SoloPoint Insights

Technical Questions Hiring Managers Ask In Interviews

Job interview questions will differ based on the interviewer’s preference, but for technical positions such as Mechanical, Electrical and Manufacturing Engineers, hiring managers tend to be creative so that they can better target the skills and expertise they are looking for in a candidate. Here are some examples of those out-of-the-box technical interview questions:

1. When you don’t know the answer to something, what is the first thing that you do?

“This question tells us if a candidate is able to self-manage, and if they’re a fundamental problem solver. We want to hear that the candidate does the research and attempts to answer questions on their own before bringing the problem to their manager.” – Annette Stone, Senior Manager of Recruiting, Wayfair Engineering

2. Tell me about your process of getting work done. When you get a new job or take on a new project, how do you go about doing it successfully?

“I believe that every person has a very specific methodology behind the way they work. I want to know what that is, because in doing so I get to hear what I call the 6 P’s of “A” Player passion, which are critical to understanding how the candidate will gel with the culture of the team, and whether their behavior will align with the hiring manager:

Purpose – Why they do what they do
Plan – How they do what they do
Process – What they do to do what they do
Persistence – What happens when what they do fails
Persuasive communication – How they get others involved in helping what they do become successful
Pride – How they celebrate what they do”

– Matt Doucette, Director of Global Talent Acquisition at Monster

3. Tell me about some of the more interesting or difficult problems you’ve been working on the past few years.

“It reverses the power dynamic; they’re in control, not me. They’re the expert on what they’ve worked on, I’m not. There’s no wrong answer. So that relaxes them and is a great way to start an interview and make them feel comfortable. When they explain what they’ve been working on, I’m able to ask for more details about specific things as they are answering. So, I don’t let them just give high-level general answers, I dig deeper on various topics they mention. That helps me understand exactly how deep their knowledge goes in the things they’ve been working on.” – Tim Julien, Vice President of Engineering at Bonobos

4. If I were to ask your last set of coworkers to describe you, what do you think they’d say?

“It forces the candidate to think through the lens of those they work with, which can provide interesting insights about the candidate’s working style. Answers range from “dependable” to “opinionated”, and often provide a good opening to ask follow-up questions around why they believe their coworkers would hold that opinion.” – Michael Boufford, VP of Engineering at Greenhouse

5. Have you made an account on our website and what do you think can be improved about the process?

“We love to ask this because it’s a great test of two things: 1) Does the interviewee show interest in our company and 2) Can the interviewee think critically about product, not just as a user but as a builder. It’s especially useful for smaller startups who need passionate early team members and you’d be astounded at how often an interviewee hasn’t even taken the time to try out the product!” – Kenn Peters, Director of People at Vettery

To see the full list of technical questions hiring experts ask, go to

Are you looking for your next engineering career move? Look no further. Contact the recruiting team at SoloPoint Solutions at (408)246-5945 or (714)708-3639.

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