Interview Prep: The Questions You Need to Be Asking Your Mechanical Engineering Candidate

mechanical engineering interview candidates

It seems most industries are having trouble finding great candidates these days. The job market is very hot right now, and qualified candidates are in high demand. However, the task is even more difficult for companies seeking a mechanical engineering candidate.

Mechanical engineers have been in short supply over the years, despite serving critical functions for the benefit of humankind. Companies that provide the goods and innovations necessary for improving society require mechanical engineering expertise.

Despite the difficulties, hiring managers must still be careful to properly vet all mechanical engineering candidates. A bad hire is worse than no hire, even when the applicant pool is small.

Here are three helpful questions every recruiter should ask mechanical engineering prospects:

Q – Can You Please Describe a Time When You Used Unorthodox, Creative Problem-Solving Skills to Achieve a Workable Solution?

This question is great because it gets to the root of what makes a good mechanical engineering candidate. Engineers are pragmatic problem solvers, and any applicant with experience should be able to respond with a relevant story from his/her past employment. If a mechanical engineering prospect only lives in a world of theory and textbook, his/her value to the company is greatly diminished.

Q – What Are Your Long-Term Career Goals?

Obviously, this question is relatively standard, but it’s crucial to ask nonetheless. While mechanical engineering employees serve a practical function, smart companies seek to hire people who can also grow into management. The entry-level engineer of today may be a trusted project manager in a few years.

Q – Why Are You Interested in Working Specifically for Our Company?

There’s nothing wrong with wanting a job and keeping an open mind about opportunities. This is especially true for recent mechanical engineering graduates who simply need their “first break.” However, most candidates with experience should be able to explain why they’re interested in a specific position.

The costs of turnover are high for all companies, and it’s especially costly for organizations that employ engineers. It can take months or years to learn new systems and technology. Prudent hiring managers will always be extra careful to vet mechanical engineering candidates for “seriousness” in terms of their employment intentions.


These questions are by no means the only important inquiries when vetting mechanical engineering candidates, but they are some of the most critical. Engineers must have the right education, experience, and technical acumen. However, subtle clues are discovered when probing issues of work ethic, character, and critical thinking skills.

Ultimately, hiring managers must not give in to the temptation of lowering standards when vetting mechanical engineering candidates in a hot job economy. The costs of bad employees and turnover are simply too massive.

If you’re seeking great mechanical engineering employees, be sure to explore an industry-leading staffing solution ASAP!

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