Possible interview questions:
Tell me about the most challenging engineering project that you have been involved with during past year.
Describe the most significant written technical report or presentation that you had to complete.
3. In your last engineering position, what were some of the things that you spent the most time on, and how much time did you spend on each?
4. What do you enjoy most/least about engineering?
5. What new engineering specialty skills have you developed during the past year?
6. Do you have any patents? If so, tell me about them. If not, is it something you see yourself pursuing and why or why not?
7. Think of a specific engineering project when you answer this question. What could you have done to be more successful in achieving your goal(s)?
8. Describe a time when you confronted a problem that really tested your engineering know-how.
9. What is your overall career objective? Do you see yourself working in engineering ten years from now? If not, what do you think you will be doing?
10. Give me an example of a time in which you were effective in doing away with the “constant emergencies” and “surprises” that engineers often face.
11. Describe a time when as a member of the engineering department, you were instrumental in building a good long-term relationship with another department within the company.
12. Tell me about your greatest success in using the principles of logic to solve an engineering problem in your last job.
13. Give me an example of a time when you applied your ability to use analytical techniques to define problems or design solutions.
14. To what extent has your engineering background required you to be skilled in the analysis of technical reports or information?
15. Describe a time when you used your engineering knowledge to solve a problem for which there appeared to be no answer.
16. Tell me about a time when you became aware of a hazardous workplace condition. How did you handle it?
17. Tell me about your experience in dealing with routine engineering work. How do you keep from getting bored?
18. I expect the engineer that I hire for this position to be precise – detailed oriented in everything he or she does. What checks and balances do you use to make sure that you don’t make mistakes?
19. Give me an example of a time when you had to teach a skill to other engineers.
20. Some of the best-engineered ideas are born out of an individual’s ability to challenge, others’ ways of thinking. Tell me about a time when you were successful in do this.
21. On your last project assignment, what problems did you identify that had been previously overlooked?
22. How has your present or last engineering job changed while you’ve held it?
23. If I offer you a position as an engineer with us, how do you plan to get off to a jackrabbit start?
24. Give me an example of something that you have learned from a mistake that you made on a job at a client site.
25. Tell me about a time when a project team effort that you were involved in failed.
26. For what advice or assistance do fellow engineers turn to you?
27. Tell me about the most challenging technical proposal you’ve ever written.
28. What factors would you consider in building an engineering department from scratch?
29. How do you communicate priority projects with a team of other engineers without making them feel overwhelmed?
30. Describe a specific engineering project that you were responsible for that required a lot of interaction with a variety of people over a long period of time.
31. What do you get out of engineering that you couldn’t get from any other kind of work?
32. Describe a typical day out in the field in your last or present job.
33. What media contacts do you have that would help us market our technical products/services?
34. What step-by-step criteria do you use to make difficult decisions that involve other engineers?
35. To whom did you turn for help the last time that you ran into a major technical problem, and why did you choose that person?
36. Give me two examples of technical decisions that you had to make on your last job.
37. Tell me about a time when you had to make a difficult decision that affected the entire engineering department.
38. In the field of engineering, priorities often change quickly. Give me an example of a time when that happened. How did you handle it?
39. How can you best use your engineering education and prior work experience to help our company grow?
40. How long have you been looking for an engineering spot? Have you had any job offers yet? If so, why are you still looking?
41. Tell me about a time when you had to take disciplinary action with an engineer who reported to you.
42. Tell me about the last time you lost your temper in the field.
43. What personal characteristics do you feel are necessary to be a successful engineer?
44. What single technical skill or ability is your best asset?
45. What kind of hours did you typically work in your most recent engineering job?
46. What kinds of information would you request or require before you felt you could do justice to a project assignment?
47. Describe two specific technical contributions you would expect to make during the first six months on the job if you joined our company.
48. Tell me about a time when you surpassed all expectations by going “above and beyond” for a client.
49. What have you specifically done to make the work of the engineers who report to you easier?
50. How do you feel about the workload in the engineering department on your present or previous job?
Questions to ask:
- What skills and experiences would make an ideal candidate?This is a great open-ended question that will have the interviewer put his or her cards on the table and state exactly what the employer is looking for. If the interviewer mentions something you didn’t cover yet, now is your chance.
- What is the single largest problem facing your staff and would I be in a position to help you solve this problem?This question not only shows that you are immediately thinking about how you can help the team, it also encourages the interviewer to envision you working at the position.
- What have you enjoyed most about working here?This question allows the interviewer to connect with you on a more personal level, sharing his or her feelings. The answer will also give you unique insight into how satisfied people are with their jobs there. If the interviewer is pained to come up with an answer to your question, it’s a big red flag.
- What constitutes success at this position and this firm or nonprofit?This question shows your interest in being successful there, and the answer will show you both how to get ahead and whether it is a good fit for you.
- Do you have any hesitations about my qualifications?I love this question because it’s gutsy. Also, you’ll show that you’re confident in your skills and abilities.
- Do you offer continuing education and professional training?This is a great positioning question, showing that you are interested in expanding your knowledge and ultimately growing with the employer.
- Can you tell me about the team I’ll be working with?Notice how the question is phrased; it assumes you will get the job. This question also tells you about the people you will interact with on a daily basis, so listen to the answer closely.
- What can you tell me about your new products or plans for growth?This question should be customized for your particular needs. Do your homework on the employer’s site beforehand and mention a new product or service it’s launching to demonstrate your research and interest. The answer to the question will give you a good idea of where the employer is headed.
- Who previously held this position?This seemingly straightforward question will tell you whether that person was promoted or fired or if he/she quit or retired. That, in turn, will provide a clue to whether: there’s a chance for advancement, employees are unhappy, the place is in turmoil or the employer has workers around your age.
- What is the next step in the process? This is the essential last question and one you should definitely ask. It shows that you’re interested in moving along in the process and invites the interviewer to tell you how many people are in the running for the position.
The 1 Most Impressive Job Interview Question to Ask
- Published on March 9, 2015
Dave KerpenFollowDave Kerpen
Founder & CEO, Likeable Local, NY Times Best-Selling Author & Speaker
Interviewing for your next job is tough work!
Last year, I published The 1 Thing You Must Do In Every Job Interview. The article received a lot of feedback—some in support and some in opposition. Interviews have remained a hot topic for me over the past year, especially as I work to scale our team at Likeable Local. This year, I thought I’d ask my friends over at the Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC) about the 1 most impressive interview question to ask.
The YEC is an invite-only organization comprised of the world’s most promising young entrepreneurs. I asked these CEO’s and entrepreneurs what single most impressive interview questions applicants have asked (or they wish applicants would ask). These are their answers, followed by mine:
1. What New Skills Can I Hope to Learn Here?
This is just my perspective, but I’ve always secretly hoped to hear this question. It signifies a few positive things: the applicant acknowledges they don’t know everything and it signals both humility and potential. This individual is actively seeking knowledge and using that as a criterion to judge opportunity. They know that skills are important, not just knowledge. – Brian Honigman, BrianHonigman.com
- How Do You See This Position Evolving in The Next Three Years?
When job applicants ask this question, it means they’re looking for a position where they can blossom long term. They’re committed to their own career growth and being selective about only accepting offers from companies that will give them the framework for that growth. And they’re also tactful and strategic enough to let me know in a polite, subtle way. – Jared Brown, Co-Founder, Hubstaff
- What Can I Help to Clarify That Would Make Hiring Me an Easy Decision?
At Launch Academy, we always coach our graduating students to ask this question at the end of an interview. It shows that you’re eager to get the job, you’re amenable to feedback, you’re confident in your abilities and that you can clear up any uncertainty. – Dan Pickett, Co-Founder, Launch Academy
- How Can ‘X’ Scenario Move ‘Y’ Idea Forward?
I love when an engineering applicant asks a question about our business model, or a marketing applicant asks about our development process. At a small company, holistic thinking is essential to make a killer product: You have to combine business needs with technical expertise, and the people who are interested in both areas often come up with the most creative solutions.
- If You Could Improve One Thing About The Company, What Would It Be?
Any qualified candidate should be interviewing the prospective employer as much as they are being interviewed. By asking about where the company can improve, the interviewees not only establishes that the interview process is a two-way street, but may also find out some important information to use in her decision-making. If the answer given is not candid, there is information in that as well. – Peter Minton, Founder & President, Minton Law Group, P.C.
- What’s The Most Frustrating Part of Working Here?
This and other courageous questions demand a thoughtful response. We encourage questions that require courage to ask and thoughtfulness to answer. If you can do it in an interview, you can probably do it with customers. And every day we need to have courageous — sometimes uncomfortable — conversations with customers. – Avery Fisher, President,
- Who’s Your Ideal Candidate And How Can I Make Myself More Like Them?
No matter if they’d like to admit it or not, every CEO and hiring manager has their picture perfect “ideal” candidate for the job. If an employee asked this question or something similar during their interview, it would not only show me that they’re sincerely interested in the job, but willing to do whatever it takes to become the best employee possible. – Phil Laboon, President, Eyeflow Internet Marketing
- How Did You Get Your Start?
When asked this question as a CEO, it shows that the individual you are interviewing is interested in your past and what you have accomplished up to this point. You want employees who buy into you and your idea, so it is imperative that you hire people who are on board with your vision. – Jayna Cooke, CEO, EVENTup
- What Is Holding the Company Back?
Every company has immediate challenges that prevent it from achieving it’s full potential. A great employee will identify those bottlenecks, develop a plan to solve them and then execute on the strategy. A great candidate will be doing whatever she can to start identifying these challenges even before getting the offer.
- What Keeps You Up at Night?
I love this question because it demonstrates an adherence to our culture of challenging everyone while also indicating that the candidate understands that our existence is always in flux as a startup. When a candidate shows that she has a similar feeling and/or the outline of a way to think about addressing that fear, it goes a long way. – Kofi Kankam, Chief Executive Officer,Admit.me
- What Concerns/Reservations Do You Have About Me for This Position?
This question shows that the candidate is being thoughtful about the job, and cares about truly earning the role and excelling if they join the team. It’s also smart because it allows them to address concerns on the spot and in person. – John Berkowitz, Co-founder and Chief Revenue Officer, Yodle
Those are the 11 favorite interview questions from the YEC. As for me, my favorite interview question is:
How will the work I’ll be doing contribute to the organization’s mission?