77 Industrial Engineering Interview Questions (With Answers)

Indeed Editorial Team

Updated 15 March 2023

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.

If you are about to appear for an industrial engineering interview, preparing for it can help you increase your chances of selection. Interviewers often use these interviews to determine the kind of professional you are and your skills by asking several technical, behavioural and in-depth questions. Knowing answers to these questions beforehand can help you show your expertise and how you can be an asset to the company. In this article, we discuss commonly asked industrial engineering interview questions, along with some sample answers, to help you prepare for your upcoming interview.

Common industrial engineering interview questions

There are a variety of industrial engineering interview questions that the interviewer can ask you during your interview. Below are some of the most commonly asked questions:

General questions

Many interviews, regardless of the position they are for, typically begin with the interviewer asking some general questions. Below are some general questions that the interviewer may ask you:

  1. Could you tell me about yourself?

  2. Where do you see yourself in five years?

  3. What are your core strengths?

  4. According to you, what is your greatest weakness?

  5. What are some attributes you wish you had?

  6. How would you define success?

  7. What made you decide to become an industrial engineer?

  8. What do you know about our company?

  9. Who do you admire the most?

  10. Are you willing to relocate for this role?

  11. What is your greatest accomplishment?

  12. If given the chance, what would you change about this company?

  13. What are your greatest fears?

  14. What separates you from other candidates?

  15. How would your peers describe you?

  16. Why do you want to leave your current job?

  17. Why do you want to join our company?

  18. What would you like to accomplish in this role?

  19. Why should we hire you?

  20. What are your hobbies outside of work?

  21. Would you consider yourself to be a team player?

  22. Would you say you are good at working under pressure?

  23. Could you tell me about your work style?

  24. If you had to let someone go, how would you do it?

  25. What are your salary expectations?

  26. When can you start?

  27. Do you have any questions about the company or the role?

Related: Writing An Industrial Engineer Resume (Template And Example)

Questions about experience and background

After asking some general questions, the interviewer may move to questions that would help them understand your background and your experience in the field. Here are some questions that they may ask to understand if you can perform the essential duties required for the job:

  1. Could you briefly describe your experience as an industrial engineer so far?

  2. What is your daily routine as an industrial engineer?

  3. What skills, according to you, are necessary for an industrial engineer to have?

  4. What are some of the common mistakes that an industrial engineer can make and how can you avoid them?

  5. Tell me about an occasion when you used critical thinking to overcome a challenge.

  6. Which engineering processes are you familiar with?

  7. How do you identify and correct errors?

  8. How have you collaborated with other engineers in the past?

  9. Tell me about an occasion when you persuaded your manager to spend money that was not initially planned.

  10. How would you verify the correctness of the data?

  11. How would you measure the success of your team?

  12. How well-versed are you with technology?

  13. Which computer software have you worked with in the past?

  14. Could you tell me about your vendor management experience?

  15. Tell me about an occasion when you had to manage conflict at your workplace.

  16. What is the most difficult challenge that you face when developing a product?

  17. How would you prevent flow marks in an injection-moulded product?

  18. Tell me about a difficult situation you came across and how you handled it.

  19. What is a daily item that you would redesign to suit your needs better?

  20. How would you teach new processes to your current team members?

  21. Tell me something about your favourite and your least favourite industrial engineering project.

Related: Essential Engineer Interview Questions (And Sample Answers)

In-depth questions

In-depth interview questions can help the interviewer determine your knowledge and expertise in the field. They can also help them understand how well you would perform in the position. Below are some in-depth questions that the interviewer may ask you:

  1. What is plant organisation?

  2. Can you explain total quality control?

  3. What standards apply to total quality control?

  4. What is the importance of statistics for an industrial engineer?

  5. Can you tell me about warehouse management systems?

  6. What can you tell me about line organisation?

  7. Could you tell me about the project management tools that you use?

  8. Which tools do you prefer for inventory management?

  9. How do you source locations?

  10. How does the physical layout of a plant help productivity?

  11. How would you optimise the layout of a plant so that it produces the best results?

  12. How would you reduce the cost of products and throughput time while handling materials?

  13. Can you differentiate between basic and secondary processes? How do you use them?

  14. What is the objective behind cost accounting?

  15. What is the objective behind department classification?

  16. What are time studies? What methods does one use to conduct them?

  17. Can you briefly describe queueing theory?

  18. Could you tell me something about the critical path method?

  19. What are the most important factors to consider while designing a plant?

  20. How would you decide which area is suitable for manufacturing?

  21. How would you decide which area is suitable for storage?

  22. Can you list some of the advantages and disadvantages of product grouping?

  23. What are some ways to make your workplace safer?

  24. What are your waste-reduction strategies?

  25. How do you include benchmarks in your workflow evaluations?

Related: What To Do After B.Tech: 10 Options For Engineering Graduates

Industrial engineering interview questions with sample answers

Preparing answers to important questions beforehand can help you feel confident when appearing for the interview. Here are sample answers to some of the important ones to help you prepare for the interview:

1. What do you mean by industrial engineering?

Through this question, the interviewer may want to determine your understanding of industrial engineering and your perception of the role. This can be your chance to showcase your expertise in the field. Do some research about the company before the interview and focus on where your views align with those of the company.

Example: 'Industrial engineering involves the study and application of design to make production systems more effective by increasing their productivity and decreasing waste. It begins with analysing the items to be produced, the design of the production plant and other elements of the process. The industrial engineer then creates a process that combines facilities, equipment, materials and employees. An effective industrial engineer focuses on enhancing every part of the process until everything as a whole improves.'

Related: 6 Skills For Industrial Engineers (And Their Importance)

2. What is the difference between process planning and process analysis?

The interviewer may ask this question to determine your understanding of technical concepts. Technical questions such as this one can help them understand your knowledge of the industry. To answer this question, define each term and tell how you can apply them in your role to highlight the difference.

Example: 'Process analysis is the practice of evaluating all plant processes and breaking them down into phases or components. The purpose is to reduce costs, improve quality, increase productivity and shorten production times. You can use it to better understand the relationship between each process component.

Process planning entails using the results of process analysis to construct a step-by-step plan for manufacturing a product or providing a service. It establishes a relationship between processes that would move raw materials to finished goods or services. Process planning makes you more thoughtful about what you do and why you do it.'

Related: Process Improvement Interview Questions: Answers And Tips

3. Can you describe the three managerial functions within a production environment?

This question can help the interviewer determine your understanding of the structure of management in a production environment. You can answer this question by briefly describing each function and its importance in the production environment.

Example: 'As you said, there are three main managerial functions within a production setting. The first is planning, which outlines the goals of the company. The second is organising, which entails establishing a framework for the manufacturing process, identifying the necessary equipment and resources and dividing the organisation into functional units. The third is controlling, which takes place on the production floor during the manufacturing process.'

4. What are the two primary methods for calculating product expenses?

Through this question, the interviewer may want to determine if you know how to reduce costs and track expenses. Knowing how to calculate manufacturing costs can help be successful both at the task and in answering.

Example: 'The two primary methods are job-order cost and process cost. You can use job-order cost when the orders placed are for specific jobs or products. You can assess each order separately and determine the individual cost. The process cost method calculates expenses continuously as they correspond to production.'

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