How to prepare for an interview as an automotive technician

How to prepare for an interview as an automotive technician

Are you ready to start interviewing to become an automotive technician? The whole process of looking for a job can be a little stressful and interviews can be downright scary. But if you’ve received good auto technician training and know a few interview tips, you could ace your interview!

Here are 5 strategies that can help you out on your next interview:

Do your research

Find out all you can about the company before you go on the interview. Start with their website but then go even further. Find out what makes and models they service, what kinds of products they use and what their reputation is in the community. Run a Google search and look at online reviews. You won’t talk about dissatisfied clients in that first interview, but it’s a good idea to know if there are any. It might help you understand the culture of the company and where it fits into the big picture of the auto service industry –and whether or not you’ll fit in with them.

Review your skills

Be prepared to discuss what’s on your resume and a whole lot more. A good automotive service company is looking for someone who can fix problems they’re likely to encounter on the job. Think about the hands-on training you received and the times you solved some real-world automotive puzzles on your own. Hiring managers for auto service stations often ask open-ended questions. Instead of asking you if you’ve ever installed a brake system, they might ask how you did it and what you found to be most challenging about the experience. Don’t expect to give a lot of yes and no answers in your interview; you’ll need to provide details

Practice, practice

A mock interview can be an invaluable tool for success before a real interview. Have a friend in the automotive technology profession ask you really tough questions about what you know and how well you know it. Some service stations might ask job candidates to identify automotive parts or demonstrate their ability to find answers in paper and online manuals. They might ask you for solutions to what-if automotive problems or have you explain a particular diagnostic computer code. Be prepared!

You should also consider asking a friend to put you through your paces about the soft skills you possess that might have nothing to do with the automotive technology industry. Can you give examples of how you’ve acted responsibly in a working environment?  Do you work well under pressure or interact well with customers? Be ready to explain how and to provide examples.

Be ready and rested

You’re not your best if you’re tired and ill-prepared. Make sure you get plenty of rest the night before your interview. Brush up on your skill-set and try to image all the questions you might encounter. Don’t forget the really tough one: Tell me about yourself. Having a ready answer to that common question can boost your confidence and help you feel calmer in the interview. Also, remember to dress appropriately for the job interview! Whether you wear a suit or work clothes depends on the company you are interviewing with, but your attire should always be neat, clean and professional.

Respect the front office

It’s important that you respect everyone you encounter on the way into your interview. You never know who reports to whom. What you say to a receptionist or dispatcher can easily get back to the person making the hiring decision. Make a good impression from the beginning!

At Porter and Chester Institute, we offer students hands-on training in automotive technology and teach them the real-world skills they’ll need to be successful out on the job. And our career services advisors can show you what to expect in your job search and on those all-important interviews.