The Four Best Interview Questions for Manufacturing Candidates

Alex Kilpatrick | October 15, 2015

The demand for manufacturing talent is rapidly growing, causing recruiters to rethink their interview questions for manufacturing candidates and overall recruiting strategy. As the job market tightens, it becomes increasingly essential for recruiters to be proactive and aggressive in their hiring methods, yet finding well qualified talent seems harder than ever. Asking the right questions – in the right manner – ensures the very best outcome.

After a very basic scan of incoming resumes, it’s a must for hiring managers to schedule interviews for their would-be employee. But once you get them in front of you, what questions should you ask to determine if they are truly qualified for the intense, hard-working positions you are offering in the manufacturing sector? Resumes aren’t enough to bring out the true qualities candidates offer, but through these questions asked during an interview, it’s possible to gain a considerable amount of information quickly.

The following are important interview questions for manufacturing to ask when screening for your positions. Depending on the position, these questions afford the hiring manager with far more depth than a traditional resume can offer.

Interview Questions for Manufacturing

  1. What is an item master? Screen candidates for their knowledge in the field by asking them terms specific to the position they are applying for. You’ll be able to get a better understanding of who has previous experience and who may need additional time on-boarding.
  2. What are some of the challenges you’ve faced in previous positions? How did you overcome these challenges? In manufacturing, problems with supplies, equipment, factory overhead and special parts, as well as managing coworkers can pose challenges to manufacturing professionals on a daily basis. Ask candidates about times they’ve encountered challenges and how they overcame them to screen candidates for their ability to work through tough times.
  3. Tell me about a time you encountered change to your job. How did you adapt? One of the most important pieces of information you need as a hiring manager is whether or not the candidate will adapt to the ever-changing environment on the manufacturing floor. From compliance and regulation changes to comprehensive tech upgrades, changes are continuous. Screen candidates for their outlook on change. Look for candidates who see change as an opportunity to improve in their role.
  4. What steps are necessary for effective QA? Even those just starting out in the manufacturing industry need to know the value of quality assurance. Sampling, process control, troubleshooting and other steps are a requirement and are expected. Screen candidates for their ability to work hard and honest every day as well as hit deadlines.

Manufacturing teams are a major part of an organization and if one individual on the team is lacking or not doing the job right, the whole team is affected. Recruiters need to screen candidates with a well thought out questions as a part of their overall interviewing strategy. Want to learn more about the current state of talent acquisition in manufacturing? Check out our infographic, “The Manufacturing Landscape.”

About The Author

Alex Kilpatrick is the Marketing Communications Manager at interviewstream and has been with the company since 2018. In her free time, she enjoys running, reading, traveling and spending time outdoors.

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