Top Mechanical Engineer Interview Questions with Example Answers [2022]

Prepare for your Mechanical Engineer interview by going through these most asked Mechanical Engineer interview questions. Additionally, get access to sample answers and interviewer's expectations.

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  • Question: Tell me about a time when you were frustrated with people and how did you resolve it?
  • Question Overview: Frustration is a normal part of any job, but it's important to know how your candidate will handle it. This question helps you gauge their ability to work with others and their ability to resolve issues.

    Sample Answer: I was frustrated with my team because we were trying to create a new product that was going to be a big seller. We had been working on it for months and we were still not close to a final design. I had a meeting with my boss and he told me that we needed to start over from scratch. I was frustrated because I felt like we had already done so much work, but he was right. We had been working on the wrong design for months and we were nowhere near where we needed to be.

      What the interviewer is looking for:
    • - Evidence they are willing to work with others
    • - Willingness to accept feedback from others
    • - Evidence they can resolve issues without becoming frustrated

  • Question: What makes you different from other candidates?
  • Question Overview: This question is a great way to gauge how well your candidate understands their own strengths and weaknesses. It's also a good way to see if they have a realistic view of the job market.

    Sample Answer: I'm not the most experienced mechanical engineer you'll find, but I'm willing to work hard and learn from my mistakes. I'm also really good at communicating with other teams and figuring out how to make their ideas work with my designs.

      What the interviewer is looking for:
    • - Evidence they have thought about their own strengths and weaknesses
    • - Willingness to admit they may not be the best candidate for the job
    • - Evidence they have thought about how their skills translate to the job market

  • Question: Tell me about your previous work experience.
  • Question Overview: This question is a great way to gauge how well your candidate can communicate their skills and experience. It's also a good way to see if they have any gaps in their resume.

    Sample Answer: I've worked on a lot of different projects in my career. I've worked on a team that designed a new kind of car engine, and I've worked on a team that redesigned the engine for an existing car. I've also worked on a team that designed an engine for a plane.

      What the interviewer is looking for:
    • - Evidence of a history of working with complex systems
    • - Evidence of a history of working with teams
    • - Evidence of a history of working with other companies

  • Question: What is your favorite subject?
  • Question Overview: This question helps you gauge how well your candidate will fit in with your company's culture. It also helps you understand what they are passionate about outside of engineering.

    Sample Answer: I love history. I think it's fascinating to see how people lived in the past and how they were able to create things that we still use today. I also like reading about the different cultures and how they interacted with each other.

      What the interviewer is looking for:
    • - Evidence they have a passion for learning
    • - Willingness to pursue their interests outside of work
    • - Evidence they are a lifelong learner

  • Question: What would you like to tell me about yourself?
  • Question Overview: This is a great opportunity for your candidate to show you their personality. It's important that your candidate is a good fit for your company's culture.

    Sample Answer: I'm originally from New York, but I moved here to go to school. I love the city, but I'm looking forward to moving out to the suburbs when I have kids. I like to run and read in my spare time.

      What the interviewer is looking for:
    • - Evidence they are willing to share personal information
    • - Evidence they are willing to share their interests outside of work
    • - Evidence they are willing to share their personality

  • Question: What makes you think that you are the best candidate for this position?
  • Question Overview: This question is a great way to see how your candidate thinks on their feet. It's a good idea to ask this question at the end of your interview, because it will give you a chance to see how they handle the pressure of the final question.

    Sample Answer: I think I'm the best candidate for this position because I have a lot of experience in this field. I've been working in mechanical engineering for over five years, and I've been able to work on a lot of different projects. I've learned a lot about what makes a good design and what doesn't, and I'm excited to bring that knowledge to your company.

      What the interviewer is looking for:
    • - Evidence they can think on their feet
    • - Confidence in their abilities
    • - Evidence they have thought about how they can contribute to the company

  • Question: What is the difference between your method and a commercial software tool in terms of accuracy?
  • Question Overview: This question is a great way to see how your candidate thinks about their work. It's easy to get caught up in the details of a project, but it's important to remember that the end goal is to produce something that is useful and accurate.

    Sample Answer: Commercial software is designed to be as accurate as possible, but it's not always perfect. I like to think my method is more accurate because I can take into account a lot more variables than a program can. However, I have to admit that sometimes I don't have all the information I need to make a decision, so I have to make an educated guess.

      What the interviewer is looking for:
    • - Evidence they have thought about the difference between their work and commercial software
    • - Understanding of the importance of accuracy
    • - Willingness to admit when they don't have an answer

  • Question: How do you think heat transfer is most effectively done?
  • Question Overview: Mechanical engineers are tasked with creating a product that is both functional and aesthetically pleasing. This question helps you gauge how well your candidate understands the importance of design in their work.

    Sample Answer: Heat transfer is most effectively done through a combination of methods. I think it's important to have a product that looks good, but you also need to make sure it functions well. I think the best way to do that is to make sure the product is designed in a way that allows heat to be transferred in multiple ways.

      What the interviewer is looking for:
    • - Evidence they understand the importance of design
    • - Evidence they understand the importance of function
    • - Willingness to explain their design philosophy

  • Question: What was your favorite subject in school and what was your least favorite?
  • Question Overview: This question helps you understand how your candidate thinks about their education and what they learned. It can also reveal what they enjoyed learning about and what they didn't.

    Sample Answer: My favorite subject in school was math. I loved the logic behind it and the way it could be applied to real life. I didn't like history, because I felt like it was just memorizing facts and dates.

      What the interviewer is looking for:
    • - Evidence they have a passion for the subject they enjoyed
    • - Evidence they have a passion for the subject they disliked
    • - Willingness to be honest about their least favorite subject

  • Question: What was something you failed at in your last job and how did you overcome it?
  • Question Overview: This question is a great way to gauge how a candidate handles failure. It's important to know how they respond to failure because it will happen, and you want to know how they will handle it.

    Sample Answer: I once designed a part that was supposed to be used in a car, but I didn't realize it was too heavy for the car's frame. I had to go back and redesign the part so it was lighter and more efficient.

      What the interviewer is looking for:
    • - Evidence they have learned from their mistakes
    • - Willingness to learn from their mistakes
    • - Confirmation they have the ability to bounce back from failure

  • Question: How do our robots detect when they are approaching stairs or a ledge?
  • Question Overview: This question is designed to see how well a candidate can think on their feet. It's a good way to see how well they can take an idea and run with it, even if they haven't thought about the issue before.

    Sample Answer: The robot uses a laser to detect the distance between itself and the ground. If it gets too close to a ledge or stairs, it will stop moving forward.

      What the interviewer is looking for:
    • - Evidence they can think on their feet
    • - Willingness to ask questions
    • - Confirmation they understand the importance of safety

  • Question: What are your shortcomings?
  • Question Overview: This is a question that every candidate should be prepared for, and it's a good way to gauge how self-aware they are.

    Sample Answer: I'm not the best at communicating my ideas. I tend to get so excited about the design I'm working on that I forget to explain it to other people. I've learned to take a step back and make sure I'm explaining myself clearly before moving forward.

      What the interviewer is looking for:
    • - Evidence they are willing to acknowledge their shortcomings
    • - Evidence they have been able to overcome their shortcomings in the past
    • - Evidence they are aware of their shortcomings and are working to improve them

  • Question: How familiar are you with Microsoft Excel?
  • Question Overview: Excel is a common tool for engineers to use to create spreadsheets and graphs. This question will help you gauge how comfortable your candidate is with the program.

    Sample Answer: I'm pretty familiar with Excel. I use it to create graphs for my designs and to keep track of my progress. I've also used it to create spreadsheets for budgets and other financial documents.

      What the interviewer is looking for:
    • - Evidence they have used Excel before
    • - Confirmation they are comfortable with the program
    • - Willingness to learn new programs if necessary

  • Question: How would you describe Huntington Ingalls to a stranger?
  • Question Overview: This question is a great way to gauge how well your candidate understands the company. It's important that your mechanical engineer has a good understanding of the company's history and its goals for the future.

    Sample Answer: Huntington Ingalls is a shipbuilding company that has been around since 1919. We build aircraft carriers, destroyers, and submarines for the Navy, and we also build commercial ships. We're based in Newport News, Virginia.

      What the interviewer is looking for:
    • - Evidence they have researched the company
    • - Evidence they understand the company's goals
    • - Evidence they understand the company's history

  • Question: How do you prioritize and manage your time if you have two projects that have a similar if not the same deadline?
  • Question Overview: This question is designed to see if your candidate is able to manage their time effectively. A mechanical engineer is often working on multiple projects at once, and you need to make sure they can prioritize their work.

    Sample Answer: I usually start with the project that has the most value for the company. If the projects are similar in value, I look at the one that has been in development longer. If they are still similar, I look at the one that has the most risk involved.

      What the interviewer is looking for:
    • - Evidence they are able to prioritize tasks
    • - Willingness to accept feedback about their time management
    • - Confirmation they are able to manage multiple projects at once

  • Question: Tell me about yourself and why you want to work for ASML?
  • Question Overview: This is a chance for your candidate to sell themselves to you. You want to hear about their passion for engineering, their desire to work for your company, and their willingness to learn.

    Sample Answer: I've been an engineer for over 10 years now, and I've been working with ASML products for the last three. I love the way the company is always innovating and creating new products. I'm excited to be a part of that, and I think I can bring a lot of value to the company.

      What the interviewer is looking for:
    • - Evidence they are a good fit for your company
    • - Evidence they are excited about the position
    • - Evidence they are willing to learn

  • Question: How will you apply your degree's theory & knowledge for the position that you are applying to?
  • Question Overview: This question is a great way to see how well a candidate understands the practical application of their education. It also shows how well they can communicate their understanding of the theory behind their education.

    Sample Answer: I am applying my degree's theory and knowledge to this position because I have a lot of experience with designing and building things. I have been working on my own projects for years, and I have also worked on team projects in school. I know that this job will be a lot like working on a team project, so I am excited to apply my knowledge to this position.

      What the interviewer is looking for:
    • - Evidence they understand the theory behind their education
    • - Evidence they have thought about how to apply that theory to the position
    • - Willingness to explain how they will apply their education to the position

  • Question: What experience do you have in the field?
  • Question Overview: This question is a great way to see if your candidate has the experience you need to be successful in the role. If they don't have any experience, you can ask them to explain why they think they are a good fit for the position.

    Sample Answer: I have been working in the field for five years. I started out as an intern at a small company, and I've been working my way up ever since. I have experience with all aspects of mechanical engineering, from design to implementation.

      What the interviewer is looking for:
    • - Evidence they have the experience you need for the job
    • - Willingness to explain why they think they are a good fit for the position
    • - Confirmation they understand what your company needs from them

  • Question: What is the most clever design you have seen?
  • Question Overview: This question helps you understand how your candidate thinks about engineering. Do they admire the most clever designs, or do they admire the designs that are most useful?

    Sample Answer: I really like the design of the new Tesla. It's a really sleek car, and it's electric, so it doesn't use any gas. It's also really fast, and it has a lot of safety features.

      What the interviewer is looking for:
    • - Evidence they have thought about what makes a design clever
    • - Evidence they have thought about what makes a design useful
    • - Evidence they have thought about what makes a design successful

  • Question: What is your SAT score?
  • Question Overview: This question is a little controversial, but it can be a good way to gauge a candidate's intelligence. If you're looking for someone with a high IQ, this is a good way to find out.

    Sample Answer: I got a 1740 on my SAT.

      What the interviewer is looking for:
    • - Evidence they are intelligent
    • - Evidence they have the ability to do well on standardized tests
    • - Evidence they have a high GPA