Oftentimes the biggest barrier to landing your dream engineering job (or any engineering job) is the interview. My experience has shown me that engineers struggle mightily with this process, frequently because they struggle to find the right things to say or because they’re too nervous to present themselves properly.
This is an important topic, because the interview may determine whether or not you obtain your perfect engineering job—I’d say that’s pretty important.
Researching a prospective employer prior to the interview can help you to immediately connect with the interviewer in a positive way. They will feel like you know them if you can show that you are aware of current happenings with their firm.
Rather than rattling off random strengths when asked to introduce yourself, have a solid two-minute introduction prepared that highlights your strengths and recent projects that you have worked on. Don’t overdo it; the interview is about their needs, not your strengths.
After your introduction, ask the interviewer to explain some of the specific responsibilities you would be charged with if hired. Use their answer to present yourself as a perfect match for the job. THIS IS KEY AND ALMOST NEVER DONE.
You should prepare for behavioral and “trick” questions prior to the interview.
When asked to discuss your weaknesses, mention that you have already begun to improve them and give examples of how.
Bring a list of references to the interview and share it with the interviewer before you leave.
To alleviate nervousness, breathe deeply and visualize yourself having a successful interview immediately prior to entering the room.