5 Unexpected Questions to Ask Your Engineering Candidates


When trying to hire talented engineers, the interview gives your organization the best chance to decide between qualified candidates. You gain an opportunity to vet a candidate’s skills and experience while seeing how well they communicate under pressure. It’s a critical piece of any staffing process, ensuring your company makes the right hiring choice.

Asking a few unexpected questions also provides meaningful insights into each candidate, helping to differentiate them. What follows is a list of a few queries to consider during your company’s next staffing effort. Leverage this approach to make the right hiring decision after your next round of interviews.

Describe a Scenario Where You Took an Engineering Risk

An open-ended question like this offers meaningful insights into a candidate’s ability to think in a pressure-packed situation. Engineers with the ability to devise innovative solutions sometimes take measured risks. Use this question to probe into their work history for examples of how their risk-tasking helped solve a problem.

If You Were an Automobile, What Model Would You Be?

This is an offbeat question suitable for an engineering interview considering the technical nature of the automobile industry. It may provide insights into a candidate’s affinity for engineering outside of work. Their answer also offers a window into their personality and potential cultural fit with your organization.

How Well Do You Perform as Part of a Team?

While this is a more standard question, the importance of teamwork in modern engineering makes asking it critical. You want to determine whether a candidate works well with other engineers, especially when differences arise. Use follow-up questions to probe deeper into their performance on challenging projects.

Explain How You Solved a Complex Problem on The Job

Problem-solving is another critical soft skill for any engineer to possess. Questions like these let the candidate explain various solutions they devised to fix complex issues throughout their career. This is also another example of open-ended questions providing useful insights into a candidate’s verbal communication ability.

If You Won Millions in The Lottery, What Would You Do?

This question offers a variant to the standard “where do you see yourself in 5 years” interview question. If the candidate mentions a desire to start their own engineering firm, they truly possess a strong love for the field. This is important to know for any engineer.


In need of Engineering talent? 

If your company needs an influx of engineering talent, connect with the experts at Transcend Solutions. As one of the top technical staffing agencies in the Northwest, we provide exceptional candidates to help your organization’s success. Schedule a meeting with us to discuss your current and future staffing needs.

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