10 Probing Questions to Ask an Engineer in a Job Interview


There are 1.6 million engineers in the United States. So if you’re looking to hire an engineer, you’re going to have a lot of options!

Wondering how to find the most qualified candidate for the job? We’ve got you covered! Here are 10 questions to ask an engineer during your next interview.

1. What Do You Enjoy the Most About Engineering?

This is a good get-to-know-you question to find out what the applicant is most passionate about. You can also use how they answer this question to gauge their thinking and communication style. And you can use it to place them on a team that you think they’ll fit with best.

2. What Safeguards Do You Use to Avoid Mistakes?

Strong candidates will have a system in place. You’ll want a candidate that actively tries to reduce their margin of error. After all, mistakes in engineering can have severe consequences.

3. Discuss a Time When a Project Didn’t Go As Planned.

When you’re thinking of questions to ask an engineer, you’ll to want to test their problem-solving capabilities. This particular question is a good example of the candidate’s ability to problem solve on the job.

4. How Do You Stay Organized?

Most engineers have to work on several projects at a time while remaining within each one’s time and budget constraints. Use this question to assess the candidate’s time management skills and allocation abilities.

5. Discuss How You’d Handle a Client Pushing Back Against a Safety Measure.

Workplace safety is essential. Use this question to determine how your candidate will ensure it on your behalf. Check how well they can defend safety plans if necessary while remaining diplomatic.

6. How Do You Keep Up-To-Date with Developments in Your Field?

Because engineering is a constantly changing field, you’ll want a candidate that plans to stay on top of the current trends. Candidates that are adaptable and willing to learn new techniques are valuable.

7. Discuss Technical Decisions in Your Last Job That Positively Affected the Final Results.

This competency interview question examines how your candidate can help your business. Their ability to be innovative and perform their job well will impact your bottom line.

8. Discuss Your Most Challenging Engineering Project to Date.

This question can reveal a lot. It lets you know what types of projects may be challenging for them. It also lets you see how they troubleshoot difficult tasks.

9. Why Do You Want to Work for This Company?

This is one of the classic interview questions but very important. It evaluates how good of a fit the client is for the company.

You don’t want a candidate that blindly applied to every job available. Make sure they’ve done their research and know a little bit about your company. Being committed to your company indicates that they’ll be willing to stick around.

10. Why Should We Hire You?

Again, the fit is important. The candidate should be able to establish why they would fit in well in this role and in this company. This is their chance to set themselves apart from a sea of other qualified candidates.

Questions to Ask an Engineer: Now You Know!

Now that you know what questions to ask an engineer on your next interview, you’re ready to start hiring. Looking for help? Engineering is only one area of PT System’s industry expertise!

Contact us today to find out how our consulting services can help you hire the best candidate for the job!