What to ask in an engineering interview

Interviews can be really daunting and bring out all kinds of emotion – fear, excitement, worry to name a few. But if you make sure you prepare and do your homework, an engineering interview don’t have to be as scary as you think. An interesting fact to know is that interviewers usually make their mind up in the first few minutes of you walking into the room, and most businesses recruit on personality rather than skills.

Where to start

So this is proof that you need to make sure first impressions count. This means being polite, smiling, keep eye contact, dressed smartly, not fidgeting and speaking clearly – even if your interview is virtual. This is your big chance to sell yourself and land that dream job. Do your research on the company and find out key information about what they do and the role you will be interviewed for. Make sure you answer questions clearly and concisely in your engineering interview and be as enthusiastic as possible throughout.

Asking the right questions

When it comes to that part of the engineering interview where they want to hear from you, make sure you ask the right questions. Many interviewers take note of what kind of questions candidates ask – it gives them an insight into how creative or motivated you might be in the role. So it’s important you are asking the right kind of things, not just ‘how many days holiday do I get?’

Asking the right questions is also a fantastic opportunity for you to get to know a little bit more about the company you might be working for. For example, what kind of culture they have, what development opportunities they offer or what their current employees are like.

Remember, when you apply for a job, you’re also trying to establish whether you want to work there and whether they’re the right fit for what you’re looking for. It’s a two-way process and it’s not just about whether they think you’re the right fit – it needs to work for you as well.

What to ask

Here are a few interview questions for you to consider:

  • As a business, what would you say sets you apart from your competitors?
  • What would I like about working here?
  • What type of culture would you say you have?
  • What are your company values?
  • What is your company strategy and goals for the next 1-5 years?
  • What initial or ongoing training opportunities do you offer?
  • How can you develop me as a person?
  • Where do you see this role progressing over the next couple of years?
  • What performance incentives do you offer?
  • Tell me about the team I would be working with?
  • When did you last promote an employee promoted and why was that?
  • How many employees have resigned in the past 12 months and why?

You probably won’t get time to ask all of these questions. But, if you pick out a couple that you like, then ask away! It’s okay to write these questions down in a notebook so you don’t forget them. This is handy to make note of the interviewer’s answers too. It just shows that you are organised and that you care about their responses.

Additional questions

Another thing you might want to ask is if you can meet the team you will be working with, or see the area you might be working in. It’s a really good opportunity to get a real insight into what it might be like to work there and can help you make a decision on whether it’s the right cultural fit for you. Even better if you can actually meet the people you will be working with. You could even ask them what they enjoy the most about working there.

Final thoughts

So now you know why it’s so important to ask the right questions in an engineering interview – it can give you a real insight into the business and what their main values and work ethics are. It’s really beneficial getting a ‘feel’ for a company and trying to understand their culture a bit more – you wouldn’t buy a house without looking at the rooms first would you!

Remember…try to relax, hold your head up high, smile, be polite and enthusiastic and you’re good to go. But most of all, be yourself. Let your personality shine out so they don’t forget you and ask some GREAT questions – good luck!

For more information, check out our full interview guide.

About the author: Craig Burton is Managing Director of The Works Recruitment, based in Leeds. The company has been connecting great talent with great business for more than 25 years. Recruiting responsibly is what makes The Works unique, with forward thinking and thoughtful recruitment methods and a direct approach to talent sourcing. To find out more get in touch on 0333 3449 444 or visit their website at www.theworksrec.co.uk.