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40 Questions for an Interview in Engineering (Plus Sample Answers)

40 Questions for an Interview in Engineering (Plus Sample Answers)

Before you go to an interview for an engineering job, it might help to know what kinds of questions the hiring manager might ask. You’ll feel better about yourself and have a better chance of getting the job if you’re ready before you go. Before the interview, it’s a good idea to learn as much as you can about the company and to bring your resume and notes with you.

In this article, we list some of the most common interview questions for engineering jobs, along with some examples of how to answer them.

How to answer interview questions with the STAR method

The STAR technique is a great way to prepare for an interview and practice your answers. The STAR method helps you answer questions about behavior in a clear way by drawing on your own experiences. STAR stands for:

  • Tell me about the problem that you had to solve.
  • Describe what you are doing.
  • Action: Explain what you did to solve the problem.
  • Explain what happened because of what you did.

General questions

How you answer general questions is the first thing an employer will notice about you. This is your chance to talk about the best things you’ve done and skills you’ve learned. This will help the interviewer figure out if you are interested in the job and if you are a good fit for it.

  • What makes you unique?
  • Can you do more than one thing at a time? Can you give me some examples?
  • How do your friends describe you?
  • How do you plan your day most of the time?
  • What do you think are your best qualities? What are your flaws, in your opinion?
  • How do you handle it when you’re wrong?
  • How do you feel about helpful criticism?
  • Would you change anything if you could go back in time five years?
  • If I hire you, what will you do first for the company?
  • Have you ever been fired? What went wrong, if anything?
  • When you’re not working, what do you like to do?

Questions about your work as an engineer and your background

When you answer questions about your background and experience, the interviewer can get a sense of how qualified you are for the job you want. During this time, you can see if the company’s values are the same as yours.

  • Where did you go to school? How many years did you go to school?
  • What do you like most about engineering as a field?
  • What do you like least about engineering?
  • What do you think makes a good engineer?
  • Why did you really want this job? What do you like about how our company works?
  • When a project isn’t going well, how do you get a group of engineers to keep working on it?
  • As an engineer, what is the hardest thing you’ve ever had to do?
  • Do you have any kind of security clearance that lets you work on top-secret projects?
  • Have you ever found a way for a business to save money? How did you save it, and how much did it add up to?
  • What is the most important engineering thing you’ve done well?
  • Do you lose your temper at work sometimes? If so, how do you get better?

In-depth questions

You should talk about how you work, how you solve problems, and what your goals are when you answer detailed questions.

  • What makes a team work well, in your opinion?
  • Tell me how you go about making plans for a project.
  • What do you do when you work on a project and something unexpected comes up?
  • What will be the hardest part of this job for you?
  • In the last year, have you learned anything new about engineering?
  • Who did you ask for help when you couldn’t solve a problem on your own? Why did you go to that person so often?
  • What would you rather do than work as an engineer?
  • Tell me about a time you had to work on a project where there were different professional goals. What gave you the idea?
  • Tell me about a long-term project you did with someone who wasn’t in the engineering department.
  • Tell me about the hardest technical report or presentation you’ve ever had to write or give.
  • How do you make sure you don’t make mistakes?
  • Have you ever had something patented? If so, tell me about them. If you haven’t, do you think that’s something you’d like to do? What’s going on?

Sample interview questions and how to answer them

Here are some common interview questions for engineers, along with tips on how to answer them. For each question, there is also a detailed example answer that you can use and change to fit your own needs. Your answers to these questions should show that you know about the job and can clearly and logically explain things.

What was the hardest project you’ve ever worked on, and how did you get through it?

Engineers often work on hard projects that take a long time and need a lot of resources, teams, and deadlines. How you answer this question can show that you are good at using your time and can do more than one thing at once. Make sure you explain in detail how you solved problems and how you used your skills to get through hard times in real life. You can also offer to talk about how you solved hard engineering problems in the past.

“I once worked on an engineering project that required me to make predictions about mountains and the roads near them. I changed the data I was used to working with to include any climate or environmental changes, because the risk factors changed depending on the wildlife, the weather, and the people who lived there. At first, I thought the project would be hard, but with these changes, I was able to finish it.

How do you explain engineering ideas to people who don’t know much about the subject during a presentation or a meeting?

An engineer might work on projects with a lot of different people, so it’s important to show your interviewer that you’re comfortable talking about hard engineering topics with people of all skill levels. Your answer should show that you know a lot about how engineering works.

“I try to give engineering examples that are easy to understand and that a person might be able to relate to in some way.” For example, if I’m talking to a group of people who work in construction, I might compare what I’m saying to how roads are made. When I compare engineering ideas to real-life situations, my audience always understands them better.”

 What kind of engineering work do you like doing the most?

Be sure to show how passionate you are about your area of expertise or favorite work when you answer this question. If you get the job, the company will probably use your answers to this question to put you on the best team for you. Your answer should say why you like that kind of engineering and give examples of projects you’ve worked on in the past.

“My favorite projects are ones that help wild animals or get sick animals better. I helped make plans for a new hospital for exotic animals, and it made me so happy to do something that would help those animals so much.

 How do you keep track of time and make sure you don’t get behind? Since you started your career, have you gotten better at this?

How you answer this question should show the interviewer that you know how to run projects. This is your chance to talk about how well you use your time and how you keep getting better at it. Your answer should also show how well you can work on challenging projects.

“Before I start any work, I take some time to figure out which tasks need to be done right away and put them in order of how important they are. Then I make a list and start with the tasks that are most important. This process has kept me on time and is teaching me how to manage my time better.”

 How do you find out about the newest engineering technology and developments?

Many engineering fields are always changing and getting better because of new tools and software. By answering this question, you show the interviewer if you keep up with new technology and how you work to improve your skills. Your answer should show how willing you are to learn new engineering ideas and technologies and how well you can adapt to new ways of doing things.

Example: “I get a few well-known engineering magazines and hang out in a few engineering chat rooms on Slack. I learn a lot by keeping up with my peers outside of work and by reading blogs and articles about the latest research.

What kinds of safety measures do you use when you check your engineering work for mistakes? Are the steps meant to make sure you don’t miss any mistakes?

This question gives you a chance to show how serious you are about safety at work and how you would try to avoid problems. A good answer will show that you know the safety standards for your field of engineering and want to keep projects safe.

Example: “My engineering solution has features that check for mistakes or errors all the time, and I always check measurements or math three times. Even if I’m in a hurry to meet a deadline, I have a fellow engineer check my work before I mark it as done. By doing these things, you can easily make sure nothing goes wrong.”

Companies have different rules and values, and an interview is a good way to learn about them. From the questions asked during the interview, you should be able to tell if that company is a good fit for you. After answering the interviewer’s questions, you should ask some of your own before accepting the job.

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