Mechanical Engineering Interview Questions to Ask Candidates

Mechanical Engineering Interview Questions to Ask Candidates

Mechanical Engineering Interview Questions to Ask Candidates: What do you think are the most significant skills for this career?

Mechanical Engineering is a great career path that offers a lot of profitable opportunities. It is probably one of the broadest areas in the engineering field. Mechanical engineers attend to anything movable, from design to the development of machines. They are also involved in manufacturing systems and providing contemplative automation solutions. Having the right and skilled multidisciplinary personnel in any company is a great asset. With the technological age coming, more and more mechanical engineers are being sought after in various countries. While professionals from this field continue to grow, selecting the most competent and highly skilled one is significant for every company.

Mechanical Engineering Interview Questions

To help you with this process, here are some general questions to start-off the interview:

  • Can you tell us something about yourself?

Most interviews start with such questions as to its “prelude.” It is okay to use this opportunity to warm up the candidate and share a little about him or herself.

  • Why did you choose mechanical engineering?

Everyone has their own reason for choosing any career that they have. This question aims to know whether the candidate could be passionate enough about the job or not.

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  • How have your mechanical engineering studies prepared you for work?

This is a test of the candidate’s academic skills and if they are still able to retain the valuable learnings, they have had from their degree.

  • What do you think are the most significant skills for this career?

Being able to enumerate or name a few skills is an indication that the candidate can plot out where to start. If he or she can distinguish which skills need to be applied, it will be just a matter of honing them. 

  • Have you ever designed a machine of your own before?

Practicality wise, a capable mechanical engineer should have tried to design and invent the machine of their own before.

  • What are your opinions about teamwork?
  1. Teamwork in this job should be given significance because it will play a huge role in their careers. Most jobs require teamwork but more so in these jobs. Developing or creating a machine of your own, for example, requires a lot of time and effort. With the help of several other people, a machine could be completed and perfected faster and easier.
  2. To test their skills when it comes to particular mechanical engineering projects, the questions should be categorized. They should be able to showcase their skills fit the company’s needs specifically.  To guide you with the specific interview questions, here are several examples according to the most and least common types of mechanical engineering careers:

5 MOST COMMON MECHANICAL ENGINEER CAREERS

Mechanical Engineering is a field that has a large talent pool to choose from. If you are looking for mechanical engineers for the following high demand jobs, here are few tips and interview questions to help you: 

  1. INSTRUMENTATION ENGINEER – Instrumentation engineers can be a graduate of disciplines such as electrical and mechanical courses. They design, develop, manage, and install machinery and its processes. They are responsible for the arrangement or composition of a particular machine. They play a significant part in ensuring the safety and reliability of a product.

  2. To choose a suitable candidate for an instrumentation engineer job, you must consider if they are knowledgeable in its processes. Don’t just ask the general questions; rather, ask them the more specific ones that relate fully to the job. Here are some questions which you can ask from a mechanical engineer candidate:
  • What are the basic functions of an instrumentation engineer?
  • Are you willing to travel and work on-site when the job requires?
  • How will you ensure the quality of work done within the worksite? What is close and open-loop?
  • Can you explain Bernoulli’s Theorem?
  • Can you tell us something about process control?
  • What are a transmitter and its basic functions?
  • What are the different test inputs?
  • What are the basic steps in designing a controller?
  • Can you define active and passive instruments?

The questions given above should reflect the most basic knowledge and skills that the candidate has concerning an instrumentation engineer career. Mechanical engineers are most likely to answer these basic questions; however, having experience will also help them demonstrate the necessary skills. 

  1. AUTOMATION ENGINEERAutomation in the mechanical engineering field focuses mainly on a particular machine’s design and manufacturing process. They utilize technology to automate the machining process. They are responsible for the documentation of the product’s development from its assembly to its production launch. While instrumentation engineers are responsible for the machine’s arrangement and composition, this career, on the one hand, is responsible for its automated equipment design and process. They also test, validate, and modify prototypes to create better product quality. A successful candidate should be able to handle these responsibilities at least.

In order to distinguish the qualified candidate, use some of the questions below to test their knowledge and skills:

  • What are the basic functions of an automation engineer?
  • Do you have a background in automation?
  • Can you explain the general methods of automating industrial machines?
  • Do you have mechanical design experience? For how long?
  • Are you familiar with the different programming languages for common industrial machines?
  • Can you explain what Java, Ladder Logic, and C# are?
  • What relevant computer applications are you familiar with?
  • Can you explain the basics of electro-mechanical troubleshooting for a particular piece of equipment?
  • Are you willing to travel when the job requires you?

Some automation engineers require frequent site visits; hence, it is important to always ask them about this. Automation engineers are significant individuals in most industrial operations. They promote the necessary automation process of the machines and their effectiveness and efficiency as a whole. Make sure to ask your candidates the right questions and see to it that they can effectively adhere to their roles.

  1. MECHANICAL SITE ENGINEER – A mechanical site engineer or a field engineer pretty much does the general duties within an industrial and commercial project. They are responsible for monitoring the proper installation of machines within the area. They are also involved in bringing the blueprint to life by delegating tasks to the lower-level engineers within the project.

    1. Mechanical site engineers’ specific duties vary according to the industry that they work with. They may work with pharmaceutical industries, manufacturing, or even purely construction industries. They don’t do the actual and constructional work on-site rather; they are responsible for delegating and ensuring that the blueprint is followed accordingly. The installation of machines, for example, requires accuracy, and mechanical site engineers are there to look after it. 

    2. While there are specific skills required for different kinds of machinery, the general skills that every mechanical site engineer should have is to be able to create, interpret, and bring a blueprint into reality. If you want to distinguish whether a candidate is suitable for this position, refer to the interview questions below:
  • What are the basic functions of a mechanical site engineer?
  • Are you willing to travel and work on-site when the job requires?
  • Can you create, analyze, and interpret project blueprints? Elaborate.
  • Do you value teamwork and leadership?
  • Do you work well with other people?
  • Are you knowledgeable in AutoCAD and its latest versions?
  • Do you have advanced computer skills? Name some.
  • Will you be able to lead site personnel to execute the completion of the project?
  1. PRODUCTION MECHANICAL ENGINEER – Mechanical engineer is basically a general career, and production engineer is its more specific and lighter variety. Production mechanical engineers primarily supervise the construction and design in factories and large-scale plants. They also take over the manufacturing activities and administrative duties to ensure that the overall process will run efficiently. Production mechanical engineers deal with automation tasks as well. They design, process, manufacture, and plan everything needed to make the product’s blueprint come to life. These professionals are needed to ensure that the production is well-aligned with other manufacturing processes within a company. They are expected to deliver the general duties of a mechanical engineer.
  • What are the basic functions of a production mechanical engineer?
  • Are you willing to travel and work on-site when the job requires?
  • How will you ensure the quality of work done within the worksite?
  • Have you had experience supervising for a manufacturing project before?
  • Do you value teamwork and leadership?
  • Do you work well with other people?
  • Are there instances at work where you can successfully diagnose a problem in the production line?
  • Do you know the basics of reporting safe and unsafe site practices?
  • Are you knowledgeable in AutoCAD and its latest versions?
  • Will you be able to lead site personnel to execute the completion of the project?
  1. RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT ENGINEER – Research and Development Engineers or R&D Engineers are responsible for creating, designing, and improving new or existing products. They perform research as part of their responsibilities as well. R&D Engineers are well sought after in numerous industries such as manufacturing, electrical, and even scientific or pharmaceutical industries.

    1. Research and development careers are mostly people who graduated with a mechanical engineering degree. In contrast with most mechanical engineering careers that require traveling and on-site presence, this career doesn’t. R&D Engineers are mostly working inside an office or a laboratory as their duty includes participation in product research and development.  Their general responsibility is still universally similar to all other mechanical engineering fields.

Based on the industry that they work with, several interview questions that you can ask from an R&D Engineer candidate may be as follows:

  • What are the basic functions of an R&D engineer?
  • Have you had experience with researching a project before?
  • Do you value teamwork and leadership?
  • Do you work well with other people?
  • Have you designed a product before?
  • Have you performed market research for a product before?
  • Are you willing to collaborate with developers, engineers, and several marketing personnel to plan a particular project?
  • Are there instances at work where you encountered problems with your research?
  • How do you deal with your research problems?

5 LEAST COMMON MECHANICAL ENGINEER CAREERS

Despite the high demand for most mechanical engineering careers, there are also several unique and interesting roles that they may take. Here are a few things you may consider while looking for a great candidate for the least common mechanical engineering careers.

  1. COMMISSIONING ENGINEER – A commissioning mechanical engineer is a career that least involves the actual application of their skills as an engineer. Instead, they use it in assuring the operational requirements are being implemented correctly within a project. Most commissioning engineers work for commercial companies. They provide engineering and technical support to plan, schedule, coordinate, and execute their basic commissioning and site implementation responsibilities. They participate in a product’s design process and test the complex mechanical, electrical, and control systems for a client.

Most of the time, commissioning engineers are expected to do the maintenance of a particular project. They test, evaluate, and ensure that the project operates according to the plan and initial design. Commissioning Engineers must display excellent interpersonal skills. They will be working closely and coordinate first hand with the clients. The candidate must also be very much willing to work on-site as this requires frequent roving duties. The candidate must be goal-oriented and deliver results according to the client’s requirements.

To evaluate a commissioning mechanical engineer candidate, here are a few questions to guide you:

  • What are the basic functions of a commissioning engineer?
  • Have you worked as a commissioning engineer before?
  • Have you had experience with handling a project before?
  • Do you value teamwork and leadership?
  • Do you work well with other people?
  • Do you work well with your clients?
  • Are you willing to collaborate with developers, engineers, and other significant personnel to evaluate a particular project?
  • Are you willing to work on-site and travel when the job requires?
  1. OPERATIONS MANAGER – Hiring an operations manager is a very critical task because the candidate should have advanced experience in mostly mechanical design and engineering jobs. The Operations Manager will be tasked to spearhead a particular project, so it is only natural for them to understand the process well enough. The candidate is required to possess the ability to execute supervisory-level duties.

    Operations mechanical engineers are responsible for implementing different techniques for a mechanical project. They should know how to evaluate and provide clear reports regarding a prototype and suggest necessary improvements. They are also tasked to coordinate with multiple engineers to accomplish the project. 

    Being able to provide accurate, timely, clear, and concise reports is a significant skill. Strong written and verbal communication skills are also required to ensure proper coordination. This position will also require a lot of travel and on-site presence; hence, the candidate must be ready for such instances. Here are several questions to ask a candidate to start the hiring procedure:
  • What are the roles of an operations manager?
  • Are you willing to travel and work on-site when the job requires?
  • Have you had experience supervising for a manufacturing project before?
  • Do you value teamwork and leadership?
  • Do you work well with other people?
  • Are there instances at work where you had problems working with partner engineers before?
  • How do you deal with miscommunication problems at work?
  • How will you implement a newly introduced organizational process to your subordinates?
  • How will you deal with a difficult subordinate?
  • How do you complete a project?
  • Will you be able to lead site personnel to execute the completion of the project?
  1. PATENT ANALYST – A patent analyst’s role is to analyze, evaluate, and identify whether the products developed by R&D Engineers are eligible for patenting. Patent analysts will have to work closely with research and development engineers to solve products’ problems. Patent analysts are responsible for establishing corporate strategies to generate clients and, at the same time, protect the company. Patenting is not as easy as it seems because you will have to carefully scrutinize a product or a prototype to have it granted the right to use, sell, or offer the product. Patents are the safeguard of any businesses’ product or invention. It is very significant to have a reliable and skillful patent analyst when launching a product.

Most mechanical engineers are not aware that this job is also available for them in the market. This career opportunity requires several seminars and certification courses to be considered effective and suitable for the job. To help you choose the right candidate, here are some questions you may ask them:

  • What are the basic functions of a patent analyst?
  • Have you had experience as a patent analyst before?
  • Tell us an example of a specific work you did that is closest to this job?
  • What is a patent?
  • What are the requirements of a patent?
  • What is your understanding of claims?
  • What is your understanding of the different structures of a patent specification?
  • Do you value teamwork?
  • Are there instances at work where you had problems working with partner engineers before?
  • How do you deal with miscommunication problems at work?
  1. TEACHING PROFESSION – Colleges and universities are also actively accepting individuals who are a graduate of a Mechanical Engineering to offer their teaching skills to learners. Possible teaching positions can range from instructors, assistant, associate to full teaching professor opportunities. The main responsibility of a Mechanical Engineering instructor or professor is to deliver quality learning to its students.

Mechanical engineering instructors or professors are tasked to delegate course preparation, assessment, and participation within a course. The candidate must well demonstrate proficient knowledge of the courses aligned. Annual reports and teaching responsibilities are also expected to be fulfilled by the candidate. Researching to promote student learning must be regularly implemented. The candidate must possess great communication skills to engage in a modest model with his or her students. Knowledge of the basic learning tools while incorporating mechanical engineering courses is also significant for this position. The qualifications for this position mostly include having a Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering or other closely related fields. If you wish to choose a suitable person for this position, you may assess them with the following questions:

  • What are the basic functions of an instructor or professor?
  • Have you had teaching experience before?
  • Tell us an example of a specific work you did that is closest to this job?
  • Do you have advanced knowledge in mathematics and other related courses to mechanical engineering?
  • Do you have, or are you currently studying for a Ph.D. degree?
  • Are you willing to teach students?
  • How will you handle difficult students?
  • How do you deal with misunderstandings between you and your students or co-workers?
  • Do you value teamwork?
  • Do you value leadership?
  • What are your teaching strategies?
  • Do you think you can effectively teach your students?
  1. RESEARCH FELLOW – A research fellow in the mechanical engineering field is also closely related to an instructor and professor’s duties, only that you won’t have a student for this. This career will particularly hone your knowledge and expose you to the academic track of mechanical engineers. The job will require the candidate to work with universities or research institutions as their principal researcher for the mechanical engineering course. The candidate must have good writing skills for this and must be well versed in the different field courses.

Since this is a researcher position in an engineering field, having advanced mathematical skills is highly expected from the candidate. Being able to deliver a speech and presenting your research in public, mostly to professors or students, is also required for this. A Ph.D. degree is also required for such a position in most cases. Here are some of the most commonly asked research fellow position questions for mechanical engineer candidates:

  • What are the basic functions of a research fellow?
  • Tell us an example of a specific work you did that is closest to this job?
  • Do you have advanced knowledge in mathematics and other related courses to mechanical engineering?
  • Have you published research work before?
  • Are you good at speaking publicly?
  • Do you write well?
  • What are the requirements in conducting research?
  • Do you value teamwork?
  • Do you value leadership?
  • How do you deal with miscommunication problems at work?

Mechanical engineers could bring not just large gains to your business but a breadth of value and versatility. They are significant in the corporate world; hence, choosing a suitable candidate for the job is essential. Asking the right questions is a step closer to meeting the best candidate. From simple fans to high tech televisions, mechanical engineers are all a part of a machinery’ completion. That is why the corporate world will never run out of mechanical engineers. 

also read: My Story From Studying Mechanical Engineering to Becoming a Web Designer

Mechanical Engineering Interview Questions to Ask Candidates

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