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7 real-life manufacturing engineer interview questions

A Manufacturing Engineer plays a crucial role in the design, implementation, and refinement of manufacturing processes and equipment. They are responsible for ensuring efficient production, maintaining quality standards, and integrating new technologies to enhance productivity and reduce costs.

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Content manager Keith MacKenzie and content specialist Alex Pantelakis bring their HR & employment expertise to Resources.

These manufacturing engineer interview questions are directly sourced from real hiring managers and they are ready to use.

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7 good manufacturing engineer interview questions

  1. Are you able to read/interpret assembly drawings and manufacturing specifications?
  2. Do you have any experience working with automation?
  3. What experience do you have with microelectronics manufacturing and automation?
  4. What kind of experience do you have writing manufacturing work instructions?
  5. Name a time you were able to successfully implement design for manufacturing (DFM) principles. Have you ever brought a new manufacturing process to production?
  6. Are you familiar with industry standards, MRP/ERP methodologies and systems? Engineering change management? Nonconformance/defect management?
  7. What kind of hands-on experience with specific manufacturing processes do you have? (soldering, epoxy bonding, welding, etc.)

Here are 7 real-life interview questions with sample answers, based on hiring managers’ notes, to help you identify the best candidates for this role.

1. Are you able to read/interpret assembly drawings and manufacturing specifications?

This question assesses the candidate’s fundamental technical skills necessary for the role.

Sample answer:

“Yes, I am proficient in reading and interpreting assembly drawings and manufacturing specifications. In my previous role, I regularly used these skills to analyze design feasibility and suggest improvements.”

2. Do you have any experience working with automation?

Evaluates the candidate’s experience with modern manufacturing technologies.

Sample answer:

“I have extensive experience with automation. At my last job, I was involved in integrating automated systems into our production line, which improved efficiency by 25%.”

3. What experience do you have with microelectronics manufacturing and automation?

Focuses on specific experience in a highly specialized area of manufacturing.

Sample answer:

“I worked on a project involving the automation of microelectronics manufacturing. This required precise control over the assembly processes, where I contributed to programming and system optimization.”

4. What kind of experience do you have writing manufacturing work instructions?

Checks the candidate’s ability to document and communicate manufacturing processes.

Sample answer:

“I have written detailed work instructions for various manufacturing processes, ensuring they are clear, concise, and compliant with industry standards.”

5. Name a time you were able to successfully implement design for manufacturing (DFM) principles. Have you ever brought a new manufacturing process to production?

Seeks examples of the candidate’s practical application of DFM principles and innovation.

Sample answer:

“I successfully implemented DFM principles in a project where we redesigned a component for easier manufacturing, reducing assembly time by 30%. I also introduced a new bonding process to production, enhancing product durability.”

6. Are you familiar with industry standards, MRP/ERP methodologies and systems? Engineering change management? Nonconformance/defect management?

Tests the candidate’s knowledge of industry-specific methodologies and quality management practices.

Sample answer:

“I am well-versed in industry standards and have experience with MRP/ERP systems, which I used for inventory management and production planning. I’m also experienced in engineering change and defect management to maintain quality.”

7. What kind of hands-on experience with specific manufacturing processes do you have? (soldering, epoxy bonding, welding, etc.)

Inquires about the candidate’s direct experience with hands-on manufacturing techniques.

Sample answer:

“I have hands-on experience with soldering, especially in PCB assembly, and epoxy bonding for high-strength component attachment. I also have basic experience with welding processes.”

What does a good manufacturing engineer candidate look like?

A strong Manufacturing Engineer candidate demonstrates a comprehensive understanding of manufacturing processes and technologies. They should have hands-on experience with various manufacturing techniques, such as soldering and welding, and be proficient in reading technical drawings and specifications. Familiarity with automation, microelectronics manufacturing, and experience with ERP/MRP systems are highly valuable.

The ideal candidate also possesses strong problem-solving abilities, effective communication skills, and a proven track record of implementing design for manufacturing principles and introducing new processes to production. A commitment to continuous learning and adapting to evolving manufacturing technologies is also essential.

Red flags

Red flags in a Manufacturing Engineer candidate include a lack of specific knowledge in key manufacturing processes or technologies, poor communication skills, and an inability to provide concrete examples of past experiences or achievements.

Limited understanding of industry standards, MRP/ERP systems, and quality management practices like defect management may indicate a gap in essential skills. Candidates who show reluctance to adapt to new technologies or lack initiative in problem-solving and process improvement are also concerning, given the dynamic and evolving nature of the manufacturing sector.

Frequently asked questions

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