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OT - Questions to ask at an interview (for a machine shop)

GregSY

Diamond
Joined
Jan 1, 2005
Location
Houston
Asking no questions makes you look disinterested, or stupid. So does asking stupid questions.

If it were me....I'd spend a little time online reading their company website and/or about their specific industry and how they fit into it. Are they the largest owner of market share, or in the middle, or the smallest player? Where do their products do well, where do they need to improve? why do people buy their stuff instead of someone else? Ask your questions along those lines.

Any interviewer will be impressed and be likely to remember you if you have a handle on the 'big picture'. That doesn't mean you want to run the entire company....but it shows you have an understanding of where they fit in and how you can help make that fly.

If you are an incredibly good employee, let them know it. For example, in the old days that might mean working extra hard or having extra skills. Today, that can mean that you actually show up on time each day, not drunk or stoned.


Companies want three things - Show up every day. Keep your head down and work. Don't bitch about anything unless it's actually on fire.
 

michiganbuck

Diamond
Joined
Jun 28, 2012
Location
Mt Clemens, Michigan 48035
When we opened a factory in Mexico It was said that a screwdriver, a pair of pliers, and a claw hammer were set on a bench.

The one a person would point to and name made him an electrician, a toolmaker or a carpenter

Anyone who said "I don't know" was made a millwright or a boss.

I know I will get beat up by the Millwrights.

Re: it is mostly a joke.
 

rrrgcy

Aluminum
Joined
Jun 5, 2013
Location
South Florida
Personal to me. A local aero machine shop doing aero repair went through applications and picked the top four and had them all show up for an interview. They sat together in the conference room. She asked, “I will ask you only one question. Your answer will determine who gets the job.”

They all lean in. She asks, “What is the fastest thing you know?” Applicant one says, “A thought is the fastest thing.” She says thank you and jots it down. Applicant two replies, “A blink of the eye is fastest, it goes quick.” She notes it down and agrees that like in the blink of an eye it is quick. The third applicant says, “Well, light is the fastest thing I know. I stand in the kitchen and flip the light switch and look over across the field to the barn and see the barn lights turn on in an instant. A light is fastest.” She’s now impressed and considers him the obvious leading candidate.

The fourth fellow replies, “Diarrhea.” She is a bit stunned this is a joke, but he continues, “The other day I had to take a real dump I knew it was coming on fast, but before I could think about it or blink an eye and before I could get the light to turn on I shit all over myself bad.”

* My most recent job, I nearly failed the application process because during the 1-1/2 hour long entry polygraph in fact I had the fourth applicant’s condition. Had to stop the poly twice what with my knee jacking up and down fighting the need to get to the restroom. Despite my being wired up, the polygrapher let me out twice to hit the throne. I was sure he thought I was just being deceptive and avoiding the entire affair. The polygrapher also twice redid the questioning focused on his belief I was being deceptive about having stolen from my former government employer, which I hadn’t, but he maintained it was inconclusive, I did get the job and am 26 years still going. Subsequent poly’s while in-job I’ve always ensured I was free of any need to use the outhouse.
 

michiganbuck

Diamond
Joined
Jun 28, 2012
Location
Mt Clemens, Michigan 48035
My brother went to a job ap with about 20 years at top shops experience as a toolmaker/pattern maker and interviewing for that position so passed the Hr with flying colors.
The foreman giving him the walk around asks "Do you have experience repairing welders?" ..No.
Likely the boss had a friend already chosen for the job.
 

rrrgcy

Aluminum
Joined
Jun 5, 2013
Location
South Florida
Likely the boss had a friend already chosen for the job.
Exactly. Great friend got the job in Milwaukee, that is once he finishes a four months training regimen far out-of-state. He’s to get a free weekend house hunting trip in Milwaukee two weeks before the job starts but a day before the house hunting trip arrival they tell him, “Er, no - you’ll actually be covering our territory in Pierre, South Dakota. There will only be one other co-worker in your office. We’re giving you a Ford Bronco and an M4. You’ll be working Indian Country. See you in a couple of weeks and then you can drive out to your new location.”

Be sure to know what the job and conditions entail, it’s probably your only opportunity to get into it when you’re applying and speaking to a human during interviews or walk-around.
 

PackardV8

Hot Rolled
Joined
Jun 4, 2006
Location
Spokane, WA
My brother went to a job ap with about 20 years at top shops experience as a toolmaker/pattern maker and interviewing for that position so passed the Hr with flying colors.
The foreman giving him the walk around asks "Do you have experience repairing welders?" ..No.
Likely the boss had a friend already chosen for the job.
Been there, done that. Wasting applicant's time, making them jump through hoops, when the job is already filled . . . government/civil service/education are the worst at this, because they have procedures in place and have to maintain the appearance of open hiring. Mostly, it's not.

jack vines
 

1yesca

Stainless
Joined
Jun 1, 2004
When we opened a factory in Mexico It was said that a screwdriver, a pair of pliers, and a claw hammer were set on a bench.

The one a person would point to and name made him an electrician, a toolmaker or a carpenter

Anyone who said "I don't know" was made a millwright or a boss.

I know I will get beat up by the Millwrights.

Re: it is mostly a joke.

that's right up there with the test for a master chief [locked in a room with three ball bearing ] and after 30 minuets [two of the

balls have gone missing ] most likely stuff in some body hole [ and the third one is bent] yup you past your now a master chief

oh and if they ask you if your willing to work for what your worth tell them hell no i can't live on that and if you get a job there

when you get your first cheek tell them you need to take it to the back and if they ask why ? tell them its to small to get there by its

self .
 

john.k

Diamond
Joined
Dec 21, 2012
Location
Brisbane Qld Australia
Have you stolen from your employer....You mean today ,or this week?..........when I went for the job at the industrial painters,the boss said "We expect a mechanic to steal fuel and oil,and the odd item,but youll be fired if you take anything we need."............after the business was sold ,and I quit ...the new manager says "Leave all the company tools and equiptment ,and the foreman will make an inventory...Last day ,and the new maintenance guy says there s no tools ,or anything!.....Yep ,everything is mine .....read my contract,its on file.....I had all kinds of special stuff Id made to service the gear they had ,Did I give it to them?.....Noooo!.............and the double whammy,about a month after I left,the old foreman started pissing blood.......business folded six months later.
 

ttrager

Aluminum
Joined
Jul 23, 2015
Off the top of my head, in no particular order, take whatever seems relevant to you and ignore anything you don't like based on what the company profile / situation is as you see it:


What types of products are manufactured here?

What machines are you running? (and express interest in seeing the shop floor in action)

What Quality Standards are maintained here? (ISO, TS-16949, AS9000, or nothing, etc.)

How long have you been certified?

If standards are being maintained, who manages the Internal Audits, and Surveillance/Recert Audits with the certification house?

How has acceptance of quality procedures and compliance been with the Machinists?

How many people are in the Quality Department versus number of machinists they are serving?

Who prepares the Job Packets (Blue Prints, Traveller/Router, Inspection Report, .etc)

Once the Job is going to a Machinist for production, who selects the tools, gages, checking fixtures for the job, assembles them, and then inspects/checks off the Job Setup has occurred and validated? (E.G. Production Supervisor? Machinist? Quality Inspector? Other, such as a "Setup Engineer"?)

How are Production "1st Piece" inspections done? Machinists do it? Inspectors do it? Are 1st piece calls made by Feature on the parts, or when the whole Part has been completed?

Regardless of who does the Inspections (Machinist or Inspector), is everyone expected to note their measurement results on the blueprint and/or router?

What are your typical Job run volumes? Are you truly Production (high volume long running, few change outs by position), or shorter runs/Custom (frequent position tear down and setup)?

What are the duties of the position as relates to Inspections? Floor running 1st Piece? Offline FAI (First Article Inspections), Gage R & R's? Receiving inspections of either materials or blanks or outsourced work received back? What are the other duties & responsibilities?

How are you handling Corrective Actions? (software? Who is responsible for managing them? How many a year are generated?)

What are the tolerances you have to keep for your clients?

What are the inspection TYPES you have to perform? E.G. Dimensional, Surface finish, water seal/pressure, stress/force, etc.

What tools are deployed for Inspections, both by machinists and for Inspectors? Hand tools such as Calipers/Micrometers/analog dial indicators, CMM, Laser/Interferometry, 3D scanners, X-Ray, etc.
 
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Ishira

Plastic
Joined
Oct 6, 2021
Thank you everyone! You've been incredibly helpful. The interview is later today, so hopefully I can ask some questions that let them know I'm serious about being a good candidate, and don't say anything stupid. Hah.
 








 
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