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An Automation Technician (also known as Controls Technician) working on a facility's computer.

Top Interview Questions for Automation Technicians / Controls Technicians

If you're looking for a career as an Automation Technician or Controls Technician, prepare for your interview with sample questions and answers from FactoryFix!

Automation is booming, and there are many open roles for technicians. Automation Technicians make more than $26 per hour; way more than technicians in other industries. 


Are you looking for a new Automation Technician job? It's a good idea to prepare for the interview to make sure you leave a great first impression. Companies will want to understand your experience and see what you know about automation technology. Knowing how to voice this during your interview is key to achieving your career goals.


Below, you'll find a list of 18 common questions for automation technicians and a few sample answers. Let's get started!


Automation Technician Interview Questions


  1. What's your background? Do you have experience as an automation technician?
  2. What qualities should an automation technician possess? 
  3. Describe how you organize, plan, and prioritize your work.
  4. Have you ever worked with a problematic engineer? How did you deal with the situation? 
  5. Describe an experience where you successfully serviced, repaired, or tested machinery at work. 
  6. Share an incident in which you solved a problem.
  7. How would you handle a situation you did not know how to solve? 
  8. Describe a time when you noticed malfunctioning equipment at work. What happened next?
  9. Are you comfortable working with new technology? 
  10. Are you comfortable working with electrical circuits? 
  11. How do you diagnose problems with equipment and machinery? 
  12. Do you have experience working with PLCs (programmable logic controllers)?
  13. Share an experience where you analyzed a problem and determined the best solution.
  14. Share an example of when you exceeded expectations at work. 
  15. Describe a time when you learned how to use new equipment or machinery. 
  16. Why do you want to work at our company?
  17. Are you available to work overtime?
  18. Describe your ideal work environment. 


Sample Answers for Automation Technician Interview Questions


What qualities should an Automation Technician possess?

The interviewer wants to see that you understand the role with this question. Troubleshooting problems and finding solutions will be a regular part of your job, so it helps to show that you recognize this. 


Sample answer: "I believe that attention to detail, technical ability, and strong communication skills help automation technicians thrive. Since I was five years old, I've been tinkering with electronics, and I've developed a deep understanding of how things work. My technical expertise and passion for collaboration can be seen in my work with V Tech LTD."


Have you ever worked with a problematic engineer? How did you deal with the situation? 

Working with an engineer and other technical employees is extremely common for automation technicians. Your interviewer wants to know that you can handle these relationships maturely. Hearing exactly how you respond to difficult coworkers can show how well you work on different teams.


Sample answer: "Automation Technicians and engineers work hand-in-hand, so it's natural to experience friction sometimes. In the past, when I worked with overly demanding or otherwise difficult engineers, I focused on staying professional and not discussing controversial topics. I don't want to mix personal problems with my career."


How would you handle a problem you did not know how to solve? 

Knowing how to solve every single issue isn't necessary. Instead, you need a plan for how to get answers when you don't see the solution. This question gives you a chance to show off your resourcefulness. Employers like to know that you’re not afraid to reach out when you need help. This shows how much of a self-starter you can be.


Sample answer: "The first thing I would do is speak to my coworkers. They may have seen this problem before. If that didn't work, I would study the associated documentation or manual before moving my search online."


Are you comfortable working with new technology? 

Automation technicians work at the forefront of technology; new ways of doing things are always unfolding. Your role may change as new advancements are introduced, so being flexible is essential. Show your interviewer that you embrace new technology and are willing to learn on the job. 


Sample answer: "I love technology, and I try to learn everything. That's why I want to be an automation technician. As amazing as our systems are now, I know that they're constantly getting better. I hope to see new technology introduced on the job!" 


Are you available to work overtime?

Typically, if an employer asks about overtime during the interview, staying late is part of the role. If this is okay with you, try to clarify your response. Employers care about workplace morale, and it's tough to keep an employee happy if they're doing forced overtime. 


Sample answer: "I understand that overtime is sometimes necessary for this industry. Important systems or machines may break, and I'm ready to do my part. I take pride in my work, and I want to get things done." 


You can’t get an interview until you start applying. Visit the FactoryFix job board to check out automation technician jobs in your area. You can also schedule an appointment with our career coach if you need more tips or help to get your resume into shape.