The Top 15 Manufacturing Interview Questions to Ask Candidates in 2023

In the manufacturing industry, employers face the challenge of recruiting workers who may not have a resume.

A job application can give you basic information to help you screen applicants, but it won’t answer other important questions, like how the person will act on the job and how they will use their skills, what they have done in the past, or what they can tell you about their attendance.

They can help you learn what you need to know about a manufacturing job candidate if you ask them the right questions during the interview.

Hiring top talent is crucial for manufacturing companies to maintain quality output, and safety. That’s why asking the right manufacturing interview questions during the recruitment process is key to assessing which candidates have the necessary hard and soft skills to excel in your open production roles.

In this comprehensive guide I’ll cover the 15 most common and effective manufacturing interview questions to ask candidates for positions like operators technicians, managers, engineers, and more. For each question, I’ll explain why it provides valuable insights and share examples of strong responses.

Whether you work in food production, automotive manufacturing, medical device fabrication, consumer packaged goods, aerospace, pharmaceuticals, or any other industry, these questions will help reveal the best candidates to propel your manufacturing operations forward. Let’s get started!

Why Manufacturing Interview Questions Matter

Manufacturing interview questions aim to gauge both technical capabilities and cultural fit. You’ll want to assess each candidate’s:

  • Hands-on production experience relevant to your open role
  • Problem-solving abilities and reaction under pressure
  • Safety knowledge and commitment
  • Technical skills using required tools and machinery
  • Ability to follow procedures and meet quality standards
  • Teamwork and communication style
  • Reliability and work ethic

Well-crafted behavioral, situational and technical manufacturing interview questions will reveal all of this critical information. Let’s look at exactly what to ask.

15 Manufacturing Interview Questions to Identify the Best Candidates

Here are 15 of the best manufacturing interview questions to evaluate candidates during the hiring process:

1. What experience do you have working in manufacturing production roles?

This open-ended question allows candidates to overview their relevant hands-on experience. Listen for specifics about their past responsibilities, knowledge of your industry, tool and machine expertise, and more.

Strong response: “I have over 5 years of experience working in medical device manufacturing. My responsibilities included setting up, operating, monitoring, and maintaining equipment like CNC mills, lathes, presses, and screw machines to mass produce orthopedic implants. I scheduled preventative maintenance and troubleshot issues to avoid costly downtime. I also measured output to identify process improvements and collaborated with engineers on design for manufacturability.”

This response demonstrates extensive relevant experience. The candidate outlines specific equipment knowledge, maintenance abilities, and continuous improvement skills.

2. How do you ensure quality standards and production procedures are followed?

Manufacturing processes must adhere to strict protocols. This question reveals how diligently candidates follow defined procedures without taking shortcuts.

Strong response: “I consistently follow all documented procedures and specifications without fail, even when we’re trying to meet tight deadlines. I use checklists for each step and sign off that protocols were followed during handoffs. If anything seems off, I double check the procedure before moving to the next step rather than making assumptions. I also collaborate with quality colleagues to recommend ways we can improve processes while still maintaining safety and compliance.”

This example highlights the candidate’s commitment to accurate protocol adherence, checking work, and partnering with quality teams to improve processes.

3. How do you typically deal with and prioritize a high volume of work?

Volume can fluctuate in manufacturing. This scenario question tests how candidates handle pressure.

Strong response: “When workload volume increases, I stay calm, focus on the most urgent tasks first, and maximize my efficiency. If I feel overwhelmed, I’ll make a list of every task and assign each a priority level based on internal and external customer needs to create a roadmap. I’m comfortable using all time available in a shift if needed while also being careful not to sacrifice quality or skip steps. If overtime is authorized and won’t create safety risks, I’m open to working additional hours as well to fulfill demand.”

This candidate demonstrates composure under pressure, planning skills, and dedication to quality. Their willingness to work overtime when needed also shows commitment.

4. Tell me about a time you spotted a potential hazard or safety issue and how you responded.

Manufacturing environments contain many risks, so uncovering candidates’ safety diligence is crucial.

Strong response: “When I noticed a safety guard was missing from a conveyor belt at my last job, I immediately disabled the machine, notified the plant manager per protocol, and placed an out of order sign on it. I reminded colleagues to avoid the area until it was fixed and asked to be present when the guard was replaced to ensure it was done properly. Although it caused a brief shutdown, identifying and responding to the issue prevented a significant injury.”

This example highlights the candidate’s focus on safety, initiative, and proper protocol following. Their insistence on witnessing the repair firsthand shows dedication to safety.

5. How do you ensure tools and equipment are maintained properly?

Proper maintenance keeps production lines running smoothly. This question reveals candidates’ care and proactivity.

Strong response: “I follow all preventative maintenance schedules diligently, keeping tracking checklists up to date. I perform equipment inspections before each shift, reporting any concerns immediately. I also continuously monitor equipment performance and sounds during runs so I can catch small issues before they become big problems. Additionally, I collaborate with maintenance teams, providing input on machinery that may require upgrades or replacement based on my hands-on experience.”

This answer shows the candidate is committed to proactive maintenance and continuous improvement rather than reactive fixes when machines fail.

6. This position requires lifting 50

Interview Questions for Specific Manufacturing Jobs

Manufacturing covers a broad spectrum of jobs, each of which has its own requirements. When you interview someone for a production job, the questions you ask will depend on the job description and the tasks that person will be expected to do.

There may be some questions that are good for any job, but you should also include interview questions that are specific to the job you would like.

The following are examples of interview questions tailored to specific jobs in manufacturing.

Hiring: What to Look for When Recruiting for the Manufacturing Industry

You should know exactly what you want in a manufacturing job candidate before you talk to them.

What qualities do you want in a candidate? Does he or she have experience with manufacturing? Is he or she self-motivated, independent, and hardworking? How dedicated will the candidate be to the job?

Interviewing Tips for a Manufacturing Job


What are basic production questions?

Three basic questions must be answered: a) What goods and services must be produced? b) How will these goods and services be produced? c) Who uses the goods and services that are produced?

What questions should you ask in a manufacturing interview?

If you’re seeking a job in the manufacturing industry, employers may ask you to explain your work experience through specific interview questions about production terms, equipment, and job standards. Knowing which questions you may be asked and reviewing example answers can help you better craft effective responses in your own interview.

Why is a manufacturing interview important?

The interviewer is likely asking this question to get a sense of the manufacturing process and technology that the company uses. This information is important because it can help the interviewer understand the company’s competitive advantages and strengths.

How do you answer a production worker interview question?

Here are a few production worker interview questions with sample answers: 1. Describe a time when you performed your duties without a supervisor present. While supervisors oversee production workers, they may not always be present on the floor because of meetings or other administrative duties.

What interview questions do production employees ask?

Those with manufacturing experience can mention the duties they performed in past roles to differentiate themselves from other candidates. Here are 11 interview questions a production employer might ask about your background: What’s the highest level of education you have?

Related Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *