If you're a graduate looking to get into engineering and need to get a feel for the kind of questions employers might ask at interview, then make sure you research these graduate engineering interview questions below. These questions and answers are taken from real graduate interviews, and compiled to give you an idea of what to expect and how to prepare your answers.
Example Engineering Interview Questions:
Describe the most significant written technical report or presentation that you have had to complete.
If you have had experience in the engineering sector then an example from that time would be best, but an academic example would also be good and would probably provide you with the most to talk about. This is an opportunity to really talk yourself up, so extend your answer and go into detail. Discuss the skills that you used in the project and say how those skills would be transferable and beneficial to a potential employer.
Describe a time when you confronted a problem that really tested your engineering know-how.
For most graduates the use of an academic example would be best here unless they have taken relevant work experience and can therefore use a practical example. This question gives you a good opportunity to display your knowledge about engineering and discuss skills that you possess which an employer would value. The ability to problem solve effectively is key to an employer so go into depth on how the overcame initial difficulties.
Describe for me a situation where you were required to gather a large amount of data, to analyse it objectively and to make a decision or a recommendation based on the results.
Unless you have had a lengthy work placement it is unlikely that you will be able to use an example other than from your degree, but this is still relevant as long as you tailor your answer carefully to the question. Focus on an extended project from your degree (or work placement if applicable) and go into detail as to how you dealt with data to formulate your recommendations. This is a good opportunity to highlight a successful project so expand your answer to include positive feedback you received.
What do you enjoy most and least about engineering?
To this question, explain the modules and the work you have been strongest at and the ones you have genuinely enjoyed. Answer both sides of the question. Think about the structure of your answer and how you can tie the things you haven't enjoyed into those you have. Thinking about the wider implications upon engineering can also be useful, and show an appreciation of broad knowledge.
What would you consider to be your greatest success in using your skills to solve an engineering problem?
Have a good example and use the STAR technique to structure it with. Remember to use specific software examples and the technical skills you utilised.
What new engineering speciality skills have you developed during the past year?
Consider the skills that you have developed in your final year at university, and the new skills you have developed independently.
What personal characteristics do you feel are necessary to be a successful engineer?
List your skills and develop good reasons to back each of them up. Link your personality into each of the examples.
Why did you choose to study Civil Engineering?
Make your answer personal to you. Explain your interests and original aspirations, as well as those directly within engineering. Display your interest for the company you are applying for and bring in some personal insights.
Describe a time when you encountered difficulty and required assistance? What did you learn from it?
Whatever example you use for this question, ensure that you place emphasis on how you overcame it. Whether it’s related to technical ability in a project, or a personal competency you had to improve, let them know you recognised the issue and overcame it by asking for help.
Describe two projects that you have worked on during your studies.
Use an example of one group project and one individual project to give them an idea of how you work in both environments. Always highlight the outcome and result of the project, and how you personally affected and added to that outcome. Talk about projects that are relevant to the company’s sector e.g. If it’s a structural design consultancy, focus on design projects in which you focused on building or structures. Mention the design software you used, and the result you had.
What were your favourite modules in University and how are they relevant to the work we do?
Ensure that you are discussing modules that are relevant to the work the company do; there’s no use in discussing your interest in highways and infrastructure if you’re interviewing for a building services position. Make your answer detailed as to why it was your favourite module, and for what specific reason, and then bring it back to how this interest makes you a great candidate for the role.