General Mechanical Engineering Questions Asked in Interviews

Why did you choose to study mechanical engineering?

This mechanical interview question gives the interviewer a chance to learn about the candidate’s interests in mechanical engineering. It helps reveal their passion for the field, and what interests them about engineering in general. Do they want any job or are they looking to better society through quality engineering design? 

Talk about your first engineering design

By having mechanical engineering candidates talk about their early design work, hiring managers are able to better understand the engineer’s history in mechanical engineering. They also gain insight into their thought processes and some of their favorite engineering designs.

What is the top skill a mechanical engineer must have?

This interview question gives the mechanical engineering interviewee a chance to explain what makes a great engineer. There are a variety of answers you may receive. These answers include strong analytical skills, problem-solving skills, math skills, creative design skills, or strong knowledge of engineering fundamentals.

What is your CAD system of choice? And Why?

Do they prefer SolidWorks, CATIA, Inventor, or other CAD software? There is no wrong answer here and their experience with CAD software will depend on a lot on what industries they have worked in. Different industries prefer CAD software systems that are more suited to their workflows and design processes. The interviewer will also get a chance to ask additional questions about the CAD software they have used. This will give the interviewer an opportunity to make sure the candidate has the CAD knowledge necessary for the job.

Name an engineering skill have you learned recently?

Good engineers are interested in learning new skills, computer programs, and ways to solve problems. Listen carefully to what the interviewee says to see if they have a love of learning new things and are adaptable to various situations.

Tell me about your most successful engineering project

This gives the mechanical engineer the chance to talk about their most successful engineering projects. Explain why they succeeded, what contributions they made to it, any technical skills that are used, and what they learned from the process.

Have you worked on an engineering project that failed?

Some of the greatest learning experiences come from failed projects. At some point when an engineer has worked on many projects, there are times that things don’t work out just right. An engineer that can admit mistakes and learn from them has the potential to grow into a better engineer.

What mechanical engineering tasks interest you?

The only bad answer is saying “Any task”. Every engineer has engineering tasks they prefer over others, like solving equations, design engineering, building prototypes, testing, engineering analysis, or communicating the design. This question gives you a chance to see if the main tasks the job calls for are ones the engineer enjoys doing.

Describe your process in checking for flaws

By asking this mechanical engineering interview question you will be able to get a better understanding of the mechanical engineer’s thought processes. You can also gain insight into their daily workflows and problem-solving skills.

Do you prefer working alone or with an engineering team?

This mechanical engineering interview question can help determine if they work well with teams or are perhaps better suited for solo type projects and work.

Have you ever sent uncompleted engineering work to a client? If so Why? 

Companies and employees are often on tight deadlines to get work out the door. This can cause drawings and engineering work to be sent to a client which may be incomplete. These sloppy methods can frustrate an engineer or manager that has to later clean up the mess.

How would you explain a complex design to a non-technical person?

An engineer that can explain complex ideas and engineering designs in easy-to-understand terms may be a good resource for a variety of reasons. One of these is meeting with potential clients to win a bid. They can also help a current client who’s been asking technical questions to understand the project engineering variables better.