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Interview Questions for the Manufacturing Industry

July 14, 2018 By Diana Cleveland - Leave a comment

In the manufacturing industry, employers face the challenge of recruiting workers who may not have a resume. While a job application can provide basic information to help you screen candidates, it will not answer other important questions, such as how prospective employees will behave on the job and apply their skills, or what they have accomplished in previous positions. The right interview questions can delve into those areas to help you learn what you need to know about a job candidate.

Hiring: What to Look for in an Employee

Before interviewing a candidate for a position in the manufacturing industry, you should have a good idea of what you are looking for. What traits are desirable? Does the candidate have previous manufacturing experience? Is he or she self-motivated, independent, and hard-working? How much commitment will the candidate have to the job?

Why Do Employees Stay or Leave?

Recruiting for a manufacturing position includes offering prospective employees what they need and want. When you advertise a job, be sure to include features that attract prospective employees. What benefits, perks, or working conditions will encourage employees to stay and reduce turnover?  Candidates may be drawn in by an attractive benefits package, including health insurance. Employees may want to stay with a company that empowers its staff.

The Value of Behavioral Interview Questions

Behavioral interview questions can help you probe how a candidate handled tasks and situations in a previous job. They can enlighten you as to how a candidate gets a job done, tackles daily work challenges, and how he or she will fit into your company culture. When interviewing candidates in the manufacturing industry, you will want to know:

  • how punctual they are
  • if they can work well with other team members
  • how loyal they are
  • if they mind getting their hands dirty

To create interview questions for a manufacturing position, look at the job description and make a list of the most important job tasks, challenges in the workplace, and personal characteristics you believe are necessary for job success. Write one behavioral or situational interview question for each item on the list, along with follow-up questions to probe for more details.

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Manufacturing Industry Interview Questions

An interview for a manufacturing position should include operational and situational questions to provide you with vital information about the candidate. The following interview questions relate to manufacturing work. Some questions are designed to provide insight into the work ethic and attitudes of a prospective employee.

  • Describe your relevant experience in the manufacturing industry. What were some of your responsibilities?
  • What did you like most about your last position?
  • Tell me about a time when you volunteered for a tough assignment.
  • How do you react when your workload is significantly increased?
  • Describe a situation in which you showed initiative on the job.
  • What are you looking for in terms of career development?
  • What are you pursuing in this production position?
  • Where do you see your production career going in five years?
  • How do you handle conflict?
  • How do you deal with time pressure?
  • What is most important to you in a production position?

Interview Questions for Specific Manufacturing Jobs

Manufacturing covers a broad spectrum of jobs, each of which has its own requirements. The questions you ask in an interview will depend on the job description and the tasks an employee in that position will be expected to perform.

While some questions may be appropriate for any position, you will want to include interview questions specifically related to the position for which you are interviewing. The following are examples of interview questions tailored to specific jobs in manufacturing.

Operations Manager
  • What rewards have you worked well for in previous positions, other than pay or promotions?
  • Tell me about a time when you put an unpopular process change in place and how you went about it.
Welder
  • Tell me about a time when your co-worker on a joint project wanted to do things differently and how you resolved the situation.
  • How did you avoid injuries in your last welding job?
Machinist
  • What is the most challenging material you have ever cut?
  • What power tools, hand tools, and measuring instruments have you used in previous jobs?
  • What is your favorite machine to operate?
Tool and Die Maker
  • What hand tools and machines have you used most in previous jobs?
  • What have you made in terms of tools, fixtures, and experimental parts?
  • What is the most intricate mechanical fixture you have helped design, construct, or develop?
Electrical and Hydraulic Technician
  • What is the most difficult equipment to troubleshoot?
  • Who is the most challenging customer you’ve ever dealt with?
  • If you saw a co-worker violating safety rules, what would you say? How would respond if you were told to mind your own business?
Manufacturing Engineer
  • You are in charge of a production line and the conveyor is missing a safety guarding. The productions supervisor wants to begin production. How do you handle this situation?

Evaluating Responses to Manufacturing Interview Questions

Interview questions sometimes take candidates by surprise, and communication skills can vary. Candidates may not answer as completely or eloquently as they would if they were prepared. However, you should get an answer to your question and determine how it meets your expectations.

Try to get a sense of whether the candidate is willing and able to engage with other team members to get the job done. Taking into account that a job interview is a tense situation for most people, you should be able to perceive some enthusiasm for the job and establish some rapport with the candidate during the interview.

Recruiting the Right Talent

Having the right employees is a vital aspect of growing your business. In the manufacturing industry, human capital management, which includes recruiting, hiring, onboarding, and retaining valuable workers, is crucial to the success of your company. EPAY Systems offers fully integrated human capital management solutions to ease your workload, save you money, and streamline and accelerate recruiting and onboarding new employees.

Filed Under: Workforce Management

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