There are certain traits that are important to many employers when they are hiring an engineer. Going to school and gaining a degree has become a rudimentary necessity in landing engineering jobs. The hiring process has evolved greatly as employers analyze the skills, interests and personality that will best match their needs. The role of an engineer has expanded over the past years as the demand for groundbreaking innovations has risen. If you want to be successful in the field of engineering, these are some of the traits employers are looking for:
A great engineer has a vast amount of technical knowledge. They understand a variety of computer programs and other systems that are commonly used during an engineering project. Engineers must acquire the appropriate set of technical skills if they are to perform well in their chosen profession.
Employers want to hire an engineer who will be able to come up with different solutions to an existing problem. A technically brilliant engineer with little imagination is unlikely to add any value to the organization and will have a difficult time with different projects. An engineer who can channel their creative vision through careful planning and an inventive use of existing resources is a valuable asset to any organization.
An efficient engineer should be able to translate complex technical words into plain English which clients and other stakeholders can easily grasp. They are able to communicate in a calm, understanding and patient manner and take people through how the problem will be handled. An engineer who is unable to communicate will have a tough time getting anyone, including his employer, to understand what is going on. They are able to the build a trusting relationship with colleagues with good listening, appropriate feedback and efficient and courteous ways to motivate, negotiate and persuade peers.
Overlooking a possible flaw in a design or plan can have detrimental consequences on an organization. Employers need engineers who pay close attention to detail even under very tight deadlines. The slightest error can cause an entire structure to collapse so an engineer must pay meticulous attention to every detail. This also ensures that timelines are kept in check and that the job is done to completion within the stipulated time.
Motivated to continue learning
The engineering field constantly has new developments as it is influenced by technology, which changes rapidly. Employers can detect a successful engineer by how keen they are to keep abreast of new skills, research and ideas that come up. The willingness of an engineer to refresh their education shows that they are open to new advances and will keep the organization at the fore front of their competitors in that area.
Can work alone and in a team as well
Engineers get different tasks; some that must be handled alone and others that must be completed in a team. Employers are looking for an individual who can comfortably handle either situation and be productive. A great engineer understands that whether working alone or in a team they are able to meet their deadlines without issue.
Problem solving skills
Employers frequently call on engineers to solely address a problem, figure out where the problem stems from and quickly develop a solution. Therefore, during the interview process they look for people who demonstrate curiosity, good listening skills and a proper comprehension of a problem once put forth. Top-notch engineers should be able to identify and define the problem to be solved, develop alternative design solutions and implement the solution finally selected.
Ethical and Professional Behavior
No employer wants to hire an engineer who will represent them negatively to internal stakeholders and the general public. Organizations want to hire engineers who will boost their reputation by recognizing and resolving ethical dilemmas, as well as behaving in a professional manner at all times and under all circumstances. Employers are then able to entrust such individuals with projects as well as handling their clients.
Employers want to hire an engineer who is continually examining things and thinking of ways to help things work better. Given any situation, engineers should be adept at getting to know the root cause of an issue, forecasting the impact and planning corrective actions. Their analytical skills will help them visualize a given task, project or issue from several angles in order to breakdown it into smaller steps. An engineer who is naturally inquisitive will be able to handle stressful and complex situations in the workplace.
Typically, engineering involves complex calculations of varying difficulty. All engineers need to have excellent math skills as they need to know how to manipulate complex formulas to ensure their system or design will function appropriately. A slight miscalculation can render an entire system’s design useless. While not all engineering jobs may require one to perform complex derivative equations as a part of their everyday routine, there is still a need to be well-versed in trigonometry and calculus so as to use the software that has become an integral part of the practice of modern engineering.
Appreciation and interaction with different cultures
Most engineers today work around the globe or in a multicultural setting, dealing with workmates who come from different parts of the world. Therefore it has become critical to understand cultural differences in order to work in harmony with others from around the world. Employers are constantly looking for engineers who can demonstrate that they have worked in a multi-cultural environment or are conversant with foreign languages.
Positive and Enthusiastic Attitude
The engineering field is often stressful and demanding which can take a toll on any individual. An engineer who is both imaginative and optimistic will be successful in solving challenging technical problems as well as keeping his team members motivated to complete the job. They will also be able to keep clients calm and handle pressure.
Sense of Humor
Employers know that engineers are not perfect and like anyone else, they are bound to make mistakes. What they do not want is an engineer who will beat themselves up over and over for their mistakes and carry on these feelings of failure into the next project. Therefore, it is important for engineers to be able to laugh at themselves once in a while, move on and stop dwelling over the negatives. Sometimes a good sense of humor makes up for other imperfections.
Interpersonal and leadership skills
To be a good leader one must be able to inspire others. To inspire others, one must be able to relate to them. This is impossible if you do not have good interpersonal skills. Employers want an engineer who will be able to get along and work with colleagues, effectively participate in meetings as well as sort out work schedules. They also expect an engineer will be able to lead their team effectively during projects.
Business and Management Techniques
An engineer who holds a senior level position or plans on starting their own company is expected to possess sound business and management skills in order to be successful. Engineering managers are expected to be leaders not only within the organization but in their industry and society as well. Employers seek individuals who understand economic and financial issues and are comfortable working within a business-oriented environment.