The interview process for engineers can be tough, but if you have familiarized yourself with the commonly asked interview questions, you will find it easy and your chances of being hired will be greater.
This post provides a huge list of commonly asked engineer interview questions (with answers) to enhance your preparation for the interview, including practising your responses to questions and building your confidence for the actual interview.
Please, read on:
What do Interviewers look for in an Engineer?
Interviewers want to assess an engineer’s skills and qualifications before they hire them.
The two most important things that interviewers will be looking for in an engineer they want to hire are:
- Evidence of research and design activities related to the position.
- Indications of your leadership and managerial abilities.
10 Most Common Interview Questions for Engineers and Answers
Here are some of the most common questions you might face in an interview for an engineering position, with suggested answers:
- What are the top 3 skills an engineer should have?
The top 3 skills an engineer should have are:
- Communication skills – the ability to communicate ideas, designs, plans etc. to clients and colleagues in a clear and convincing way.
- Problem- solving skills – the ability to identify what the problem is and come up with solutions
- Technical skills – specific knowledge and experience of designing and constructing things.
2. How does a typical engineer spend their day?
A typical engineer spends their day designing and creating things; researching, testing, and improving new designs; collaborating with other people to complete a job.
3. If you had to be an animal, which one would you like to be?
If I had to be an animal then it would either be a dog or a horse because they are both man’s best friend.
4. Where do engineers work?
Engineers typically work in the following places: in design and manufacturing companies; universities; research laboratories; other companies and businesses.
5. How would you go about designing a doghouse?
I would first think of the features the dog needs in its doghouse, for example it needs to be waterproof, warm, big enough for the dog to fit inside etc.
After that, I would brainstorm some ideas on how to make it; I might sketch out some designs or create computer models that show how it will look.
6. What is the difference between a mechanical engineer and an electrical engineer?
A mechanical engineer is concerned with the design of machines, while an electrical engineer is concerned with the generation and distribution of electricity.
Also, mechanical engineers generally work on macroscopic objects, while electrical engineers work with electricity, where it is invisible.
7. How would you describe your design process?
I would describe my design process as first analyzing the problem to see if there are other ways to solve it, then brainstorming some ideas on how to solve it.
Next I’d decide which idea will be the most efficient, simple, and effective.
After that I would do some basic sketching of the design, to see if it looks right, and then write a list of materials I will need to make it.
Finally, once I have all those things I would start building my design.
8. What is a stress analysis?
Stress analysis is a process that calculates the forces and loads on a structure to see if it will fail.
9. What types of machinery do mechanical engineers work with?
Mechanical engineers generally work with: machines; robotics; vehicles such as cars, planes and ships; engines such as those used in different kinds of machines.
10. How much money does an engineer make?
The average engineer makes between $60,000 and $100,000 per year.
More Sample Interview Questions for Engineers
Here is another list of samples of engineer interview questions to boost your preparation for your next interview:
Sample Behavioral Based Interview Questions for Engineers
- Tell me about a time you set an original goal, and how were you successful?
- What is your process for coming up with creative solutions to a problem?
- How do you know when it’s appropriate to go above and beyond the call of duty?
- Explain the most effective way that you have dealt with conflict in the workplace.
- In what ways can your performance be improved upon?
Sample Case Interview Questions for Engineers
- Imagine you have a client, who just patented an invention, what would you do?
- Give me a sample of a technical problem.
- What is the most important time in your life for studying math and science?
- The tree falls in the forest when no one is there to hear it. Did anything happen?
- List 3 things that make living in Silicon Valley special.
Sample Competency Interview Questions for Engineers
1. What is the best way to create a design to meet an objective?
2. Do you understand how the engineering process works?
3. How would you plan for contingencies?
4. How do you test your design?
5. What are the pros and cons of working at this company?
Sample Problem-solving Interview Questions for Engineers
1. How would you measure how much work an employee is doing?
2. What would be the best way to dispose of oil spills in a busy harbor in order to minimize the economic cost and environmental damage?
3. How many cubes can fit into a rectangular box that has a length of 8cm, width of 12 cm and height of 2cm?
4. Why do engineers need so much math knowledge when they’re not using it for their careers after graduation?
5. How would you design a car blocking system to detect cars in its blind spot?
Sample Situational Interview Questions for Engineers
- What does a typical day in the life of an engineer look like?
- What is your process for solving problems?
- Tell me about a time you had to work with someone who was difficult to get along with.
- Have you ever been in a situation where you weren’t able to get the job done by yourself and how did you handle it?
- How would your previous employer describe your problem solving abilities?
Sample Communication Skills Interview Questions for Engineers
- What is the difference between engineering management and project management?
- Describe a situation where you were able to manage stress.
- How well do you deal with conflict in the workplace?
- Share an example of how you have made service improvements to benefit your customers.
- Prioritize 3 different ways that engineers save time, money, or resources.
Sample Interpersonal Skills Interview Questions for Engineers
- What is your management style?
- Can you give an example of a time when you’ve successfully negotiated another person’s interests with yours?
- Do you have experience with brainstorming sessions or generating new ideas in groups?
- How would you assign tasks to team members if there were no predetermined rules for doing so?
- What are some examples of how risk has made the most significant contribution to your career accomplishments, please be specific.
Sample Company Culture Interview Questions for Engineers
- What are you looking for in your next employer?
- What do you like about the company culture here?
- When did you become interested in engineering?
- Who would be your role model and why?
- Why have you chosen to pursue a career in engineering, what other professions were considered?
Sample Technical Questions for Engineers
- What are the advantages of design in BIM?
- How to work with ARCHICAD in Autodesk 360 platform?
- What is difference between Revit and Autocad?
- How to do Rendering 3D scene in autodesk 360 platform?
- Does the RTC function work on Windows 10, if yes how do you use it?
Engineer Interview Success Tips
In order to increase your chances of success when interviewing for an engineering position here are some tips that can help:
1. Understand the company and position you are interviewing for.
2. Practice with common engineer interview questions like the one on this page.
3. Do your research, know the company and their goals.
4. Present yourself professionally while still being personable.
5. Think about how you would handle difficult situations.
6. Communicate with enthusiasm and passion for engineering and the position.
To be successful in an interview for an engineering job, you need to be able to answer questions convincingly about the work that you specialize in.
This post has provided some of the most common questions asked in an engineer job interview to help you to effectively prepare for your upcoming interview.