6 Mechanical Design Interview Questions With Sample Answers

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published 24 September 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.

Mechanical design also referred to as machine design, is the process of creating technical illustrations for varied machines and their parts or components. During a mechanical design interview, recruiters can ask varied questions to determine how you use adaptive design, development design and new design to create new mechanical systems or to recognise your skills and how they help you succeed as a mechanical design engineer. Exploring some of these questions can help you give prepare better and deliver a confident performance.

In this article, we share six mechanical design interview questions and their sample answers to help you draft yours and provide some helpful interview preparation tips.

6 Mechanical Design Interview Questions And Example Answers

Here are six mechanical design interview questions and their example answers, along with recruiters' reasons for asking these questions for your understanding:

1. Tell us about a time when your manager did not approve your system upgrade recommendation

When interviewers ask this question, they intend to assess your interpersonal skills. Prepare an answer that shows your ability to work genially with your managers and colleagues and accept feedback. Share in your response how you manage disagreements constructively. To give an articulate answer, consider focusing on how you cope with a difference of opinion.

Example: 'As I advance in my career, I am learning to accept constructive criticism from seniors and team members as learning opportunities. When I first joined an organisation, I was part of a product development team. I had prepared a design blueprint for a new device. My manager did not approve the design, which was a disappointing incident for me.

It was the beginning of my career and I had little knowledge that repudiations are part of the job. The next day, I received an email from my manager, in which they suggested some ways to improve my designs. When I implemented those suggestions, I developed an impressive design, which all the seniors in our team lauded. This helped me to learn the importance of feedback.'

Related: Interview Question: "Tell Me About Yourself"

2. What is your understanding of engineering drawing?

With this question, interviewers understand the extent of your technical knowledge and how you perceive the basics of mechanical design. Prepare an answer that helps you to show your expertise in the fields of mechanical design and engineering. Consider using simple language to clarify complicated concepts when defining engineering drawing to give an impressive answer.

Example: 'Engineering drawings are technical designs that illustrate how a machine or a device works, what its mechanical requirements are and what specific processes it may follow. Technical drawings work as a tool to communicate problems and devise solutions for mechanical designers and engineers. These drawings are an integral part of how product design works and they help designers and engineers to convert complex concepts into illustrated models. It is an essential tool for any product or system design that is mechanical.'

Related: Interview Question: "What Are Your Strengths And Weaknesses?"

3. Why do you wish to leave your current job?

Recruiters may often ask this question, as it helps them to recognise your motivations for changing the job. You may have multiple reasons to find a new job but when answering this question, focus on the positive aspects of your present role and how it has helped you to gain new skills or collaborate with industry leaders. In your response, tell recruiters you intend to seek an opportunity in their organisation because you feel it may be the right decision towards achieving your career goals.

Example: 'In my present organisation, I work on several projects simultaneously. This role has helped me to work with some highly skilled engineers and learn a lot from them. Here, I have gained many soft skills too, be it time management or organisation but I feel I am ready to achieve more and work towards overcoming bigger challenges. I wish to leave my present organisation because now I seek a managerial role, which your organisation is offering.

Given I have supervised several projects and offered guidance to both entry-level machine designers and my colleagues, I think I can add value to the team significantly. Working in this managerial role, I plan to share my knowledge with professionals who are starting their careers and guide teams through the process of mechanical designing to develop effective and innovative designs to grow my and the team's reputation and meet company objectives.'

Related: How To Answer The Interview Question: "What Are Your Career Goals?" (With Examples)

4. What is the most important thing that you keep in mind when designing a new product?

With this question, interviewers assess your thought process and how you conceptualise the design of a new product. In your response, concentrate on a factor that has a pivotal role in the success of a design. Discuss in your answer the outcomes of this factor and how it helps you create useful designs.

Example: 'Mechanical designers have several factors to consider before finalising a blueprint that may deliver a robust product but the most important thing for me is the end user for whom I am designing the product. It is always my top priority to deliver solutions that can fulfil user requirements successfully. It is important for me to assess how, when and why a user may utilise the product. With this assessment, I am better able to design products accurately and design products that may enhance the efficiency of the end-user.'

Related: 9 Common Mistakes To Avoid In An Interview

5. Can you tell us about a design project that you think was the most challenging?

With this question, you can show that you possess the experience of working on ambitious projects. With this question, recruiters determine your mechanical design engineering capabilities. Consider using a situation, task, action and result (STAR) method to explain the project and share why it was challenging. Focus on describing the situation, mentioning the tasks you helped to complete, sharing your course of action and revealing the results.

Example: 'I helped redesign the conveyor belt of a manufacturing company when I was working with an organisation two years ago. This is one of the most challenging design projects that I have completed. It was particularly challenging because the company had a budget limitation. With this set at a minimum for the project, I found materials that were cheap and yet can withstand the weight of their products. I employed my research skills and used a few connections in the industry to source materials that were durable and cost-effective.

When my team and I delivered the redesigned conveyor belt, the client was extremely happy. Our work helped the client to decrease their budget by 25%.'

Related: How To Use The STAR Interview Response Technique

6. Please share with us why you think you may be a suitable candidate for this position

With this question, interviewers offer you another opportunity to highlight your skills and work experience. Share specific reasons recruiters may hire you, like your multitasking skills that may help the organisation manage different projects simultaneously or your teamwork skills that may allow them to foster a collaborative work environment. You may also include in your answer how the organisation's work culture aligns with your work ethic.

Example: 'You are looking for a professional who can multitask, create functional designs and work as a collaborator with the engineers. In my previous company, I was part of the designer-engineer team which won several awards for its designs. Collaborations deliver great work and I like to build efficient and functional products for users. I have followed your organisation's work for a long time and I believe in the culture it promotes. I feel this position in your organisation can be a great addition to my work experience and offer me the opportunity to excel in this field further.'

Related: How To Crack A Job Interview

Tips To Prepare For A Mechanical Design Interview

Below are three useful tips you may follow before your mechanical design interview:

  • Read about the company. Researching the company helps you to know more about its work and projects, which may help you give answers to pertinent questions. Reading about the company's culture, mission and vision may also help you assess what the company seeks in their potential hires.

  • Explore multiple interview questions for the position. When you examine several interview questions and their answers for the mechanical design engineer position, you are better able to customise your responses and impress hiring managers. The sample responses to these questions may offer you different ways to give your answers and prepare for the interview in advance.

  • Prepare questions for recruiters. Asking questions from interviewers is a great way to know more about the company, its culture and its work. These questions may be about your routine responsibilities or the skills they expect their new hire to undertake, allowing you to show your genuine curiosity about the role.

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