Open and close mobile menu


Insights Top 4 questions to prepare for in your next mechanical engineer interview

The interview process for an engineering position can be daunting, particularly if you are just starting your mechanical engineer career. However, with the right guidance, you can head into your interview with the confidence and knowledge you need to impress and secure the role. The market size of the engineering industry in Canada is $30.8 bn and growing at an impressive rate, making now the optimal time to take the next step in your career.

A common theme when it comes to successfully landing a role as a mechanical engineer, at any stage in your career, is preparation; particularly when it comes to interviews. Mechanical engineer interviews often follow a similar path, with a collection of questions that you will almost certainly be asked. Here, we take a look at the top four questions to prepare for in your next mechanical engineer interview.

women in a white shirt shaking a man's hand

What skills do you possess that make you an accomplished mechanical engineer?

The aim of this question is to assess the candidate’'s understanding of the mechanical engineer role and determine what skills they have. It is a common mechanical engineering interview question and it presents an opportunity for you to explain what skills a great engineer has and why you feel that you’re accomplished in all of those areas.

These skills can range from strong analytical skills to creative design talent. Use this opportunity to expand on where you acquired your skills and how you have implemented them in a practical situation. The more detailed you can be, the more you’re showing your potential employer that you’re aware of what is required to be an effective cog in their engineering team.

Have you worked on a mechanical engineering project that failed to meet its targets?

As the majority of engineers will know, some of the greatest learning experiences come from failures. A mechanical engineer that can identify where they made mistakes in their career has the potential to grow into a better professional, and this is an area that an interviewer will be interested in.

Briefly explain the project or experience that you considered a failure and talk about the mistakes that you made. The key to providing an effective answer is detailing what you learned from the experience and how you’'ve applied the learnings in your career since then. By presenting what you would do differently in the future to avoid a similar result, you are showing recruiters you’'re willing to learn from your mistakes and use them to make progress.

What are some of the computer programs you use in your work as a mechanical engineer?

This is an example of an operational interview question in which the interviewer is attempting to understand your ability to perform a specific task and what tools you use to achieve success. With the digital transformation of the engineering industry in full flow, the recruiter is seeking to gain insight into the types of computer programs you use, and how you apply those programs to your everyday work.

Additionally, it is advantageous for a new employee to be competent in the programs that the company utilizes. If the applications you are comfortable with align with the programs their company uses it could place you above your competition.

You can prepare for this question by thoroughly researching the company and its practices before the interview and ensuring that you’re including all of the relevant pieces of software in your answer.

What is a process flow diagram and why is it important in mechanical engineering?

Technical questions are commonly featured in mechanical engineer interviews and they are designed to test your knowledge of the industry and the depth at which you can explain engineering processes. This technical question is best answered by giving a detailed explanation of what a process flow diagram is and then walking the interviewer through a situation, within engineering, where you would use it.

Try to go into as much detail as possible and be prepared for the interviewer to ask follow-up questions if they need more information. Throughout your mechanical engineer interview, you will be asked a range of technical knowledge questions which can include the following:

  • Explain the importance of tolerance in engineering

  • What are the various types of brakes?

  • What is the significance of the law of thermodynamics?

  • What is the benefit of pneumatics?

Research on the basics of the engineering field before your interview would be beneficial and put you in a good place to leave a memorable first impression on your interviewer.

Engineer your career at AtkinsRéalis

At AtkinsRéalis , we consistently deliver high-quality engineering and technical services that provide for not just our clients, but for societies too. With expertise in a broad variety of sectors, we achieve success by building and maintaining close relationships with our clients, using our resources efficiently, and being flexible where possible to meet their needs.

If you’re looking to make your next career move, apply for a mechanical engineering job in Canada today, join the talent community, or sign up for job alerts.