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Material Handling Engineer Interview Questions

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

Material Handling Engineer was written by and published on January 2nd, 2021. Learn more here.

Question 1 of 30

How do you set goals for yourself?

How to Answer

Show your interviewer that you are interested in doing well at your work and that you are self-aware and can assess your own abilities. Show that you are interested in career progression, but avoid implying that you want to get out of this job as quickly as possible.

Written by Allison Atkinson on January 2nd, 2021

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30 Material Handling Engineer Interview Questions & Answers

  • Behavioral

    1. How do you set goals for yourself?

      How to Answer

      Show your interviewer that you are interested in doing well at your work and that you are self-aware and can assess your own abilities. Show that you are interested in career progression, but avoid implying that you want to get out of this job as quickly as possible.

      Written by Allison Atkinson on January 2nd, 2021

      1st Answer Example

      "In my professional and personal life, I set goals that are measurable and achievable. Professionally, I try to have a conversation with my supervisor every couple months or so to make sure that I am on-track to acheive my goals and also to see if he or she has any recommendations."

      Written by Allison Atkinson on January 2nd, 2021

  • Behavioral

    2. Tell me about a time when you had to work under pressure.

      How to Answer

      Working as a Material Handling Engineer will require you to handle more than one project at the same time. Your position may also involve field work in hot, dirty, or noisy warehouses and manufacturing plants. Show the interviewer that you can handle high pressure situations by identifying and managing your own stress. Time management skills are also important for this question. Avoid mentioning a situation where you created the stress or saying that you fold under pressure.

      Written by Allison Atkinson on January 2nd, 2021

      1st Answer Example

      "At the end of last semester, I had three different group projects all due on the same day. We were all worried because we all had different schedules and priorities. I came up with a scheduling spreadsheet in Excel that I shared with all my project groups through One Drive. We were able to figure out times when we were all available and set meeting times that way. Additionally, next to the time we planned to meet, we made a list of action items to achieve before the meeting."

      Written by Allison Atkinson on January 2nd, 2021

  • Behavioral

    3. How do you approach learning about a new industry?

      How to Answer

      Material Handling, Warehousing, and Logistics is a niche field which you may not have been exposed to during your education and your previous work experience. Show the interviewer that you are interested in the industry and that you can quickly get up to speed and be a contributing member of the team. Ask the interviewer if they have any specific recommendations on where to begin.

      Written by Allison Atkinson on January 2nd, 2021

      1st Answer Example

      "I know that learning a new industry is more than just learning how to do my specific job. For that reason, I plan to approach learning about warehousing and logistics from a couple different perspectives. When I'm working on my job, I can learn by reviewing older project files. Supplier brochures, websites, and trade magazines can help me understand the equipment we put in our systems. When I'm in the field, I can ask the customer questions to learn exactly how they use our equipment. Do you have any recommendations for .general reading that can help me get a feel for the field?"

      Written by Allison Atkinson on January 2nd, 2021

  • Behavioral

    4. Do you prefer office work or field work?

      How to Answer

      Read the job description to determine if the Material Handling Engineer position you are applying for is mainly in the field or in the office. Be honest about your preferences, but be willing to be flexible. Oftentimes companies may believe it is critical to see how the interconnected parts of warehousing and logistical systems actually work together.

      Written by Allison Atkinson on January 2nd, 2021

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  • Behavioral

    5. Tell me about a time when you made a mistake.

      How to Answer

      Be honest about your mistake, but avoid dwelling on the mistake's severity. Focus on what you learned from the mistake and how you have taken steps to avoid similar mistakes in the future. Try using the STAR - Situation, Task, Action, Result method of answering to keep your answer concise and positive.

      Written by Allison Atkinson on January 2nd, 2021

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  • Common

    6. What are your greatest strengths?

      How to Answer

      Tell the interviewer something you are good at that would make you a strong candidate for the position. Read the job description to get a sense of the day-to-day duties of the job and who you will be regularly communicating with (the customer or only other people in your organization).

      Written by Allison Atkinson on January 2nd, 2021

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  • Common

    7. Tell me about yourself.

      How to Answer

      Tell the interviewer the story of why you are applying for this job. Briefly re-introduce yourself, remind the interviewer of what you've recently accomplished, and tell them why you're applying for this job.

      Written by Allison Atkinson on January 2nd, 2021

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  • Common

    8. What is your greatest weakness?

      How to Answer

      Show the interviewer that you are honest, self-aware, and working towards self-improvement. The interviewer will know that nobody is perfect and they are seeking an employee that is capable of recognizing his or her faults and actively tries to improve themselves. Try to choose a weakness that won't directly interfere with your performance in the job you are applying for.

      Written by Allison Atkinson on January 2nd, 2021

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  • Common

    9. How do you see your previous work experience benefitting you in this position?

      How to Answer

      Show the interviewer that you have progressive career development by explaining how your previous work experience has prepared you for this position. If you've had any previous exposure to the material handling or warehousing industry, such as by moving boxes at FedEx or by picking items at an Amazon warehouse, mention it here. If you've worked primarily in customer service, show how this experience has attuned you to noticing customers' unique needs. If you've had a previous internship where you learned an applicable skill, now is the time to mention it.

      Written by Allison Atkinson on January 2nd, 2021

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  • Common

    10. How do you see your education benefitting you in this position?

      How to Answer

      Show the interviewer that you can connect academic theory to practice and that you are familiar with the general academic disciplines that are used in the material handling industry. For a strong answer, tell the interviewer about an applicable class you had or a group project you worked on.

      Written by Allison Atkinson on January 2nd, 2021

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  • Leadership

    11. How do you delegate tasks?

      How to Answer

      Depending on your experience level and the company you work for, you may have to delegate drafting tasks to AutoCAD technicians or drafting and field work to younger engineers. Show the interviewer that you are respectful of others' time and that you are interested in helping others' perform well. Avoid giving the impression that you like to dump your work on others.

      Written by Allison Atkinson on January 2nd, 2021

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  • Leadership

    12. How would you describe your leadership style?

      How to Answer

      Material handling projects often have team members from several disciplines and companies; including mechanical, civil, or software engineering, drafting technicians, field representatives, and the customer. Adapt your answer to fit your long term career goals. If you see yourself as a budding technical expert, show how you learn and share your discipline. If you see yourself as a project manager one day, show how you seek interdisciplinary coordination.

      Written by Allison Atkinson on January 2nd, 2021

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  • Leadership

    13. How do you solve problems beyond your capabilities?

      How to Answer

      Show the interviewer that you are willing to learn and that you have a method to figure things out which you don't already know. Show that you are willing to figure something out on your own and ask your supervisor questions after you've already thought about possible answers. Avoid giving the impression that you can't think for yourself.

      Written by Allison Atkinson on January 2nd, 2021

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  • Leadership

    14. Are you more comfortable with verbal or written communication?

      How to Answer

      Both written (email, text message, or chat) and verbal (phone or face-to-face) communication will be necessary in the position of Material Handling Engineer. Be honest about your preference, but also show the interviewer that you are flexible. There will be situations where an email is more appropriate than a phone call and vice versa.

      Written by Allison Atkinson on January 2nd, 2021

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  • Leadership

    15. How would you approach a situation where a project team member disagreed with your idea?

      How to Answer

      Show the interviewer that while you are confident in your own abilities, you are able to listen to the knowledge of others. This is both a leadership and a teamwork question. It is your chance to show that you value others' opinions and care about the outcome of a project over your own ego.

      Written by Allison Atkinson on January 2nd, 2021

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  • Situational

    16. Imagine we are at the beginning stages of a project. The customer has defined their needs and we are starting to come up with solutions. What is one way we could quickly come up with several solutions?

      How to Answer

      Many material handling companies use simulation software to figure out the most efficient ways to move materials through a facility. Before the interview, research the company you are interviewing at and see how they incorporate simulation into their business.

      Written by Allison Atkinson on January 2nd, 2021

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  • Situational

    17. Do you have any previous safety training?

      How to Answer

      As a Material Handling Engineer, regardless of whether you are in the field or in the office, you will probably have to go through safety training. This may include OSHA 40-hour HAZWOPER training, OSHA 10-hour training, or facility specific training. In your answer to this question, tell the interviewer if you have completed this training before and affirm your committment to safety.

      Written by Allison Atkinson on January 2nd, 2021

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  • Situational

    18. Imagine you are onsite and a piece of equipment our company recently installed isn't working right. How would you troubleshoot the problem?

      How to Answer

      This situation could occur if your position requires field work. If your position is wholly in the office, you may have to put together Operation and Maintenance (O&M) Manuals that explain how the equipment of the system your company designed and installed work. Use your answer to this question to show the interviewer your resourcefulness, critical thinking skills, and attention to the customer's needs.

      Written by Allison Atkinson on January 2nd, 2021

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  • Situational

    19. Imagine you are using AutoCAD and you are given the task of creating a plan to fit as many warehouse racks into a given floor area as possible. How do you proceed?

      How to Answer

      Here is your chance to show the interviewer your thought process and show off any specific knowledge you have of design software. Show the interviewer that you can think on your feet and don't be afraid to bring out a pen and paper to sketch your solution.

      Written by Allison Atkinson on January 2nd, 2021

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  • Situational

    20. Imagine you are in a situation where you are an onsite field representative expecting the delivery of some warehouse racking. The delivery is late and the project is in danger of falling off schedule. What do you do?

      How to Answer

      This is a common situation which you may encounter if your position requires some field work. Show that you can take initiative, solve the problem on your own, and that you are cognizant of how this piece of the project affects the overall schedule.

      Written by Allison Atkinson on January 2nd, 2021

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  • Teamwork

    21. What do you think are the greatest rewards of working with a team?

      How to Answer

      Here is your chance to show that you are excited about the position and getting to know the industry and your coworkers. Avoid cliche phrases such as being part of something bigger than yourself, but do illustrate your interest in growing as a professional and accomplishing goals as a company.

      Written by Allison Atkinson on January 2nd, 2021

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  • Teamwork

    22. Have you ever worked for a manager with whom you disagreed?

      How to Answer

      Show your interviewer that even if you disagree with your manager, you are still able to work with him or her to get the project done. Avoid implying that your previous manager was 'wrong' and never accuse your previous manager of doing his or her job poorly.

      Written by Allison Atkinson on January 2nd, 2021

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  • Teamwork

    23. What do you feel is the individual's role when working as part of a team?

      How to Answer

      Warehouse equipment and logistics projects typically have several project team members. These members may include a design engineer, a software engineer, a project manager, a field engineer, and the customer. Understanding your role within the larger team is critical to ensuring the project moves smoothly. Show the interviewer that you know different team members have different roles and that you are prepared to do your job well and help out when needed.

      Written by Allison Atkinson on January 2nd, 2021

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  • Teamwork

    24. What do you think is the most important part of communication?

      How to Answer

      When asking this question, your interviewer is trying to see if you can think critically and if you recognize the importance of good communication. Show your interviewer that if they hire you, they can rely on you to transfer important information between team members or between the design team and the customer.

      Written by Allison Atkinson on January 2nd, 2021

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  • Teamwork

    25. Tell me about a time when you were part of a group project that didn't go well.

      How to Answer

      In this question, your interviewer is looking to see how you handle interpersonal conflict. Avoid making accusations towards other group members. Instead, show how you tried to get the group members to work well with one another and share how you and your team eventually solved the problem.

      Written by Allison Atkinson on January 2nd, 2021

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  • Technical

    26. What do you know about material handling, warehousing equipment, and logistics?

      How to Answer

      The interviewer is asking this question to find out how familiar you already are with the industry. In your answer, use terminology you learned from researching the company and the job before the interview. Additionally, if applicable, this is also your chance to say that while you don't know much, you are willing to learn and to ask a relevant question.

      Written by Allison Atkinson on January 2nd, 2021

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  • Technical

    27. What drafting software have you used?

      How to Answer

      Most material handling companies draw systems using AutoDesk AutoCAD 2D or 3D or SolidWorks. For a strong answer, tell the interviewer how familiar you are with both programs and provide an example of when you used one.

      Written by Allison Atkinson on January 2nd, 2021

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  • Technical

    28. What do you know about how a plan set is put together?

      How to Answer

      As a Material Handling Engineer, you will likely be responsible for creating project plan, or drawing sets. If you have worked with plan sets before, tell your interviewer about your previous experience. If you have not, tell the interviewer about all the pieces you think go into a plan set.

      Written by Allison Atkinson on January 2nd, 2021

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  • Technical

    29. How would you describe the movement of products through a facility that contains our equipment?

      How to Answer

      As a Material Handling Engineer, your job will be to design systems which move products throughout a facility. If you have been inside a manufacturing plant, warehouse, or distribution center before, tell your interviewer what you observed. Additionally, researching this topic before the interview can help you answer this question. Asking a question at the end of your answer shows your interest in the industry.

      Written by Allison Atkinson on January 2nd, 2021

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  • Technical

    30. How familiar are you with Programmable Logic Controls (PLC)?

      How to Answer

      Automated systems within material handling facilities are controlled using PLC and PC control systems. Even if your position is not a software engineering or controls position, it is helpful to have a general idea of how these systems work. Here is your chance to mention your time on the Robotics team, your knowledge of programming, or an electrical engineering class you took.

      Written by Allison Atkinson on January 2nd, 2021

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