17 Engineering Intern Interview Questions and Answers

Learn what skills and qualities interviewers are looking for from an engineering intern, what questions you can expect, and how you should go about answering them.

Landing an engineering internship is an excellent way to get your foot in the door of the engineering industry. But before you can start working on real-world projects, you’ll need to go through the interview process.

One way to prepare for your interview is to learn how to answer engineering internship interview questions. Employers look for interns who are reliable, well-organized, and have strong problem-solving skills.

In this guide, you’ll find several samples questions and responses, including civil engineering internship interview questions and answers.

Are you comfortable working in a team environment?

Engineering is a collaborative field, and employers want to know that you can work well with others. When answering this question, it’s important to show your interpersonal skills and how they help you collaborate with others.

Example: “I am very comfortable working in a team environment because I enjoy collaborating with others on projects. In my previous internship, I worked on a project where we had to design a bridge for a specific location. My group was responsible for the structural integrity of the bridge, so I helped create the blueprints for the beams and supports. Working together allowed us to complete our task much faster than if we were working alone.”

What are some of your greatest strengths as an engineer?

Employers ask this question to learn more about your personality and how you would fit in with their team. When answering, it can be helpful to think of a few specific examples that show your strengths as an engineer.

Example: “I have excellent problem-solving skills, which I developed through my education and experience working on projects. In my last internship, I was tasked with finding the cause of a malfunctioning piece of equipment. After testing different components, I realized there was a software issue. I worked with my team to find a solution, and we were able to fix the problem before it caused any major issues for our client.”

How would you rate your written communication skills as an engineer?

This question can help interviewers assess your ability to communicate with others in the workplace. Your answer should include examples of how you’ve used your communication skills to solve problems or complete projects.

Example: “I have always been a strong writer, and I find that my writing skills are an important part of my engineering work. In my last internship, I was tasked with creating a detailed report on our progress for the week. I wrote up a summary of what we accomplished each day and included photos of our team members working on various tasks. My manager praised me for my thoroughness and clarity when presenting the information.”

What is your experience with using CAD software?

The interviewer may ask this question to learn more about your experience with using computer-aided design software. This is a common tool used by engineers, so it’s important that you have some experience with it. If you haven’t worked as an engineer before, consider mentioning the time you spent working on projects in school or any other relevant experience.

Example: “I’ve been using CAD software for several years now. In my last internship, I was responsible for creating 3D models of various objects and structures. I also had to use the software to make changes to these designs when needed. I find that using CAD software is one of the most efficient ways to create detailed drawings.”

Provide an example of a time when you identified and solved a problem in the workplace.

This question can help the interviewer determine how you approach challenges and solve problems. Use examples from your previous work experience to highlight your problem-solving skills, communication abilities and critical thinking skills.

Example: “At my last internship, I noticed that our team was having trouble communicating with each other because we were using different messaging apps for group chats. This made it difficult to communicate efficiently and share important information. So, I created a shared Google Drive folder where everyone could upload documents and collaborate on projects. Everyone agreed this was a better way to communicate and get their questions answered.”

If you could design your own project from scratch, what would it be?

This question is a great way to see how much you know about the industry and what your goals are. It’s also an opportunity for you to show off your creativity and problem-solving skills. When answering this question, it can be helpful to think of something that would benefit people or make their lives easier.

Example: “If I could design my own project from scratch, I would create a new type of transportation system that was more efficient than current methods. I’ve always been fascinated by trains and subways, so I’d like to develop a system that combines the best elements of both while improving on some of the drawbacks.”

What would you do if you were assigned a task that you were unfamiliar with?

This question can help the interviewer determine how you approach challenges and learn new things. Your answer should show that you are willing to ask for help, research information or try different methods until you find a solution.

Example: “If I was assigned a task that I didn’t know how to complete, I would first ask my supervisor or mentor if they could explain it to me. If not, I would look up any resources available on the company’s intranet or online about the task. I would also talk with other interns who have experience in this area to see if they could offer advice. Finally, I would read through all of the project documentation to understand what is expected.”

How well do you handle criticism from your superiors?

As an intern, you may be working with a team of engineers who have more experience than you. Your interviewer wants to know that you can take constructive criticism and use it to improve your work. Use examples from past experiences where you received feedback on your work and used it to make improvements.

Example: “I understand that my superiors are there to help me learn and grow as an engineer. I welcome their feedback because I know they’re giving it for my benefit. In the past, I’ve had several mentors who gave me feedback on my projects. I always took their advice seriously and implemented changes into my work. For example, when one mentor told me to include more data in my presentation, I researched different ways to display information visually.”

Do you have any questions for me about the role or company?

This is your chance to show the interviewer that you’ve done your research and are genuinely interested in the position. It’s also a good time to ask about any information you may have missed from the job listing or company website, such as benefits or work culture.

Example: “I noticed that this role requires working on-site at our client’s location for two weeks out of every month. I’m excited to get some real-world experience with my engineering studies, but I was wondering if there were any opportunities to travel abroad during this internship?”

When was the last time you took on a new challenge and how did it turn out?

Employers ask this question to learn more about your willingness to take on new challenges. They want to know that you’re willing to work hard and try new things, even if they are challenging at first. When answering this question, it can be helpful to talk about a time when you took on a challenge and succeeded.

Example: “When I was in college, I wanted to get better at math. So, I signed up for an online course where I learned how to do calculus. It was definitely challenging at first, but after a few weeks of studying, I got the hang of it. Now, I use calculus every day as part of my job.”

We want our engineers to be creative. Give me an example of how you would approach a problem creatively.

This question can help the interviewer determine how you approach problems and challenges in your work. Use examples from previous projects or experiences to show that you are a creative problem solver.

Example: “In my last internship, I was tasked with creating a new design for an existing product. The company wanted to make it more efficient and cost-effective without changing its appearance. I started by researching similar products on the market and found one that had some of the same features as our current model. I used this information to create a prototype that would be easy to manufacture and implement into production.”

Describe your ideal work environment.

Employers ask this question to learn more about your personality and how you might fit in with their team. When answering, it can be helpful to mention a few specific things that make you happy at work. You could also include some of the skills or traits you have that help you thrive in those environments.

Example: “My ideal work environment is one where I feel comfortable asking questions and making mistakes. I like being part of a team that encourages collaboration and supports each other’s ideas. I am someone who learns best by doing, so I would love an internship where I get plenty of hands-on experience. I think my background and interests align well with this company, so I hope to join your team.”

What makes you the best candidate for this engineering internship?

Employers ask this question to learn more about your qualifications and how you can contribute to their company. Before your interview, make a list of all the skills and experiences that make you an ideal candidate for this role. Focus on highlighting your most relevant abilities and what makes you stand out from other candidates.

Example: “I am passionate about engineering and have been working toward my degree in civil engineering for three years now. I’ve taken several classes that focus on construction and design, which has helped me develop valuable problem-solving skills. My internship experience is limited, but I’m eager to learn new things and work hard to achieve results. I think my enthusiasm and dedication will help me succeed in this position.”

Which engineering disciplines do you have the most experience with?

This question can help the interviewer determine your level of experience with engineering and how it relates to their company. When answering this question, you should focus on the specific skills that relate to the job description. You can also include any additional skills you have that may be beneficial for the role.

Example: “I’ve had the most experience working in civil engineering, however I am familiar with mechanical engineering as well. In my last internship, I worked on a team that designed a new bridge for a city. My team was responsible for creating the blueprints for the structure while another team focused on the mechanics of the design. This helped me learn more about mechanical engineering.”

What do you think is the most important quality for an engineer to have?

This question can help the interviewer get to know you as a person and how your personality might fit in with their company culture. It also helps them understand what qualities you value most in yourself as an engineer. When answering this question, it can be helpful to think about which skills helped you succeed in your previous engineering roles.

Example: “I believe that the most important quality for an engineer is creativity. Engineers are constantly coming up with new solutions to problems, so I find that having a creative mindset can really help me come up with innovative ideas. In my last role, I was tasked with creating a solution to a problem with one of our products. I thought about all of the different ways I could solve the issue and came up with several options. Ultimately, I decided on a solution that would require minimal changes to the product’s design.”

How often do you think engineers should update their skills and knowledge?

This question can help interviewers understand how much you value continuing your education and development as an engineer. When answering, it can be helpful to mention a specific time in which you took the initiative to learn something new or improve your skills.

Example: “I think engineers should always be learning and developing their skills. I try to read engineering blogs and articles at least once a week to stay up-to-date on current technology and trends. I also take online courses through my university’s extension program to learn more about topics that interest me.”

There is a gap in your knowledge about a certain engineering topic. How would you go about addressing it?

This question is a great way to assess an applicant’s ability to learn new things. It also shows the interviewer that you are willing to take on challenges and seek out help when needed. When answering this question, it can be helpful to mention a specific topic or skill set you would like to develop more knowledge about.

Example: “I have some experience with coding languages but am not as familiar with Python. I would start by researching online resources for learning Python. If there were any courses offered at my university, I would enroll in them. Otherwise, I would look into taking a course online or finding a mentor who could teach me Python.”


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