Anyone considering a career in automotive engineering will find the tips and advice provided below useful when preparing for that all-important interview.
Remember, a little advanced planning will help make the entire interview process as stress-free as possible.
8 interview questions for automotive engineering jobs.
how would you go about developing a new set of test procedures?
when testing vehicles that run on alternative fuels, what methods would you use?
how would you use computer-modelling software to test the behaviour of components or vehicles in a range of conditions?
how would you facilitate problem-solving when project managing the development of new products, and how would you ensure they came in within budget?
in terms of vehicle development, how would you set about organising and devising tests designed to answer questions posed by clients, other engineers and consumers?
how would you analyse and interpret technical data for use in presentations and reports and as a means of answering questions relating to the results?
how would you prepare for and contribute to team meetings on the progress of a project, including updates on issues and latest developments?
how would you negotiate funding for the development of a new product with the commercial department?
If the interview is to be held some distance away, be sure to check public transport timetables in advance. If driving, add a little extra time to the commute to account for traffic congestion and finding a place to park.
If the interview is in a city centre location and is timed to take place during rush hour, it may be worth staying at a nearby hotel the night before.
Recheck the date, time and location of the interview and make a note of relevant contact details, just in case a problem arises.
As the saying goes, ‘you never get a second chance to make a good first impression,’ so dress smartly, smile and greet the interviewer with a firm handshake.
Carry out a little research on the company; it is almost certain to have a website containing sufficient information about what it does, its ethos and its senior management structure.
Discuss the upcoming interview with an experienced recruitment agency such as Randstad. They are sure to have an in-depth knowledge of the company, which can prove invaluable when it comes to gaining an advantage over other candidates.
Finally, make a note of questions to ask about the company and keep a copy CV to hand.
The role in brief.
Automotive engineers tend to specialise in a specific area (e.g. automotive electrician), but in general play a key role in the design, process, research and development, and production of all types of vehicles, including commercial trucks and vans, motorcars in all their forms, and motorcycles.
Other automotive engineering jobs entail working on engineering subsystems and the development of new technologies.
As automotive engineers are expected to deliver projects on time and within budget, they must possess a combination of engineering and commercial skills.
While they are likely to work in a number of areas whilst training, over time it is usual for them to specialise in one particular discipline, such as power train or suspension systems.
Some commonly asked interview questions are listed below to help automotive engineering candidates prepare:
General interview questions.
- why do you want this job?
- what do you expect to be doing five years from now?
- what are your strengths and weaknesses?
- what other companies have you applied to?
- what do you see as being your greatest achievement to date?
- why are you interested in joining this company?
- do you have any questions?