To pass the interview stage, you’ll likely need to do some research to make sure you know enough about the company, your role, and have some answers prepared for the more common interview questions.
As for the questions directly related to your role and experience as a mechanic, the following are just some of the questions you could be asked. These will also come in handy if you’re just starting out in your career:
What are your strengths as a mechanic?
If you don’t have any previous experience, focus on the strengths from your studies/apprenticeship. For those with more experience, this is your chance to shine by flexing the skills you’ve mastered, whether it’s customer service, problem solving or knowledge of a particular vehicle brand’s makeup.
“One of my biggest strengths is my communication skills. I work very well with all kinds of people, and understand that everyone has different perspectives and understanding, whether it’s regarding projects and work tasks, or an issue a customer is having with their vehicle. Everyone comes to the table with different priorities and objectives. I keep this in mind when I communicate tasks that need to be accomplished with positive reinforcement and awareness.”
Why do you want to work for our garage?
This is a very common interview question. The person interviewing you will be looking to find out just how interested you are in the job, as opposed to someone just looking for a job to pay the bills. They will be particularly interested to hear your answer to this question if you’re interviewing for a large brand like Ford, Jaguar Land Rover, or a large used car dealership like Motor Range.
The key to this question is to research in advance. Use the company’s website if they have one to gain an insight. What attracts you most to this particular company/garage? E.g. is it a local garage you’ve always wanted to work for, or is the brand nationally recognised? Perhaps your views match the company’s values? Whatever your choice, make sure you have an answer prepared for this question.
“Based on the research I’ve done, this company is an industry leader. When I visited your website and customer review sites, which tell me this is a garage with an excellent reputation. I was also impressed with the founders’ background and the current financial statements. This is the company I’ve been looking for where I can challenge my skills and develop.”
A client is unhappy with your services – how would you respond?
If you want to be a customer facing mechanic, your customer service skills will be challenged at your interview. For this question, the interviewer is looking to find out more about your problem solving skills and how you deal with disgruntled customers.
Acknowledge the importance of having good interpersonal and communication skills when dealing with customers. Try to give an example, if you can, of a problem you’ve solved for someone in the past, whether it was suggesting an alternative fix to their vehicle.
“I would first try to understand what their issue is, and listen very carefully to their concerns. I would show them the utmost respect, and speak genuinely with them about how we can help to resolve their problem. I would not hesitate to re-inspect the vehicle, and would also want to find out how we could put their issue to rest. I think for a garage it’s important not to take customer complaints personally. It’s all about reputation in this profession, so my main goal would be to have them leaving happy to avoid any negative reviews.”
How would you prioritise tasks on a busy day to ensure customers feel supported and valued?
Another service related question, you should look to stress the importance of task management here, and managing the customer’s expectations, needs and concerns.
“I always manage a customer’s expectations first – if they need a repair urgently and I’m not able to accommodate the work within their timeframe, I will be honest with them, because I don’t wish to waste their time. Experience in my role allows me to understand the correct amount of time it will take to sort specific repairs, so I would look to prioritise the trickier tasks first, because I know they’ll likely take up more of my day than the smaller repairs customers have brought in to me. I value customers by asking what their time frame is first and whether I can meet that time frame with the correct quality of work. Failing that, I can offer alternatives that might work better for them.”
What is the most complicated repair you’ve come up against? How did you resolve it?
Here, the interviewer is looking to find out more about your experience and skill level. Revealing more about your work history helps them to understand what issues you’ve come up against in your career, which helps them to identify if you have the right amount of experience they are looking for.
Below is a video that lists more questions you could be asked:
What kind of experience do you have examining vehicles to determine the extent of damage or malfunction?
Again, this is another question to determine your level of experience and understanding. As an experienced mechanic, you should be able to produce some knowledge for this question based on experience.
Describe a time where you successfully serviced, repaired, or tested a vehicle.
This question will again be based on level of experience, so you’ll need to give a detailed example of the problem you faced and how it was resolved.
Tell me how you organise, plan and prioritise work
This question will test your experience of managing a busy workload. You’ll need to have an understanding of what repairs etc. should be prioritised and how to manage your time against customer expectations etc.
“I make a list and set appropriate time frames for each task. I work out what order to do things in by thinking about which tasks are urgent and how important each task is. If I’m not sure what’s urgent and what isn’t, or how important different tasks are, I find out. If I’m given a new task I add it to the list and decide when to do it, so I adapt the order in which I do things as necessary.”
How would you cope in a high-stress situation? Can you think of a time where this was put to the test?
Mechanics have a large workload, so working under pressure is a skill you must have if you want to keep everyone happy. This question tests your ability to work in stressful situations to see how you cope under pressure, so give a good example.
“I try to react to situations, rather than to stress. That way, the situation is handled and doesn’t become stressful. For example, when I dealt with an unsatisfied customer, rather than focusing on feeling stressed, I focus on the task at hand. I believe my ability to communicate effectively with customers during these moments helps reduce my own stress in these situations and also reduces any stress the customer may feel.”
Have you ever coached or mentored another person to complete a task?
If you’re applying for a more senior role, this question will need you to provide an example of how you trained another person to complete a task successfully. This helps the interviewer understand your leadership and coaching skills so they can evaluate if you can cope with less experienced members in the team.
Want more advice for your interview? Take a look here.
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