You’ve secured an Electrical Engineer interview…congratulations! Whether it’s your first job or you’re already an experienced Electrical Engineer, preparing ahead of time to get a general sense of what might get asked at the interview is a good idea. Outlining what you want to say can help you stay on track and make sure you’ve hit all the key points that speak to your Electrical Engineering skills and job experience.
To help you land the job, we’ve collected the top Electrical Engineer interview questions and several sample answers you can use to prepare
Top Electrical Engineer Interview Questions
- What initially sparked your interest in electrical engineering?
- Why are you hoping to work for this company?
- What do you think makes you the strongest candidate for this role?
- Do you prefer to work on your own or as part of a team?
- What professional development opportunities would you like to pursue?
- Do you specialize in any particular area of electrical engineering?
- What course or courses did you find most valuable during your college career?
- How would you approach a conversation with leadership about delaying a project due to safety concerns?
- What was the most important lesson you learned from your previous job?
- Tell me about a project you worked on in a previous position that you are particularly proud of.
- Describe a situation where you made a mistake while working on an electrical engineering project. What did you do to fix that mistake?
- How do you select a wire size for a new project?
- What is a transformer, and what are its applications?
- What is an alternator, and what is a generator? What are the main differences between them?
- What do you understand about reverse polarity, and how would you fix it?
Electrical Engineer Interview Sample Answers
What do you think makes you the strongest candidate for this role?
General questions like this one are designed to get a baseline understanding of your previous work experiences, background, and how you view yourself. A question like this is an excellent opportunity to highlight previous achievements in school and work and show your certifications and interests. Your response to this question should be spoken confidently and straightforwardly.
Sample answer: “I have extensive experience designing and developing electrical systems, solving wiring and electric issues, testing equipment, performing engineering analyses and assessments, overseeing the installation of hardware and software, following UL certification requirements, and using Revit MEP and AutoCAD software. In past projects, I led my team in developing and implementing low-cost solutions to improve the quality of electronic operating systems.”
What was the most important lesson you learned from your previous job?
Experience and background become more critical as you advance in your career. Companies looking to hire an electrical engineer based on a unique skill or education will want you to demonstrate your competence accordingly. How you answer questions of this kind can help interviewers uncover how you would react to specific challenges you encounter. You should be armed with stories and examples of past challenges you’ve faced. Managers will respect you when you’re honest about things you don’t have experience with. Still, you should be prepared to illustrate your way of thinking and your work ethic with specific examples.
Sample Answer: “I enjoy tackling the challenge of designing a new circuit or figuring out a solution to an electrical problem on my own. I also find collaborating with team members rewarding and a great way to learn from engineers with more experience. Working on a larger team taught me that disagreements can happen, especially when people have different opinions on which design would be the best. This is why I’ve learned to come to projects with an open mind so I can work with my colleagues to create and install the best and most efficient solution.”
Describe a situation where you made a mistake while working on an electrical engineering project. What did you do?
This question is an opportunity to demonstrate growth and work ethic. While it might seem risky to admit mistakes, the interviewer will understand that everyone has made a mistake in their career. The important thing is how you react to them and learn from them.
Sample Answer: “While I always aim for accuracy and precision in my work, I was tasked with designing a prototype firmware under a strict deadline early on in my career. When I completed the project, the operating system was not functioning. I quickly reviewed the schematics, wiring diagrams, and CAD drawings and determined a faulty piece of control equipment. I worked with a senior Electrical Engineer to replace the faulty equipment to get the system up and running on time. Now when I’m designing projects, I take detailed notes of the progress to easily identify prototype weaknesses and resolve them before they’re implemented.”
How do you select a wire size for a new project?
These questions allow interviewers to determine if you have the preferred educational background and have also absorbed and can clearly explain relevant electrical engineering concepts. When answering, it's best to make your answers as clear and direct as possible. Taking too long to respond to a question can come off like you’re winging it - just like in school. If relevant, it can also be helpful to provide examples of situations or projects related to the work the company you’re applying to does.
Sample Answer: When working on previous projects, my approach has always been to calculate the load current and voltage and figure out the current capacity and voltage drop per meter. Installation of conductors will depend on a few factors like gauge, wire capacity, etc. For wires, the smaller the wire gauge, the larger the ampacity or capacity of the wire to handle current. For example, low voltage lighting and lamp cords will have 18-gauge, electric furnaces, or large electric heaters containing 6-gauge.
Now that you’ve got an idea of what kinds of questions you can expect in your Electrical Engineering job interview, you’ll have a better idea of what to expect and how to prepare. If you’ve still got the pre-interview jitters, take a deep breath. Keep in mind that the job interview can also allow you to learn more about the company and decide if they’d be the right fit for you and your career goals.
Suppose you’d like even more helpful job interviews and job search resources. In that case, our job board is a great place to find job openings from top manufacturers. If you need a little extra help narrowing down the search, our Career Coach services can help match you with the right jobs for your experience and interests.