Top 30 Electrical Engineering Interview Questions With Tips

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published 27 July 2021

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.

Electrical engineers design, build and use electrical systems and machines to create innovative technologies. If you are getting interviewed for an electrical engineer's role, it is important to prepare for potential questions you may encounter during your interview. Typically, electrical engineering interview questions may focus on your technical skills, but employers may ask questions that help in evaluating your soft skills. In this article, we provide a 30 commonly asked interview questions for electrical engineers with some sample responses to prepare for your upcoming interview.

Related: What Is Electrical Engineering? Definition and Opportunities

Basic questions

These are some of the basic electrical engineering interview questions:

  • What is the one thing that you like most about electrical engineering?

  • What skills are most important for becoming an electrical engineer?

  • How do you differentiate your skills from other candidates and why are you the ideal candidate for this job?

  • What excites you about our company and why do you want to work with us?

  • Tell us one thing that you disliked about your last position.

Behavioural and technical questions

Most electrical engineering interviews are easy to get past if you have an excellent grasp of core engineering concepts. To gauge your skills, an employer may ask you a combination of behavioural and technical questions like:

  • Outside your area of speciality, which area of electrical engineering would you prefer to explore?

  • In your previous job, did you help design any project from scratch? If so, how did your involvement affect the outcome?

  • What procedure do you follow for selecting a wire size for your new project?

  • What types of cables do you use in electrical engineering?

  • Have you thought about exploring the use of sustainable materials for electrical and engineering systems?

Electrical engineering interview questions with sample answers

When preparing for your upcoming interview, use the answers to these electrical engineering interview questions as an inspiration:

Tell me a suggestion you made in your previous role that your company implemented?

Employers ask such technical questions to understand your knowledge and expertise in electrical engineering.

Example: "During my weekly review, I identified a strategic improvement to the product life cycle during the first phase of the New Product Development (NDP) process. This potentially saved the company thousands of dollars in production."

Why should we hire you as an electrical engineer?

Through this question, the employer wants to know what differentiates you from other candidates.

Example: "My internship experience, coursework and final project work all coincide with this position. I am proficient in various electrical engineering concepts like transmission, switching, control and operation system, which are vital for this job role."

Related: Interview Question: “Why Should We Hire You?”

Explain the difference between a generator and an alternator?

This one of the most frequently asked electrical engineering interview questions meant to determine an aspect of your technical knowledge.

Example: "An alternator converts mechanical energy into AC electrical energy, a generator converts it to AC or DC. Alternators create and store the energy it creates. A generator converts one source of power into another without storing any excess energy."

Differentiate between alternating current and direct current?

One of the most fundamental concepts of electrical engineering is knowledge of direct current and alternating current.

Example: "Alternating current (AC) is a flow of charge that periodically reverses direction and delivers power to homes and office buildings. In a direct current (DC), the flow of charge does not change direction."

Explain Norten's theorem in one or two sentences.

Norton's theorem is the most famous electrical engineering theorem and widely used by engineers in every sector.

Example: “Norten's theorem states that regardless of the complexity of a circuit, you can simplify it into an equivalent linear circuit with a parallel resistance connected to a load and single current source."

How do you deal with a situation where a colleague takes a different approach to complete a project?

Employers prefer candidates who are knowledgeable and have the required conflict resolution skills when differing opinions arise.

Example: “I like to discuss what is the most feasible and efficient approach to complete a project. So I communicate with my colleague so we can find a comprise that fits their needs and is most productive."

Related: How To Prepare for a Job Interview

What electrical engineering software are you familiar with?

This is a common question because a robust knowledge of different software can make you a best-fit candidate for the job.

Example: "In my previous job role, I became comfortable using a variety of software, including electrical schematic software, circuit simulation & PCB design software, GUI based software for dynamic system simulation and software for numerical computing."

Give two reasons that may cause a transformer humming.

As transformer humming is a common complaint with electrical transformers, it helps employers understand your electrical engineering skills.

Example: “One reason could be the magnetostriction effect of alternating currents that flow through the coil of transformer. Another reason could be the breaking of the core adhesive part and laminated layers."

Are you prepared to learn new electrical engineering concepts based on the client's requirements?

Employers ask this question to understand whether you are ready to expand your skill set and willing to adapt to the changing job-related requirement.

Example: “I consider myself as an open-minded individual who is ready to learn new concepts and is willing to take inputs from others to excel at my work. It's an opportunity to develop my knowledge and skills."

Can you change a 35 V 100 microfarad capacitor with a 50V 100 microfarad capacitor?

This interview question helps an employer understand your level of technical knowledge about microfarad capacitors.

Example: “No, you cannot change a 35V 100 microfarad capacitor with a 50V 100 microfarad capacitor. It's because the voltage written on a capacitor shows the highest voltage a capacitor can bear."

Related: Technical Interview Questions and Example Answers

In microelectronics, what does FPGA stand for and what does it mean?

This is a basic technical question to gauge your knowledge on a very common aspect of electrical engineering.

Example: "FPGA is an acronym for Field Programmable Gate Array, which is a type of integrated circuit found within an electronic device that you can customise after the manufacturing process is complete."

Do you know what Ohms Law is?

Employers ask this question to determine if you understand the fundamentals of this technical theory.

Example: "The equation for Ohms Law is V equals I times R, and it represents a theory that describes the current in a conductor between two points and how they are in proportion to the voltage between them."

Tell me how analog and digital signals are different.

This is a technical question that assesses your knowledge on a common electrical engineering signal types.

Example: "From what I understand, the major difference between them is that analog uses continuous electrical signals, while in contrast, the digital signals are non-continuous. This changes how information flows between two endpoints of electrical communication."

Can you name some common logic gates?

This is a technical question that identifies if you know about logic gates and what they are.

Example: "Some of the most common logic gates that I can currently think of are NOT, Buffer, XNOR, XOR, OR, NOR, NAND, and AND. There are other ones, but I can't think of them at the moment."

How do you organise your work when you have a strict deadline to meet?

This question helps employers gauge your time management and organisational skills.

Example: "I have a strict deadline to meet, I organise my work by creating a spreadsheet and prioritising all my work based on when they are due. This allows me to identify what I need to get done first."

What are your strengths?

An employer may ask this question because they want a genuine response about your strengths.

Example: "My strengths are that I have a fairly vast knowledge of different electrical engineering concepts like AutoCAD, schematics, wiring hardware and motorising generators. I'm also a really fast learner as well."

What are your weaknesses?

Employers sometimes as this to gauge your honest and personal perception of your weaknesses.

Example: "My biggest weakness is that I can be a bit of a perfectionist. I generally like to work alone, so sometimes I like to take over a project to get it done most efficiently and accurately."

Describe a time when you made a mistake and how did you resolve it?

This is a question that helps you to describe your ability to take accountability and problem-solving skills.

Example: "There was a time when I accidentally routed the wrong digital signal and it caused some interference and delays. I stayed late so that I could resolve the issue before the next workday."

Explain how to block an electromagnetic field.

Electromagnetic fields are an important element of this field so an employer wants to determine if you understand them.

Example: "I believe you can block an electromagnetic field by using a faraday cage, which is essentially an enclosure that you put around some kind of conductive material. It provides continuous electromagnetic blocking coverage."

What are some transmission cables?

Employers want to gauge your technical knowledge on the various transmission cables.

Example: "There are three cables that you can use for transmission. Low-tension cables, which transmit up to 1000 volts. The second are high tension cables, which go up to 23000 volts. Super tension is the third, which transmits between voltage 66 kV and 132 kV."

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