41 Funeral Director Interview Questions (Example Answers)
By Indeed Editorial Team
Published November 6, 2022
The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.
When seeking work as a funeral director, you may wish to acquaint yourself with some common funeral director interview questions. Interviewers often pose specific questions to evaluate your suitability for this role and your knowledge in the funeral services field. Knowing the questions interviewers commonly ask can help you prepare applicable answers in advance and improve your chances of getting the job. In this article, we list some questions employers may ask when looking to fill a vacant funeral director position and give you six sample answers to guide your preparation.
General funeral director interview questions
Potential employers usually ask general funeral director interview questions at the beginning of the interview. The primary goal of these questions is to discover your personality and gauge how you would complete your duties in line with the objectives of the funeral home. Here are some general questions that can arise when interviewing for a funeral director position:
Describe who you are in a few words.
Why did you quit your last job?
Tell us something that's not on your resume.
What would we gain from hiring you?
What are your strongest and weakest points?
Why do you consider yourself different from others?
How do you cope with stress at work?
What are your most noteworthy achievements?
How did you discover this vacancy?
How did you develop your interest in funeral services?
Experience and background interview questions for funeral directors
Once they're done with general questions, interviewers typically shift their focus to asking questions that relate to your educational achievements and experience in funeral services. They may ask you these questions to learn your qualifications and assess how your preceding roles developed your abilities and competencies as a funeral director. Here are some background and work experience questions a potential employer may ask you during an interview for the role:
Have you ever organized a memorial service?
Do you feel comfortable working with cadavers?
Tell us about a time when you exercised patience.
What is the most challenging part of funeral directing?
What are the basic costs involved in the funeral process?
Have you ever assisted a family in making an important financial choice concerning the deceased?
Tell us about an instance when you had difficulties keeping calm.
Do you hold any professional certifications? Briefly describe them.
Have you ever surpassed expectations when consoling a client? How did it go?
Which school did you attend, and what qualifications did you earn?
Tell us about a fulfilling teamwork experience you had at work.
Have you ever had to make a quick decision? What was the result?
In-depth interview questions for funeral directors
Employers may ask you in-depth questions during an interview to determine your proficiency, practical knowledge, and funeral directing skills. These queries delve deeper into your practice and your suitability to fill the vacancy of a funeral director position. Here are some questions a prospective employer may ask you to get a more thorough understanding of you:
What does the term “self-correction” mean in funeral services?
Explain the functions of a funeral director.
How do you resolve issues with a client?
How do you ensure the departed look natural?
What is the most crucial part of getting a body ready for burial?
What is embalming in funeral services?
Describe the three types of cremation.
How do you develop a good connection with a new client?
Discuss empathy and why it's vital in the industry.
What does customer satisfaction mean in this industry?
What are the vital elements for developing a relationship with your clients?
How do you plan your day as a funeral director?
Which grief counselling approaches help to bridge common cultural gaps?
How do you support a distressed client?
Interview questions and sample answers for a funeral director
Here are some example answers to questions you may hear in a job interview for a funeral director role:
1. What qualifies you for this role?
Potential employers may ask this to evaluate your confidence and to learn more about your education and experience. This may also help employers assess your enthusiasm for the funeral directing job. Consider mentioning the expertise and abilities you have gained in the profession and how you can apply them in the role.
Example: "I've gained a considerable amount of experience empathizing with individuals or families who have lost their loved ones, and I believe I can identify with others going through a similar situation. I also have a bachelor of science with a major in biology and a minor in chemistry, which prepared me for the practical aspects of this role."
2. What distinguishes you from other funeral directors?
An interviewer may ask you this question to learn about your unique abilities and competencies. They seek to understand what makes you better than others seeking the role. Consider describing a unique ability that you have that the other job seekers may lack and highlighting relevant certifications you've earned.
Example: "I am passionate about assisting people during their time of grief. I make sure to listen to every family's needs and worries. This enables me to develop impactful services for everyone. In my last job, I assisted a family who had travelled abroad to organize a funeral service for their loved one. I communicated with them via phone and e-mail and informed them of all the information regarding the funeral service."
3. Are you fluent with any software programs for managing funeral services?
There are many programs that funeral directors can use to manage funeral preparations, including scheduling and accounting programs. Employers usually ask this to establish if you have practical knowledge of using similar software in your preceding job. It helps to clarify which specific applications you've used and how the software helped you complete your duties effectively.
Example: "In my previous job as a funeral director, I used several programs and applications to handle funeral plans. The software enabled me to create databases that monitored payments and operating costs. For instance, my team and I created a spreadsheet for the needs of every family member and then sent the plans to them through e-mail to see if they agreed with the funeral plans before proceeding. This helped us manage our clients more easily and ensure their satisfaction."
4. What do you believe is the most crucial element of the grieving process?
One of your responsibilities as a funeral director is to help families during their grieving process, so it's important you can show compassion and empathy to help families handle the loss of their loved ones. When responding to this question, show the interviewer that you know how it feels to lose a loved one. Describe how your practical knowledge has enabled you to develop empathy for people in similar circumstances.
Example: “I think the most significant component of the grieving process is accepting the loss. Accepting that our loved ones can never come back may not be easy, and the process can take a long time. I've worked with families who have difficulties managing the loss because they don't want to accept the death of their loved ones. When I encounter this, I remind the families that accepting the loss can help them move forward.”
5. What kinds of funerals have you directed, and which type did you prefer?
Prospective employers typically ask this question if they wish to learn more about your knowledge and experience in the industry. This question also helps the interviewer understand your preferences concerning funeral services. When answering this question, it's important to show that you love your work and you're passionate about helping people during their most difficult moments.
Example: "I've handled cremation and traditional ceremonies for people of various cultures and backgrounds. I think they're both very satisfying, as I love being able to assist people during such difficult moments. The services that I have enjoyed the most are ones that involved a celebration of the life of the departed person. My mission with each funeral service is for the family to feel we've honoured their loved one."
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