Preparing for interviews can be challenging. Not only does the prospect of securing a new role raise the stakes high, the unpredictability of interview questions can also leave candidates feeling stressed during the recruitment process. Often, applicants can make predictions about interview subject matter and will factor this into their preparation, pre-planning answers for a range of basic questions. However, it is impossible to be totally certain of what an interviewer may ask.

Interviewers think carefully about the questions they ask ahead of interviewing an applicant. In the case of engineering interviews, it is likely that the questions asked will be intended to reveal if a candidate possesses the skills required to meet the demands of the role, whether it be entry level or more advanced. A well-considered interview approach can play a vital role in ensuring that the correct candidate is selected for the role. Meanwhile, poorly considered interviewing could easily lead to a poorly matched new recruit.

Of course, the topic of interview questions will be heavily influenced by the industry within which a business operates, so there is no one size fits all when preparing for the big day. As with any role, it is important to produce answers that reflect your understanding of a business’s practices, values and culture.

Here at BMR Solutions, we have been helping recruit technical sector candidates for over 30 years. In this blog, we outline a range of common interview questions encountered by those applying for mechanical engineering roles. Greater knowledge about what to expect can help a candidate prepare and eradicate some pre-interview nerves.

Questions to Expect when Interviewing as a Mechanical Engineer

Behavioural Questions 

Behavioural questions often require candidates to recall a previous experience – examples of where they have encountered particular situations, solved certain problems or demonstrated relevant skills. Assessing behaviour that has already been demonstrated by an interviewee can give an interviewer a better idea of how they may respond to situations in the future. This can then be assessed relative to the traits sought after by the hiring business. Examples of these questions could be, ‘What was your most successful engineering project?’ or ‘Tell me about a time that you demonstrated X skill’ – encouraging a candidate to recall significant experiences that they believe help them fulfil the requirements for the role being interviewed for.

Brain Teaser Questions 

Brain teaser questions can be used by an interviewer to assess a candidate’s ability to think on the spot. This type of question might require rapid numeracy, problem solving or logical reasoning skills and offer an interviewer the opportunity to detect weaknesses within an applicant’s skillset. This type of question may even feature short scenarios within which a goal must be met under particular conditions. Unfortunately, this style of question can be difficult to prepare for. They can however be very useful to interviewers in filtering out candidates who fall short with mental skills that are essential to the role.

Competency Questions

Competency questions serve to assess the ability of a candidate to demonstrate a skill or perform a particular task. In a field where the practical application of knowledge is so central, competency questions are likely to be an important part of the recruitment process for any mechanical engineering role. Competency questions give an interviewer the opportunity to hone in on particular skills and allow them to be certain that a candidate will be able to provide high quality results. The person conducting a job interview is likely to have a comprehensive understanding of the demands of the advertised job. Consequently, it is probable that they will tailor competency questions to the skills that they anticipate being vital for that specific role.

It is also notable that competency quotations allow for like for like comparisons to be made across interviewees, which may result in one candidate clearly emerging as the most appropriate recruit.

Credential Verification 

While on occasion, proof of credentials can fall through the net during the interview process, the highly technical nature of mechanical engineering roles mean that the sidestepping of this element is unlikely. It is important for an employer to confirm the authenticity of professional and educational claims made within an interviewee’s application information or curriculum vitae.

Opinion Questions 

Opinion questions give an interviewer the opportunity to gain more information about the applicant as a person. In some instances, this type of question may focus on topics relevant to the particular industry – allowing the employer to establish similarities and differences between the professional approach adopted by the interviewee and that of their business. In others, this question may give an interviewer insight into a candidate’s character, in turn allowing them to establish if they are a social as well as professional fit for their business – especially amid times that place more emphasis on workplace culture than ever before.

Of course, the distinction between these varieties is not always clear cut, many interviewers may ask questions that combine elements of several question varieties.

Get Started with BMR Solutions

BMR solutions provide the finest quality candidates for engineering and manufacturing firms. With over 50 years of experience in providing unrivalled recruitment assistance, we are always on hand to assist your search for the ideal candidate. With services available on both contract and permanent bases, our offerings are easily tailored to your needs.

For more information on our services or to access help from our expert team, contact us today.