Interview Questions For Production Engineer (With Answers)

Updated 23 February 2023

A production engineer supervises and improves production at factories and plants. Their responsibilities include supporting engineering teams, preparing safety protocols, reporting issues to the manager and implementing strategies to increase profits and efficiency. During your interview for this position, the interviewer can ask questions that assess your technical expertise and business sense, along with your operational knowledge of various processes. In this article, we discuss some interview questions for production engineer along with their answers and provide you with various other questions that you may encounter during an interview.

Top Interview Questions For Production Engineer

Here are some interview questions for production engineer that you can expect from your interviewer:

  • Tell me a little about yourself.

  • Why did you decide to become a production engineer?

  • Do you have any recent projects to share with me?

  • What are your areas of expertise in this field?

  • Where and when did you undergo your training?

  • How do you see yourself contributing to this position?

  • How do you plan to achieve your goals?

  • How do you see your strengths being a fit for the position?

  • What do you consider your biggest weakness? Do you have any plans to address it?

  • Which qualities do you consider important for leaders to possess?

  • As a production engineer, what do you hope to accomplish in our company?

Related: What Is Production Engineering? Degree, Opportunities And Skills

Questions Regarding Experience And Background

During the interview, the interviewer can ask questions about your experience, including your education and professional background. Following are a few examples of questions the interviewer might ask:

  • When did you start working in this industry?

  • Can you briefly describe your qualifications?

  • As part of your previous roles, what were some of your responsibilities?

  • When you are working on multiple projects, how do you prioritise your work?

  • Which part of the production process interests you most?

  • In what ways have your skills and experience contributed to your previous company's goals?

  • To keep up with the industry trends, what methods do you use?

  • What time management techniques do you use and why do you believe it is important?

  • In your experience, what role does leadership play?

Related: How To Use The STAR Interview Response Technique

Common Technical Or Role-Specific Interview Questions

The duties of a production engineer include producing high-quality products by planning and coordinating production processes on a daily basis and establishing operational strategies aimed at achieving financial and production goals. This requires in-depth technical knowledge and specialisation. The interviewer may ask the following technical questions:

  • When evaluating manufactured products, what factors do you take into consideration?

  • Suggest some ways to optimise the use of equipment and materials to maximise production.

  • What are the procedures for ensuring employee safety and environmental protection?

  • What are the best practices that can improve the production capacity, quality and reliability in the industry?

  • In what ways can you reduce costs without compromising on the high-quality standards?

  • How can you reduce downtime and outages through engineering analysis?

  • How can you investigate problems, analyse root causes and come up with solutions?

  • Explain how you can prepare a budget and monitor expenses and profitability.

  • How can you identify unsafe operations and practices and bring them to the attention of your manager?

Related: 25 Behavioural Interview Questions (With Example Answers)

Production Engineer Interview Questions With Sample Answers

You can prepare your responses and get ready for your interview by using the following examples of interview questions for production engineers:

1. Explain what is BOM?

During the interview, the interviewer is likely to discuss some of the technical aspects of production and manufacturing. Interviewers use this question to assess your overall expertise as a production engineer. It is essential that you provide examples of your experience overseeing BOMs.

Sample answer: "BOM, also called the bill of materials, is used to document a company's manufacturing process. For example, a BOM may include a master list of the components required to build a product, depending on the nature of the production. In my previous position, I was responsible for managing the design, development and fabrication of my company's products and the bill of materials included the suppliers and tools we used in our production."

2. What is MES? How do you use it?

The question explores your knowledge and skills in this field. An interviewer may assess your understanding of the overall manufacturing process and its various applications. Showcase your knowledge of these aspects with clear and concise answers. To help you practice your answer, here is an example:

Sample answer: "MES stands for manufacturing enterprise system and it is a technical application designed to manage and control production operations in a manufacturing plant. At my previous company, I monitored the MES to reduce the required time to produce an entire product order. By analysing this information provided by MES, I was able to provide detailed insight to decision-makers regarding how to improve their operations. It also reduces the data entry time and helps improve product quality."

Related: Production Resume Skills: Definition, Examples And Tips

3. Have you used Kanban before?

The interviewer may ask you this question during your interview to learn how you perform your job duties and your hands-on experience with various tools. Talk about your experiences and if you have not used Kanban, describe similar applications you used to do similar tasks with your interviewer. Below is a sample response to help guide you:

Sample answer: "Yes, I have extensively used Kanban at my previous workplace. I used the Kanban board to visualise the workflow and tasks and to gain a clearer picture of the workload. In addition, I took advantage of Kanban's integrated tracking function to monitor the company's manufacturing components and equipment. I also used it to build a mature workflow management system by optimising the flow of tasks in your system through automation rules. It is a tool I am familiar with already."

4. What does the term factory overhead mean?

The question is meant to assess your expertise in this area. Such questions in the interview may help the interviewer gauge your technical knowledge and experience. It is necessary to be precise in your responses. You may find the following sample answer helpful:

Sample answer: "All expenses incurred during manufacturing are factory overheads excluding the cost of materials and direct labours. As a production engineer, it is essential to consider overheads such as the factory rent, costs associated with equipment setup and maintenance, facilities taxed as property, fringe benefits and other costs. To account for factory overheads, it is essential to allocate expenses to production and service departments and properly account for them at each stage."

Related: What Does A Manufacturing Engineer Do? (Salary And Skills)

5. What is QMS? Can you explain it in detail?

The interviewer examines your knowledge of using various tools to optimise manufacturing processes in the following question. Questions of this nature during the interview allows the interviewer to assess your ability to minimise turnaround time and ensure on-time delivery of goods as a production engineer. You may find the following sample answer helpful:

Sample answer: "Quality management refers to a set of activities and processes aimed at meeting the customer expectations and needs. Quality management systems, also referred to as QMS, enable teams to continuously improve their products to the benefit of their customers. It helps in process definition, improvement and its control, lowering costs associated with processes, establishing organisational direction and locating and facilitating opportunities for training."

6. What is the difference between jigs and fixtures?

This advanced question is designed to test your knowledge and education. Defining these terms and stating their differences is an appropriate way to begin. Here is an example:

Sample answer: "Jigs and fixtures are used to produce a large number of identical parts. Devices such as jigs can perform a variety of functions, such as holding work and guiding a tool. Manufacturing tools such as fixtures support, locate and hold work to perform machining operations. A jig is commonly used to drill, bore, ream and tap and we use fixtures in milling, shaping and slotting."

Related: How To Crack A Job Interview

7. What methods can you use to increase efficiency in production?

The interviewer wants to see how creative you are with your approach. In answering this question, you can explain the steps and why they can increase efficiency. A creative approach is essential to tackling this problem and demonstrating your problem-solving skills.

Sample answer: "Waste management is one approach to maximising efficiency, where the primary goal is maximum utilisation of supplies and building designs to reduce the number of materials at each stage of the process. We can also improve workplace training to assist people in understanding the different methods of optimising processes and reducing costs. It is essential for every aspect of the production process to be accounted for and quantified. Preventive maintenance is essential to reduce the possibility of equipment failure. Additionally, employee engagement is vital for workplace success."

Related: Production Vs Manufacturing: What Are The Differences?

8. What are the challenges within the industry and what are your areas of focus?

The interviewer evaluates you based on your ability to solve problems, provide solutions and suggest improvements to the company that ultimately makes it successful. Answer this question by demonstrating your abilities to analyse information, think creatively and your problem-solving approach.

Sample answer: "The industry faces several challenges, including the development of efficient processes for design and production, waste management, improving the capacity and quality of production and maximising equipment usage. By reducing waste and improving quality assurance, I aim to help reduce costs and increase profits."

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