Job Search & Interview Tips, Staffing Services

Top 5 Questions to Ask in an Engineering Interview

By Elle Smith on December 15, 2021

Interviews are an important part of a new hire. It is the first time that you get to defend your accomplishments and explain what your resume means in action. Interviews can be done in various settings and styles, whether that be in a group, with a panel, or one-on-one. Also, with advancements in technology, it may be over the phone, on video chat, or in person. Despite these various ways you get to champion your skills, most do not realize that this is also the opportunity for you to interview the company you are interested in. Though you may want to be the perfect candidate, you also need to make sure it is the perfect company for your passions, skill sets and future development. To help you get a feel for what this company is about, whenever that “do you have any questions” portion sneaks up, take advantage and ask these top 5 questions:

  1. How does this engineering company separate you from other engineering companies?
  2. What software should I be knowledgeable to the standard that I can train others?
  3. How has your role changed with the technology or company transitions?
  4. Why did you come to this company and how did you reach the position you are in now?
  5. What do the daily responsibilities of this engineering position look like?
How does this engineering company separate itself from other engineering companies?

Engineering Company Qualities for InterviewThis question of distinguishing the best qualities of your interviewer’s company versus their biggest competitors, reveals the employee’s dedication. When the interviewer gives reasons for why they think their company is better than others, they are showing the development and priorities that are important enough to highlight. They are going to list the factors they find most relevant, which are typically the aspect they have enjoyed or been working on the most. Lastly, this allows you to have specific points to evaluate as similarities and differences between other companies you are interested in.

What software should I be knowledgeable to the standard that I can train others?

Engineering Training on JobWhen deciding to join a company, and especially in the engineering realm, it is important to be proficient in specific software. This proficiency question is important because they may want a wide understanding of many kinds of software, but only have one or two dedicated enough that you should be able to train others. When asking this question, you are also showing the interviewer that you see proficiency as a minimum and find training and leadership as your developmental stage. You are showing that you are confident in your trained software and can take on leadership to aid other coworkers. Finally, by asking about the software from the interviewer, and not just taking the word of the job description, you are getting clarification to see if the company has transitioned to the newest and to-date software available. This question is important for engineers because software drives a large portion of projects.

How has your role changed with the technology or company transitions?

Engineering Role GrowthAsking about changes within the company, whether it be technological or structural, show that there was a downfault that was corrected. This change means the company owned up to something not going optimal and took the measures to correct it. This question could also steer towards how the company promotes individual employees. It is important for employees to get promoted so that they are able to feel valued and work towards specific goals. When joining a company you want to know that hard work is recognized. Furthermore, this question may also outline specific job qualities favored for development.

Why did you come to this company and how did you reach the position you are in now?

Engineering Employee GoalsSimilar to the prior question in how their position has transitioned, it is furthering this question to see how they have navigated their goals into the workplace. This question is essentially asking, what were their main focuses that they wanted to develop, and how did they feel the company atmosphere allowed them to do so? This could be the reasoning for why they specifically chose this company over others and may provide aspects to persuade you to pick the company as well. Most importantly, this question forces the interviewer to think from the interviewee’s perspective of how they first saw the values of the company and how the company was able to compliment them.

What do the daily responsibilities of this engineering position look like?

Enginering Job ResponsibilitiesUltimately, this question brings the conversation back to the structural portion of the job by transitioning from the opinion of the employees to the factual basis of the schedule. It shows to what degree the company is organized and what flexibility there is for your position. A work schedule may show how specialized or team-based the initiatives are depending on the meeting times and locations. Overall, asking about the schedule may be a rough draft of how the first weeks play out until the integration of new hires sets in, but this can set expectations for the mindset and abilities to have before entering the office on your first day.

>> Have an online interview? Read "5 Ways to Prepare for an Online Interview"

>> Is your next step an in-person interview? Read "What Not to Wear...to an Interview"

If you're an engineer looking for a new career, contact our recruiters at TriMech Services. They can provide further guidance and expertise on conducting phone interviews with potential employers and may even have a position that is a great fit for you!

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