Basic Mechanical Engineering Interview Questions and Answers

In this article you we will look at important basic Mechanical Engineering interview questions and the perfect example answers. You will learn how to prepare for and pass a mechanical engineering interview. It does not matter which organization or company you are being interviewed for to join as a mechanical engineer, if you read and study this post article from beginning to end, it will not only help you join your preparation, but it will give you top scoring answers to the likely interview questions that will come up.

Tips on How to Prepare for your Mechanical Engineering Interviews

So before we get into the mechanical engineering interview questions and top scoring answers, let look at these important tips on how to prepare for a mechanical engineering interview.

Well, in a nutshell, you have to make sure you read the job description and the person specification whilst you are preparing for your interview. Now, this only takes a few minutes, but it will enable you to understand the key skills and qualities that are required to carry out that job. So once you’ve read the job description for a mechanical engineer, think of situations that you have been in whereby you have already demonstrated the key skills and qualities needed to be a competent mechanical engineer.

So, for example, in the mechanical engineering job description, it will usually list a number of essential skills and some of those skills might be to solve mechanical engineering problems and also to work as part of a team.

Now, during your preparation for this interview, my advice is to think of specific situations you have been in whereby you have already solved mechanical engineering problems and you have already worked as part of a team. So the interview question will probably be, can you describe a time when you have solved a complex mechanical engineering problem or can you also describe a time when you’ve worked as part of a team to complete a mechanical engineering problem or project?

So that is the first tip when you’re preparing for your mechanical engineering interviews to read the job description and the person specification, and you will be much more prepared than the majority of candidates. You will learn more tips as we progress through this article. But let’s now start to work through my recommended mechanical engineering interview questions and top scoring answers.

Mechanical Engineering Interview Questions and Answers

Question #1: Tell me about yourself and why you want to be a mechanical engineer?

Below is a perfect top example scoring answer.

“I am naturally an inquisitive person who enjoys working in a team environment where the ability to problem-solve and collaborate with others is an essential part of the role. I believe I have a good balance of technical, analytical and practical skills, that main I am a strong candidate for this mechanical engineering position.

I’ve always had a passion for mechanical engineering, which means I have a desire to go above and beyond what is required. I also understand how important safety is in respect of mechanical engineering, and on that basis, I am someone who is disciplined, organized and able to follow strict rules and procedures. I will never take risks or put your organization in danger through the work I carry out for you.

I suppose the last thing I would like to say is, I feel if you invest in me, I will repay the faith you have shown in hiring me by being professional, conscientious and a positive contributor to the mechanical engineering team.”

So that’s an in-depth answer. It answers the question, “Tell me about yourself and then more importantly, why you want to be a mechanical engineer”, because you’ve always had passion for it. The next question is, what do you think are the most important skills to have as a mechanical engineer?

Question #2: What do you think are the most important skills to have as a mechanical engineer?

Below is a perfect top example scoring answer.

“I think the most important skill as a mechanical engineer is safety awareness and compliance. You also need numerous other technical and non-technical skills to be a competent and safe mechanical engineer.

You need effective technical skills that are relevant to your field of engineering, including the ability to dedicate the time to continually improve and keep up to date with industry developments.

You also need analytical and Problem-Solving capabilities and accurate written communication skills. You will need concise and clear verbal communication skills, especially when speaking to non-technical individuals. Having the ability to work on the pressure is also vital, as well as having great teamworking skills whereby you are entirely focused on achieving the company objectives.

Finally, a level of commercial awareness is an advantage because decisions have to be made from a financial and business perspective in order for the company to continually thrive and develop.”

So you give a large number of skills there that are very important to be a mechanical engineer and the fact that you put safety in compliance with the first most important skill. You also talked about commercial awareness, which is a skill that most people don’t have but as a mechanical engineer, it is important to have a level of understanding and respect of commercial and business awareness.

Let’s move on to our next mechanical engineering interview question.

Question #3: What steps would you follow during the mechanical engineering design process?

Below is a perfect top example scoring answer.

“I would start out by defining the exact problem. This is one of the most important steps because it’s quite easy to misinterpret information and data and you need to make sure you don’t jump to any conclusions.

I would then carry out IN-DEPTH RESEARCH to find out what the objectives were, and this would also assist me in establishing the specific requirements for the engineering task or project.

I would then consult with my colleagues and experts from within the organization to brainstorm different ideas, evaluate the options and come up with the right solution to the problem or issue we were being faced with. The next step would be to develop and DESIGN A PROTOTYPE before running a comprehensive testing stage to make sure our proposals meet the requirements.

The final stage will be to communicate the outcome following an extensive testing period to make sure the design was actually fit for purpose.”

So that shows are concise and logical process that you would follow during the mechanical engineering design stage.

Question #4: How would you describe a technical engineering problem to a non-technical person?

This comes up an awful lot during mechanical engineering interviews, so we need to think carefully about how we would answer it. Below is a perfect top example scoring answer.

“This is a really good question and one that I envisage having to tackle many times as a mechanical engineer. I would first of all decide what the objective was in respect of the message I wanted to communicate.

I would then quickly assess the level of knowledge or expertize the person I am communicating with has. I would then utilize simple, relatable drawings, diagrams or explanations to explain the engineering problem we were facing. For example, most people can relate to the simple function of a car moving forward by the rotation of an axle that’s powered by an engine.

So I could use the basic principle of how a car gets from point A to B to describe the problem I am trying to define. Regardless of the situation was in, I would keep communicating clearly, simply and concisely until the person confirmed they fully understood my objective.”

That’s a nice answer.

Question #5: What are your strengths and weakness?

This is another mechanical engineer interview question. Now this question may be divided into two questions; what are your strengths and then what are your weaknesses? We will answer the question in one go. Below is a perfect top example scoring answer.

“My biggest strength is my ability to collaborate and work with other people to create innovative and safe mechanical engineering solutions. Another key strength of mine is that I am able to work quickly, whilst following strict rules, procedures and safety guidelines.

In respect of my weakness, I only feel I have one which I have been working on to improve. That weakness is my ability to say no to new work projects, simply because I don’t like to let people down. As a mechanical engineer, it is important to take on as much work as possible, but you have to make sure the work you do is safe, compliant, effective and reliable.”

So that’s a strong answer to that question; what are your strengths, and also what are your weaknesses? Because that is a good weakness to give, it doesn’t damage or harm your chances of passing the interview. It’s essentially s ‘safe’ weakness to give.

Let’s answer another common question asked in relation to people who are preparing for a mechanical engineering interview and i.e

Question #1: What questions should I ask in a mechanical engineering interview?

So at some stage during your interview, probably at the end, they will say to you, do you have any questions you would like to ask us? So it is good to ask some questions. Don’t say no, I’ve got no questions to ask, you’ve answered everything. I think if you ask some relevant and appropriate questions, they can work in your favor because it can show that you are keen and enthusiastic for what to work for their company as a mechanical engineer.

Question (i): If I’m successful, what would you need me to concentrate on in the first few weeks of starting?

So this question demonstrates that you are keen and enthusiastic to get started, but also that you want to know what you would be doing in advance so that you can prepare fully.

Question (ii): What engineering challenges do you envisage the company facing over the next 12 to 24 months?

So again, that shows that you care about their organization and you are talking about a 12 to 24 month period, so you are planning on staying with them for a long period of time.

Question #2: What should a mechanical engineer wear to an interview?

Another question that you can ask as mechanical engineer is, what should a mechanical engineer wear to an interview?

Tips: Wear a smart/format outfit to your mechanical engineering interview, because this shows you take pride in your appearance and your work, and also that you care. As a mechanical engineer, you have to have high standards.

Although you wouldn’t wear a suit or a formal outfit during your day-to-day work as a mechanical engineer, my advice is to go all-out and wear something smart and formal. That does not mean to say that you have to go out and buy an expensive suit. You can still buy a relatively cheap or cost effective suit and look smart.

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