In a production environment, the ability to understand how the equipment works is an important skill. Having extensive mechanical experience can speed up training and make an employee more versatile. It can also help an employee work safer and more productively.
Every position requires certain technical skills. In manufacturing, there is wide range of skills that companies may want. To build a strong team of production workers, a company can’t always require every skill. For example, a company may be the only one in the area with specific type of machinery. They will not be able to find new employees who have experience with that machinery. This makes it essential to hire individual with strong mechanical skills that can be applied to wide range of equipment.
To demonstrate your mechanical skill, you will need to show a long track record of mechanical experience. Ideally, you have been working with heavy equipment, repairing machinery and improving your mechanical skills for your entire career. For example, an individual who grew up on a farm and learned to repair the farming equipment from a young age will have an excellent understanding of the basic mechanisms of machinery. You can’t train a new hire and give them the insight that comes with 10, 20 or 30 years of fixing a wide range of machinery.
In addition to showing the range of experiences, you should give some specifics of the type of mechanical work you have done. Talking in generalizations will only get you so far. Describe major repair work, examples of operating complicated machines, or installing equipment. This will give the interviewer a clear picture of your skill level reinforcing the broad scope of your experience.
- Tell me about your manufacturing experience.
- Describe your mechanical skills.
- Do you have any experience setting up and operating equipment?
- What are you strongest technical skills?
- Can you read engineering drawings?
- What types of equipment have you worked on?
- Do you consider yourself very mechanically inclined? Why?
If you want a job in manufacturing but have no mechanical experience, answering these questions can be tough. There isn’t an quick fix. Developing mechanical skills takes years. You can start by taking some classes at local Vo Tech school or community college. Find out from the employer you are pursuing what types of classes will best prepare you for their organization. Few people will go to the effort to do this, and it will set you apart.