Top 15 Interview Questions For an Auto Mechanic Interview (Plus 15 More)

Updated October 14, 2022

As skilled professionals, auto mechanics perform repairs and maintenance on many brands and models of vehicles. Interviewing for an auto mechanic position is an opportunity to highlight your training and expertise, and answering questions with confidence and clarity can give you an edge over your competition. In this article, we provide sample answers for the most common questions in an auto mechanic interview and a list of additional questions to expect.

General questions to expect in an auto mechanic interview

Hiring managers ask these questions to get to know you better and discern why you're right for the job. Answer with thoughtful, honest responses that highlight both people and technical skills.

Here is a list of the top four general information questions for an auto mechanic:

  • Why did you become a mechanic?

  • Why do you want to work here?

  • What is your previous experience?

  • What are your qualifications and training?

Experience and background questions to expect in an auto mechanic interview

Your potential employer inquires about your experience to determine your abilities or versatility. Questions about background and places you've worked round out your qualifications.

Here is a list of the seven top questions related to auto mechanic experience and background:

  • Describe your idea of the main duties of an auto mechanic.

  • What is your customer service experience?

  • Ever have a dissatisfied customer? How did you handle it?

  • What did you like about your last job?

  • What do you consider to be your strengths and weaknesses?

  • Tell me about a typical day.

  • How do you work with other mechanics?

Related: Learn About Being an Auto Mechanic

In-depth and technical questions to expect in an auto mechanic interview

Employers ask these questions to test your knowledge and critical thinking skills. They may contain a mixture of technical questions and essay-type answers to hypothetical situations.

Here is a list of the top four in-depth questions asked during an auto mechanic interview:

  • What process do you use to diagnose vehicle issues?

  • A customer's engine overheats, what do you check to determine the origin?

  • How do you encourage customers to maintain their vehicles?

  • If someone needs advice buying a new car, what do you tell them?

Related: 7 Interview Practice Tips

Auto mechanic interview questions with sample answers

Here is a list of the top 15 questions asked in an auto mechanic interview.

1. Why did you become a mechanic?

Explain why you've chosen your profession and your motivations for the future. Talk exclusively about why auto mechanics interests you.

Example: “My dad and my brothers are mechanics and when we were kids, we used to spend weekends tearing down engines and rebuilding them. At first, it was a bonding pastime, but after a while, I wanted to know how vehicles worked from the inside out. I was 16 when I got my first job at a local garage and I haven't looked back since.”

2. Why do you want to work here?

Once employers know why you left your previous job, they'll want to know why you applied for their position. Explain what you admire about the company and briefly outline the reasons you're right for the job.

Example: "Your company's reputation as an honest, reliable service provider means I can spend more time solving automobile issues to meet your customer's expectations. You are one of the few company's that service electric vehicles and I find the concept fascinating and I hope to become one of the best EV mechanics around. Plus, I can work autonomously while providing great customer service, job requirements I easily meet."

3. What is your previous experience?

Employers have your list of jobs and duties on your application or resume, now is the time to elaborate on your experience. Instead of repeating the list, talk about what you accomplished, what you learned or how you solved a problem.

Example: "My first job was in a local shop where I increased repair turn-around times by 50%. Then I spent 10 years in a dealership where I taught other mechanics plenty of tips and tricks to work faster without sacrificing quality. I was at my last position for another five years, where I helped identify the mechanics most qualified to work on engines, brakes or cooling systems to improve the shop's overall performance."

4. What are your qualifications and training?

Whether your training was formal or learned on the job, talk about your qualifications as a well-rounded auto mechanic. Highlight your skills and any specialties you may have.

Example: "Most of my early experience was hands-on learning from my family and my first job. Then I went to school and earned an Associate of Applied Science in Automotive Mechanics. After I earned my degree, I earned my certifications in engine repair, braking systems, etc. and I'm now an ASE licensed Master Automobile Technician. Of course, I re-certify every five years by completing continuing education as well as pursue specific certifications, like working on diesel engines."

5. Describe your idea of the main duties of an auto mechanic

Employers want to know how you prioritize responsibilities, beginning with knowing what they are. Study the job description to have a clear idea of how to answer.

Example: "Mechanics are responsible for diagnosing and repairing automobile mechanical issues including AC and electrical problems. We provide customer service by relating what the issue is, how we can repair it and offer a timeline that satisfies the customer's needs. We assist other mechanics when needed and remain flexible to fill gaps or work overtime to complete a repair job."

6. What is your customer service experience?

A mechanic's typical day includes interacting with customers and employers gauge how you view the customer in this question. Highlight when and how you demonstrate customer service skills.

Example: "I remember one time when an older gentleman kept wandering into the mechanic's bay to observe what we were doing. We ushered him out twice, reminding him of the risks to his safety. When he entered for the third time, I put down my tools, walked him back into the waiting area and shared a cup of coffee with him. He just wanted to talk."

7. Ever have a dissatisfied customer? How did you handle it?

Vehicle repairs can frustrate customers, especially if it means missed work or appointments. Explain a situation when you reassured a frustrated or irate customer.

Example: “A young woman came in for an appointed oil change and we just so happened to be out of the oil filter her car needed. I explained the service would take longer than anticipated since I had to order the part and wait for its delivery. She told me she had a job interview and that this delay jeopardized her chances. She was clearly distressed, so I cleared it with my manager and drove to the parts store, purchased the filter and completed the oil change with plenty of time left to make the interview."

8. What did you like about your last job?

Asking this question gives employers insight into what kind of employee you are and where you find rewards in your work.

Example: "I would have to say it was the chance to work on a wide variety of cars. I loved working on the engine of a sports car one day and the suspension on a one-ton truck the next."

9. What do you consider to be your strengths and weaknesses?

Identify your strengths to the employer, include people skills as well as technical ability. When discussing weaknesses, offer ways in which you plan to improve.

Example: "My commitment to accurate service and repair and my dedication to customer service are definitely strengths. One weakness is my penchant for thinking I know how to solve a problem and over the years, I've learned to ask questions if something isn't clear."

10. Tell me about a typical day

Assure the employer that you are versatile and alert to the needs of the company. Outline how you approach your tasks and set priorities.

Example: "Well, it's hard to describe a typical day since there isn't one in the automotive repair industry! I check work orders regularly and work with other mechanics to monitor the repair process. I may perform maintenance services like oil changes, tire rotation or brake checks, or the day might include diagnosing and repairing a faulty electrical system on a vintage VW or a diesel tractor transmission failure."

11. How do you work with other mechanics?

Teamwork is an essential job skill, discuss how you overcome obstacles with other mechanics and how you help.

Example: "Working with others is a great chance to learn a new technique or gain experience with a tool. I often consult with other mechanics when I'm having trouble diagnosing a problem. If I have a conflict with anyone, I talk to the individual to settle our differences and figure out how we can learn from each other."

12. What process do you use to diagnose vehicle issues?

Employers ask this question to test your experience and training, as well as your ability to make decisions.

Example: "First, I speak to the owner to get details on what they think the issue is, including the noises they hear or smells they detect. With permission, I might take the car for a test drive, especially if the issue relates to sounds or movements. Once I locate the likely source of the problem, I choose the right tool to examine the part or component further. Once I've identified the issue, I explain the extent, costs and estimated completion for the repair."

13. A customer's engine overheats, what do you check to determine the origin?

Hypothetical questions help employers identify your process. Provide the steps you take to diagnose an automotive issue.

Example: "Engines overheat for a number of reasons, so I want to start with the coolant system and check for leaks or clogs. Next, I'll test the integrity of the radiator cap and check if the thermostat is stuck. Then I'll check the cooling fan for a bad clutch or a slipping belt. Even if I identify the issue, I still check anti-freeze concentration and look over hoses."

14. How do you encourage vehicle maintenance?

This question concerns customer service and your efforts to encourage customers to return. Aim to demonstrate how you'll support the company.

Example: "I consult the owner's service records to see if they missed any recommended fluid changes or checks. I remind them that car warranties may require certain mechanical inspections and alert them to any they might have missed. I strive to schedule their next appointment before they leave the shop."

15. If someone needs advice buying a car, what do you tell them?

Demonstrate your ability to speak in layman's terms and explain your advice.

Example: "A lot depends on whether it's a new or used car. For new cars, I'd recommend researching the make and model to find out what other people are saying. I'll alert the customer if I've repaired the same fault on multiple vehicles. For used cars, I recommend they check major systems for leaks, cracked belts or fuel filters, or bring along a knowledgeable friend to check for them. Of course, I recommend they find a great mechanic."

Related: A Guide To Acing the Interview

Additional questions to expect

Here are 15 more questions to expect in your auto mechanic interview:

  • Why are you available?

  • Are you familiar with our company?

  • When are you available to start?

  • Do you have references?

  • Is there anything that isn't in your resume that you'd like to share?

  • Which vehicles do you work on regularly?

  • What are your accomplishments?

  • Which diagnostic tools do you have experience using?

  • How do you feel about lending tools?

  • Describe how a gasoline engine is different from a diesel engine

  • Name components of an engine's lubrication system

  • If you could work on any car you could, which one would you choose?

  • How do you handle busy days?

  • How do you diagnose battery or alternator issues?

  • How often do you recommend service?

Jobs similar to mechanics

If you're considering becoming a mechanic or exploring related fields, there are several career paths you can browse. Here are 10 jobs similar to mechanic roles to consider:

1. Service technician

2. Welder

3. Electrician

4. Heavy equipment operator

5. Truck driver

6. Maintenance supervisor

7. Electronics repairer

8. HVAC technician

9. Aircraft mechanic

10. Fleet manager

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