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You’re hiring a new engineer. The role is major and the requirements are stiff. You know you need a certain level of education, a certain amount of experience, and a certain … something else. You’re seeking well-rounded candidates and have found that trekking through resumes isn’t bringing you any closer to really knowing your applicants.

Interviews – whether informal screenings by phone or team-led pow-wows in-house – are paramount in getting to understand the person behind the profile. However, with time constraints abound, how can you cover all topics and arrive at a solid hire?

Follow our three-step guide to hiring an engineer, complete with the three questions all major firms are asking engineering candidates. This is sure to help you organize your priorities and achieve major depth in your hiring game.

Step 1: Assess Technical Knowledge and Capability

You might think you’ve already accomplished this by harvesting resumes and scouring LinkedIn for connections, but resumes are embellished. It’s best to assess the candidate’s actual prowess.

Ask the technical question: What factors would you consider in building an engineering department from scratch?

This question will work to determine this person’s capacity to design, work in the abstract, consider all facets of the field, and speak to their priorities.


Step 2: Evaluate Career Passion & Candidate Personality

Engineers come from all walks of life, and a balance of personalities and attitudes is essential to keep your company’s wheels in rotation. How much does this person embody what they do? Do they love it? Find out.

Ask the personality question: What do you get out of engineering that you couldn’t get from any other line of work?

This question will tell you how interested and passionate your candidate is about engineering, while also helping you to understand what’s important to them.

Step 3: Determine Interpersonal Propensity & Skills

Professional engineers work with people more than some might realize. If your ideal candidate is someone who can work well in a team, respond well to direction from a manager, or serve as a liaison to clients, you need to know how they vibe with others. The general flow and comfort of your interview conversation will be informative, but you will also want to ask questions to get your interviewee talking about communication preferences, good and bad experiences with teams, and so forth.

Ask the interpersonal question: How would former/current colleagues describe your collaborative style? What about administrators?

This two-prong question takes your candidate out of their own head and into the minds of people they have directly affected in the workplace. You’ll learn how the candidate sees themselves, and learn a great deal about typical roles within a team.

Our three-step approach to interviewing engineering candidates is guaranteed to connect you with the most capable, passionate, team-players in the field. To expedite the process with half the effort, collaborate with a staffing firm that connects talented engineers with innovative companies every day by contacting staffing experts at RHM Technical, a RodgersHouder Company today!

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