Have you just been contacted by a recruiter for a job interview? Congratulations! The next step is to prepare. As an engineer, you will have important responsibilities within the company and the recruiter will want to be sure they choose the best person for the position.
Fed Engineering, an engineering recruitment agency, presents typical engineering interview questions to help you get ready.
Interview questions for an engineer in any industry/sector
When applying for an engineering job, interview questions can vary according to company, position and level of experience required.
Can you tell us about your education and work experience as an engineer?
This classic question is an opportunity to show the theoretical knowledge you have acquired during your years of study, and explain how it has served you in your professional experiences.
What is your approach to solving complex problems?
This is the moment to describe your methodology and demonstrate your analytical and problem-solving skills. Do you involve the entire team? Are you capable of acting independently? Is your thought process structured and organized?
Show that you are willing to have constructive dialogues and give clear explanations: solving a complex problem often involves others, and you should be able to explain your thinking process, how you reach conclusions and make decisions, and how you approach difficulties. Concrete examples are always welcome.
Tell us about a project you worked on and your role in the project
If possible, describe a project that involved tasks and skills that are relevant to the job you are currently applying for.
Be succinct but include important details: briefly summarize the project, highlight the challenges it posed, then explain how they were resolved. Your role is the most important part of your story, but the recruiter will also be noting whether you are able to analyze and take a critical distance from the project.
Can you give us an example of a time when you had to make a difficult decision as an engineer and how you handled that situation?
This question helps the recruiter learn how you handle pressure. Crisis management is an integral part of an engineer's life, and you will need to be fully responsible for your reactions.
Give a concrete example of what you did to manage a situation. You may want to structure your answer using the STAR method (Situation, Task, Action, Result).
Above all, focus on results: explain the consequences of your actions. Note the benefits you obtained for the company, its customers or its users, and any lessons you learned from this experience.
Why did you choose a career in engineering?
This question allows the recruiter to identify your motivations and goals. It takes a determined individual to take the plunge into an engineering career - don't underestimate your own ambition. But your enthusiasm, if it is genuine, can make the difference between hiring you and another engineer. Loving your job contributes to better performance, so think beforehand about why you chose engineering and what you like about your job. Be positive and try to think how your engineering career could progress with the target company.
Mechanical engineer interview questions
Other, more specific issues could also be addressed in the interview, depending on the sector you intend to work in.
A mechanical engineer who is applying for a mechanical engineering job in the manufacturing industry will need to show that they have a good grasp of all issues surrounding the technical requirements of a given project, including design specifications, standards and codes. If you will need to surround yourself with experts, mention them as well.
- How do you manage the technical, environmental, and regulatory aspects of planning and designing civil engineering projects?
- How do you work with other team members such as architects, contractors, and construction inspectors?
- Can you give us an example of a civil engineering project you have managed from conception to completion, and how you handled any contingencies?
Industrial engineer interview questions
In an industrial engineering job interview, the focus should be less on describing your technical knowledge, and more on showing that you understand the issues and problems of the specific company. It is important to learn everything you can about the target company well in advance of the interview.
Safety in the workplace is an important element; take the opportunity to show that you are aware of this when answering a related question. Also, think of concrete areas for improvement to show that you can be an agent of change.
- How do you manage project budgets and production schedules?
- How do you measure plant performance and how can you identify opportunities for improvement?
- How do you assess risks in a plant and how can you reduce those risks?
Biomedical engineer interview questions
A job in the biomedical sector will include questions focused on compliance with hygiene standards. A biomedical engineer will need to demonstrate thoroughness and respect for the codes in place within this industry.
Recruiters may also ask about medical device regulations and the ability to work in a multidisciplinary environment involving healthcare professionals, scientists and production teams.
Biomedical engineers can expect the following types of interview questions:
- Can you tell us about your communication and presentation skills, especially when presenting projects or results to non-specialists?
- How do you work with healthcare professionals and scientists to develop medical devices that meet both doctor and patient needs?
- How do you deal with project management, planning and timelines in a complex, multidisciplinary environment?
- How do you manage the regulatory and safety requirements of designing and developing medical devices?
Find your future engineering job with Fed Engineering
Engineers are valued for their critical thinking skills, so offer your opinion when asked, and remember that you don’t have to agree with the recruiter.
Finally, when you don't know something, say so! Never invent an answer. Instead, show humility and express how you would like to make up for your lack of knowledge. Ignorance is not an issue, but how you react to your own limitations can reveal a lot in an interview.
Fed Engineering can help you find a job in a variety of industrial sectors. If you're looking for an engineering or technical job, we're the recruiting agency for you. 😊