Nerd Guru

Because technical people need good soft skills to get ahead.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Surviving engineering interviews: Part 6 - Logical Questions and Questions for you to ask

Logical Questions
Instead of probing for specific technical knowledge, some interviewers will test your logical skills by asking the kind of questions you might find on an IQ test. An actual question I was asked in an interview once was, “Why are manholes round?” Needless to say, I had no idea. There are plenty of resources for IQ test questions online that may be helpful to browse during interview preparation, here is one.

Questions you get to ask
With research you have done on the company or specific group you are interviewing with, you should be able to come up with a list of questions. The intent of these questions are twofold. First, you want to stand out by asking something particularly insightful. Try to ask these as open ended as possible to get the interviewer talking. It can be as simple as, “What do you think has contributed to your stock’s recent growth?” Get them talking and listen carefully as that will lead to more questions you can ask.

Second, for the same reasons you get asked Touchy-Feely Questions, you need to get a sense for what it is like to work for this group. Ask about what it is like to work for the manager in charge, what the amenities of the building that the person particularly enjoys, or about the equipment that will be used in your job. If the answers are that the boss is never around for guidance, the roaches are getting bad in the cafeteria, and there haven’t been new PC’s purchased in 5 years, this may not be a place you want as part of your career path. Think about the kinds of things that are important to you in a work setting when creating your list and don’t be afraid to refer to something you’ve written out before hand as this may be your only chance to find these things out before you actually start the job.


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posted by Pete Johnson @ 1:44 PM   0 comments

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