Common Electrical Engineer Interview Questions and Answers
By Indeed Editorial Team
Updated 16 November 2022
Published 30 November 2021
The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.
During an interview, interviewers ask a selection of questions relating to your experience, hard skills and soft skills that might be useful in the position you're applying for. Knowing the most common electrical engineer interview questions can help you to prepare great answers in advance. Preparing your answers makes it easier to give good responses to tough questions during your interview. In this article, we list many of the most common electrical engineering interview questions and give sample answers to some questions.
Electrical engineer interview questions
At an interview for a position in electrical engineering, the interviewer asks typical electrical engineer interview questions relating to your prior professional experience. This usually involves questions about how you might deal with certain situations and issues. Your interviewer is looking for evidence that you possess all the skills they're looking for in a candidate, including both technical experience and soft skills. The questions you're asked in your interview may depend on the responsibilities and requirements of the exact role you're applying for.
General interview questions for electrical engineers
Most interviews begin with general questions relating to background, experience and skills. These general interview questions may be similar to the questions you might have answered before when applying for other roles, and your answers may be quite different to those of other candidates. Use the questions to explain a bit about who you are and why you're the right candidate for the role:
What is your educational background?
Have you trained on the job in electrical engineering, and if so, where?
What personal qualities of yours help in this role?
What are your career goals in the short or long term?
Why do you want to work for this company?
What is your speciality within electrical engineering?
What motivates you to succeed professionally?
What is your availability like for this role?
Questions about your professional experience
During your interview, the interviewer is likely to ask questions about your professional experience in electrical engineering. Your answers to these questions can reassure your potential employer that you have the experience needed to excel in the role you're applying for, using examples from both previous positions and your education or training:
Where did you get your engineering degree?
What type of electrical engineering do you specialise in?
Are you a member of any electrical engineering organisations?
What electrical engineering software do you have experience working with?
How do you keep your knowledge of electrical engineering up to date?
What's the biggest challenge you've faced at work, and how did you deal with it?
Questions about how you work
Your interviewer may also ask you questions designed to find out more about your professional style, including how you solve problems, how you work with colleagues and how you cope under pressure. These questions require in-depth answers with clear examples of how you've demonstrated the skills your interviewer is looking for in the past:
What are your strengths and weaknesses, and how do they affect you in a professional setting?
How would you handle a project deadline that you think your team is going to miss?
How do you go about making big decisions quickly and effectively?
How do you prioritise cost, safety, quality and efficiency when working on a project?
What is your biggest professional achievement, and what did you do to make it a success?
How well do you feel you work in a team, and what do you think is the biggest key to working well with others?
Have you ever been in charge of a team or other colleagues, and how would you describe your leadership style?
The interview might also involve technical questions designed to test your knowledge and expertise in the field of electrical engineering. Spend time preparing yourself for these questions by making sure that your specialist knowledge is up to date, spending time researching the job role you're applying for and ensuring you have all the knowledge required for it. Below are some examples of common technical interview questions for electrical engineers:
What is a direct current, and what is an alternating current?
What are the two types of GPRS services, and how do they work?
What is Fourier analysis?
What is firmware, and how would you use it?
What's the difference between a generator and an alternator?
What are the different kinds of cables used for transmissions?
What is the difference between Bluetooth and infrared?
What do the different colours of wires indicate?
How do NPN and PNP transistors work?
Electrical engineer interview questions and answers
When you're crafting your responses to these common electronics engineer interview questions, it's important to make sure that you demonstrate the qualities your interviewer is looking for in a clear and concise response. Following the STAR system can make it easier to craft the perfect response to the questions you're asked. Using STAR, the examples in your answer include:
Situation: What was your situation during your example?
Task: What task were you working on at the time?
Action: What action did you take to complete your task?
Result: What was the outcome of the action you took?
Here are some common interview questions for electrical engineers and sample answers that you can use to prepare your own responses in advance of your interview:
What qualities do you have that help you in this role?
To answer this question, look through the job advert of the role you're applying for and make sure that your answer demonstrates the qualities that the employer is looking for. You can use examples from previous work positions, internships, or practical experience during your training to demonstrate good knowledge of electrical engineering, a strong work ethic and other personal qualities.
Example: 'Along with having a degree in electrical engineering, I've worked as an electrical engineer for the past 12 months in an entry-level position. During my time at my previous employer, I worked on electrical engineering projects for a number of clients, often assisting with multiple projects at once. Not only did this give me the confidence I needed in my technical skills, but it also developed my time-management and organisational skills.'
Do you prefer to work as an individual or in a team?
If interviewers ask you this, they're trying to learn more about your working style. In particular, they want to know how you work in different scenarios, both with and without coworkers. Ideally, your answer demonstrates both independence and cooperation, showing that you can work well by yourself and with others.
Example: 'I enjoy both. When working by myself, I like having control over projects and working at my own pace to ensure that my finished work is up to my standards. Alternatively, I feel that working in a team often delivers the best results because I can rely on the strengths and expertise of my colleagues at each stage of a project. In the past, I've talked my coworkers through the details of a new kind of circuit so that they could work on it independently, and I've also approached my colleagues for help when I felt their knowledge exceeded mine.'
How do you handle project delays?
Your interviewer may also want to know how you handle difficult challenges at work, including delays and tight deadlines. This is one of the most common electrical engineer interview questions and allows the interviewer to find out more about how you work under pressure. You may benefit from using an example that fits the STAR structure to help you demonstrate how you have effectively handled delays in the past.
Example: 'When I worked at Chipset Studios, a global shortage of a particular type of computer processor meant that electrical manufacturers around the world, including Chipset, couldn't get hold of the processors needed to produce new laptops, computers and other devices. We held a meeting to discuss a potential action plan, and I suggested making short-notice changes to device specs, changing to a processor that was equally good but less in-demand. Our new products outsold those of our competitors due to the fact that we could keep up with demand and our competitors couldn't.'
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