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Auto Mechanic Interview
Questions

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.
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Question 1 of 25
How many days were you absent from work last year?
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How to Answer
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.
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Answer Examples
1.
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."
2.
When you suffer a setback, how does that emotionally affect you and your work?
Everyone handles the stress and disappointment of setbacks differently. Discuss with the interviewer how you typically cope with delays in the workplace.

Rachelle's Answer #1
"Experiencing a setback is always disappointing, and can be a bit disheartening, but I understand that it happens from time to time. If I experience a major setback, I will take a few moments to debrief with my manager and discuss what I could have done differently. Then, I move on!"
Rachelle's Answer #2
"Setbacks happen for a reason, and they do not affect me emotionally in the least. I am a very pragmatic thinker and stay focused despite the challenges that come my way."
3.
Have you progressed in your career as you have expected?
Career progression can be a touchy subject, especially if you feel that your career hasn't progressed as well as you would have liked. Talk to the interviewer about your career progression and what you would like to see in the future.

Rachelle's Answer #1
"Overall, my career has progressed a touch slower than I would have liked. I have held a couple of positions that didn't offer the growth and learning that I was expecting; however, I have bounced back nicely. I feel that this particular position would take my career exactly where it should be."
Rachelle's Answer #2
"I am pleased with the progress of my career. I am proud of my accomplishments and the path my career has taken so far."
4.
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."
5.
What are your salary expectations?
The best thing that you can do when asked about your salary expectations is to be open and honest about what you are currently earning, and where you want to be in the future.

Rachelle's Answer #1
"I can share with you what I am currently earning, and where I would like to be in my next position. Currently, I am earning a base salary of $58K. I'd like to earn a bit above that in my next position."
Rachelle's Answer #2
"As I am new to my career and this industry, I am happy to negotiate my earnings based on your typical salary for this role."
6.
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."
7.
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."
8.
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?"
9.
How would you describe your written communication skills?
Being a bright communicator, in written form, is an essential skill to master. Have you taken any courses in communication and writing? Are you confident in your written communication skills? Talk to the interviewer about your written communication abilities and support your answer with a brief example or story.

Rachelle's Answer #1
"I would describe my written communication skills as very strong and would rate myself as a 9/10. I have always had a penchant for writing and have taken university courses related to communication, writing, and journalism."
Rachelle's Answer #2
"My written communication skills are powerful. I often utilize written communications as a follow up to verbal communications. They provide a great resource for associates to go back to, and reference, plus they might answer any questions that come up along the way."
10.
Tell me about a time when you disagreed with your boss.
Even though you may have a great relationship with your employer, there may be times where you don't see eye to eye. Think of a conflict or disagreement you had with your boss where you responded well, either by suggesting a compromise or taking a calm, relaxed stance when you could have responded in a heated tone. Compromise puts you in a great position with your boss, because it shows your desire to work together and highlights your creative problem-solving abilities.

Rachelle's Answer #1
"The owner of my shop and I disagreed on the pending termination of one of my employees a short time ago. I wanted to spend time training him a bit more after he missed a few important repairs on customer vehicles. My boss wanted to terminate him immediately. I presented to my him that it would be more expensive to replace him than to re-train. He agreed, and we came to a middle ground."
Rachelle's Answer #2
"I had a boss that regularly forced overtime on employees at the last minute with no opportunity to make childcare arrangements or plan changes. Sometimes he knew about the need for plenty of time to warn everyone but did not. I spoke with him at length about morale, and eventually, he started giving the notice sooner, making everyone's lives easier."
11.
Tell me about yourself.
When an interviewer asks an open-ended question like this, it can be difficult to know where to begin...and end! This question haunts many individuals who may accidentally go a little too in-depth into their personal lives. It happens. Keep your reply light, and work relevant. Share how you became interested in this career path and what you enjoy about it. This is an excellent opportunity to describe yourself by discussing the strengths and qualities that you bring.

Rachelle's Answer #1
"I am a competitive individual who is driven and likes to win. In addition to my successful auto body career, I also spend time playing competitive sports. I give back by volunteering at the local animal shelter and working for a variety of annual fundraisers in our community."
Rachelle's Answer #2
"I am a very active individual who loves to workout and go to the mountains on the weekend. I feel that my level of activity on my off time greatly improves my work during the week. I have a high amount of energy to offer!"
12.
How do you determine priorities when you have multiple projects due?
As a mechanic, you will likely have a few projects on the go at one time. When you feel torn between multiple projects or tasks, how do you decide which one needs your attention the most? Assure the interviewer that you can be diligent when it comes to assessing your priorities.

Rachelle's Answer #1
"I will determine which project requires my attention by the number of hours we are behind and then the project size. I am comfortable delegating tasks when needed, but I am also aware that these times will require an additional commitment of hours from me. Never have I under delivered on a deadline."
Rachelle's Answer #2
"As an auto mechanic, I would take the same approach as I did with my school deadlines. Assuming that the projects have different stakeholders, I look at the urgency of each and choose which project to tackle first."
13.
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?"
14.
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"
15.
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."
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25 Auto Mechanic Interview Questions
Win your next job by practicing from our question bank. We have thousands of questions and answers created by interview experts.
Interview Questions
  1. How many days were you absent from work last year?
  2. When you suffer a setback, how does that emotionally affect you and your work?
  3. Have you progressed in your career as you have expected?
  4. How much experience do you have working with automobiles?
  5. What are your salary expectations?
  6. What is your favorite car?
  7. How would your co-workers describe your attention to detail?
  8. Do you have any experience refurbishing old cars?
  9. How would you describe your written communication skills?
  10. Tell me about a time when you disagreed with your boss.
  11. Tell me about yourself.
  12. How do you determine priorities when you have multiple projects due?
  13. If your supervisor asked you to do something in a way you were not used to, how would you react?
  14. What are your strengths as a mechanic?
  15. Why do you want to work for our garage?
  16. Would you be willing to work over 40 hours a week?
  17. What was the toughest situation you've had fixing a car?
  18. As an auto mechanic, what would you say is your expertise?
  19. Do you have experience changing transmissions?
  20. Why are you looking for a new job?
  21. When have you worked with a diverse group of people?
  22. Have you requested extra responsibilities in any of your previous roles?
  23. How will you earn the trust of your coworkers?
  24. You have a few gaps in your resume. Can you explain these?
  25. Where did you find our job posting?
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