15 Engineering Interview Questions You Need to Ask to Find the Right Candidate
When it comes to the hiring process, the interviewer can be just as anxious as the one looking to be hired. Especially for highly technical positions in the company, like engineers, there is added pressure to ask the right engineering interview questions to reveal if the applicant’s capabilities are suited to the role they wish to fill.
It is not always possible that a skilled engineer in the company will be there to do the interview, that is why the company depends on recruitment staff to do this particular work. However, you don’t have to worry. Even if you are not an engineer yourself, you can still come up with a list of challenging, varied, and appropriate questions for the engineering role.
Here are various types of engineering interview questions that you can include in your list to help your company narrow down your search for the best engineers to have in your workforce. Though there are still efforts needed on your behalf to create questions that strike a balance between your company’s values and the technical side of the role, the inputs below will help you have your own direction going into the interview.
Engineering-specific questions should be the main focus of the interview.
Engineering has six major branches: Mechanical, Electrical, Management, Civil, Chemical, and Geotechnical. Under these branches is a plethora of engineering specializations, each unique from the other. It’s imperative that you ask questions that allude to the branch of engineering your company identifies best with.
For these questions, approach your institution’s current engineers or the future manager of your potential hires. When listening to your interviewee’s answers, be keen to take notes so you can ask advice again if the responses you garnered are fit for the job.
Some rather technical questions are as follows:
- What computer-assisted design applications are you most familiar with?
- What recent innovations in engineering will best help you with your work?
- How would you explain the following engineering terminologies to a non-engineer? (Get sample words from your current company engineers.)
Confirmation questions allow interviewees to speak beyond their resumes.
Whether it’s a past employment endeavor or a certification, it helps to get to know more about the candidate’s achievements candidly. These engineering interview questions confirm that what they wrote on their applications aren’t lies or means to pad their credentials. Before the interview, review the potential hire’s resume and highlight accolades you’d wish to know more about. You might also want to ask the applicant’s future boss if there’s anything in the submitted CV that needs further explanation.
You may coin your questions using these examples:
- Can you tell us more about how you were able to achieve the (specific certification)?
- What are your takeaways from your education from (name of school)?
- May we know why you left (former employer)?
Behavioral questions are a peek at how the applicant will be as a co-worker.
You may be looking for the smartest candidates, but emotional intelligence has found a particular place in the workroom. With the current era’s emphasis on mental health and camaraderie in the workplace, questions pertaining to stress, coping mechanisms, and people dynamics should still be asked, even if others find them difficult to answer.
Consider the following questions:
- How do you handle job-related stress?
- Give us a time when you did not see eye-to-eye with a coworker, and how did you handle it?
- Would you rather be the one who gives or receives feedback? Why?
Competency questions test an applicant’s professionalism.
There are key characteristics that may put applicants a cut above the rest even if others have a longer engineering experience or have higher qualifications. Potential leadership, confidence, flexibility, the list goes on—these values may sway an employer to hire a candidate because they will surely carry the role with grace and dignity. It’s also the competent employees who achieve longevity with the company and become true role models for others.
Watch out for the best of the best by using questions like these:
- Tell us about a time when you had to go beyond your current role.
- Do you see yourself in a leadership position in the future? Why or why not?
- What methods do you employ to make sure you meet deadlines and make good use of office time?
Ice-breaker engineering interview questions help applicants show their more fun side.
While these are not exactly engineering interview questions, they have a particular contribution to the interview. They promote a more relaxed environment, but still test the applicant’s creativity and spontaneity, two things that are needed in any type of job. It also helps to see the not-so-serious side of the applicant; you wouldn’t want to be coworkers with someone with no sense of whimsy. Don’t go too crazy, though. The bottom line is that it’s still a job interview, not a casual conversation.
These are some examples of not-so-serious questions:
- What’s your idea of a night-out after office hours?
- If we look at your office table, what is that one thing that will help us know that it’s your table?
- When we tell you that you have been accepted as our new engineer, what’s the first thing you’ll do?
FOR MORE HELP WITH GETTING THE RIGHT ENGINEERS, TALK TO AGILE WPS.
Beyond asking the right engineering interview questions, your company may also appreciate additional assistance with gathering the best professionals for your workforce, whether in a permanent or temporary capacity.
Agile Workplace Staffing, or Agile WPS, can work together with your institution’s human resources department to develop employee acquisition solutions that focus on every aspect of the talent life cycle. Through Agile WPS, you can shift your company’s focus on existing goals while management and training of new hires commence at a steady rate.
Agile WPS has serviced many companies in the engineering, life sciences, and manufacturing industries. Through tried and tested services, assure to reap benefits such as reduced costs, market visibility, and confidence in meeting compliance standards. Start a conversation with Agile WPS today.