The Art of Interviewing Part 2 – Engineering


As a Portland staffing agency, we help managers craft the right interview questions to uncover top talent for roles in Accounting, Finance, Engineering, IT and Human Resources.

Conducting interviews is one of your most important duties as a hiring manager. Asking the right questions and active listening can offer valuable insights into a candidate's experience, worth ethic, personality, and hard and soft skills.

Our 4-part blog series covers the most important job interview questions for hiring managers to ask candidates in a job interview in 2024 and beyond.

Here is what we’re covering:

  • All parts - General Interview Questions
  • Part 1 - Accounting & Finance
  • Part 2 - Engineering
  • Part 3 - Information Technology
  • Part 4 - Human Resources

  • Use these industry-specific questions as a starting point and pay close attention to the candidate's responses to learn more about them. You can spot exceptional talent for your team that is ready to succeed with careful planning and attentive listening.

    General Interview Questions
    1. Take me through your resume. What skills and experience do you have that best suit you for this position? This question allows candidates to highlight skills and experience that may not come up otherwise. Pay attention to instances of measurable hard and soft skills that are relevant to the position. This might serve as a rough indicator of qualifications.

    2. How would your former employer characterize your work style and areas of strength? This behavioral question gives insight into how previous managers felt about working with the candidate.

    3. Describe a situation at work when you made a mistake and how you handled it. When you ask about a candidate’s mistakes their answer reveals their character, level of accountability, and whether they have a growth mindset. Look for candidates that learn from their mistakes and avoid repeating them.

    4. Where do you see your career in 5 years? Career goals reveal a candidate's drive and long-term employment potential. Strong performers looking for growth opportunities are often those that are focused on picking up new skills and taking on more responsibility.

    5. What questions do you have for me about the role or company? When a candidate asks thoughtful, well-researched questions, it shows they're thinking ahead and planning for how they can contribute to the organization. Good questions give insight into a candidate’s level of preparation, inquisitiveness and demonstrates their initiative.

    Engineering Interview Questions
    Engineering hiring managers should ask targeted questions to assess hands-on experience, complex problem-solving, quality control processes, collaboration skills and more.

    1. Our team uses XYZ technology often. Tell me about your experience with it. Technical expertise that is directly relevant increases impact. Pay attention for hands-on experience that meets your project needs and tech stack. If the candidate has little experience, you should consider and ask follow-up questions about their propensity for learning.

    2. Tell me about a complex engineering problem you helped solve. Engineering is a highly analytical and quantitative field. Listen for detailed examples of how candidates resolve complex technical issues. Look for applicants who can see both the large picture and the details.

    3. What procedures do you follow when developing a new product to ensure quality control? Excellence in product development requires planning. For a robust design and to prevent future problems, pay attention to iteration, continuous testing, input gathering, project management, and risk analysis.

    4. What qualities do you think are most important for an engineer? Today's engineering requires experts from different backgrounds to work together. Look for people who prioritize teamwork, communication, continuous learning, and creative problem-solving.

    5. How would you approach working with engineers outside your specialty? Complex engineering projects require teamwork. Listen for candidates who are excited to partner with other experts, not just those in their field.

    The best hiring decisions are made when the right interview questions are used in conjunction with active listening. To create insightful questions that uncover top talent qualified for your roles, use the examples in our blog.

    Pay close attention to the candidate’s answers to understand if their background, knowledge, and skills have prepared them for success in your organization. These interview tips will help you make hiring decisions and recruit top professionals who are prepared to contribute from day one.

    Contact us today to discuss building an interview approach to find skilled professionals ready to excel in your organization."