Automotive Mechanic Interview Questions

The questions an automotive mechanic may be asked during an interview vary depending on the hiring manager. Your interviewer may be interested in your technical skills, problem-solving abilities and experience with customer service.
Search Jobs
Ready to find your next hire? Post a Job.

Example Interview Questions

Knowing what to expect during an interview can help you prepare for your mechanic job interview. In this article, we'll explore common questions that can be asked during a mechanic job interview and provide sample answers to help you prepare your own.

What is the most important skill for a mechanic to possess?

A mechanic will have a number of different responsibilities, such as keeping proper records, pinpointing engine trouble and repairing vehicles. Any good mechanic needs to be aware of their limitations and strengths.

Example answer: "The most important skill for a mechanic to possess is the ability to communicate clearly with customers. I was on the crew that worked on a vehicle that had been involved in an accident and needed a specific vehicle part to complete the repairs. Without my communication with the customer, we wouldn't have been able to complete the repairs."

How do you prioritize your day as a mechanic?

Being a mechanic is a lot of work, and it requires you to make decisions about how you spend your day. An effective mechanic knows how to prioritize tasks and set goals for achieving success. Your answer should focus on how you manage tasks in a way that maximizes productivity, while ensuring that you meet your deadlines and customer demands.

Example answer: "I always prioritize my workload based on customer deliveries. I start with jobs involving vehicles that are waiting for delivery first. I also prioritize jobs that have a deadline before other jobs. If there are no customer demands or deadline issues, then I begin with jobs that need immediate attention. I try to schedule jobs in a way that I am most productive and do not waste time switching between jobs."

What has been the biggest challenge you have faced as a mechanic?

The interviewer wants to see how you cope in stressful situations. For a mechanic, the biggest challenge might be repairing a vehicle that is so damaged that it almost doesn't make sense to repair it. Other challenges may include extreme weather, a lack of or broken tools or a difficult customer. The ability to problem-solve under stress will be a valuable asset in this profession.

Example answer: "My biggest challenge comes when a customer doesn’t understand the nature or scope of repairs needed. In one instance, the vehicle was so damaged, I didn't think it could be repaired. After clearly communicating, and taking the customer step by step through the possibilities and risks, they became more cooperative, which allowed me to finish the work."

How do you organize your day as an automotive mechanic?

The interviewer is asking this question to determine your work habits. Your answer should be specific and well thought out. You may want to outline your daily responsibilities and how they are prioritized. You may also want to provide an example of how you effectively managed a busy day or a time when you were able to meet deadlines despite a busy schedule.

Example answer: "I spend my day diagnosing, repairing and replacing parts of cars. My day is broken into two parts. First, I do thorough inspections of vehicles and read through any relevant information on the car from the customer. Next, I make a list of the issues I see. I then get to work fixing the problems on the vehicle. I prioritize, giving the customer an accurate estimate of the time required for repair. I also give priority to safety. I go through a checklist of repairs that have a relationship with safety. For example, if the brake fluid is low, then I'll fix that first, even if it will take more time."

Can you use technology to help diagnose problems with an automobile?

Your interviewers want to know that you understand how technology can help automotive mechanics. A good answer discusses how diagnostic software can help mechanics, from tracking problems to determining the best parts to order.

Example answer: "Luckily, modern automobiles use technology to communicate with mechanics. Whenever there is a problem with the engine or other aspects of the car, we can read the code to track down the issue. We are also able to order the correct replacement part through an application on the tablet. The application keeps us updated on the correct part. However, I also rely on my diagnostic and mechanical knowledge for troubleshooting."

How would you approach a customer who is upset about a delay in their vehicle's repair?

Customer service is a high priority in automotive repair and maintenance. Your answer should demonstrate your understanding of the importance of this critical skill. Your response should specifically address how you would approach your client and use your customer service skills to alleviate their frustration. The more specific you can be, the better.

Example answer: "If a customer is upset about a delay in service, I would gather the necessary information to ensure that the repair is done correctly. I would set aside time to talk to the customer about their concerns so that I could go over all of the details of the repair and why it is taking longer than expected. I would then explain what steps are being taken so that the repair is done correctly."

What are the steps to diagnosing a car problem?

An automotive mechanic needs to be able to quickly and accurately diagnose vehicle problems in order to make an appropriate repair. The interviewer wants to determine whether you have the knowledge and experience to do so. Give an answer that details the steps you take to diagnose a problem, but also provides an example of how you would use that information to achieve the best outcome for the customer.

Example answer: "I first check the vehicle owner's manual or the manufacturer's site to see if my diagnosis is consistent with information in the manual. I then visually check the engine to identify potential parts and fluids to inspect. I start with the most obvious problems, like loose or leaking parts. Then I check the fluids and test the battery before narrowing down my search to the most probable causes. I will confirm my diagnosis through a process of elimination. I will also use an alternative method of checking, like a test drive, because some issues can't be seen by visual inspection."

How can you tell when a car's timing belt needs to be replaced?

As a mechanic, you should be familiar with the timing belt on cars. Interviewers ask questions like this to gauge your understanding of technical concepts and your communication skills. Provide a detailed explanation of how you would go about diagnosing if a timing belt needs to be replaced. If possible, include an example.

Example answer: "I would inspect the belt for any cracking, and listen for any strange noises. If I heard anything unusual, I would take a closer look at it, with the engine running and the belt engaged. Based on mileage and other factors, I would research if it is time for a replacement. I would check the owner's manual for that particular model of car and make a recommendation to the customer."

What are the steps of your car troubleshooting process?

Mechanics have to deal with complex and technical issues, which is why employers like to ask questions that test your knowledge of the procedures used when troubleshooting a car engine. Your answer should demonstrate your awareness of the steps of the process, and the ability to do this work accurately. You should also show that you have the technical knowledge to troubleshoot and that you are familiar with technical terms.

Example answer: "When I approach an engine problem, my first step is to recheck all of the signs and symptoms, then go back to the beginning and review the car's history. After checking the obvious things, I begin to look for more subtle problems, like a loose wire or a clogged fuel filter. I am always prepared to remove parts if necessary to get a better look at what might be causing the problem. Once I have narrowed down the problem, I will consult with the customer to present my findings. I will explain what needs to be fixed, how much it will cost and how long it will take to repair."

Three resumes of different designs

Free online resume builder

Create a professional resume in minutes. Choose from a library of 30+ free resume templates and samples of career-specific writing examples.

Build Your Resume