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10 common interviewing techniques used by engineering companies

Like it or not, interviewing still remains as the single most effective way for employers to assess potential employees. As frustrating as the interviewing process might be, educating yourself about these ten interviewing styles used by engineering interviewers will give you better leverage at your next interview. Besides, you don’t want to be caught up in a humiliating situation like this engineer.

1. Screening

Screening interviews are usually the rarest type of interview you will ever encounter. These types of interviews are usually short, in-person interviews, and mainly take place at a college or a career fair. This interviewing technique is mainly used to dispose unqualified candidates and to find applicants worthy of proceeding to a more detailed interview.

How to be successful: Screeners usually have to make a quick decision to either shred your resume or to ask you for an on-site interview. So, your primary goal should be to immediately impress the interviewer and prompt them to put your resume in the “good” pile. In these kinds of interviews you usually don’t have much time to sell yourself or ask specific questions about the position, so it is imperative that you answer the questions asked in a focused and impressive manner. Make sure your responses highlight your qualifications and what you have to offer the company. It goes without saying that you should have a professional resume ready and be able to answer any questions that might be derived from it.

2. Just the two of us

The famous one-on-one interviewing style is another typical screening process where a human resource representative or a recruiter conducts the interview. Typically such an interview lasts about 20-30 minutes and starts with a broad range of questions and then progresses to questions that are specific to the position in question.

How to prepare: Before this type of interview, you have to make sure that you understand what the job requirements are and how your skills and experience match those requirements. If a human resource representative is conducting this interview you can be assured that they are just trying to separate the wheat from the chuff.  In some cases they could be going through a list of preset qualifications and matching them against potential candidates.

How to prepare: The person interviewing you is the byway to getting to the real decision makers. It is a good idea to show interest in the company and have general questions that imply interest and keenness for details. This is also the type of place you would get the all-too-common “tell me about yourself” question, so be prepared to give a relevant response which also integrates your potential value to the company. Remember that this is your opportunity to find out more about the position and the company, so do not be afraid to ask the interviewer questions.

3. Employer Team

This style of interviewing has been gaining popularity over the years. It is employed by most engineering companies and it is intended to test you on how you interact with other people. Basically, in this format you are interviewed by a number of people at different times. These individuals might be prospective team-members or managers in different departments. You usually spend a few minutes with each interviewer. They might ask you questions from a list of preset questions, but in most cases they ask questions at their discretion. At the end of the day, all interviewers will get together and assess your candidacy.

Success Keys: Just like the “group attack” type of interview, your success at this type of interview is hinged on having a majority of interviewers on your side. All of them is ideal, but we all know you cannot please everybody. So, while you are interviewing, make sure you strike a sort of subtle professional friendship with each interviewer. This should obviously be done tactfully so that it doesn’t come out as unprofessional.  One of the easiest ways to do this is to imply an interest in your interviewer’s past projects or their professional life.

Make sure: Make sure you know who is who and what role they play in the organization. Such crucial insights will help you tailor your responses accordingly, aware of the interviewer’s viewpoint. For example, if an engineer (who you have determined would be your coworker) asks you about your past work experience, they might be trying to figure out what kind of a co-worker you are and how well they will be able to work with you.

Next – 4. Group Attack » 5. Group Interview » 6. The Real World» 7. Presentation

Posted by on Dec 13th, 2009 and filed under Career. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.

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