The Right Engineering Interview Questions to Ask

Updated: Oct 2, 2020

At the end of your engineering interview, your interviewer will ask you if you have any questions for them. You should always have at least a few engineering interview questions to ask after the interview is over. It shows you are interested in the company and what the company does.

What Engineering Interview Questions Should I Ask?

I have found that asking three questions, mixing non-specific and specific topics, is a good number. It shows you are interested without your interviewer feeling as if you are interrogating them.

To ask three post-interview questions, you should come up with five questions before your interview. That way if one of your questions is answered during the normal interview process, you can throw it out. You never want one of your engineering interview questions you ask to be something that was already answered.

During the interview, you might think of an additional question to ask, which is fine. You can either bump out one of your original pre-interview questions or go up to four questions if they are all important. I would not exceed four questions though.

Don’t Ask Questions Google Can Answer

When thinking about which engineering interview questions to ask, do a little research first. Researching the company beforehand allows you to ask intelligent questions. I always tell people to never ask a question that could be easily answered by searching on the internet. Instead, ask questions that only this interview can give you access too. Doing this is a great way to connect with your interviewers.

While doing your research, if you find something specific about the company that triggers an interview question to ask, you should. Adding research information into a question shows the interviewer that you took the time to research the company first. Interviewers like this because it shows that you care about the interview, are interested in the company, and take initiative.

Categories of Engineering Interview Questions to Ask

The engineering interview questions to ask fall into different categories. I have broken down the most common questions into three broad categories:

  1. Company Culture Questions – These interview questions are related to the company as a whole.

  2. Job Position Questions – These interview questions are related to the specific job you are applying for.

  3. Professional Development Questions – These interview questions are related to how you will grow as an engineer and as part of the company. These questions are great because it shows your interviewers that you are passionate about learning and improving.

You should only ask one question from each category. You can choose which question in each category to ask based on what is important to you.

When picking engineering interview questions to ask, be sure to ask questions that will make a difference when deciding if you want to take the job. If you do get multiple job offers, what are the important factors that will help you decide which offer to take? Those are the questions you should ask.

Here are some common engineering interview questions to ask for each category. This is not an extensive list, so you can add additional questions as needed.

Company Culture Questions

  • What is the work culture like at XXX Company?

  • How do you enjoy working at XXX Company?

  • Where do you see XXX Company going over the next 5 to 10 years?

  • What type of work does the XXX office location in XXX Company specialize in?

Job Position Questions

  • You said you worked in XXX field, like this current job opening. Can you tell me some of the things you have been able to do in that field while working at XXX Company?

  • Could you walk me through a typically day for someone in this position at XXX Company?

  • Can you describe the standard responsibilities for someone in this position at XXX Company?

  • Do you have any advice for someone just starting out in XXX Company?

Professional Development Questions

  • How is an entry-level engineer trained at XXX Company?

  • What professional development opportunities are provided for engineers at XXX Company?

Engineering Interview Questions to Never Ask

You will be judged on everything you do in an interview, how you look, how you present yourself, and how you answer questions. You will also be judged on which engineering interview questions you choose to ask. That is why you need to make sure you avoid bad questions that could cause the interviewer to judge you incorrectly. Here is a list of interview questions you should avoid asking and why.

How much does this position pay?

This question just makes it seem as if all you care about is money. It will leave a bad taste in your interviewer’s mouth. Instead, just wait until you get the job offer to determine what the salary is and if you want to accept the position.

How much vacation time do I get?

This question can make people think you are not excited about working, only excited about not working. Similar to above, wait until you get the offer to see what the company offers.

Can I work from home?

This question can make people think you are going to be lazy or entitled. If the interviewer did not bring up flexible working hours / conditions, then just leave it be. You can find out when you get the job offer.

I have XXX going on in my life. Would the company be willing to work my schedule around that?

This just makes it seem as if you are going to be a difficult employee to manage due to existing life complications. Again, wait until you get an offer before discussing concessions.

Wisely Choose Which Interview Questions to Ask

Be sure to choose your interview questions wisely. While asking the right questions will not cover up a bad interview, it might give you the boost to go from a good interview to job offer. By following the advice in this article, you will be prepared and know which engineering interview questions to ask.

In review, be sure to do the following:

  • Select five questions to ask before an interview

  • After the interview is over, be sure to ask three of your five questions.

  • Each question should come from a different category of interview question types.

  • Do not ask any questions that can be found through Google.

  • Avoid questions that could give your interviewer the wrong impression of you.

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