Electronic engineers are in high demand in today’s tech-driven world. With the explosion of smartphones, tablets, computers and other gadgets, there’s a massive market for those who can design and build the hardware that makes these devices work.
This job role has many fields of specialisation. They can work in any industry, from aerospace to medical devices to automobiles, and the list goes on. The most common questions asked during a job interview will depend on the industry you are looking for.
Before you head into your first interview, it’s essential to research the company and their culture. This will also give you an idea of what kinds of questions they might ask you.
Here are some common questions that might come up during your next interview:
Be prepared to answer: tell me about yourself
This is most likely the first question you will be asked. Don’t panic—this is a great question to start with. It gives the interviewer an idea about who you are and what makes you tick. Be prepared to talk about your interests, career goals and reasons for applying for a particular job opening at that company.
Be prepared to answer: what do you know about our company?
Employers typically ask this question at the end of an interview to see if anything catches your attention about their company or product line that might make it attractive for you to work there (or vice versa). Your response should be specific and show genuine interest in their business model or product line.
Be prepared to answer: what are your strengths?
This question is meant to see if you understand yourself well enough to explain what makes you unique. It’s also a good opportunity for you to highlight any soft skills or technical skills that will help in the interview process.
Be prepared to answer: where do you see yourself in five years?
This one might seem like an easy question, but it’s one of the trickiest ones because it requires a lot of thought. This question asks if you have career goals and how they align with the company’s mission or values. When answering this question, you should always keep in mind that the interviewer cares more about how well-thought-out your answer is rather than what specific job title or industry position you want (unless they are looking for someone who wants that particular job).
Be prepared to answer: tell us about a problem you encountered in your role and how you solved it.
Being an engineer is all about solving problems. So, when you’re asked to describe a time when you innovatively solved a problem, don’t just tell them about the issue—tell them how you solved it.
For example, let’s say you were working on a project that was supposed to be done in three months and took five. What happened? Did your team miss deadlines because of poor communication? Did your supervisor not give enough guidance? Did you have to work with another group that wasn’t on board with the project?
Whatever happened, explain what went wrong and how you made it right. In this case, maybe you met with your team members individually to make sure they understood their roles and responsibilities in the future, or perhaps you worked with management to set more explicit expectations for everyone involved.
If the problem was more complex than just miscommunication or not having enough support from management, go into depth about how you approached it and what specific things you did to solve it.
Prepare for technical questions
An electronic engineer interview usually includes technical questions about your education and experience. You should also expect questions about your ability to work in a team environment and solve problems independently. If you don’t know an answer to a question, just say, “I’m not sure, but I’d be happy to look it up.” Or “I haven’t used that technology before but let me think about it.” Then follow up with an email or phone call after the interview letting them know you have researched the topic further and would appreciate any feedback they might have on your answer.
What is your favourite hardware product, and why?
Preparation and practice are essential for acing every interview, no matter who’s asking the questions. By having go-to examples for typical questions ready for job interviews, you’re less likely to fumble when it comes down to the nitty-gritty of the interview itself.
See Executive placements for more job-hunting tips.
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