Top 10 Competencies Engineering Recruiters Look for in Top-Notch Candidates

How mechanical engineering recruiters use behavioral interview questions

The field of engineering has evolved from Renaissance mechanical concepts to an ever-accelerating aspect of improving everyday life and of caretaking for our planet. With the rise of technology in our society today, the competing demand for talent amongst innovative companies has increased drastically. In lockstep, methods continue to improve for finding the best candidates. This list of 10 engineering competencies is a useful reference for any engineer to identify and improve their skills in the areas needed by businesses developing high-performance teams of engineers.  

If you are searching for a career in the engineering field, there are high chances you will interact closely with mechanical engineer recruiters. With the field of engineering being so broad, there are countless sub-industries looking for different kinds of skill sets. At some point you will most likely be asked a series of behavioral interview questions so recruiters or hiring managers can help match you with a position they suspect will be a good fit for you. Your responses will help give insight into you as a person and if you have the qualifications and competencies they are looking for in an employee.

With this being said, here are the top ten competencies mechanical engineer recruiters and hiring companies look for in a candidate:

Problem Solving Skills

 One of the main focuses in the field is being able to identify a problem and determine a course of action to solve it. Having good problem-solving is a crucial skill all engineers must-have. Companies want to trust that their employees will be able to handle whatever dilemma or project is thrown their way.


Written and oral communication are both vital to a successful and efficient workplace. Effective communication in engineering will ensure that all team members are on the same page and can grasp the concepts and designs that are being presented. When a team can communicate to one another clear information and expectations, quality work is delivered.

Interpersonal Skills

Interpersonal skills are one of the most valuable attributes an employee can have. When you are hired, you are becoming a part of a team. This means you will have coworkers with whom you must be able to work well in order for the business to be successful. Interpersonal skills help you to be both sociable and professional with your colleagues.

Innovative and Critical Thinking

Engineering requires accuracy, decision-making, and creativity. Having the skills to organize your thoughts, develop a solution and facilitate new methods that will succeed is valuable to hiring managers. Applicants who think critically are typically going to be more strategic when given a task. Employers want to hire engineers with innovative mindsets to broaden their business and attain a greater depth of competence.


Mechanical engineer recruiters will be looking for how efficiently and accurately an applicant is able to complete a task or project. This is so energy and time can be conserved along with maximizing funding and materials. Remember to demonstrate that you can always work smarter, not harder!


Employers want to hire someone who is dedicated to the success of their business. They may ask about your commitment track record when discussing behavioral interview questions. This is so employers can get an idea of how serious you are when it comes to being hired for the position you are applying for. You will not be hired for a position if they do not feel you will be committed.

Technical and Computer Skills

If you’re interested in a career as an engineer, you are most likely tech-savvy or already educated in computer science. These are mandatory skills to have, as you will most likely need to use computers in order to do your job. Knowing how to program software and develop hardware could make an applicant stand out to a prospective employer.


In many situations, an individual or team will run into a problem they have no experience with. This is where a creative mind can be helpful by combining knowledge from previous experiences to determine the best solution and make an educated decision. Creativity opens the mind to a different perspective which can be extremely beneficial to a business. Looking at a problem in a different light can help you change your way of thinking when previous methods were unsuccessful.


Engineers will find themselves in many projects where they are a part of a team. There will be few projects that don’t involve working or consulting with coworkers and colleagues. Knowing you can work in a team is important to employers and recruiters because it shows that you are able to work with others as one unit for a mutually beneficial outcome. It can be hard to produce meaningful work in a negative environment so it’s crucial employers build a team that can work collaboratively.

Pressure and Stress Management

Truthfully, engineering is a stressful job. You are constantly being depended on to quickly solve problems in a way that has never been done before. Having the ability to recognize that you are overwhelmed and finding the best way to manage it in order to maintain a cohesive work environment, all while completing the task at hand is something that companies value greatly.

Keeping these 10 engineer competencies in mind when communicating with engineer recruiters or hiring managers may just help you land a job in the field.

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