40 Mechanical Engineering Interview Questions (And Answers)

Indeed Editorial Team

Updated 23 November 2022

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When applying to mechanical engineering positions, it is important to prove your abilities in this type of engineering role so you can secure a position with a new employer. Preparing for common interview questions can help you think of effective answers and feel more confident during the hiring process. By recalling engineering situations in which you excelled, you can show that you have the skills an employer is looking for. In this article, we share common interview questions for a mechanical engineer and how to answer a few of them.

Basic Mechanical Engineering Interview Questions

General questions are important because they help the interviewer get to know you better as a candidate. You may receive these questions:

  • Tell me a little about yourself.

  • How did you get into engineering?

  • What are your greatest weaknesses?

  • What are your greatest strengths?

  • How do you keep up with industry trends?

  • What is your favourite part of being an engineer?

  • What is your least favourite part of being an engineer?

  • How would your coworkers describe you?

  • Where do you see yourself in five years?

  • What is your expected salary?

Related: Addressing Your Weaknesses in an Interview

Interview Questions About Experience And Background

Interviewers may want to know more about responsibilities you had in previous positions. To do so, they may ask the following questions to assess your work experience and background:

  • Describe your best design.

  • How do you work effectively with a team of professionals?

  • Explain your thought process for solving an issue.

  • How do you handle tight deadlines?

  • What skills are you looking to develop in this job?

  • How do you convince clients to follow your recommendations?

  • How do you use data to support design decisions?

  • How do your mechanical engineering skills come to use outside of work?

  • What is the biggest insight you have gained over the course of your career?

  • What computer software are you interested in learning?

In-Depth Interview Questions

Employers may ask these questions to assess the extent of your knowledge in a specific domain:

  • How do hydraulic clutches work?

  • What is a universal coupling?

  • In what conditions are double pulleys preferred?

  • What is mechanical refrigeration?

  • Name a few types of springs and their specific uses.

  • What is the difference between rocket motion and projectile motion?

  • What is an involute gear? What are its benefits?

  • Name some types of bearings and their specific applications.

  • Explain the law of thermodynamics.

  • In an engine, how does a supercharger work?

Basic Mechanical Engineering Interview Questions With Sample Answers

Review these commonly asked interview questions and sample answers to prepare for your mechanical engineering interview:

1. How do you stay motivated?

Employers ask this question to learn more about your passion for the job and identify your methods of inspiration. In your answer, share a few strategies you use to stay motivated. Show that you are excited about the work and know how to be efficient and accurate in your tasks.

Example: “The best way for me to stay motivated is by taking care of my mind and body. I start each day by eating a healthy breakfast and working out. This routine helps me feel energised and ready for challenges. I also take five minutes to do some deep breathing exercises to clear my mind before a busy day. I find these techniques help me stay focused and driven while at work.”

2. Are you comfortable presenting information to clients?

Show your interviewer that you can explain complicated projects or concepts to a client. Clearly express that you enjoy explaining your work and can be an effective communicator.

Example: "I have always enjoyed speaking in front of others, so I was more than happy to volunteer for this responsibility at my current position. During client meetings, I usually present information about new projects to clients. I also take this role in company meetings when I share how the department is doing and what our goals are for the next month."

Related: How To Improve Communication Skills

3. Have you worked on a project that you could not complete?

To answer this question, explain the reasons the project came to a halt and what lessons you learned from them. Even if the failure was not your fault, try to share what you would have done differently.

Example: "In one of my previous jobs, I was working on high-capacity radio control mechanisms. The team worked on a range of products, which were on the verge of being mass-produced. However, the company halted the project before the production stage to invest in a more cost-efficient communication technology. I learned the importance of primary research in that job. Had we done our research more efficiently, we could have identified the most cost-efficient technology and worked with it from the beginning."

4. Tell me about a time you overcame a challenge at work.

As requested, answer this question with a personal experience. Explain a situation you encountered, define the task, share what actions you took and then describe the results.

Example: “In my previous role, I worked on a project that involved manufacturing components of a product locally and exporting it to another country for assembly and use. Because engineers in the other country used different measurement systems and standards than our team, we had to study their standards and norms thoroughly in order to incorporate it into our working drawings. This process taught us methods of improving the quality and effectiveness of our design drawings, and upon completion, we felt more comfortable designing for users internationally.”

5. What is the first thing you designed before becoming a mechanical engineer?

Interviewers may ask this question to better get to know you and your formative influences. This can also help them learn about your interests and passions.

Example: “I have been interested in building things since my childhood. When I was 17 and in my first year of college, I designed and built an auto-closing mechanism for the doors in my room, using a simple arrangement of pulleys and weights.”

6. What skills have helped you the most in your field?

Interviewers may ask this question to understand how well you can fit into a job role. Your answer can show how your skills align with the skills required for the position.

Example: "I think my most valuable skill is creativity. Creative approaches are key to making innovative solutions in my line of work. Sometimes, the simplest solution is right in front of you. Engineers need the ability to unlearn and relearn things in order to be consistently innovative.”

7. What is a process flow diagram and how do you use it?

When interviewers ask you operational questions like this one, you can briefly define key elements and then walk them through the process you follow.

Example: “Process flow diagrams are drawings that detail key components, their connections and the overall workflow. These drawings are to scale and contain standard symbols. I frequently use them to standardise procedures and check on the functioning of tasks over time.”

8. What is tolerance and how does it factor in manufacturing processes?

First, provide the definition that is asked for to prove your technical knowledge. To follow up, you can add its real-world applications to showcase the depth of your understanding.

Example: "Tolerance is the accepted degree of deviation from a prescribed standard. It is crucial to design and manufacturing processes and often comes under the domain of quality control. While designing and manufacturing anything, it is important to factor in the tolerances of all materials and components used.”

9. What computer applications do you use regularly for work?

Employers may ask you this question to evaluate your proficiency in computer software that is essential to the job role. List the software you use and indicate your level of proficiency in each.

Example: “I am proficient in AutoCAD and Autodesk Inventor and can make detailed working drawings by myself. For computer-aided analysis of large data volumes, I prefer using MATLAB. I also use common tools, like spreadsheets and automation scripts, for estimation and costing.”

Related: Computer Skills: Definition and Example

10. What are some important things to consider while designing castings?

Your answer to this question should highlight your knowledge and experience in the specific topic. When interviewers ask technical questions, it indicates that the specific technical knowledge may be relevant to the job role.

Example: “While designing castings, I try to make the form as simple as possible. Thickness of sections should be as uniform as possible, and large flat surfaces should be avoided to improve stress performance.”

What Skills Are Required By A Mechanical Engineer?

These are some skills you can develop to be successful in a mechanical engineering role:

  • Technical knowledge

  • Computer literacy

  • Mathematical skills

  • Creativity

  • Attention to detail

  • Communication skills

Related: Mechanical Engineering Skills: Definition and Examples

How Do I Prepare For A Mechanical Engineer Interview?

Once you have prepared for the interview questions, follow these tips to prepare to meet with a hiring manager:

  • Read through the job description once more to understand what the employer is looking for from a new hire.

  • Learn more about the company you are interviewing with.

  • Bring multiple copies of your resume for a hiring team to review.

  • Practise your interview answers with a friend or colleague you trust.

  • Arrive early for the interview.


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