engineer is working in a car, doing some testing on the engine. We can see that the car is in production mode, not ready yet, and the engineer has a latop with a test runnign on his lap.A typical interview process for this position consists in three stages – the personal questions (interviewers inquire about your education, motivation, goals), the behavioral questions (inquiring about your attitude to stress, deadlines, bosses, conflicts), and technical questions (related to the technical aspect of the job, and your real knowledge of mechanical engineering.

Luckily for you, we experience deficit of mechanical engineers in most countries, and companies basically fight for job candidates. In many cases you will be the only one in an interview, or you will compete with one or two other people for the job (which is nothing compared to managerial positions or banking jobs, when one competes against dozens of job seekers).

Still, even if alone, you will have to convince us of your readiness for the job, right attitude to work, and knowledge of mechanical engineering. Let’s have a look at the questions.

1. Personal questions

  • Panel interview illustration. Man sits in front of three interviewers who seem to be in an excellent mood.Can you tell me something about yourself? (Speak about your experience, background, education and love for mechanical engineering.)
  • Why do you want to become a mechanical engineer? (Focus on your motivation, passion for this job, and also confidence in your designing skills.)
  • What are your career goals? (You should simply say that you would like to work as a mechanical engineer and develop your experience in the field, specializing in some area of engineering.)

 

2. Behavioral questions

  • An older engineer works on the computer. We can see some papers and a mobile phone on his table. What do you consider your biggest achievement? (Speak about something unique, not something everyone did. Try to talk about designing a machine.)
  • Describe a situation when you failed to accomplish a task in your job, or a goal. (Be honest, show them that you are not perfect, that you still need, and want to learn new things.)
  • Tell me about a situation when you used your mechanical engineering skills outside of work.
  • Describe a situation when you were under pressure in work. (Pick a situation when the pressure did not affect you negatively in your job.)
  • Describe a conflict you had with your boss, or with one of your colleagues.
  • Describe a time you struggled to explain a technical issue to someone without technical background.

 

3. Technical questions

Mechanical engineering is a technical field, and they will ask you at least some technical questions. Their difficulty will depend on the person who leads an interview with you, and their own knowledge of mechanical engineering.

  • What are the different types of fits we use in the United States?
  • What computer programs do you use in your work?
  • What materials would you recommend for shafts manufacturing?
  • Can you describe different types of springs and tell us when we use each type?
  • What is an advantage of hydraulic brake when compared to mechanical break and electric brake?
  • What type of bearings do you prefer and why?
  • Can you explain the advantages of Cycloidal and Involute gears?
  • Have you ever worked with a torque?
  • Why we call diesel engine high torque, and petrol engine high speed?
  • Are you able to name the advantages of projectile motion, when compared to rocket motion?
  • Your project is to make a new car. How would you progress from the scratch?

 

Conclusion

Nervous people are waiting for their interview. We can see two women and two men, some of them still preparing for the meeting with the employer.

Technical questions can differ a lot from one interview to another, and they depend on the things they design in the company. Behavioral and personal questions will be similar every time.

You will not face a tough competition in this interview (unless you apply at Google or General Electric), but you will still have to show them the value you can bring to their company, and demonstrate your engineering skills.

Continue your preparation with Interview Penguin: