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Auto Mechanic Interview

25 Questions and Answers by Rachelle Enns

Updated August 20th, 2018 | Rachelle is a job search expert, career coach, and headhunter
who helps everyone from students to fortune executives find success in their career.
Question 1 of 25
What are your strengths as a mechanic?
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How to Answer
As a good exercise to prepare for your interview, list your skills, experiences, and knowledge on a piece of paper. Add any qualities you have that enhance your abilities as a mechanic, like customer service, patience, and discipline. Having a good work ethic is a massive plus worth sharing! Then narrow this list to 3-5 different strengths you can share.
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Top 25 Auto Mechanic Interview Questions with Full Content
What are your strengths as a mechanic?
As a good exercise to prepare for your interview, list your skills, experiences, and knowledge on a piece of paper. Add any qualities you have that enhance your abilities as a mechanic, like customer service, patience, and discipline. Having a good work ethic is a massive plus worth sharing! Then narrow this list to 3-5 different strengths you can share.

Rachelle's Answer #1
"My biggest strengths as a mechanic are my ability to troubleshoot, maintain patience on very detailed projects, and my willingness to stay up to date on changes in vehicle technology."
Rachelle's Answer #2
"Here are some examples of strengths that are valuable to a mechanic:

1) Being detailed and precise in your work
2) Reliability
3) Ability to self-manage
4) Patience
5) Extensive knowledge and desire to learn"
Why do you want to work for our garage?
The interviewer wants to know that you're not just interested in any place that will hire you. They want to know that you want to work for them, specifically.

Before the interview, learn as much as you can about their garage. You can search customer reviews to learn about their reputation. An auto repair shop with good reviews reflects their values as well. Think about the places you have worked. What did you like most about them?

If you can't find much online or through asking around beforehand, try to list at least three things you have read that you like about their garage. Prepare questions for any remaining areas that are unclear, but focus on values and qualities, such as work environment, employee training, and customer care.
Rachelle's Answer #1
"I want to work for your garage because, being a new auto mechanic, I need a place where I can successfully grow while being mentored by knowledgeable professionals. I know that your garage has a reputation for thorough training."
Rachelle's Answer #2
"I follow your shop on Facebook, and it looks like you have a very loyal clientele base. It's important to me that I join a reputable shop where I can bring my valued clients over. I have a positive reputation in the industry, and it's important to me to keep it intact."
How would your co-workers describe your attention to detail?
Mechanics need to have a keen eye and the precision of a surgeon. It's true! Having a steady hand and being about to work quickly, paying close attention to details along the way, are valuable skills.

You need to be able to notice patterns, hear sounds and notice problems before they become a more significant issue. Seeing cracks in an engine belt is one example of how your job isn't just about noticing the details, it knows what to look for.

It is always best to support your reply with a real-life example. Talk to the interviewer about your level of attentiveness when it comes to details on the job.

Rachelle's Answer #1
"My co-workers would describe my attention to detail as very strong. I can very easily point out discrepancies on a report and will notice the small things like an engine sounding slightly off. I think big-picture as well but have always had a knack for details."
Rachelle's Answer #2
"My attention to detail is a point that I have been working on a lot this past year. I am meticulous but, in the past, have pushed my documentation back a little bit. It's something I am conscious of and continually working on."
How much experience do you have working with automobiles?
If you haven't worked on automobiles in a professional setting, don't sweat it! You can include your experience working on your own cars or others. When you respond to this question, you want to go in depth about the type of work you have done, sharing your knowledge and areas of expertise.

Rather than saying: 'I have about 8 years of experience,' Instead focus on specifics: 'I've been doing general maintenance and repairs in foreign and domestic cars for about 8 years. I specialize in X, Y, and Z.'

Sell yourself! Share what you have learned over the years. If there is something you are interested in learning more about, let them know. The interviewer wants to hear you are passionate and genuinely enjoy what you do.
Rachelle's Answer #1
"I recently completed my Associate of Applied Science (AAS) in Automotive Mechanics. This undergraduate degree has given me experience with engines, brakes, and electrical systems. I do look forward to working here and furthering these skills on the job."
Rachelle's Answer #2
"I have worked on automobiles since I was a kid. My father was a mechanic, which spurred my interest at a young age. For the past ten years, I have held a formal role as shift lead at the same auto body shop, working primarily on domestic cars, trucks, and SUV's."
Would you be willing to work over 40 hours a week?
Even though most auto repair shops are open 8-5, there will be days you need to arrive much earlier or stay later. Being a team player means sharing the responsibilities and tasks, helping out your co-workers when the shop is busy, or they need assistance on a repair job. A good attitude goes a long way.

Before answering scheduling questions, it's important to be clear on the interviewer's expectations. If you haven't had a chance to clarify their scheduling needs, now would be the perfect time to ask!

Consider asking, 'What are the scheduling expectations for this position?' If they expect you to work 12 hour days, it would be important for you to know that before you respond with, 'Absolutely! No problem!' You want to be sure that you can meet their expectations.

If it turns out their schedule expectations won't work for you, think about what you CAN offer and see if you can meet in the middle. It's much better to discuss these things in an interview than for you to commit to a schedule that won't work for you.

Keep in mind that, in most states, an employer cannot demand that an employee work more than 44 hours per week.
Rachelle's Answer #1
"I am available for full-time work which is preferably 8-5 Monday to Friday. I am happy to be a team player and work some overtime, as required. Will these hours meet your expectations?"
Rachelle's Answer #2
"I am looking to retain my current schedule as much as possible, which is currently Monday through Friday from 8:00 - 5:00. I understand with an auto shop that there will occasionally be times when we need to put in more hours to finish up a project."
If your supervisor asked you to do something in a way you were not used to, how would you react?
The interviewer wants to know that you can take direction and that you aren't too proud to accept feedback, and additional training, from time to time. Every manager has their style of communication, so it's a great time to ask the interviewer what their leadership style is.

Rachelle's Answer #1
"First I would make sure I understood what you were asking. If it was another way of doing something, like repairing, I might ask if you can show me what you're talking about. I would rather get something done right the first time than have to waste time and energy doing it a second time just because I misunderstood what you needed."
Rachelle's Answer #2
"If my supervisor asked me to do something in a way I was not used to, I would make sure that I was clear on expectations. Clear communication is important to me, and if there's anything that I could be doing better, I want to know about it right away. Could you share with me your leadership style?"
What was the toughest situation you've had fixing a car?
Car problems can be complicated. Sometimes the toughest part of a job is defining the problem. Sometimes it's tricky actually to fix it.

When you prepare for your interview, think about how you have solved challenging problems in the past. What made them so difficult? Why did you follow those particular steps to resolve it?Describe a situation that took research and time before you came to a solution.

Rachelle's Answer #1
"A customer came to me and said the car was shaking whenever it idled at red lights. I thought could be the engine mount, so I replaced that. But the problem persisted. I did some research, and it turned out to be an electrical problem. Through checking the different codes, I discovered the catalytic converter needed to be replaced as well."
Rachelle's Answer #2
"I believe that the toughest challenge in my career will be helping to repair a car when budgets are tight, and the problems seem significant. Thankfully I enjoy research and have no issue taking the time to seek an answer before beginning my work properly."
How many days were you absent from work last year?
A part of being a diligent employee is to ensure that you are always on time and present when expected. It's great to even be 10 minutes early rather than just showing up right on the dot. Talk to the interviewer about your attendance.

Rachelle's Answer #1
"I had zero unexcused absences last year. In total, I took 12 vacation days out of my 15 allotted days. I was sick just 2, and a note from my Doctor accompanied those. Once I was late due to a terrible snow storm, and I always try to be 10 minutes early for my shift."
Rachelle's Answer #2
"I cannot recall the exact number, but I think it was around three days total. All absences were excused and with notice."
What is your favorite car?
If you like working on cars, you've got to have a favorite. You might not be a collector of vintage Chevy's but in your experience driving, studying and taking apart cars, which one was your favorite? What details make it great? There may be some practical aspects, like gas mileage and reliability. Or maybe this car is something you wouldn't drive every day, but it's fast, sleek and has a V-8 engine with 1500 horse power. Feel free to ask the interviewer this question, in return!

Rachelle's Answer #1
"My favorite car, hands down, is my BMW X5. It's been the most reliable vehicle I've had and offers an excellent and comfortable ride. Which is your favorite car?"
Rachelle's Answer #2
"I love cars, for all different reasons, so it's tough to choose a favorite. I am a huge fan of vintage cars with my favorite being the Ford Model T. It's the first affordable car, and a model for all other vehicles to come."
Do you have any experience refurbishing old cars?
Your experience beyond typical repair and maintenance of cars will put you ahead of the game. If you have worked on old cars to restore them, talk about what you enjoy about it.

You can discuss how you learned about old cars or which are your favorite. Restoring an old car involves the same type of skill and knowledge needed to repair or maintain a vehicle. It also requires patience, critical thinking, and creativity.

Rachelle's Answer #1
"I helped my dad refurbish a 1956 Bel Aire a few years back. It was a lot of fun to work on the mechanics of such an old car. I also really enjoyed researching the history so that we could remain true to the background of the car."
Rachelle's Answer #2
"I have not yet been lucky enough to have refurbished an old car, but I would love to one day. I have been obsessed with classic cars for a long time. Do you work on many classic cars in your shop?"
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