Submitting a job application is just the first step... If you really want to land a manufacturing role, you need to ace your interview. A good interview shows employers that you’re a hard worker with the appropriate skills.
If manufacturing interviews make you a little nervous, don’t worry. With a little preparation, you can increase your confidence and boost your chance of getting the job. Keep reading for tips to polish your interview skills.
Before the Interview
Congratulations! A hiring manager saw your application and is interested in speaking with you. At this point, it’s time to gather resources you’ll use during the interview.
1. Research the company
Perhaps you applied on a whim. Or, maybe this is your dream job, and you’ve been following this company for years. Either way, it’s important to bring a wealth of knowledge about the company to your meeting.
You may be asked questions like “why do you want to work with this manufacturer” or “what do you bring to the team”. You may even need to answer questions about the manufacturing process, especially if you’re applying for a technical role. That’s why it’s important to understand the scope of the role you’re applying for. A chemical plant will likely ask different questions than a parts manufacturer.
2. Brush up on your technical knowledge
If you completed tech training classes, try to review the material before the interview. Many manufacturing jobs require advanced or specific knowledge.
To figure out what the employer is looking for, dissect the job listing. Pay attention to any technology or certifications that are mentioned. If the role isn’t highly technical, you may still need to know basic machine operating and safety information.
Highlight your enthusiasm and eagerness to learn if you don’t have the exact experience they’re looking for.
During the Interview
Once the interview starts, there’s no more time to prepare. Instead, focus on maintaining a good rapport with your interviewer. Here are a few tips to help you stand out.
1. Arrive on time
It doesn’t matter how qualified you are if you show up late. Manufacturing jobs prioritize punctuality because there may be other people depending on you. In an assembly line, for instance, every person matters. If you’re late, work for the entire day could be thrown off.
So if you want to make a good impression in your interview, show up a few minutes early.
2. Bring copies of your resume
During your interview, you may speak to multiple people. It’s helpful if everyone can access your resume. Many companies will have your digital resume ready to view, but some won’t. Having to list your experience and accomplishments because the interviewer doesn’t have access to your resume puts you at a disadvantage.
To be safe, bring two or three copies of your resume to each interview.
3. Dress for success
Making a good first impression is crucial, so pay attention to what you wear. You don’t need to win any fashion awards, but you do need to look like a well-dressed professional. Wear something that suits the role you’re aspiring to.
If you’re going to spend your working hours wearing a factory jumpsuit or overalls, employers will still appreciate it if you dress up for the interview. Make sure you look clean and tidy.
4. Give complete answers
Never answer with a simple “yes” or “no,” if you can help it. Instead, use every question as an opportunity to show off. You might be showing off your expertise, your communicativeness, your willingness to work with others, etc.
Common manufacturing interview questions include:
- What’s your experience in manufacturing?
- What manufacturing software have you worked with?
- Describe the machines and technologies you've worked with in the past
- How do you avoid injuries on the job?
5. Ask questions
Remember, you can ask questions during the interview as well! In fact, it’s recommended that you ask at least a couple of questions. Asking questions shows that you’re curious and that you understand the role.
Common questions to ask manufacturing employers include:
- What does a typical day look like?
- What do you most look for with a new hire?
- What are some of the projects that you’ll need the most help with?
- How would you describe your ideal candidate?
The more you know about the company, the more you’ll be able to see if you’re a good fit for the position. You’re likely most interested in questions about pay and benefits. However, if the only question you ask is about vacation time, the interviewer might conclude that you’re not really excited about the company. Try to balance your questions to show that you’re as interested in them as you are in your benefits.
6. Follow up
The process doesn’t stop when the interview ends. To really make yourself shine as a candidate, follow up with your interviewer within a few days. A great way to do this is to send a message to thank them for their time and briefly reiterate why you’re a good fit for the job.
Even if your personality isn’t quite suited for interview settings, you can still prepare yourself for success by following the above tips. If you want to hone your interview skills even further, use our Career Coach. We can help you find a new manufacturing role that suits your experience. Also, take a look at our job board to see open opportunities in your area.