The Right Interview Questions to Ask Automation Engineer Candidates


As robotics continue to make inroads in manufacturing and other industry sectors, the need for talented automation engineers is growing at a high rate. Perusing a candidate’s résumé to learn about their skill set and work history only serves for selecting applicants for an interview. Meeting one-on-one with each person still gives you the best chance to determine who would be a great fit on your team.

With an eye towards an informed hiring decision, here are a few questions to ask an automation engineer candidate during an interview. Hopefully, they trigger the answers that let you make the right choice. Good luck!

What automation tools have you been using on your latest project?

Familiarity with industry-standard automation tools is important for any engineering candidate. After they answer, follow up by asking them to describe how the tool improves the efficiency of their daily work routine. The important thing is to gauge their overall knowledge of the tool while gaining a measure of insight into how they manage their operational workflow.

Describe a time when you went above and beyond your typical duties.

Finding employees who give more than 100 percent is the holy grail for many hiring managers. This is a great question to ask an automation engineer candidate to see how willing they are to go the extra mile when the situation requires more than a full effort. Pay attention to any tangible benefits the candidate gained for their employer because of their hard work.

How would you test a vending machine or ATM?

These kinds of questions are suitable for seeing how creative the candidate is when under pressure. Note how well they are able to organize and explain their solution. Of course, this isn’t really a substitute for a traditional technical interview, but it does offer a measure of insight useful for deciding which candidates to bring in for the next round of interviews.

In five to ten years, do you see yourself in a senior engineering or management role?

It is important to understand a candidate’s career goals, especially millennials. This question serves to explore the interviewee’s hopes for their professional life. Their answer may offer a clue to the challenges your organization may encounter in retaining their services in the future.

If your company needs help finding and hiring bright engineering candidates, talk to the knowledgeable recruiters at MindFinders. As one of the top technology staffing agencies in Washington, D.C., we can ensure your organizational talent needs are sufficiently met – both now and in the future. Connect with us at your earliest convenience.


Written by Tim Booker, President and CEO of MindFinders, with over 20 years of industry experience.


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