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Automotive Technician Interview Questions

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  1. How does your experience as an automotive technician separate you from other candidates? See answer
  2. How would you perform a state physical inspection on a car? See answer
  3. How would you deal with an angry customer who complained about the car repairs you had performed? See answer
  4. What tires would you recommend for use on an older car? See answer
  5. What experience do you have working with automotive technology and computers? See answer
  6. Can you work with all makes of cars or prefer to work with specific manufacturer’s vehicles?
  7. What are the steps involved in diagnosing a vehicle problem?
  8. Have you ever disagreed with another mechanic on the shop floor? How did you resolve the misunderstanding?
  9. What’s your take on lending tools or borrowing tools from other technicians?
  10. Can you reconstruct an engine or transmission? How many such jobs have you done?
  11. Why did you leave your former job?
  12. What type of repair is your specialty?
  13. Can you work in the field?
  14. Do you have a complete tool set? What about hand-held diagnostic tools?
  15. How often does a vehicle require a major maintenance?
  16. What are the things a person should look for before buying a used car?
  17. Discuss the differences between the camshaft and the crankshaft.
  18. What are the signs of a car that is running rich?
  19. How does the alternator work? What is the primary function of the alternator?
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6 Automotive Technician Interview Questions and Answers

Q:

How does your experience as an automotive technician separate you from other candidates?

A:

This question helps you find out about the automotive technician’s job expectations. You will gain insight into their schedule flexibility and salary goals, and this could help you decide whether the candidate would be a good fit for your team. You’ll also discover which particular areas this applicant especially enjoys, and this information can help you decide what sort of work to assign them. What to look for in an answer:

  • Candidate’s passion for particular automotive areas
  • Appropriate expectations for salary and schedule
  • Evidence of potential to be a team player
Example:

“I enjoy working in fast-paced automotive shops like this one. I appreciate the schedule flexibility that this particular shop allows.”

Q:

How would you perform a state physical inspection on a car?

A:

Automotive technicians perform state inspections on an almost daily basis, and this question allows you to make sure that the candidate has an excellent understanding of this routine check. You’ll be able to discover whether they are familiar with the latest inspection guidelines, and you’ll also find out whether they have any knowledge gaps that could require additional training or support if they joined your team. What to look for in an answer:

  • High level of understanding of current inspection protocol
  • Understanding of variations in the protocol for different vehicles
  • No noticeable knowledge gaps
Example:

“I would first check the exterior and interior of the vehicle, including the tires. Then, I would examine the engine and chassis.”

Q:

How would you deal with an angry customer who complained about the car repairs you had performed?

A:

This question helps you understand whether the candidate has the capacity to remain professional, respectful and calm under pressure. You’ll be able to find out if the candidate knows about how to apply various conflict resolution strategies when dealing with customers. This question also helps you understand whether the applicant would likely be able to resolve any conflicts independently or whether they would need to involve management too frequently. What to look for in an answer:

  • Applicant’s ability to maintain respect for customers
  • Appropriate use of conflict resolution techniques
  • Ability to resolve customer conflicts independently
Example:

“I would listen to the customer’s concerns and calmly suggest possible solutions. If allowed, I would offer the customer a discount and/or free replacement.”

Q:

What tires would you recommend for use on an older car?

A:

This question helps you understand whether the candidate would offer appropriate advice on tires and other automotive equipment. You’ll understand whether the applicant would recommend tires that are too expensive for the value of the car or whether they would cut corners and recommend tires that may be unsafe. This information allows you to discover more about the candidate’s judgment and if their sales philosophies match yours. What to look for in an answer:

  • Ability to recommend safe equipment at an appropriate price
  • Sales philosophies that align with yours
  • Knowledge of current product offerings
Example:

“I would tailor my recommendations to match the customer’s budget, always keeping safety and in stock products in mind. I’d present several brands in the customer’s price range.”

Q:

What experience do you have working with automotive technology and computers?

A:

This question allows you to establish whether the candidate’s technological and computer knowledge is up to date and whether he or she would be successful in your particular automotive shop. You’ll understand how much technological/computer responsibility you could give to them, and you’ll learn whether they might need additional training to use particular equipment at your shop. What to look for in an answer:

  • Familiarity with the software/technology at your shop
  • Recent training/experience with technology
  • Ability to operate technology independently
Example:

“I use computers on a daily basis for sales and customer records. I regularly work with computerized wheel balancers, exhaust gas analyzers, fuel injection testing equipment, electronic circuit testing tools and four-wheel computerized alignment machines.”

Q:

Can you work with all makes of cars or prefer to work with specific manufacturer's vehicles?

A:

Some automotive mechanics focus on specific makes while others train to have in-depth knowledge of automotive mechanics. This interview question can help hiring managers determine the type of vehicles candidates are most comfortable working with and if their experience and skills meet the company's requirements. A skilled automotive technician's answer should demonstrate their area of specialization based on the job description. A candidate's answer should emphasize:

  • Relevant experience
  • Flexibility
  • Understanding of the job duties and responsibilities
Example:

“I am more of a generalist automotive technician. I have worked extensively with several makes of sedans, SUVs and compact cars of U.S. and Japanese origin. In fact, I also have experience working with luxury motorcycles and two super car brands, including Audi and Porsche. Whatever models I don't have hands-on experience with, I can always bring to bear my skills working with other makes. I am also a fast learner, so getting a hang of new vehicle makes won't be a problem.”

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