Top 20 Commercial Fisherman Interview Questions & Answers 2024

Editorial Team

Commercial Fisherman Interview Questions & Answers

Commercial fishermen fishes for different types of marine life for either human or animal consumption. This article will look at some of the questions you should expect when interviewing for a commercial fisherman interview. Take a look at the following:

1.    Why are You Interested in this Position?

The interviewer wants to know what interests you in commercial fishing. Take some time and think of an answer that will portray genuine interest in the position you are interviewing for.

Sample Answer

I grew up around the ocean and therefore got lots of exposure to marine life. I can identify different fish species and easily trap them. I will therefore have an easy time as a commercial fisherman owing to this prior knowledge. I also grew up in a family of fishermen, which imparted me the proper knowledge for commercial fishing.

2.    What Are the Roles of a Commercial Fisherman?

Do you know what the mandates of a commercial fisherman are? The interviewer wants to see if you understand your job description and will stick to your directives. You can refer to this particular job’s description or mention some of your roles in your former job.

Sample Answer

A commercial fisherman catches fish, prepares them for sale, examines the fish for any damage or defect, and loads the fish to other vessels from the leading boat. The commercial fisherman is also expected to have some knowledge on performing repairs on fishing gear and equipment. It is also worth noting that these professionals trap and catch other forms of marine life apart from fish. They direct the fishing operations and supervise the crew, steer vessels, and conduct navigation, as well as measure fish, to ensure they are of the right size,

3.    What are the Qualities that a Commercial Fisherman Needs to be Successful?

The interviewer wants to know if you understand what you need to succeed as a commercial fisherman. Talk about some of the skills, attributes, and abilities that make you an excellent commercial fisherman.

Sample Answer

A commercial fisherman must be open and curious, given their working environment. They should be imaginative, organized, and able to work under pressure. Also, given that they are mainly involved with marine work, they ought to value variety. Additionally, they should be physically able, given that commercial fishing is a physically demanding job.

4.    Mention the Main Challenges that You Faced in Your Last Role. How Did You Overcome Them?

This question will tell the interviewer whether you are a problem solver or not. Give a good experience highlighting that you can deal with any situation that comes up in this job. Show that you are creative and can come up with solutions.

Sample Answer

I would first like to point out that my last job was my first experience with commercial fishing. I would, therefore, occasionally fall seasick since I wasn’t used to the marine life. I git a few tips on how to deal with the occasional seasickness and even had a doctor on standby to check me whenever I showed any symptoms. I finally got used to it and didn’t show any signs of seasickness again by the third month.

5.    Briefly Describe Your Experience

This is a common question in interviews asking for a recap of some of the jobs and positions you have been lucky to hold in the job you are interviewing for. Just like the question demands, make sure that your answer is brief.

Sample Answer

This is my seventh year as a commercial fisherman. However, I grew up by the lakeside and therefore had the opportunity to practice some fishing, albeit on a small scale basis. I have worked for different establishments and also owned a boat. I know how to identify different species and repair fishing lines and traps, thanks to my experience working in the Marine Fishing Organization. I also have vast experience in examining fish for any defect or problems.

6.    Describe Your Daily Routine

Can you mention a day in the life of a commercial fisherman? The interviewer wants to know just how conversant you are with this role and whether you will do an excellent job if given a chance. Therefore, describe a busy day.

Sample Answer

I usually start my day by navigating towards the first stop, conducting any prep work on the boat, and taking on the fish. I may pressure wash and organize the deck before tying the smaller boats to the tender before beginning the loading process. Other roles include weighing, inspecting the fish for any defects, giving the fishermen the fishing tickets, and moving to the next stop.

7.    Mention Some of the Strategies and Mindset Required for this Job

This is a chance to convince the interviewer that you are good at what you do by mentioning some of the modes of operations or sets of beliefs required for this role. Make sure that whatever you say is role-related.

Sample Answer

The best strategy that any commercial fisherman can use is planning themselves beforehand and inspecting the boat before making a trip. It helps prevent accidents and makes the fishing experience easy and more manageable. As for the right mindset, a commercial fisherman must be positive and determined to make a catch and have successful expeditions.

8.    What is the Main Challenge that You Foresee in this Job?

You should have taken some time to explore different aspects of the job you are interviewing for and identify potential challenges. You can alternatively turn this question around and sell yourself.

Sample Answer

I have gone through your workplace policies, general work environment, and job description, and I am pleased by what I found out. I cannot, therefore, identify a specific challenge at the moment. However, I am confident that I will be better positioned to identify new challenges and work on them once I am on the inside. I will not also shy away from asking for help where necessary.

9.    How Do You Stay Motivated in this Field?

The interviewer wants to know what keeps you going. There are several challenges that commercial fishermen face, which may push you to give up. Therefore, mention some motivating factors that come to mind.

Sample Answer

I grew up in a family of commercial fishermen and therefore started fishing at a young age. I grew passionate about it not because it was our primary source of livelihood but also because I enjoyed doing it. I, therefore, believe that my passion keeps me motivated and willing to give my all at all times. I also have goals and aspirations that the money I make from commercial fishing will help me attain.

10. Mention a Time that You Failed in This Role and the Lesson You Learnt

Interviewers usually ask this question to determine if you can admit your mistakes and learn from them. It shows that you are confident, accountable, and teachable. Give a good experience and prepare for any follow-up questions.

Sample Answer

I once failed to inspect my boat in the morning, as was the routine given that I had done so the night before. It malfunctioned, and I was stuck at sea for roughly six hours. I didn’t make the quota of the catch and underwent intense emotional turmoil till I was rescued by a friendly boat. This experience taught me never to assume anything and the importance of inspection.

11. Mention Some of the Challenges that Commercial Fishermen Undergo

The interviewer wants to know if you understand the dynamics around commercial fishing. Can you tell what these fishermen face? Your answer should show that you are well versed in commercial fisheries and understand everything around them.

Sample Answer

Commercial fishermen face a number of challenges owing to their field of trade. The main one is overfishing and an increase in seaweeds which decreases fish supply. Illegal fishing is also a considerable challenge for commercial fishermen. This trade further causes damage to the ocean floor, which sees fish decrease over time. For some, managing fishing is a huge problem due to the lack of proper equipment.

12. How Do You Normally Identify Different Fish Species?

The interviewer wants to know if you are knowledgeable about the different types of fish and whether you have proper analytical skills and industry experience. Show that you are well versed in all these.

Sample Answer

I come from a long line of commercial fishermen and have therefore interacted with different fish species. All l I need to do is to observe a particular fish keenly and place it in the correct category. There are also certain specific things about different species that I believe can help in identification. Additionally, some species of fish only occupy certain areas, making identification simpler.

13. What Would You Do If You Caught a Crew Member Doing Something Illegal?

The interviewer wants to know if they can trust you. This is a question about integrity that will determine if you deserve the job or not. Mention that you will do the right thing.

Sample Answer

I usually believe that everyone should follow the set code of conduct when at sea. Therefore, if I caught a crew member doing something illegal, such as keeping an unlawful catch, I will talk to them to help prevent whatever they are doing or turn them in if they do not listen. I consider myself an honest and trustworthy person and believe that everyone should be the same.

14. What Type of Fish Would You Release into the Water?

The interviewer is testing your knowledge of fishing laws, experience, and whether you are observant enough. Be as detailed as possible and convince the interviewer that you will abide by the different regulations.

Sample Answer

 I understand that we are forbidden to capture some fish species given their near extinction status, among many other things. Therefore, if I realize that I have caught a nearly extinct fish, I will release it into the water so that it can breed more and save its species. I will also release back the fish if it is not of the right size. All this will be done after a thorough inspection.

15. What Do You Think One Should Consider When Planning for a Fishing Expedition?

The interviewer is testing your industry knowledge, experience, and critical thinking skills. Mention anything necessary for a successful fishing experience and convince the interviewer that you will do an excellent job if given a chance.

Sample Answer

The first thing that one should consider before a fishing expedition is whether the fishing gear and boats are in the proper conditions or not. Going on a fishing expedition with a faulty machine is one of the biggest mistakes that most commercial fishermen make. Other considerations are the presence of a first aid kit, lifesavers, and enough fuel.

16. What Are Some of the Dangers You Have Experienced as a Commercial Fisherman?

The interviewer wants to know your industry knowledge and experience. Whatever answer you give should be from experience.

Sample Answer

Having been in this industry for over eight years, I have been in several dangerous situations. I was once stranded at sea after failing to inspect my boat before beginning my fishing expedition, an experience I rarely want to remember. Other dangers include sea storms, attacks by big marine animals, and poor weather.

17. What is Your Greatest Strength?

This is usually a chance to sell yourself and should be treated as such. Mention an outstanding attribute related to the job description and convince the interviewer that you deserve the job.

Sample Answer

My biggest strength lies in my excellent observation skills. I can identify a species just by glancing at the fish. This has helped me know the right fish to take back into the water and the one to keep. It comes in handy in inspecting the fish for the right size, which is essential for any commercial fisherman. I can also see whether a storm is approaching just by looking at the sea.

18. Can You Swim?

Being a commercial fisherman means that you may be forced to save yourself in times of storms or if your boat capsizes. You need a few relevant skills to be able to do that, or you risk dying. Be honest.

Sample Answer

Yes. I can swim. I learned how to swim at a young age and can confirm that I am good at it. This skill has helped me several times, and especially in instances where my boats capsized. I usually ensure that all my crew members know how to swim to get out of such experiences alive. I am also an excellent swimming instructor.

19. What is Your Greatest Weakness?

The interviewer wants to know your shortcomings. It would be best if you were honest with them. Do not shy away from admitting that you have a weakness out of the belief that you will come out as unqualified.

Sample Answer

I think my greatest weakness is my inability to take a compliment. Whenever somebody says something good about my work or general character, I feel pressured to keep up, something that usually takes a significant toll on me. I may also feel like I have to continue proving myself which generally adds to the pressure. However, I am working on it by being more receptive to compliments and trying as hard as possible not to overthink them. However, this will not be a problem once I get this job as I am learning how to control it each passing day.

20. What is Your Greatest Achievement?

The interviewer wants to know how you define success and whether you will be an achiever if given this role. Remember, your definition of success is essential and may cost you the job. Therefore, be careful.

Sample Answer

As a seasoned commercial fisherman, I have lots of success stories that I am willing to share. I have experienced good and bad times and can confidently say that the good outweighs the bad. However, taking part in the 2014 annual fishermen competition and winning with my crew is my favorite story. The money was channeled to charity, and several orphans got a chance to go to school and wear some new clothes. I have taken part in other charities to raise money for orphanages and animal sanctuaries all over the country, and all I can say is that it feels good to help humanity and animals and take care of the less fortunate.


We have come to the end of our article, covering some of the commonly asked questions in commercial fisherman interviews. I hope that this article has given you the insight you need to succeed in your interview and help you get the job you deserve.

Make sure that you work on your pronunciation and general interviewing skills to succeed in your upcoming interview. We wish you all the best and remember to check out our other interview questions. You can never tell when they will come in handy.