17 Instrumentation And Control Technician Interview Questions and Answers

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

Instrumentation and control technicians, also known as I&C technicians, install, calibrate, and maintain the electronic devices that are used to measure and control various processes in factories and other industrial settings. I&C technicians work with a variety of devices, including sensors, transducers, controllers, and recorders.

I&C technicians need to have a strong understanding of electronics, as well as the ability to read and interpret blueprints, schematics, and other technical drawings. They also need to be able to use a variety of tools, including multimeters, soldering irons, and computer-aided design (CAD) software.

If you’re interested in becoming an I&C technician, you’ll need to ace an interview. To help you prepare, we’ve put together a list of the most common I&C technician interview questions, along with sample answers.

Are you familiar with the basic principles of electrical engineering?

This question is a basic test of your knowledge and understanding of electrical engineering. Electrical engineers are responsible for designing, building and maintaining the power grid that supplies electricity to homes and businesses. The interviewer may ask this question to see if you have any experience working with an engineer or in an environment where you had to apply some of the principles of electrical engineering.

Example: “I’ve worked alongside several electrical engineers during my time as an instrumentation and control technician at Acme Power Company. I learned many of the basics of electrical engineering from them, including Ohm’s law, Kirchhoff’s laws and other important concepts. I also took several online courses on electrical engineering while I was earning my associate degree.”

What are the primary types of industrial machinery you have worked with in the past?

The interviewer may ask this question to learn more about your experience with specific types of machinery. You can answer by naming the different types of machinery you have worked with and what you enjoyed most about each type.

Example: “I’ve worked with a variety of industrial machinery in my past roles, including conveyor belts, pumps, motors, valves and other mechanical systems. I enjoy working with all types of machinery because they are so unique and interesting. However, one of my favorite machines is an electric motor because it’s such a simple machine that performs its function well. It’s also fun to work on something that doesn’t require any fuel or maintenance.”

How would you troubleshoot a problem with a steam turbine?

This question can help the interviewer assess your troubleshooting skills and how you apply them to a variety of problems. Use examples from previous experience in which you used critical thinking, problem-solving and communication skills to solve a challenging issue with a steam turbine.

Example: “In my last role as an instrumentation and control technician, I was tasked with diagnosing a problem with a steam turbine that caused it to overheat. After inspecting the unit for any obvious issues, I found that there were no visible signs of damage or malfunctioning parts. However, after further inspection, I noticed that one of the sensors on the system had failed. I replaced the sensor and restarted the turbine.”

What is your process for troubleshooting a control panel?

Instrumentation and control technicians use a variety of tools to troubleshoot problems with machinery. Employers ask this question to make sure you have the necessary skills for the job. Use your answer to explain how you would approach this task at work.

Example: “I begin by reviewing all of the documentation about the machine I’m working on. This includes any manuals, schematics or diagrams that show me where each component is located. Next, I test the sensors and alarms to see if they are functioning properly. If not, I replace them. Then, I check the wiring to ensure it’s in good condition. Finally, I run diagnostic software to identify any issues.”

Provide an example of a time when you identified a problem with a piece of machinery and your solution worked.

This question can help the interviewer understand your problem-solving skills and how you apply them to a variety of situations. Use examples from previous work experiences that highlight your ability to identify problems, analyze data and implement solutions.

Example: “At my last job, I was working on an older system where some of the sensors were malfunctioning. The sensors would send incorrect information to the control panel, which caused the machinery to shut down unexpectedly. After testing each sensor individually, I found one sensor that was sending faulty readings. I replaced this sensor with a new one, which solved the issue.”

If you had to choose one piece of industrial equipment to work with for the rest of your career, what would it be and why?

This question is a great way to see if you have any preferences for the type of equipment you work with. It can also help employers understand what your career goals are and how they might be able to support them. When answering this question, it can be helpful to think about which piece of industrial equipment you enjoy working with most or feel like you’re best at operating.

Example: “I would choose a CNC milling machine because I’ve always been interested in 3D modeling and creating things. I find that using a CNC milling machine allows me to create some really intricate designs and shapes that I could never do by hand. I love seeing my projects come to life when I use this machine.”

What would you do if you were assigned to work on a piece of equipment you had never seen before?

This question can help the interviewer determine how adaptable you are to new situations and challenges. Use your answer to highlight your problem-solving skills, ability to learn quickly and willingness to take on new tasks.

Example: “If I were assigned to work on a piece of equipment I had never seen before, I would first do my best to familiarize myself with it by reading any manuals or instructions that came with it. If there was no documentation available, I would ask for assistance from someone who has worked on this type of equipment in the past. Once I understood what the equipment did, I would use my knowledge of similar pieces of equipment to troubleshoot the issue.”

How well do you work under pressure?

Instrumentation and control technicians often work in high-pressure situations. Employers ask this question to make sure you can handle the pressure of working on a job site. In your answer, explain that you are able to stay calm under pressure. Explain how you use your skills to solve problems quickly.

Example: “I am very comfortable working under pressure. I have worked on many projects where time was of the essence. I always take my time when troubleshooting a problem so I don’t overlook anything. However, I also know that there is only so much time I can spend on one issue before it becomes counterproductive. So, I try to find the root cause as quickly as possible so we can move forward with the rest of the project.”

Do you prefer to work on your own or as part of a team?

This question can help the interviewer determine how you might fit into their company culture. It’s important to consider what type of work environment they have before answering this question. If you’re unsure, it may be best to answer that you prefer working in a team setting but are also comfortable working independently.

Example: “I enjoy both working on my own and as part of a team. I find that when working alone, I’m able to focus more on my work and get things done efficiently. However, I also really enjoy collaborating with others and learning from them. In previous positions, I’ve found that I am able to balance these two preferences well.”

When is it appropriate to call a technician out of retirement?

This question is a way for the interviewer to assess your decision-making skills and how you handle challenging situations. Your answer should show that you can make sound decisions, even when they are not easy ones.

Example: “If I were called out of retirement, it would be because there was an emergency situation that required my expertise. For example, if a plant had a power outage and needed someone with extensive knowledge of instrumentation and control systems to get them back online as quickly as possible. In this case, I would put aside any personal feelings about being called out of retirement and do whatever was necessary to help the company.”

We want to ensure our technicians are up-to-date on the latest industry trends. What would you do to stay informed?

This question can help the interviewer determine how you will keep up with industry changes and advances. It’s important to show that you are willing to learn new things, especially if your role involves working on a team of technicians who may have more experience than you do.

Example: “I am always looking for ways to improve my skills as an instrumentation and control technician. I would subscribe to newsletters from professional organizations like the Instrument Society of America or American Society of Automation Engineers. I would also take online courses in instrumentation and automation to stay current on the latest technology.”

Describe your process for updating a control panel.

This question can help the interviewer understand how you apply your knowledge to solve problems and complete tasks. Use examples from your experience to describe what steps you take when updating a control panel, including any safety precautions you follow.

Example: “I first make sure that all of my tools are ready before I enter the control room. Once there, I check for any alarms or alerts on the system and then begin by removing the cover of the control panel. Next, I remove the circuit boards and inspect them for damage or corrosion. If everything looks good, I clean the board with an alcohol wipe and replace it in the panel. Then, I reconnect all the wires and put the cover back on.”

What makes you stand out from other instrumentation and control technicians?

This question is your opportunity to show the interviewer that you have unique skills and abilities. You can answer this question by describing a skill or ability that makes you stand out from other instrumentation and control technicians.

Example: “I am an expert in using PLCs, which are programmable logic controllers used for automation. I also have experience with HMI software, which stands for human-machine interface. This software allows me to create user interfaces for equipment and machinery. These two skills make me highly qualified for this position because it requires someone who has knowledge of both PLCs and HMIs.”

Which industries have you not worked in yet that you would like to try?

This question can help the interviewer get a sense of your career goals and aspirations. It can also tell them about any experience you have that is not listed on your resume. When answering this question, it can be helpful to mention industries or companies that are similar to the one you’re interviewing for.

Example: “I’ve worked in manufacturing for most of my career, but I would love to try working in an oil refinery. I know there are many similarities between these two industries, so I think I could bring some valuable skills to the role. I am also interested in trying out construction work, as I have always been fascinated by how buildings go up.”

What do you think is the most important part of maintaining industrial equipment?

This question can help the interviewer determine your understanding of what it takes to keep industrial equipment running smoothly. Your answer should show that you understand how important regular maintenance is and that you know how to perform it.

Example: “I think regular maintenance is one of the most important parts of keeping industrial equipment in good working order. If I notice something wrong with a piece of machinery, I will make sure to fix it right away so it doesn’t cause any more problems later on. Regular maintenance also helps me learn about different pieces of equipment and how they work, which makes me better at my job.”

How often should machinery be inspected?

This question can help the interviewer determine your knowledge of industry standards and practices. Use examples from your experience to highlight how you use your critical thinking skills to make decisions about when machinery should be inspected.

Example: “In my previous role, I performed monthly inspections on all equipment in the facility. However, if there were any issues with a piece of machinery or system, I would perform an inspection immediately. For example, if a machine was running slower than usual, I would inspect it right away to ensure that everything was functioning properly. This helped me identify problems before they became more serious.”

There is a piece of machinery that needs to be repaired, but the replacement part won’t be delivered until next week. What do you do?

This question is designed to test your problem-solving skills and ability to work under pressure. Your answer should show that you can prioritize tasks, manage time effectively and communicate with others about the situation.

Example: “If I had a piece of machinery that needed repair but the replacement part wouldn’t be delivered until next week, I would first make sure that there was no way to speed up the delivery process. If it was out of my control, then I would focus on other machines that could be repaired in the meantime. Then, once the part arrived, I would immediately begin working on the machine so that it could be operational as soon as possible.”


17 Senior Controls Engineer Interview Questions and Answers

Back to Interview

17 Senior Accounts Payable Specialist Interview Questions and Answers