17 Refrigeration Engineer Interview Questions and Answers

Learn what skills and qualities interviewers are looking for from a refrigeration engineer, what questions you can expect, and how you should go about answering them.

Refrigeration engineers are in charge of designing, developing, and maintaining systems that control the temperature and humidity of the air. This can include everything from small-scale domestic refrigerators to large-scale industrial cooling systems.

If you want to become a refrigeration engineer, you will need to have a strong understanding of thermodynamics, fluid dynamics, and heat transfer. You will also need to be able to use computer-aided design (CAD) software.

Before you can start your career, you will need to pass an interview. In this guide, we will give you a list of the most common refrigeration engineer interview questions and answers.

Common Refrigeration Engineer Interview Questions

Are you familiar with the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) standards for refrigeration engineering?

The interviewer may ask you a question like this to assess your knowledge of industry standards and regulations. Your answer should include a brief description of the ISO standards for refrigeration engineering, as well as how they apply to your work.

Example: “I am familiar with the International Organization for Standardization’s (ISO) standards for refrigeration engineering. The standards provide guidelines for designing and maintaining commercial refrigeration systems. I use these standards when conducting feasibility studies for new projects, as they help me determine whether or not a facility has enough space to accommodate a particular system.”

What are the different types of refrigerants used in refrigeration systems?

Refrigeration systems use refrigerants to cool and freeze products. The interviewer may ask this question to see if you have experience with different types of refrigerants. In your answer, explain the different types of refrigerants and how they differ from one another. You can also mention a specific type that you’ve used in past projects.

Example: “There are three main types of refrigerants—refrigerant gases, refrigerant liquids and hydrocarbon refrigerants. Refrigerant gases include ammonia, carbon dioxide and sulfur dioxide. These gases are usually non-flammable and environmentally friendly. However, they’re not as efficient as other refrigerants.

Refrigerant liquids include propane, R-134a and R-407c. They’re more efficient than refrigerant gases because they evaporate at lower temperatures. Hydrocarbon refrigerants include R-22 and R-404A. These refrigerants are flammable but very efficient.”

How would you troubleshoot a refrigeration system that was over-pressurized?

This question can help the interviewer assess your troubleshooting skills and ability to apply them in a real-world setting. Use examples from previous experience to highlight your problem-solving abilities, analytical thinking and attention to detail.

Example: “Over-pressurization is one of the most common issues with refrigeration systems. In my last role, I was called in to fix an over-pressurized system that had caused some damage to the equipment. After inspecting the system, I found that there were several leaks in the condenser coils. To repair the issue, I replaced all of the damaged parts and recharged the system.”

What is the purpose of a condenser in a refrigeration system?

This question is an opportunity to show your knowledge of the refrigeration system and how it works. Your answer should include a description of what a condenser does, along with an example of when you used one in a project.

Example: “A condenser’s purpose is to cool down the hot gas that comes from the compressor. It uses water or another liquid as a cooling agent, which then turns into steam. Condensers are usually placed outside of the building where they can be cooled by air. I’ve used condensers in my projects before, such as at a restaurant where we needed to keep food cold but didn’t have room for a large unit inside.”

Provide an example of a time when you had to make a difficult decision regarding a refrigeration system.

When an interviewer asks you a question like this, they are trying to understand how you make decisions and what your thought process is. This can be a great opportunity for you to show the interviewer that you have strong problem-solving skills and can think critically about situations.

Example: “In my last position as a refrigeration engineer, I was tasked with designing a new system for a large grocery store. The company wanted to implement a more efficient cooling system in their produce department because it was taking too long for some of their customers to find fresh fruits and vegetables. We decided on using a blast chiller system, which would cool down the produce quickly so customers could get what they needed faster. However, there were concerns from other employees who worked in the department about whether or not the blast chiller would damage the produce.”

If a refrigeration system was not operating properly, how would you determine the cause?

An interviewer may ask this question to assess your problem-solving skills and critical thinking abilities. Use your answer to highlight your ability to analyze a situation, gather information and make decisions that lead to effective solutions.

Example: “If I was working on a refrigeration system that wasn’t operating properly, I would first determine what the symptoms were. Next, I would inspect the entire system for any signs of damage or malfunctioning parts. If I found no issues with the equipment itself, I would look at the environment where the system is located. For example, if it’s too hot outside, then the system will have trouble cooling down. I would also check the power supply to ensure it’s sufficient.”

What would you do if you noticed a safety hazard while inspecting a refrigeration system?

Employers ask this question to make sure you are aware of safety regulations and procedures. In your answer, explain how you would report the hazard and what steps you would take to fix it.

Example: “If I noticed a refrigeration system that was not up to code or posed a safety risk, I would immediately report it to my supervisor. Then, I would work with my team to find a solution. If we could not repair the issue in time, I would recommend shutting down the system until we fixed the problem. This is because I always prioritize safety over production.”

How well do you understand the relationship between refrigeration systems and other engineering disciplines?

This question can help interviewers assess your knowledge of the refrigeration industry and how it relates to other engineering disciplines. Use examples from your experience to explain how you understand these relationships and apply them in your work.

Example: “I have a strong understanding of the relationship between refrigeration systems and other engineering disciplines, especially mechanical and electrical engineering. In my last role, I worked with an engineer who specialized in electrical engineering. We collaborated on several projects where we needed to integrate refrigeration units into existing electrical systems. He helped me understand the basics of his field so that I could better communicate with him about the needs of our refrigeration systems.”

Do you have experience working with older models of refrigeration systems?

The interviewer may ask this question to see if you have experience working with older models of refrigeration systems. If your previous employer used older models, the interviewer may want to know how you handled these challenges and what strategies you used to overcome them. Use examples from your past experience to show that you can work with any type of system.

Example: “In my last position, I worked with a company that had older models of refrigeration units. The company was hesitant to upgrade because they were unsure about the cost-effectiveness of upgrading. However, I developed a plan where we could replace some of our older units while keeping others in place. This allowed us to save money on replacing all of our units at once.”

When is it appropriate to use a heat exchanger in a refrigeration system?

This question can help the interviewer determine your knowledge of refrigeration systems and how you apply that knowledge to real-world situations. Use examples from your experience to show the interviewer that you know when a heat exchanger is appropriate for use in a system and what factors influence its selection.

Example: “Heat exchangers are used in refrigeration systems to transfer heat between two fluids, typically one liquid and one gas. Heat exchangers are most commonly used in vapor compression systems because they allow the compressor to operate at lower temperatures, which reduces energy costs. In my last role, I was tasked with designing a new refrigeration system for an ice cream shop. The client wanted to reduce their operating costs while maintaining quality customer service. Using a heat exchanger in this situation allowed me to design a system that met all of the client’s needs.”

We want to expand our refrigeration systems to include new features. What types of refrigeration systems would you recommend for our company?

This question can help the interviewer understand your knowledge of refrigeration systems and how you would apply that knowledge to benefit their company. Use examples from previous projects or research to explain what types of refrigeration systems are most effective for businesses like yours.

Example: “I recommend using a hybrid system, which combines both gas and electric cooling methods. This type of system is more cost-effective than an all-electric system because it uses less energy, but it’s also more efficient than a gas system alone. It’s also important to consider the size of your facility when choosing a refrigeration system. For example, if you have a large warehouse with many products, I’d suggest installing multiple units in different areas so they’re close enough to each other to share cold air.”

Describe your process for testing a refrigeration system before installation.

The interviewer may ask you this question to gauge your testing process and how it relates to the overall installation. Your answer should include a step-by-step process for testing refrigeration systems, including any specific tools or equipment you use during the test.

Example: “I begin by inspecting all of the components of the system, including the condenser, evaporator, compressor and piping. I then check the electrical connections and wiring before connecting the system to its power source. Once the system is connected, I monitor the pressure levels in the system’s pipes and compare them to the manufacturer’s specifications. If the pressure levels are within range, I continue with the installation.”

What makes you the best candidate for this refrigeration engineer position?

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 skills and explaining why they are beneficial to this position.

Example: “I am passionate about engineering and have been working toward my refrigeration engineer certification since I graduated from college. Throughout my career, I’ve gained valuable experience in various industries, including food service, healthcare and retail. This diverse background has helped me develop a strong understanding of the refrigeration process and how it applies to different settings. My passion for engineering and dedication to learning new things makes me the best candidate for this job.”

Which computer-aided design software programs are you most familiar with?

The interviewer may ask this question to determine your experience with specific software programs. If you have previous experience using the same program as the company, share that information. If not, consider sharing a similar program or discussing how you would learn to use it if hired.

Example: “I am most familiar with AutoCAD and Solid Edge. I used both of these programs in my last position where we relied heavily on computer-aided design for our projects. In my current role, however, we use Autodesk Fusion 360, which is also a CAD program. I’ve been learning Fusion 360 since starting there, but I’m still getting comfortable with all its features.”

What do you think is the most important aspect of refrigeration engineering?

This question is a great way to show your interviewer that you understand the role of refrigeration engineers and how they can impact their company. Your answer should include an example of how you helped improve or maintain this aspect in previous roles.

Example: “I think the most important part of my job as a refrigeration engineer is safety. I always make sure to follow all safety protocols when working on projects, including wearing proper protective equipment and following safe work procedures. In my last position, I was tasked with creating a new system for maintaining food temperatures at restaurants. After conducting research, I found that many restaurant owners were concerned about the cost of upgrading their systems. I worked with the team to create a plan that would allow them to upgrade their current system without having to spend too much money.”

How often should a refrigeration system be inspected?

This question can help the interviewer determine how often you inspect systems and whether you are thorough in your work. Your answer should show that you know when to inspect a system and what to look for during an inspection.

Example: “I recommend inspecting refrigeration systems at least once every six months, but I also perform random inspections throughout the year. This helps me ensure that there aren’t any issues with the system before they become more serious. If I notice something wrong, I make sure it’s fixed as soon as possible so it doesn’t cause further damage.”

There is a leak in a refrigeration system that you installed. How would you handle the situation?

This question can help an interviewer determine how you would respond to a challenging situation. Use your answer to showcase your problem-solving skills and ability to work under pressure.

Example: “If there was a leak in the refrigeration system I installed, I would first assess the cause of the leak. If it’s something that can be fixed quickly, such as a loose connection or a broken pipe, then I would repair it right away. However, if the leak is due to a more serious issue, like a faulty compressor, then I would have to replace the entire unit. In either case, I would make sure to document my actions so that the client knows what happened.”


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