In addition to answering common interview questions, mechanical engineers with creativity and insight into what will shape the future of engineering will be the most coveted job candidates.
Some of the most notable mechanical engineers of our time include Bill Nye, Nikola Tesla, Rudolf Diesel, Ursula Burns, and Karen Nyberg.
The future of mechanical engineering will include nanoengineering, biomechatronics, and so on. Technology will continue changing the engineering field. For example, real-time data is changing how the trial-and-error processes for prototyping were conducted previously. Another major change has come with the implementation of agile methods to speed product development and efficiency.
This means that continuous professional development is key for engineers to remain competitive when searching for a new job and interviewing. Engineering is a field where you can never stop learning, so plan on continuing your formal education annually.
There will be an increasing need for engineers who demonstrate superior communication and collaboration skills when working with those without technical backgrounds, including internal clients.
JOB OUTLOOK & SALARY
Engineering jobs are expected to increase steadily with an above-average median salary as well, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).
Civil and mechanical engineering are the top fields for engineers with other popular roles within industrial, environmental, and aerospace.
Despite the biggest change to engineering in 2020 with COVID-19, engineering talent continued to be in demand going into 2021. This has meant that recruiters have recruited passive and active job seekers alike.
The long-term impact of COVID-19 will come by way of risk management and other safety precautions/procedures at work. There is also expected to be an uptick in domestic manufacturing in the U.S. as the workforce realigns to accommodate the changes across other industries (e.g., retail and hospitality).
There are several levels of mechanical engineers, including:
- Intermediate Mechanical Engineer
- Entry/Junior Mechanical Engineer
- Mechanical Engineer I/II/III/IV
- Senior Mechanical Engineer
The salary for mechanical engineers varies, depending upon the amount of experience and location. For example, the average salary for these engineers ranges from $50K to $100K, yet in my area, Dayton, OH, the starting range drops to $29K.
Some of the highest-paying engineering jobs are located throughout the east coast, including Virginia, Washington, and Maryland, with average salaries being mid-$90K according to Indeed.com.
When working with an interview coach, you’re provided with the skills and insights needed to tailor and practice your interview answers against common interview questions.
This is key for today’s engineering professionals: using terminology and touching on the key points mentioned in the employer’s job description.
There’s a lot that can be accomplished within just 1 or 2 coaching sessions.
For example, identifying and resolving interview answer gaps and strategizing the best ways of answering those challenging (and sometimes odd!) questions.
Practicing your answers through mock interview prep can help you master and make the process a breeze.
Looking to benefit from interview coaching? Start here by scheduling a free 15-minute consultation.
QUESTIONS FOR MECHANICAL ENGINEERS TO REVIEW BEFORE A JOB INTERVIEW:
- Talk about your mechanical field responsibilities.
- Tell me about the two biggest projects you’ve worked on and supported?
- What new engineering skills have you developed in the last year?
- Do you have any patents for products that were sold nationally, internationally?
- Have you contributed to any cost savings for your company? How so and how much was saved?
- Have you developed any processes that have improved safety?
- What do you consider to be the elements of successful teamwork?
- Describe the process and tools you use when developing a project plan.
- What do you do when faced with forgoing quality standards for the sake of expediency or cost?
- Talk about a time when you had direct contact with a dissatisfied client. What happened?
- Tell me about a major project you have worked on that required you to lead a team.
- Has anything you’ve written been published in professional journals or magazines (e.g., Mechanical Engineering by ASME.org, Journal of Mechanical Engineering, Plant Engineering)?
- How do you deal with changing priorities or scope creep on a project?
- Discuss a time when you had to explain technical information to a non-technical audience.
- What is your experience with preparing RFQs/cost estimates?
- What would you be if you weren’t an engineer?
- Talk about a time when you worked on a project where there were conflicting professional interests. How did you determine an appropriate course of action?
- What is your experience with managing budgets?
- What do you do to stay current with new advancements in the field?
- Who was your go-to person when you encountered a problem on a project that you couldn’t solve alone?
- Have you ever made a mistake that cost your employer significant money?
- Have you ever had a mentor? What did you learn from him or her?
- How do you motivate the engineering team when a project is floundering?
- What is the first contribution you would make if hired?
- How has public policy impacted a project you’ve worked on?
- What criteria do you use when deciding between multiple design options?
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