The Best Interview Questions to Ask For Manufacturing Positions

Caroline Chessia | August 18, 2023

Hiring the right candidates for open manufacturing positions is essential to ensure a skilled and motivated workforce. Manufacturing positions can be hard to fill and often struggle with high turnover. Asking the right interview questions helps you hire employees with a higher quality of hire.

Manufacturing HR professionals should be assessing candidates’ technical knowledge, problem-solving abilities, adaptability, and teamwork skills to see whether the candidate will fit in at their company. Finding the perfect fit may take time, but by asking the right questions, you can build a strong and successful manufacturing team. Here are questions that have been useful for our manufacturing clients:

“What is your experience with manufacturing systems and processes?”

This question allows you to assess a candidate’s understanding of manufacturing operations. Look for individuals who demonstrate knowledge of various manufacturing systems, such as lean manufacturing, just-in-time (JIT) production, and Six Sigma. Their familiarity with these methodologies will reflect their ability to contribute effectively to your team.

“Can you share an example of a challenge you faced in a previous role and how you overcame it?”

Manufacturing jobs often involve dealing with unforeseen challenges on the production floor. By asking this question, you can gauge a candidate’s problem-solving abilities, adaptability, and resilience. Look for candidates who approach challenges proactively and are willing to find innovative solutions.

“How do you ensure quality control in a manufacturing setting?”

Quality assurance is crucial in manufacturing to maintain product consistency and meet product or customer expectations. Ask candidates about their knowledge of quality control processes, including inspection, testing, and adherence to industry standards. 

“What safety protocols do you follow while working on the manufacturing floor?”

Safety is paramount in manufacturing environments, where potential hazards can lead to accidents and injuries. Ensure that candidates are well-versed in safety procedures, including the use of personal protective equipment (PPE), equipment handling, and emergency response. 

“How do you handle tight production deadlines?”

Manufacturing often involves working under tight timelines to meet production goals. Assess candidates’ time management skills, ability to work efficiently, and willingness to collaborate with team members to meet deadlines. Look for candidates who remain composed under pressure and maintain productivity.

“Tell us about a time you identified a process improvement opportunity in a previous role.”

Continuous improvement is a sign of a great candidate. Candidates who actively seek process improvements show an inclination toward optimizing efficiency and productivity. Look for candidates who demonstrate creativity and a proactive attitude in identifying areas for enhancement.

“How do you handle the repetitive nature of some manufacturing tasks?”

Manufacturing can involve repetitive tasks, which may lead to monotony. Look for candidates who understand the importance of consistency in manufacturing and can demonstrate their ability to stay focused and attentive to detail during repetitive tasks.

“Describe a situation where you had to troubleshoot a technical issue in a manufacturing process. How did you approach the problem, and what was the outcome?”

This interview question assesses a candidate’s technical skills and problem-solving abilities in a real-world manufacturing scenario. Look for candidates who can efficiently diagnose and resolve technical challenges, highlighting their ability to keep production running smoothly.

“In your opinion, what is the most important factor in achieving efficient production in a manufacturing setting?”

This question reveals a candidate’s understanding of the key drivers of efficiency in manufacturing. Look for responses that include factors such as streamlined processes, effective communication, optimized equipment, and a skilled workforce.

“How do you handle working with tight material and resource constraints while maintaining quality output?”

Manufacturing frequently faces resource limitations, such as raw materials or budget constraints. Seek candidates who can demonstrate resourcefulness, adaptability, and an ability to balance efficiency with maintaining product quality under such conditions.

“Describe a situation where you had to work closely with cross-functional teams to achieve a goal”

Manufacturing operations often involve collaboration across various departments and teams. Look for candidates who can effectively communicate and collaborate with others to achieve shared objectives, fostering a spirit of teamwork and mutual support.

“How do you manage your time and prioritize tasks in a fast-paced manufacturing environment?”

Efficient time management is vital in manufacturing to meet production schedules. Look for candidates who can demonstrate their ability to prioritize tasks effectively, manage time constraints, and meet deadlines without compromising quality.

“Tell us about a time when you successfully implemented a cost-saving initiative in a previous manufacturing role.”

Cost optimization is a critical aspect of manufacturing operations. Seek candidates who can provide examples of cost-saving initiatives they have contributed to or led in their previous roles, showing their ability to drive operational efficiencies and contribute to the company’s bottom line. If they don’t have one – ask for their opinion on how they could improve processes to cut costs.

Ask The Right Interview Questions with interviewstream’s Virtual Interviewing Technology

interviewstream offers video interviewing and scheduling solutions that help you hire the best candidates, faster. We help companies and organizations ask the right questions every time and maintain consistency with one way video interviews.

If you’re interested in learning more about video interviews or interview scheduling and how they help other manufacturing companies, fill out this form to get started.

About The Author

Caroline Chessia is the Marketing Operations Specialist at interviewstream. She loves color-coordinated graphs, hiking in the mountains, and every dog she meets—especially the Golden Retrievers.


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