BUS Plant Operator
At Barrow Utilities and Electric Cooperative, Inc. (BUECI), we don’t just employ people, we make them part of our family. We employ approximately 70 employees, including two union groups (linemen, and non-linemen) and a non-union management and administrative staff, with competitive salaries and excellent medical and retirement benefits. BUECI recognizes that our employees are our greatest asset. Here you’ll have the opportunity to provide vital services in the most unique utility in the country. So, join us today!
For Management positions, below is the apply-to-hire process.
Focus on your resume
This is the first piece of information we’ll see about you, so highlight your achievements. Here’s how to frame them:
- Align your skills and experience with the job description.
- Be specific about projects you’ve worked on or managed. What was the outcome? How did you measure success?
- Tell us about your leadership roles. How big was the team? What was the scope of your work?
After you are contacted by a recruiter, you will be asked to complete a written questionnaire. If our recruiters feel you would be a good match for a position, they will schedule a phone interview. If you pass these two steps, you will move on to a second phone interview.
Phone and Video Interviews
During the second phone interview, you’ll speak with a potential peer, senior management, and/or the General Manager.
For operations roles, your phone discussion will last between 45 and 60 minutes. When answering questions, you’ll talk through your thought process while answering questions. We recommend using a hands-free headset or speakerphone so you can answer freely.
If the BUECI team feels you would be a good match, you will be invited to a Skype (video chat) discussion that will last about two hours. If the General Manager feels you would be a good match, then you will be invited to an onsite interview.
Be prepared for behavioral, hypothetical, or case-based questions that cover your role-related knowledge.
Onsite interviews last 1-2 days. You’ll usually meet with BUECI employee teams: management and crews — for about 30 to 45 minutes each. Also, you’ll take a tour of utility facilities and of the town.
All candidates will have the chance to highlight strengths in four different areas:
- General cognitive ability: We ask open-ended questions to learn how you approach and solve problems. And there’s no one right answer—your ability to explain your thought process and how you use data to inform decisions is what’s most important.
- Leadership: Be prepared to discuss how you have used your communication and decision-making skills to mobilize others. This might be by stepping up to a leadership role at work or with an organization, or by helping a team succeed even when you weren’t officially the leader.
- Role-related knowledge: We’re interested in how your individual strengths combine with your experience to maximize the benefit to our system and our people.
- BUECIness: Share how you work individually and on a team, how you help others, how you navigate ambiguity and maintain safety, and how you push yourself to plan for the future.
Throughout the interview process, feel free to ask your interviewers for clarification to make sure you fully understand their questions. And feel free to interview us, too. Ask questions—about the work, about the team, about the culture—that will help you decide whether the job will be right for you.
How To Prepare
Here’s our advice to help you be ready for your interview.
- Predict the future: You can anticipate 90% of the interview questions you’re going to get. “Why do you want this job?” “What’s a tough problem you’ve solved?” If you can’t think of any, Google “most common interview questions.” Write down the top 20 questions you think you’ll get.
- Plan: For every question on your list, write down your answer. That will help them stick in your brain, which is important because you want your answers to be thoughtful and automatic.
- Have a backup plan: Actually, for every question, write down THREE answers. Why three? You need to have a different, equally good answer for every question because the first interviewer might not like your story. You want the next interviewer to hear a different story and become your advocate.
- Explain: We want to understand how you think, so explain your thought process and decision making throughout the interview. Remember we’re not only evaluating your technical ability, but also how you approach problems and try to solve them. Explicitly state and check assumptions with your interviewer to ensure they are reasonable.
- Be data-driven: Every question should be answered with a story that demonstrates you can do what you’re being asked about. “How do you lead?” should be answered with “I’m a collaborative/decisive/whatever leader. Let me tell you about the time I … ”
- Clarify: Many of the questions will be deliberately open-ended to provide insight into what categories and information you value within the technological puzzle. We’re looking to see how you engage with the problem and your primary method for solving it. Be sure to talk through your thought process and feel free to ask specific questions if you need clarification.
- Improve: Think about ways to improve the solution you present. It’s worthwhile to think out loud about your initial thoughts to a question. In many cases, your first answer may need some refining and further explanation. If necessary, start with the brute force solution and improve on it — just let the interviewer know that’s what you’re doing and why.
- Practice: Everyone gets better with practice. Practice your interview answers—out loud—until you can tell each story clearly and concisely.
What if I need an accommodation for the interview?
No problem! We have a team dedicated to making sure you have the accommodations you need to interview. If you need for us to arrange an ASL interpreter, if you’d like your service animal with you, if you need your hotel to be wheelchair accessible, or if you have something else in mind, just ask for the CFO who coordinates interview accommodations. From there, you will be connected to someone who can assist you to confidentially discuss your accommodation options.
Committee and Review
After your interviews are done, the hiring committee, made up of BUECI employees at various levels of the company and the General Manager, reviews your complete candidate packet, which includes your interview feedback and scores, your resume, references, and any additional support you submitted. This review process helps make sure we’re holding true to our hiring standards. Then, the General Manager makes the final decision if a job offer should be made.
BUECI has a unique hiring process which can take several weeks. We strive to keep you updated, but don’t hesitate to reach out to your recruiter if you have any questions.
Once the General Manager approves your candidacy, then you get your offer.
In most organizations, you join and still have to prove yourself. At BUECI, we’ve all gone through the same hiring process and know we can trust in each other and new team members from day one. Welcome aboard!
Telephone: (907) 852-6166
PO Box 449
Barrow, AK 99723
Employment applications and current job postings are also available in the Billing Office.
BUECI is committed to equal opportunity. We recruit, employ, compensate, train, develop and promote without regard to race, creed, color, sex, sexual orientation, age, religion, disability, national origin or any other protected status.