on 1 interview were about my ability to sell, what I liked and didn't like about sales. We were told they cannot complete their "mission" of reducing our carbon footprint unless people actually make improvements to their homes which you are supposed to sell to them. Overall it was a good experience. They should be more clear about what they are looking for from the beginning. I thought they were looking for people who knew about building efficiency. Apparently they are looking for sales people who are willing to get their hands dirty.

    Interview Questions
    No Offer
    Positive Experience
    Average Interview
  3.  

    Director, Talent Acquisition Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Boston, MA
    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Boston, MA
    Application Details

    I applied through a staffing agency. The process took a dayinterviewed at Next Step Living in October 2014.

    Interview Details

    First step consisted of a phone screen with the VP of Human Resources. Based upon this poor experience, I would not be inclined to move to the next phase (nor would I recommend referring someone from my network).

    Interview Questions
    • Honestly, the interviewer did not ask any meaningful or difficult questions; rather, he chose to fixate on my tenure with past organizations. In retrospect, his approach was antagonistic (really, the worst interview ever).   View Answer
    • Again, really wished the VP of HR had asked me questions pertaining to strategy, sourcing channels, applicants tracking systems, metrics -- something purposeful.   Answer Question
    No Offer
    Negative Experience
    Difficult Interview
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  5.  

    Energy Sales Adviser Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Boston, MA
    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Boston, MA
    Application Details

    I applied online. The process took 1+ weekinterviewed at Next Step Living in September 2014.

    Interview Details

    Had one interview. I got the impression they were looking for eager college grads looking to get into sales. NSL is a sales organization/general contractor since they sub out most of the installation work to other vendors. You do a two call close and are required to work 6 days/week. If you want to learn the world of high pressure, in home, home improvement sales, NSL is probably an excellent company to learn from.

    Interview Questions
    • Had to take a math test, reading/problem solving multiple choice test, simple computer skills test and DISC personality test.   View Answer
    Reasons for Declining

    I didn't think I could squeeze people to buy systems that had suspect ROIs for them. NSL Website shows "HomeOwner Happiness Index" of 66/100. it is their own metric and 66 out 100 I would think equates to about a D+, not a very good indicator of customer satisfaction. Watch Glengarry Glen Ross before your interview. Probably what you are in for.

    Declined Offer
    Neutral Experience
    Average Interview
  6.  

    Home Energy Advisor Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    Interview Details

    Primarily a group interview process. You come in for a 30 minutes presentation on what the position entails, followed by a short little math test, computer test, and followed by 2 rounds of 1 on 1 interviews.

    Interview Questions
    • I was asked what my biggest fear was about the position, which I didn't really know how to answer.   Answer Question
    No Offer
  7.  

    Home Energy Adviser Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    Interview Details

    Process was quicker then expected, I got called in for a interview with one week notice. Took a simple math test for area volume and KWH and then a simple test with a computer software. Got an offer within 48 hours of the interview.

    Interview Questions
    • A consumer says "I have no money to pay for any of this" how would you convince other wise   View Answer
    Accepted Offer
  8. 1 person found this helpful  

    Solar Sales Advisor Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate in South Boston, MA
    Anonymous Interview Candidate in South Boston, MA
    Application Details

    I applied online. The process took 2 weeksinterviewed at Next Step Living in July 2014.

    Interview Details

    After applying online, I received an email within a day or two from a recruiter at NSL, indicating that she would like to schedule a 10-15 minute phone interview to discuss my background and qualifications. We coordinated a time two days later, and everything about the call was pretty unremarkable. The recruiter was very nice and professional, and the questions were pretty superficial and easy--no surprises at all. She asked me if I could make it in for an interview at their office in South Boston the following Tuesday, which didn't fit in my schedule. She emailed me back later that day and arranged an interview for the following Wednesday with two of of their Sales Managers.

    The first manager I met with was very nice, and started out by asking me some basic background questions. I was then asked about some more behavioral questions, things like: "Imagine you drive an hour and a half for a sales call and then find that the customer isn't home. What would you do?" Or another one I was asked was: "Imagine you're on your way to a sales call and it's pouring rain and you get a flat tire. How would you handle the situation?" Obviously, these questions are designed to see what kind of personality you have, and if you have the makeup to roll with the punches and maintain a positive, productive attitude. This interview went really well overall. It was supposed to last 30 minutes, but they were running behind on some things, so it was cut down to about 20 minutes. Overall, there weren't too many surprises, and it went smoothly.

    I had to wait in the conference room for 10-15 minutes for the next manager to show up. Right off the bat, it was pretty obvious that he had an aggressive personality. He asked questions very quickly, and he pushed for fast answers. He also asked some behavioral questions, and the following scenario he posed was the most memorable: "I'm going to give you $2000 to go buy a TV today. Explain your buying process to me." My response: "Well, do I have to spend all $2000 on the TV?" He says: "No, you don't have to. Spend it however you want." My response: "Ok, well if I have to buy it today, I'd leave here and go to Best Buy to research my options and prices because they have a large selection. Then, I'd go to the independent dealer near my house on my way home, and if they had the TV I wanted at a fair price, I'd buy it from them because I'd rather support the small business than a big warehouse store." His response: "Well I didn't say you HAD to buy it today." My response: "Oh, well in that case, I'd just go home tonight and do some research online. I'd read a bunch of reviews and compare prices on all the current technology, and then I'd go to the store sometime over the next day or two and buy the exact one that I wanted." Apparently, this was the WRONG answer! The manager explained to me that he believes that all people "sell like they buy." He said that if it were him, he'd take the $2000, go straight to Best Buy, look at the TVs for 5 minutes and just buy the best one he could get with the money. He'd take it home and plug it in tonight because he doesn't have time to waste researching TVs. He said that at NSL this is an emotional sale, and that he doesn't want salespeople who give the customer time to research and think about the decision. He needs people who will go on the sales call and push the customer to sign on the dotted line before they leave. It was at this point that it became clear that we had distinctly different sales philosophies. I explained that if the product and service they're selling is truly the best in the industry, they shouldn't feel threatened by having better educated consumers. My approach, if I believed in what I was selling, would be to encourage my potential customers to feel free to gather as much information as they can. I want them to feel completely comfortable with their decision, because I build all my customer relationships on trust. I don't want to strong-arm a customer into making a major purchase (some of the solar systems sold at NSL are $20-40,000), and be the beneficiary of buyer's remorse. The manager did not value this sales philosophy, and based on this obvious difference in values, I did not expect to get a job offer, nor would I have accepted one if it were offered.

    Afterwards, an office administrator took me to a computer terminal to complete a personality test and several simple aptitude tests. The tests included basic math questions and reading comprehension, and probably took me about 20 minutes to complete. If you're good at simple business math, it was all really easy.

    I heard back from the recruiter the following Monday, and she informed me that the managers both really liked me, and thought that I was a good fit for Next Step Living in general, but that they didn't think the Solar Sales Advisor role was the best fit for me. She encouraged me to apply for another position within the company.

    Interview Questions
    • I'm going to give you $2000 to go buy a TV today. Explain your buying process to me.   Answer Question
    No Offer
    Negative Experience
    Average Interview
  9.  

    Outreach Coordinator Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    Application Details

    I applied online – interviewed at Next Step Living.

    Interview Details

    Started when the company was still fairly new. Interview process was very straight forward and simple. The interviewer was very curious to see how outgoing and confident I was in myself, since outreach mostly consists on person to person sales.

    Negotiation Details
    No negotiations.
    Accepted Offer
  10.  

    Energy Adviser Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Boston, MA
    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Boston, MA
    Application Details

    I applied online. The process took 2 weeksinterviewed at Next Step Living.

    Interview Details

    I was contacted to come in for a interview and given only a couple days notice which was unprofessional given they knew I lived a few states away. The interview itself was a group interview with a short breakout session for one-on-ones. There was a basic knowledge test of building construction principles, rudimentary geometry and energy principles. After completing my interview I was contacted a week later with an offer to join NSL in two weeks around the winter holidays. Accepted on the condition that I get a couple more weeks to find a place and properly move which the obliged.

    Interview Questions
    • Questions were pretty boilerplate and I went into the interview with credentials most candidates did not have. Interviewer did state that my experience would lend itself better to working in the office and he wanted to why I was interested in the field work.   Answer Question
    Negotiation Details
    No negotiating. They clearly state what they're offering, take it or leave it
    Accepted Offer
    Neutral Experience
    Easy Interview
  11. 1 person found this helpful  

    Sales Advisor Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    Application Details

    I applied through college or university. The process took a dayinterviewed at Next Step Living in March 2014.

    Interview Details

    Group interview, speed dating style, only limited for 5 minutes with four people.

    Interview Questions
    • Did not have time to really talk to someone, each asked the same typical interview questions. All I did was repeat myself. They were also 30 minutes late to their own interview process. One girl who works with them said that was typical for Next Step Living to always be late. From that point I knew that it was an unorganized company and was not nearly excited for the potential job as I was before hand.   View Answer
    Reasons for Declining

    They asked em to come back once I completed my MBA (class only at night twice a week).

    Declined Offer
    Neutral Experience
    Average Interview

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