Aerospace Engineer Interview Questions (With Sample Answers)

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published 1 July 2022

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

A career in aerospace engineering involves designing, developing, testing and operating aircraft and spacecraft. When interviewing for this specialised role, hiring managers assess both your technical and soft skills to determine if you are the right fit. Reviewing some technical and behavioural questions, along with their sample answers, can help you prepare for your interview. In this article, we discuss some aerospace engineer interview questions along with their sample answers and provide you with additional tips to help you with your interview.

General Aerospace Engineer Interview Questions

Here are some general aerospace engineer interview questions you can expect from the interviewer:

  • Tell me a little about yourself.

  • How did you hear about this position?

  • Do you have any recent projects that you can share with us?

  • What are your areas of expertise in aerospace engineering?

  • What has been your biggest accomplishment so far?

  • What are your strengths?

  • What do you consider your biggest weakness? How have you improved on it?

  • Where do you see yourself in five years?

  • How can you contribute to this company?

  • Do you have any questions for me?

Related: 9 Types Of Aviation Jobs (With Salaries And Job Duties)

Questions Regarding Background And Experience

During the interview, the interviewer may ask you questions about your experience, including your educational and professional background. This helps the interviewer assess your skill set and work experience. You can refer to the following questions:

  • Can you talk about your qualifications?

  • Have you undergone any recent training programmes?

  • How long have you been in the aerospace engineering sector?

  • Can you briefly talk about your previous projects?

  • How do you manage your time?

  • How did you handle conflict at your previous workplace? What were your strategies?

  • What are some challenges that you faced in your previous roles? What steps did you take to overcome them?

Related: What Is Aeronautical Engineering? Definition And Career Tips

Common Technical Or Role-Specific Interview Questions

In-depth questions aim at evaluating your technical knowledge in areas such as mathematics, physics and aircraft design. Here are some examples:

  • Can you elaborate on the safety recommendations while maintaining an aircraft?

  • What is the function of a rudder?

  • Explain the difference between continuum flow and free molecule flow.

  • What is the purpose of a load extension graph?

  • What are the factors to consider while evaluating an aircraft's performance?

  • Why is torsion an important feature in aircraft systems?

  • Can you explain the differences between compressible and incompressible flow?

  • Can you tell me about the various lift augmentation devices?

  • What are the laws of gyro-dynamics?

  • What is the principal source of power in an aircraft?

  • How do you initiate a new project?

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7 Aerospace Engineer Interview Questions And Sample Answers

Here are 7 interview questions and their sample answers:

1. Can you explain stress analysis?

Interviewers ask this question to determine your practical knowledge in the areas of stress testing and aircraft manufacturing. This helps them assess your knowledge of concepts such as control surface stiffness, finite element modelling (FEM) and fatigue testing analysis.

Example answer: "After an aircraft's conceptual design, engineers conduct a stress test to determine if various components can withstand local stresses. This helps determine the required material thickness of the structure and structural weight. They can also conduct a stress test on metallic and composite structures. After several cycles of stress tests, when the structural strength and weight converge, the aircraft design becomes ready for manufacturing."

2. Can you explain the primary function of a propulsive thrust?

With this question, interviewers may want to gauge your understanding of how an aircraft operates. When answering, start with an explanation of the basic concept and then proceed to the mechanism.

Example answer: "Propulsive thrust allows aircraft systems to travel through the air in straight or steady flight by generating thrust equal to their drag force. If the engine thrust is more than the drag force, the aircraft accelerates and if the drag force exceeds the engine thrust, then the aircraft slows down."

3. What are the calculations you use to assess aircraft and spacecraft aerodynamic feasibility?

Interviewers ask this question to gain insight into what factors you consider critical in assessing new designs. In your answer, talk about the elements that you take into consideration when working on project requirements.

Example answer: "My two key considerations are stress and pressure distribution. These two factors are pertinent in determining how well a design can withstand the pressure that pushes and pulls an aircraft down and the resistance that planes encounter during horizontal flight. Along with this, I also verify if the model prototype meets all safety regulations and complies with industry standards. This allows me to assess if a design is ready for manufacturing."

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4. When performing aircraft maintenance, how can you ensure the team meets the safety standards?

During this question, a candidate demonstrates their understanding of the primary aspects of aircraft maintenance, which include meeting quality, staff training and safety standards. Describe your experience in organising, monitoring and directing mechanical repair and installation projects.

Example answer: "Keeping up with industry standards and safety requirements is a priority for me. My previous workplace organised monthly training sessions for employees, where we covered safety regulations and demonstrated how to follow them. I also communicated any recent developments to my team members so that the project met the specified guidelines required."

5. What is Sperry's rule of precession?

By asking this question, the interviewer can determine how well you understand core concepts. It also helps them assess your theoretical knowledge and your ability to apply it to a real-world scenario. Explain the concept and provide an example to help illustrate the same.

Example answer: "A rotating body undergoes precession when its rotational axis changes. Sperry's rule describes the direction in which this precession occurs. The precession depends on factors such as the direction of the rotation of the mass and the axis of the torque on the material. Through this, one can determine the direction of the applied torque and the rotation of the gyro-wheel. If you apply a torque perpendicular to the spin axis, then this translates into force."

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6. Can you give me a few instances where artificial intelligence is being used in aerospace applications?

This question helps the interviewer assess your technical knowledge and if you are up-to-date with the recent advancements in the aerospace sector. In your answer, provide some examples where artificial intelligence (AI) is being used, along with its benefits. If you have worked on a similar use case, mention it at the end of your answer.

Example answer: "Artificial intelligence can help identify abnormalities in aircraft by analysing sensor data, such as altitude, moisture, air pressure, speed and fuel. In case of hazards, the system sends out an alert, which can help prevent failures and avoid accidents. You can also use it to test various product designs and their functionalities virtually, which saves time and cost. AI also finds its use in identifying threats with geospatial signal processing with high accuracy.

At my previous workplace, I worked on a project that involved making use of deep learning and image processing to identify defects such as missing bolts, scratches and cracks in aircraft parts. This involved training a neural network which could classify images into two categories, namely defect and no-defect. This helped reduce manual effort and save costs."

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7. What motivated you to pursue your career in aerospace engineering?

You can answer this question by describing why you chose a career in the aerospace industry. Consider answering from a technical perspective and describing your interest in aviation and the aerospace industry.

Example answer: "Space shuttles and aeroplanes fascinated me during my childhood. In my high school and college, I developed various designs and prototype models to understand how they operate. Having a strong interest in mathematics and science, I pursued a bachelor's degree in aerospace engineering. During this time, I took part in international competitions to develop aircraft models with lower fuel consumption and increased efficiency. I believe that by working for this company, I can pursue my lifelong passion and contribute substantially to this sector."

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