Welding is an activity that involves the careful process of fabrication that leads to the joining of materials such as metals and thermoplastics. This procedure is typically conducted using extreme heat, which consequently melts these different parts together. Afterward, these pieces of fabrics or thermoplastics are allowed to cool, initiating the fusion process. In this day and age, welding is a much-needed service by diverse sectors. Therefore, this rapidly growing industry is constantly looking for skilled welders wishing to carve their careers along this path. Here are the most asked 10 Welding Interview Questions.
A welder will encounter the most common question during an interview is, “why did you decide to get into welding.” As straightforward as this question sounds, the key to answering it lies in the interviewee sharing the inspiration around their origin story, who inspired them, when and where did they begin their craft, and so far, which areas they are vastly skilled in. At this point, the interviewer wants to gauge how passionate you are about this field and whether this passion can help them increase their company’s productivity.
The Welding Industry
A particular thought comes to one’s mind when people hear the term “welder.” Many times individuals immediately think of ancient blacksmiths who were responsible for creating tools used in war. This process also included the melting and fusing of metals. Well, the welding industry has been revolutionized with time.
A welder is a jack of many trades only in this metaphor; these individuals are not confined to a single economic sector. Welders can work in diverse industries, construction sites, and manufacturing establishments. They can also decide to indulge in repairing structures situated underwater like oil rig foundations and ship hulls. Their broad skill palette allows them to work globally as their skills are high in demand worldwide.
According to Fortune Business Insights, the total market size of the welding sector worldwide was reported to be $19.53 billion in 2019. This number is projected to surge to $27.22 in 2027. This industry has grown considerably over the years as its applications continue to widen. Additionally, technological advances made in this sector have contributed to its significant evolution. Various welding tools have been created, and alongside these tools are robots which have incredibly eased the welding process. However, there has been an ongoing shortage of welders worldwide. Last year, the American Welding Society compiled a report that revealed a lack of 291000 welders in the global industry. This calls on welders all over the world to apply themselves in this sector.
What to do before and during an interview
You have probably been given a plethora of advice from different individuals on how to ace an interview. However, there are standard pointers that always seem to be repeated by everyone. The first one is the requirement for you to do background research. This is a vital step for an interview. You cannot walk into an interview room with a “winning attitude.” Knowing the organization in and out will go a long way in impressing your interviewers. Having responses that tailor to the objective of the company increases one’s chances of landing a job.
After doing a deep dive into the organization you are applying for an interview in, make sure you practice answering potential questions in front of a mirror or an audience of friends/relatives. This will boost your confidence and help you familiarize yourself with the interview process. It is also essential that you review your resume. Finally, make sure that when they ask you questions about your work/school history, you can comfortably answer them.
Another classic piece of advice one is given before an interview is showcasing politeness to everyone in the establishment, from the CEO to the janitor. Doing this shows that you have humility and that you will not disrupt the work environment. Upon meeting your interviewer, be mindful of your body language. You want to appear confident, not arrogant. To do this, ensure that you sit up straight during the interview and casually lean in from time to time to depict interest. Also, maintain eye contact, an action that will give you an air of honesty. However, it is advised that you avoid locking a stare since it may come off as aggressive. Lastly, nod in agreement when they utter something of importance. Do not do this excessively, as this will paint a picture that you no longer care about what they say.
Apart from watching your body language, make sure you evaluate what you say. Always maintain professionalism even when the situation calls for casual talk. Do not overshare and when asked about your former bosses, talk about how great they were. Never describe your former employers in a bad light. An important area that hiring managers never seem to miss is asking the interviewee if they have any questions about the position.
Always ensure that the responses you give cannot be found on the organization’s website. Instead, focus on questions that show how much you want to excel in that particular position. This can include challenges of the job and how the company measures the performance of its employees.
After the interview, you can choose to send an email of appreciation to your recruiter. This is not a necessity, and you can certainly land a job without one, but it shows how polite and dedicated you are. Further, this follow-up email keeps you in their minds.
Ten welding interview questions
Here are some of the questions a welder can be asked during an interview alongside sample responses.
- Tell us about your education history.
Here, the key is to remain relevant. They want to know what qualifications you bring to the table. While answering, ensure that you show your hiring manager that you are knowledgeable in this field.
I attended the Apex Technical School in Queens, New York. While studying my course in Combination Welding Technology, I learned how to apply my theoretical knowledge practically. At the end of the training, I could weld thin metal through thick metals and exotic metals. Additionally, I could practice pipe and tube welding. Through this course, I was able to master blueprint reading and manual and automatic techniques used during cutting processes. During my tenure there, I was lucky enough to obtain an internship at Stainless Steel Welding Services, where I could apply my knowledge in powder coating, graining, and deburring.
- Do you have any welding certifications?
Last year, I enrolled in a certification program to augment my skills. Now I am currently garnering the know-how to become a welding radiographic interpreter. This will help me learn how to correctly identify film exposure, characterize indicators, and select quality image indicators correctly. So far, I can use the codes AWS, API, and ASME to determine acceptance criteria while conducting various projects.
- What types of welding do you know?
This is a common question, and the key to answering it effectively is by doing background research on the company. This way, you know what they produce and the welding methods they use during the production process. From here, you can go into details about techniques that you see the organization operates and explain how you have used these techniques to create or even repair materials. Your response will help build your credibility.
I am pretty familiar with Gas Metal Arc Welding or, as it is popularly known, MIG. I have interacted with this technique in the past while I was helping my uncle build his house. We welded materials using an electrode. We used the shielding gas that shoots from welding equipment to protect ourselves from contamination during the process. Apart from this method of welding, I know the Stick-Shielded Metal Arc Welding. I have used this technique to repair pipelines. Here, the electrode use must be expendable and protected. This electrode or stick will enable you to soften and fuse metals through heating. This occurs between a covered metal stick and the base metal.
- Do you use safety equipment while welding, and if so, which ones?
Show the interviewer that you value safety, yours, and that of your fellow workers.
Yes, I do. I always ensure that my priority in any field that I am working in is the safety of my colleagues and myself. To do this, I always wear a helmet, respirator, gloves, and boots. In addition, to further protect me, I wear fireproof clothing.
- How do you ensure that you are focused on the job at all times?
Welding is a physically and mentally demanding job. Therefore, an individual needs to stay healthy to be focused during their work assignments. Here, list activities you do to keep fit and sharpen your mind.
I stay focused at work by maintaining both my mental and physical health. I do this by eating a balanced diet, jogging every morning from 5:00 am to 6:00 am, swimming twice a week, playing chess with family members on Sundays, and taking hiking trips twice a month.
- How do you feel about working overtime?
If your interviewer asks this question, chances are, you will be working overtime. This is because you want to show that you can work long hours and that the quality of your work will not deteriorate on such occasions.
I used to work overtime in my previous job, meaning that I worked long shifts without my focus wavering. I am aware that this is not a common occurrence here as I read the job description thoroughly, and there were no mentions of long shifts. However, I am flexible to work on long dresses when called upon.
- How much salary do you want us to pay you?
This is a common question for an interview. You will come across it, and therefore you have to be ready. Before attending the interview, do extensive research on how much an average welder earns in the U.S. annually. Also, look up the salary ranges the company has on their websites. Some may have them listed, while others may not.
I would like my salary to start at $50,000 based on the salary ranges you offer.
- What motivates you to perform exceptionally at work?
I believe that the welding industry is the core of manufacturing. We provide people with homes, working cars, feasible pipelines, and effective subaquatic structures. Knowing how much we help build a better community, a better world to live in motivates me to do a great job.
- Have you ever noticed a colleague making a mistake while working? What did you do?
Most times, such questions are meant to show whether you are a team player. Therefore, your response should reflect how good you are at working with other people and whether you can become a team leader one day.
Yes, I have encountered a fellow worker committing an error while carrying out the Stick-Shielded Metal Arc Welding. I politely pointed out the error, which he immediately corrected. I chose to show him his mistake because keeping quiet would reflect poorly on his work and the team. Anyone can make an error on the job. A team member must ensure that the error is corrected.
- What would you do if a project takes longer than you anticipate?
In such a case, I will schedule a meeting with my superior and explain that the project needs more time. I will then explain why it needs more time and how granting me that time can make the product even more satisfying. I would then provide an alternative date and ensure that I deliver the product as promised.
Any interview, no matter the job, requires a candidate to prepare beforehand thoroughly. This way, you will not be a blubbering mess by the time you walk through those interview doors. Welding is a fast-growing industry that needs highly skilled workers. If you believe that this is your passion, apply for a position and begin your dream job. Always remember to be confident, not arrogant. Also, there is nothing wrong with elaborating on your experiences. This is not the same as bragging.
Frequently Asked Question (FAQ)
- How do you respond in an interview when you have not had welding certificates?
I plan to obtain a certificate in Robotic Arc Welding as this is where my primary focus lies. I will do so when I am financially capable, and my circumstances are conducive.