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CNC Operator Interview

23 Questions and Answers by Rachelle Enns

Updated August 17th, 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 23
How much more did you learn at your first job that your training didn't teach you?
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How to Answer
There are often lessons that we learn on the job that we cannot learn just from sitting in the classroom. Give an example of a situation like that.
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Top 20 CNC Operator Interview Questions with Full Content
How much more did you learn at your first job that your training didn't teach you?
There are often lessons that we learn on the job that we cannot learn just from sitting in the classroom. Give an example of a situation like that.

Rachelle's Answer
"My first job taught me many things that we did not learn in school. Mainly, my supervisor taught me some great time shortcuts on the lathe that were really helpful."
What is a vernier?
Answer this briefly and matter of factly.

Rachelle's Answer
"From my understanding, a vernier is a small movable graduated scale for obtaining fractional parts of subdivisions on a fixed main scale of a barometer, sextant, or other measuring instrument."
What are the CN languages?
How you answer this will show the hiring manager how well versed and up to date you are within the industry. Answer briefly, giving an example of the language(s) that you are most familiar with.

Rachelle's Answer
"G-Code is the number one language used to instruct CNC machining devices what motions they need to perform such as work coordinates, canned cycles, and multiple repetitive cycles. Industry has standardized on G-Code as its basic set of CNC machine codes so this is what I am trained in. Are there other languages you would prefer that I know?"
What is a micrometer?
Answer this briefly and matter of factly.

Rachelle's Answer
"A micrometer is a gauge that measures small distances or thicknesses between its two faces, one of which can be moved away from or toward the other by turning a screw with a fine thread."
Anonymous Answer
"It is a measuring instrument."
Rachelle's Answer
You are correct! In the actual interview, as you know, you will want to expand on your response.
"A micrometer is a precision measuring instrument, great for fine measurements. Metric micrometers typically measure in 0.01mm increments."
Was this answer helpful? Yes or No
How many sixteenths are in an inch?
You can take a moment to think, if needed, but make sure you are right!

When you answer this question you can also talk through your answer so that the hiring manager understands how you are coming to your conclusion.
What makes you want to be a CNC Operator?
This question is designed to let the hiring manager know if you are, in fact, passionate about your line of work. You can answer this in a more personal way if you wish but be sure to keep it somewhat brief.

Rachelle's Answer
"My interest in becoming a CNC Operator stems from when I began taking Software Engineering courses in University. I realized that I had a true knack for programming. I landed an internship as a junior operator and my career formed from there."
Whats the reason you applied to work at our shop?
Having researched the company prior to your interview is very important. What is drawing you to their company? Be specific and show your enthusiasm for the role.

Rachelle's Answer
"Your shop has a really great reputation for career development of your operators. Your safety record is really appealing as well."
How well have you adapted to a machine you were unfamiliar with?
Being able to "roll with the punches" is a really important characteristic to have as a CNC Operator. Show your supervisor that you are willing and able to take on new machinery with a positive attitude.

Rachelle's Answer
"roll with the punches"
What challenges do you sometimes face while operating your machine?
This question is designed for the hiring manager to find out if you have a consistent struggle with a specific aspect of the job. Talk openly about a struggle that you have had, or currently come across, in your job.

Rachelle's Answer
"One challenge that I consistently faced earlier in my career was quickly programming measurements in CAM. I am much better at it now but it took some time and training."
What was the toughest part you created as a CNC Operator?
Talk a little bit about the parts that you are accustomed to creating. What was the most challenging part of your career?

Rachelle's Answer
"The toughest parts that I have created were surrounding aerospace components for the military. There was added pressure for perfection and the part are much more complicated than one would think."
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