Hiring engineers in 2024? Get ahead with our curated list of interview questions designed to reveal the problem-solvers and innovators your team needs.

The engineers you hire shape your company's ability to innovate and stay competitive. However, a strong resume won’t always translate to success in the work environment. A thoughtfully structured interview is your chance to look beyond technical chops and assess the problem-solving instincts, communication skills and growth mindset that define exceptional engineering talent. Here’s a closer look at the best interview questions for engineers in 2024.

questions to reveal core competencies

problem-solving beyond theory

Instead of simple technical quiz questions, present your candidate with a specific challenge your company has faced (you can gloss over some details). Ask them: "If you were on the team tackling this, where would you begin?" The best answers balance real-world constraints with a willingness to embrace innovative solutions.

beyond the "right" answer

Ask: "Describe a time you were midway through a project and realized a core assumption was incorrect. How did you handle it?"  Listen for evidence of a candidate's willingness to pivot, resourcefulness and ability to learn quickly from setbacks.

mistakes happen

A well-framed question like, "Tell me about an engineering mistake you made. What was the outcome, and what did you learn?" is more revealing than you might think. This showcases how they handle setbacks, take ownership and apply those lessons to improve their approach.

uncovering soft skills that matter

collaborating for success

Inquire about a project where collaboration with engineers in other specializations, project managers or external players was vital. Follow up by asking: "What are the key elements for successful collaboration?"

communicating complexity

Give the candidate a sample technical report or schematic and say: "Imagine you're explaining this to a client unfamiliar with engineering. Summarize the main points in a way they'd understand."  This tests their understanding of core concepts and communication skills on the fly.

time management in unstructured projects

Many innovative engineering projects lack a predictable timeline. Ask: "Describe a time a project took longer than anticipated. How did you manage competing deadlines and adjust your workflow?" This evaluates prioritization and the ability to adapt schedules while still pushing toward objectives.

taking the initiative

Proactive engineers make managers' lives easier! Say: "Tell me about a time you went above and beyond in a project.  What motivated you to do more than the minimum required?"  The  best answers  indicate a genuine drive to solve problems or simply exceed expectations.

questions to evaluate fit and drive

passion for their niche

Ask: "What recent developments in [your specific field] excite you most?" Enthusiastic, informed answers hint at genuine passion vs. candidates going through the motions.


Technical evolution is rapid. Ask: "How do you stay up-to-date in your field? Do you follow any particular publications, participate in conferences or pursue certifications?" Answers indicate both initiative and an acknowledgment that continued learning is vital.

alignment with your values

Before the interview, make sure you understand your company's core values (innovation, sustainability, client-centric approach, etc.). Ask something like: "Which of our company values resonated most with you? Can you give an example of how you've demonstrated that value in past work?" This helps identify if the candidate is genuinely excited about being part of your work culture.

Even with the best interview questions, pinpointing talented and adaptable engineers remains challenging in this competitive job market. That's where partnering with a talent solutions firm like Randstad gives you an edge. Get in touch with us today to level up your search for exceptional engineering talent.