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  • EEVblog #27 – More Engineering Job Interview Tips!

    Posted on August 26th, 2009 EEVblog 25 comments

    Yes, it’s another round of Electronics Engineering job interview tips.
    Techniques to help you stand out at the interview and secure that engineering job.
    See Blog #7 for the previous bunch of tips.
    (Note the record number of “you know”‘s!)


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    • http://groovypancakes.com frenzy

      my project will be a box that has you saying “Go out and DOOO something!”

    • http://www.danielbjohnson.net Daniel

      Damn, I need to work on my enthusiasm! How freaking convenient you chose this as a topic I had a phone interview today with a Small Engineering company CEO and he asked me to come in on Friday for a real interview, really want/need a graduate internship. Thanks Dave!

      Just gotta get that old senior project up and running again. Give it a look if your bored:

      http://www.danielbjohnson.net/vehicle-dynamics-and-information-system/

      • http://www.alternatezone.com/eevblog admin

        Cool, definitely take it along.
        Make sure you are up on all the details about the old projects you show, guys like me will poke at it and ask technical questions!
        I’ve busted guys for not being able to answer questions about their own thesis projects!
        Good luck!

    • http://www.davidaa.co.uk David

      Another great blog, thank you! I shall hopefully be putting your tips to use in just under a year :)

      Dave

    • Cyrus

      I was turned on to your blog from Hackaday.com when they featured you about a week ago. I’ve since enthusiastically watched all your blogs to date and would like to say how much I’ve enjoyed them and look forward to seeing the next one.
      I have to agree that your video blog is a rarity in our field and the enthusiasm and canter you deliver the blogs with is refreshing and reminds how much I enjoy it. It is a comfortable oasis away from staring at seemingly endless data sheets and working with buggy firmware.
      I particularly enjoy your practical experience with MCUs like the PICs and AVRs that I work with and was excited to see you do as well. Keep bringing more parts reviews and odd phenomenon to your blogs. I really value your product reviews as well. I know we engineers often think we know what’s best, but I’m glad to see you support your views against the naysayers with facts and practical experience. The enthusiasm is contagious and you’ve won me over as a fan.

    • chris

      Ahah ! Loved the tips!
      It’s soooo true.
      Enthusiasm and confidence gave me my current job : skilled technician in a chair of a engineer .. so everything is possible !

      You do a really good job Dave :)

    • James

      I’ve watched all your blogs in just under a week and they’re great. It’s kinda interesting that what’s useful in the industry isn’t that important as a student, with regard do #27, most students just don’t do anything interesting and this boggles me, every spare minute I have goes into reading up on something or building something new or even just sketching something up on a spare piece of paper.

      To be honest I’m not the perfect student, I get sidetracked real easy, I’d much rather sit and play with something or read something that’s currently of interest to me than finish what I should be working on. I’ve gotten a lot of static over this but just don’t care, engineering should be fun!

      • http://www.alternatezone.com/eevblog admin

        Congrats on being a “real” electronics engineer!
        Most EE students don’t actually care about electronics, they are just there because they feel they have to do some course and feel engineering is as a good a generic course as any. So they come out not knowing a thing and go into sales, management, or some other field entirely.
        The best EE’s are those that have always had an interest in electronics, hobby background etc.

    • Jonathan S

      Dave, thanks for the tips! I’m currently interviewing (graduated 7 years ago) and your tips are really spot on! The whole “weakness” question is obviously a BS question. Also, a tip from when I interview people is this: when they ask for your strengths, dont say that you’re “hard working”. Its what everybody else says, and the interview is where you need to set yourself apart!

      Bringing things is the best thing you can do and instantly gives you bona fides with your interviewers.

      One other thing, many times when you are being interviewed, people may not care as much about WHAT you did, as much as HOW you did it. For instance, the project you did to automatically feed your cat while on vacation may not be terribly relevant, but the fact that you did it with a PIC in C is in many cases more relevant. So do not gloss over the details of how you did it, in many cases, its more important than what it did.

      My 2 cents.

    • Fede

      Greetings from Argentina!!
      I’m loving your blog since I saw it in HackADay.
      I totally get you when you encourage people to build stuff. A couple of friends and me have this big board where we put down different proyects when want to accomplish and we take’em one at a time. Sadly we seem to be a rare specie among other EE students.
      If it weren’t for these proyects I think I would be bored to death whith the university.

      All my life I wanted to be an “inventor”, guess EE is the best career that fits that dream.

      Keep up the good work!!

    • signal7

      I’ve been over this interview territory quite a bit and I’ve been on both sides of the desk. All of these tips are really great and I’ll add one more. Don’t overlook the resources that are out there for both the interviewer and the interviewee. Many times, interviewers are searching the intertubes for tricky interview questions they can try out on new recruits. If, as the interviewee, you’ve already read the questions and know where the pitfalls are, you’ll do very well.

      Candidates that I’ve interviewed (usually just out of college) aren’t very well prepared for interviews. Bringing work that you’ve done in the past gets tons of bonus points – and the more original the design is, the better. Good points to think about are how your designs save board real estate, use less components, and yet still yield a reliable outcome.

    • Tony Charley

      Thanks Mate!! thanks for the info

      Bingo!! you are really passing the ENTHUSIASM…

    • Selcuk Yigit

      You are dead on this. I have an electronics and telecommunication engineering degree from Turkey. Basically a mix of electronics and RF engineering. I moved to USA with my degree in my pocket.

      I went through the interview process with many companies, some were major telecommunication companies. I wish I have seen your videos 3 years ago. I would have land a great RF engineering job and would be working on 3G networks now. Instead I had to take another job(not much engineering,hybrid) due to economic reasons.

      I love your blog and enjoy watching it. Keep making those tapes. You are the man….

      I strongly recommend this video to every engineer in the market for a job.

    • Selcuk Yigit

      I meant , you are dead on. :)

    • Sean

      Thank you for your assessment on the question, “What’s your greatest weakness?” It lost me a job opportunity once.

      My stock answer anymore is, “I’m tenacious at solving problems and sometimes don’t know when to give up.”

    • Javi

      Excellent!
      Very inspiring David, congrats for this blog you keep running.

      Any tips to align with the production/manufacturing of electronics?

      regards

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    • http://www.sprayinsulations.net Lauren Stewart

      sometimes Sales Management takes a lot of effort and skill.-:;

    • http://www.pnptransistor.com Claire Richardson

      Sales Management is very essential in making your business succeed, every part of a business should be managed carefully.-,-

    • http://n/a Andrew Dane

      What industry journals do you read and what industry journals are you referring to that one might hope to get published in?

      • http://www.eevblog.com EEVblog

        There are plenty of project based magazines. Silicon Chip, Elektor, Circuit Cellar, Everyday Practical Electronics, Nuts’n’Volts, and even the more industry related ones like Electronic Design accept articles.

        Dave.

    • http://www.prettygoddess.com Daniel Davis

      every sales manager and store owner should have a training in sales management ~;,

    • http://batman.homelinux.com/blog Andy

      Dave,

      Excellent tips (both in this and episode 7). I’m in the process of interviewing right now and I can definitely attest to bringing something in that you designed yourself. It impresses the crap outta the interviewer and instantly sets you apart from most others interviewing. And as you stated, there’s really no excuse for not having designed something. PCBs can be produced incredibly cheaply, free layout/schematic tools, nearly free microcontrollers and development tools..etc. It doesn’t even have to be something you’ve designed from scratch. Many of my own projects are built upon something else or pieces of other circuits/projects, but with my own twist on them. Find something you’re interested in and make a project out of it.

      Great tips!

      Andy

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