If you've landed an engineering job interview, congratulations. You've obviously got the qualifications to have a successful career in a very competitive industry.
Nonetheless, no matter how qualified you are, it can be pretty easy to blow a job interview and lose the job, even if you have the skills to do it and would be very good at it. Because of that, let's take a look at some very basic tips that are going to help you have a successful interview and land that great engineering job.
Do your homework
Before you ever walk into that interview, you should know as much as you can find out about the company you may be working for; research what it does, key staff there (including the person that's going to be your immediate boss), and what your job role is going to be should you get the position you're going to interview for.
Doing your homework in this way is going to prepare you for the interview in such a way to it can be a much more dynamic process; by being prepared, you can ask questions of the interviewer so as to show just how you would help the company solve its problems in your position. If you're prepared, the interview itself can become much more interactive, with you and your interviewers sitting there together discussing job duties, problems that may come up in situations, and how you may solve them, including specific skills you bring to the table, so that you're much more likely to get the job.
Be prepared to show a detailed list of projects you've worked on
Assuming this isn't your first major engineering job, you've probably worked on other projects in the capacity of engineer, even if you were somebody's assistant on a job. Make sure you detail what you did in these jobs in your engineering resume writing, so that you can hand these qualifications to the interviewer when you enter the interview. (They should also be included in briefer format on your resume.)
Your dress and demeanor should be professional and polished; dress appropriately, show up on time, and be confident and polite. Don't be too "familiar" with the interviewer; unless you are invited to call the interviewer by his or her first name, for example, make sure you use address the interviewer formally by title and first or last name.
In addition to dress, punctuality is extremely important. If you're not familiar with the location of the interview, you may want to take a practice drive there the day before the interview so that you know how to get there and won't get lost (assuming you don't have GPS or don't want to count on it). If you're leaving during what would normally be rush hour, give yourself extra time so that you're not late because of traffic.
Send a follow-up
After the interview, send a brief follow-up to the interviewer thanking the interviewer for the opportunity to interview and inviting him or her to follow up with any questions. Again, reiterate why you think he be a good match for this position, and close by inviting him or her to contact you. It's a good idea to do a follow up immediately after the interview simply thanking the interviewer for the opportunity to interview, and then follow up one more time in a couple of weeks if you haven't heard anything.
- Gail Esparan