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Prepare for Your Manufacturing Interview


You landed an interview for a job in the manufacturing industry, and your big day is just around the corner. Within just a few days, you’ll be sitting across from your interviewer in a session that can make or break your chances of landing this position. So what can you do to prepare? How can you make the most of every hour between then and now? Here are a few tips that can help you make a winning impression.

Take care of the basics.

In manufacturing roles, seemingly small details like timing and punctuality are actually huge. Nine to five office jobs may involve a little more flexibility, but in your industry, reliability can literally mean life and death (and it can certainly mean the life and death of the company.) So don’t cut corners. Secure your primary mode of transportation, and then find a back-up. Map your route to the venue and determine exactly when you’ll need to leave in order to arrive about fifteen minutes early. Leave nothing to chance.

Choose your attire.

There’s nothing wrong with attending any job interview in a pressed clean suit, which means slacks or a skirt below the waist and a buttoned shirt and jacket above (with or without a tie). But in the manufacturing industry, it’s also acceptable to wear wrinkle free khaki pants with a white shirt and a pair of clean professional shoes or brand new work boots. Women can also wear any combination of pressed slacks, skirt, blouse, and cardigan.

Prepare your elevator pitch.

Of course, your interviewer may direct every moment of the conversation by asking you a series of pointed questions, but if this doesn’t happen, be ready. If you’re simply asked to speak freely with no particular structure or direction, don’t be caught off guard and don’t stare blankly. Simply launch into your “elevator pitch”, a prepared statement that explains why you’re the right match for this job. Start by describing the kind of work you’ve done in the past, and then explain why this job fits what you’re looking for and how you plan to contribute in ways that no other candidate can. Your entire speech should deliverable within about 60 seconds.

Focus on rare skill sets.

Do you have experience with CNC programing or machine tooling? Have you worked with CAD or 3D imaging platforms? Do you know how to train others to operate a battery powered forklift or overhead crane? Can you speak more than one language? Get ready to explain your rare skill sets to your interviewer, whether she specifically asks about them or not.

For more on how to prepare your statement, improve your body language, and send the right message during your interview session, reach out to the job search professionals at CSS.

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