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Electrical Engineer Interview Questions

To help you prepare for your Electrical Engineer interview, here are 30 interview questions and answer examples.

Electrical Engineer was written by and updated on November 18th, 2021. Learn more here.

Question 1 of 30

Give me an example of a time you went above and beyond the call of duty at work.

How to Answer

When an interviewer asks this specific question, he or she is likely trying to gain insight into your work ethic and understand how you define going 'beyond the call of duty.' Select a real experience you had, and make sure you are honest about it. Choose a specific situation that is one of your best accomplishments and relate it to the position you are interviewing for. Emphasize the actions that were above and beyond the set of expectations.

Written by Sue Oberliesen on November 18th, 2021

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30 Electrical Engineer Interview Questions & Answers

  • Behavioral

    1. Give me an example of a time you went above and beyond the call of duty at work.

      How to Answer

      When an interviewer asks this specific question, he or she is likely trying to gain insight into your work ethic and understand how you define going 'beyond the call of duty.' Select a real experience you had, and make sure you are honest about it. Choose a specific situation that is one of your best accomplishments and relate it to the position you are interviewing for. Emphasize the actions that were above and beyond the set of expectations.

      Written by Sue Oberliesen on November 18th, 2021

      1st Answer Example

      "I often go above and beyond expectations. Most recently, I agreed to cover for a co-worker who was on short-term medical leave. I worked 10 hour days for two weeks so that our project did not suffer any setbacks."

      Written by Sue Oberliesen on November 18th, 2021

  • Behavioral

    2. Tell me about any products you designed and the challenges you faced.

      How to Answer

      Product design questions are common in electrical engineer/product manager interviews. Companies want employees who are motivated, can work with different teams, and can prioritize and ask for help when needed. A product manager has to be resilient, strategic, and insightful. The best way to prepare for this question is to thoroughly read through the description of the role you're applying for and find resources (dev blogs, press releases, etc) to research the products you'll be working with. Describe a product you designed, the process to get it to market, any challenges you faced, and what you learned from the experience. If you have not designed anything that has gone into production, simply say so. Be honest.

      Written by Sue Oberliesen on November 18th, 2021

      1st Answer Example

      "As an entrepreneur, I spent years developing my consumer products and have helped other colleagues and entrepreneurs develop products. I learned that I needed to bring in other experts to fill in any gaps in my expertise while remaining involved in all key decisions during design and production. Very few people have all of the skills needed to develop a market-ready electronic product completely on their own. The product I developed was more complex mechanically than it was electronically. I did as much of the development as my skills allowed and tried to learn additional skills, but it took a lot of my energy and lengthened the time it took to get the product on the market. I'm an electrical engineer but not a mechanical engineer, so I reached out to a few freelance mechanical engineers late in the process to help me. Reaching out to other designers and technicians proved to be a good choice; I just wish I had known this sooner."

      Written by Sue Oberliesen on November 18th, 2021

  • Behavioral

    3. What do you do when you don't know the answer to a client's question?

      How to Answer

      Many interviewers ask tough questions not to see if you know the answer but to see how you react under pressure. Your answers can help them better understand how you approach resolving clients' questions or complaints and your knowledge of common conflict resolution strategies. Companies in all industries need to interact with their customers and clients and keep them happy. These interactions happen across several channels - in person, over the phone, via email or chat, and over social media. Think about a previous experience with a difficult or angry client or a time when you were asked a challenging question and didn't have an immediate answer. Use these situations to help you develop your answer. If the interviewer asks for a specific example, explain the situation in as much detail as possible and try to keep your response positive.

      Written by Sue Oberliesen on November 18th, 2021

      1st Answer Example

      "When I don't know how to answer a client's question, I first apologize, as this is uncommon for me. I think it's important to be honest and not try to make something up on the fly. If I have some time, I'll perform additional research to try to find the answer or ask a coworker if they're available. If I still can't find an answer, I'll escalate the question to my supervisor. After my interaction with the client, I spend time later that day learning about the topic so I can make sure I have a solid answer the next time the question arises."

      Written by Sue Oberliesen on November 18th, 2021

  • Behavioral

    4. Describe a time when you had to communicate something difficult to your supervisor or colleagues; how did you manage to get your point across?

      How to Answer

      Interviewers will be interested in your communication skills and conflict-resolution abilities. Explain the situation and the resolution, along with anything you learned from the experience. Even though this question has to do with a conflict, you must make sure your example has a positive spin.

      Written by Sue Oberliesen on November 18th, 2021

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  • Behavioral

    5. How do you deal with disagreements on your team?

      How to Answer

      Most electrical engineers work in groups with other types of engineers and project managers. The interviewer may ask this question to determine how well you work with others and what your perspective is when interacting with your fellow peers and industry professionals. You will most likely encounter colleagues who want to deviate from the original plan, so employers want to make sure you have excellent communication and conflict-management skills.

      Written by Sue Oberliesen on November 18th, 2021

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  • Career Goals

    6. What are your thoughts on the future of the power industry?

      How to Answer

      Hiring managers ask this question to see if you understand the current and relevant issues related to the industry. This is an opportunity to talk about your understanding of the bigger issues and the role that electrical engineers play in shaping the future. You should mention related articles you've read and any conferences, virtual events, and webinars you have attended as part of your efforts to stay informed. Before the interview, make a list of industry-related issues and trends and take time to read relevant articles and blogs related to the future of electrical engineering.

      Written by Sue Oberliesen on November 18th, 2021

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  • Career Goals

    7. What is a professional goal of yours and how do you see yourself reaching that goal?

      How to Answer

      This is a common question that interviewers will ask to determine if you are a serious professional. Every engineer will have his or her unique recipe for success. Whether you are an entry-level engineer or a seasoned professional, it's important to set goals that will keep you moving forward, goals that are realistic and attainable. The ability to set and achieve goals is essential to achieving a long and successful career as an electrical engineer. In your response, try to align your goals with the job description. Describe the opportunities you'd like to have to take on more responsibilities as you grow and learn.

      Written by Sue Oberliesen on November 18th, 2021

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  • Career Goals

    8. What initially sparked your interest in electrical engineering?

      How to Answer

      Interviewers want to know what brought you to the field of electrical engineering. This question allows you to provide some background and maybe even a personal story to convey your initial interest in the industry. Avoid saying that you were good at math, chemistry, or physics in high school or that you knew the prospective salaries for electrical engineers would be on the higher end.

      Written by Sue Oberliesen on November 18th, 2021

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  • Career Goals

    9. What do you find to be the most rewarding part of working as an electrical engineer?

      How to Answer

      Hiring managers look for motivated applicants that find their job rewarding. Working as an electrical engineer can be a high-stress job at times, so you must be dedicated to the work and find enjoyment in the demands of the job. To prepare for this question, make a list of things you found most rewarding in past positions, during internships, and during your education, and consider how it made you feel.


      Written by Sue Oberliesen on November 18th, 2021

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  • Career Goals

    10. What is your specialty within electrical engineering?

      How to Answer

      Employers ask this question to learn more about your specialty and what unique skills you can bring to their company. Electrical engineering is a specialty within the engineering industry, but having a specialized area within the field will make you even more marketable to employers. Talk about internships and specific projects that you've worked on in the past or want to focus on in the future. Emphasize your strengths and use terms related to your specialty to establish credibility and impress the interviewer.

      Written by Sue Oberliesen on November 18th, 2021

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  • Common

    11. Tell me about yourself and why you feel you are the best candidate for this position?

      How to Answer

      This type of question is likely to pop up at every stage of the interview process - from phone screening to the final interview. This is a common question asked at the beginning of interviews, as it can ease both you and the interviewer into the interview. It allows the interviewer to hear a short summary of your background and skills, and it gives them insight into what experience and qualifications you think are most relevant to the position you're interviewing for. By answering this question thoughtfully, you are setting the tone for the interview as a confident applicant who is attentive to the qualifications of the position.

      Written by Sue Oberliesen on November 18th, 2021

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  • Common

    12. Are you willing to travel?

      How to Answer

      Before the interview, know the travel requirements. The job description will most likely mention if travel is a requirement for the job, so this question should not catch you by surprise. You'll likely know a little bit about the travel requirement before applying and should set aside some time to think through this question. State any travel limitations you may have, but do not complain about travel or talk about past misfortunes in airports or at hotels.

      Written by Sue Oberliesen on November 18th, 2021

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  • Competency

    13. How do you manage your time?

      How to Answer

      Interviewers ask this question to find out if you are going to be able to cope with multiple tasks and deadlines. You should have a system for prioritizing and organizing your work, so be ready to explain your preferred technique to your interviewer. One important aspect of time management is setting targets and breaking down larger tasks and projects into small, more manageable steps. Look back at challenges you've overcome and achievements you're proud of. Chances are that your time management techniques came into play.

      Written by Sue Oberliesen on November 18th, 2021

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  • Competency

    14. Tell me about your previous role and your responsibilities, and give me an example of a project you led.

      How to Answer

      Employers are looking for potential leaders, and you need to prove to them that you can lead a team. The interviewer wants to know if you can be trusted with complex projects and responsibilities. Discuss past roles and projects that highlight your leadership skills, your ability to work on complex projects, and/or your ability to handle several responsibilities at once. This is a chance to showcase your strengths and knowledge.

      Written by Sue Oberliesen on November 18th, 2021

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  • Competency

    15. Problem solving is a critical component for a successful engineer. Tell me about the most difficult engineering problem you had to solve.

      How to Answer

      For most engineers, problem-solving is essentially their profession. Critical thinking and abstract thought are invaluable tools that complement an engineer's technical expertise. When responding to this question, be as specific as possible and demonstrate that you are capable of working alone or as part of a team to solve problems. Focus on a problem you have effectively resolved. Describe the problem, what actions you took to resolve it, and the results.

      Written by Sue Oberliesen on November 18th, 2021

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  • Competency

    16. How would your teammates describe you?

      How to Answer

      Employers want to get a sense of your strengths and weaknesses; they want to make sure you're honest and self-aware. Be honest and give a genuine answer. The interviewer wants to learn about who you are as a worker and a person when they ask this question. Choose one or two traits that you feel would be beneficial in this position.

      Written by Sue Oberliesen on November 18th, 2021

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  • Discovery

    17. Which area(s) of electrical engineering is most interesting to you- industrial, residential, or microelectronics?

      How to Answer

      Interviewers ask this question to determine how well a candidate will fit into the structure of the company. Mention any relevant certifications, licenses, and education and any experience from previous jobs that specifically pertain to these areas, and mention that you are open to expanding your knowledge of the other areas.

      Written by Sue Oberliesen on November 18th, 2021

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  • Goals

    18. What would you hope to achieve in the first 3-6 months after being hired?

      How to Answer

      Interviewers ask this question to see what types of goals and standards you hold yourself to, especially in a new environment. Your response will give the hiring manager insight into your overall understanding of the position. Your goals and ambitions should align with the position and company, so take time to review the job description before the interview. Think about what you can realistically accomplish during this initial period, and consider what type of projects you're excited to take on.

      Written by Sue Oberliesen on November 18th, 2021

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  • Leadership

    19. Describe a time you had to work with a team member who was not contributing.

      How to Answer

      The hiring manager is asking this question to understand if you have experience resolving teamwork issues. Show your interviewer the steps that you took to find a solution in your example. When answering this question, make sure to focus on your strengths and demonstrate leadership skills. The purpose of this question is not to criticize other team members.

      Written by Sue Oberliesen on November 18th, 2021

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  • Leadership

    20. As an electrical engineer, how would you develop professional relationships?

      How to Answer

      An organization wants to know not only that you'll be a competent and professional engineer but that you can also build long-lasting, positive professional relationships with co-workers, contractors, and stakeholders that will benefit the company. It's important to show an interest in contributing to the success of the company and not just applying your technical skills to complete your tasks. Review the company website, what they do, their projects, and their clientele, and be prepared to discuss how you will contribute and why you think relationship-building is important.

      Written by Sue Oberliesen on November 18th, 2021

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  • Leadership

    21. How would you respond if team members or consultants wanted to take a different direction on a project?

      How to Answer

      Teamwork is a priority for many employers, so when you're preparing for your interview, be ready to talk about your ability to work with others. Hiring managers want to ensure that you're not only technically qualified for the position but that you also have the soft skills, like communication and conflict resolution, necessary to work with others.

      Written by Sue Oberliesen on November 18th, 2021

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  • Organizational

    22. What are some ways you keep track of important project details?

      How to Answer

      Part of being detail-oriented is ensuring you have a complete understanding of the task you're working on. There are many effective ways to balance a workflow. Your interviewer wants to know how your process maintains a standard and delivers effectively. When answering this question, be sure to give specific examples of tools and techniques you use to stay organized.

      Written by Sue Oberliesen on November 18th, 2021

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  • Organizational

    23. How do you handle repetitive tasks?

      How to Answer

      When asking this question, your interviewer wants to know two things - how organized you are in getting the job done and that you understand that not all tasks in a project are exciting. To answer this question, make sure that you have a grasp of the level of repetition required for the job you're applying for. It's best to show that you can handle this level of repetition by discussing experiences from past jobs.

      Written by Sue Oberliesen on November 18th, 2021

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  • Situational

    24. If you could offer suggestions to improve our company, what would you say?

      How to Answer

      Examine the trends of the company and research where there may be some weaknesses. Take time to read client feedback, reviews, and news articles, or look at their competitors to see how they're positioning against them. Once you've collected that knowledge, think creatively about how you could improve upon any weakness. Be strategic in your response. Keep it positive, and consider starting with a compliment. Acknowledge what's going right.

      Written by Sue Oberliesen on November 18th, 2021

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  • Situational

    25. How do you tell a co-worker that you found an error in their work?

      How to Answer

      When a hiring manager asks you this tough interview question, they want to know how you interact with others and how you deal with potential conflict or difficult situations in the workplace. Noticing an error is a positive attribute of being a detail-oriented engineer, and it's helpful to tell your colleague who made the mistake so they can avoid it in the future. In your answer, describe how you would, or did, positively handle this situation.

      Written by Sue Oberliesen on November 18th, 2021

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  • Situational

    26. Tell me about a time you made a mistake. How did you fix it?

      How to Answer

      Most employers recognize that mistakes happen. Your interviewer wants to know how you fixed a mistake you made and what you learned from it. Your approach to improving the situation is valuable because it demonstrates your ability to learn from errors and incorporate feedback. An employer would rather hire candidates who admit and grow from their mistakes than those who think they never make any. In your example, focus on how you dealt with the mistake and what you were able to learn from it. It's important to make sure you have an answer prepared before you go in for the job interview.

      Written by Sue Oberliesen on November 18th, 2021

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  • Skills

    27. Why do you want to work for us?

      How to Answer

      In your interview, you should try to convince the hiring manager that you genuinely want to work for them. You can say that you admire the company mission or the products they design or that the projects interest you greatly. You can also point out something about their culture, work environment, or something else that attracted you to the company and role, such as a strong brand and career growth opportunities. Review the company website, read company blogs, and learn about the team you'll be working with before the interview.

      Written by Sue Oberliesen on November 18th, 2021

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  • Technical

    28. How do you maintain precision throughout your work?

      How to Answer

      Interviewers want to know that you have the skills needed to facilitate exactness in your work. Any project involving electricity demands rigor, attention to detail, accuracy, and precision. A detail-oriented person focuses on the smaller aspects of projects and tasks. They avoid distractions and maintain a certain level of productivity throughout their workday. They can also work independently with little supervision, which is useful for most jobs. Employers value detail-oriented team members because they are consistent and deliver quality work.

      Written by Sue Oberliesen on November 18th, 2021

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  • Technical

    29. What is an alternator, and what is a generator?

      How to Answer

      This technical question is common for hiring managers to ask prospective electrical engineers. Interviewers like this question because a strong candidate's answer will explain not just what an alternator and a generator are but also provide insight into when the engineer might use one over the other. In your answer, provide an example of when you might use an alternator or a generator on a project related to the type of work the company does to show you've done your research on the organization and that you know your stuff.

      Written by Sue Oberliesen on November 18th, 2021

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  • Technical

    30. What is your understanding of direct and alternating currents?

      How to Answer

      When hiring electrical engineers, interviewers often ask technical questions to test applicants' knowledge and experience. Answering these commonly asked interview questions with confidence and enthusiasm will help you demonstrate why you're the best candidate for the role. Make a list of electrical engineer-related terms and quiz yourself before the interview. You will most likely be asked a few technical questions.

      Written by Sue Oberliesen on November 18th, 2021

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