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How do I prepare for an engineering phone interview?

  1. Oct 3, 2012 #1
    Hi, so I graduated back in May and I finally have started hearing back from companies. I have a phone interview scheduled for next week with two of the supervising engineers that I will work under if hired. I've never had a phone interview (and only one other face to face interview) so I'm not quite sure what to expect. I don't doubt that they will ask me some technical questions, but what could they ask over the phone? What's the best way to prepare for this type of thing? I almost feel like I need to go on MIT's online course website and just go through some of the slides to make sure I remember everything.
  2. jcsd
  3. Oct 3, 2012 #2
    I've done a tonne of phone interviews. Most ask exactly the same questions, but some really mix it up and ask questions you don't expect. For example, one position was for a project manager for a major mining company. They gave me a list of items and I had to highlight the risks associated with each one-by-one. That was tough as I'd never done it before.

    Most ask you the behavioural questions. "What would you do in this situation" type stuff, which are kinda hard to prepare for, as they differ quite a lot, I think the best way to prepare is to research the company and the industry they're in. Think about answers to the obvious questions, but don't memorise anything, you want it to sound genuine and unrehearsed. I've only ever been asked technical questions once, where I was given a bunch of static problems to solve by hand. I hadn't done this is many years... I got too used to FEA.
  4. Oct 3, 2012 #3
    Yeah it's those types of questions I'm afraid of haha. I feel like they can't get too technical with them though since it is a phone interview. I just hope they don't pull some random thermodynamics question up about Carnot engine efficiency or something along those lines. Sure I can answer nearly any technical question given a book and time, but I'm not so sure how I'll do under pressure where they need an answer immediately lol.
  5. Oct 6, 2012 #4
    Phone interviews with engineers are usually not too bad. Phone interviews with HR broads are the scary ones.

    Learn as much about the company as you can and read the financial reports if publicly traded. Sept-Oct-Nov is usually when most companies do their hiring when they have a surplus. If they're doing well, make sure you let them know you've noticed it.

    Egr managers want to know they can trust you and won't have to breath down your neck all the time. So be prepared to point out your flaws but also point out that you're making a consciousness effort to make them better.

    If they ask you to rate yourself on a skill, program or theory on a scale from 1 to 10 that you have dealt with before, exaggerate the number.

    If they ask you about something you've never heard of, say you've heard of it but are not familiar with it, but would love to learn it.
  6. Oct 6, 2012 #5
    Well that's good to know. I already did the interview with HR and then got scheduled for the one with the engineers so maybe that's a good sign? For some reason I'm terrified that they are going to ask some technical question that I'm not going to know and then that's going to cost me the job lol. I'm probably just stressing out about it, but I'll go ahead and find out as much as I can about the company. Where should I look for financial reports?
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