Aerospace Engineer Interview Tips

Aerospace engineer interviews can be a mix of very technical and career based questions. The way the questions are phrased can require some thought, and the response you give should be given equal attention to detail.

Interview questions

Professional and career experience based questions can be expected to establish your background, training and experience.

There’s a range of questions which are highly relevant to the employer to show your depth of experience and knowledge base about basic issues:

“Tell us about your most recent job or placement in the industry.”

This question establishes:

  • Type and currency of experience
  • Skill levels
  • Areas of expertise
  • Levels of responsibility

The question is also one of several which acts as a direct basis for comparison between candidates. Your answer needs to show clear connections with the job, and preferably strong values in terms of the ability to do high value work. 

“What experience have you had on the job with CAD design in this area?”

 This question is also another basis for comparison of candidates. Computer assisted design is a standard study in engineering of all types. The work experience relates to your familiarity with CAD as it applies to the position. Familiarity, in this case, also means degree of difficulty. Aerospace CAD is highly detailed, involving things as complex as air frames on a frame by frame basis.

Your answer will define whether your skills match the requirements of the position. It’s advisable to check out the employer’s published designs and any available material to see the nature of the work involved and technical requirements.

“Where do you expect to be in your career in 5 years?”

This sounds like a stock question, but in context with engineering, it’s anything but a standard question. Engineering careers aren’t static, and engineers have high levels of job mobility. Your answer provides the employer with a picture of your career intentions. The question is really “How does this job fit into your career?”

Your answer will need to show a clear motivation to commit to the position. A career path which matches the skills the job provides is required. Explain how the job fits into your career plans and goals.

“Give us an example of your experience in solving problems with stress loads.”

The nature of the problem and your solution are good indicators of your knowledge base. Although it’s also a potentially tough question, it’s a good opportunity to show the interviewers your skills in a positive context.

“What have you done in terms of design work on airframes?”

Another technical question, which identifies specific areas of skill and knowledge. It acts as a map of your prior experience, and describes your skills in an important area of aerospace engineering which covers most design issues.   

A holistic but straightforward answer is best. You can describe your experience generically by referring to models and classes of aircraft as an easy to visualize categorization, and the areas of design in which you were involved.  

You may need to cover a range of design elements to add clear relevance to the position:

  • Frame structure
  • Assembly
  • Housings
  • System considerations
  • Materials

Keep your information focused mainly on the areas directly related to the job, concentrating on your strongest skills.