17 Machine Operator Interview Questions and Answers

Updated on: January 12, 2022

In a machine Operator interview, employers usually focus on the candidate’s ability to handle the many physical duties that skilled work requires them to perform. 

If you are going to appear in a machine operator interview soon, you will have to make sure that you prepare to answer all types of questions.

Since machine operators operate, maintain, and troubleshoot heavy machinery in manufacturing environments, they should possess in-depth knowledge of the production process.

Machine operator interview questions will be aimed at the candidate’s understanding of the production world, as well as their ability to meet production deadlines.

So now that you know what the basis of your interview will be, let us have a look at some of the questions you may expect at an interview for the position of machine operator:

Recommended: Machine Operator Resume

Machine Operator Interview Questions and Answers

1. Why did you choose this profession?

Mechanical physics has always intrigued me, and I used to open up household appliances as a hobby to see how the system works. When I am around machines, I remain in awe. I enjoy working with them, conducting preventive maintenance, and basic troubleshooting in case of any malfunction.

2. What are the primary duties of a machine operator in a production arena?

A machine operator begins his day by calibrating and setting assigned machines that are then used for fabrication, manufacturing, and assembling products. It is also the duty of a machine operator to maintain and monitor machines to make sure that they are in proper working order and that any problems are managed on time. Making sure that adequate materials are fed into the machine and that a proper chain of supplies is maintained is also the work of a machine operator.

3. What do you deem the most critical task of a Machine Operator?

I believe that the work that machine operators perform before a shift holds the most importance. This is because there are a lot of pre-checks that we have to perform to make sure that machines will run optimally.

And it is at this time that most of the troubleshooting takes place so that deadlines can be met and there are no delays.

4. Tell us of some duties that you perform as a machine operator on a daily basis?

After the pre-checks are done, I adjust equipment controls to meet the needs of the procedure that is about to be performed. Then come to changing machine parts, tooling activities, and setting temperatures.

5. What specific skills does one need to work as a machine operator?

Typically, a machine operator needs to possess some experience in mixing raw materials and calculating figures and amounts. Knowledge of operating mechanized mixing equipment, ability to follow process orders to add materials in specified quantities and times, and the ability to follow all FDA, GMP, and EHS policies and procedures that relate to specific industries is also important.

6. How do you handle large orders, especially if they need to be done in a specific timeframe?

Usually, a machine operator is given substantial time to produce a batch. In cases where the time isn’t enough, I make sure that I put in extra hours or even an additional shift.

7. Why don’t you simply speed up the process instead of putting in extra hours?

While speeding up the process is an option, it is not something that should be done unless more machinery and machine operators are involved. This is because maintaining the quality of the end product is very important. Haste will only make waste. Unless the haste is controlled, which isn’t usually so. So I prefer putting in extra hours instead of hurrying up the process and ending up with products that may not pass the quality test.

8. As far as repair and maintenance is concerned, what is your role as a machine operator?

Repair and maintenance are two very important duties of a machine operator. It is important to perform periodic preventative maintenance on assigned machinery and handle small repairs too so that the machine does not break down in the middle of a process.

9. What personal abilities does one need in order to work as a machine operator?

The first personal ability that one needs is physical strength. One has to lift, carry and move heavy objects which is why physical dexterity is important. Communication skills and the ability to get along with others is also important as one has to work in a team environment.

10. If you come across two simultaneous machine problems, which one would you look at first?

I would determine which machinery is performing top priority work and look at it first.

11. How important is quality control? Give us one example of how you handle quality control checks.

Everything that a machine operator does is to make sure that the quality of the end product is up to the mark.

So quality is as important as meeting deadlines is. There are three measures that I take here:

  1. Make sure that the machine room complies with all sanitary requirements
  2. Create reports so that the management is aware of daily machine operations
  3. Perform checks and audits to make sure that machinery is running in compliance with set procedures
12. Explain a time when you had to work with a problematic supervisor?

Right after my hiring at TMG Corporation as a machine operator, the manager changed. I was new and still in training, therefore, was not yet familiar with the techniques they used. I faced too much criticism and explanation calls on minor errors.

With time I realized that this check and balance was a significant contributing factor in enhancing my skills and am to date thankful for the chance of learning under the supervision of that person.

13. Share an instance when your supervisor was not happy with your work?

When I was responsible for ensuring accurate machine settings at the embroidery machine department, the supervisor called me and asked me to adjust the settings in a manner that both sides of the motive appear neat and are useable.

I followed the manual and did it, but the supervisor wanted more neatness. I took it as a challenge, and after consistent multiple attempts and a detailed study of the manual, I finally achieved the correct settings.

14. How do you contribute to the sharing of supplementary work-related information at your workplace?

I do so by initiating and engaging in work-related conversations with colleagues during break periods and other free time. I frankly share any problems I am facing related to technique and inquire if others are facing similar issues.

Through healthy group discussions, all of us find answers to many small problems that otherwise remain unaddressed.

15. What strategies do you use to enhance communication and clarify your and others’ messages?

To ensure a clear and accurate exchange of information with management and colleagues, I usually repeat my messages and question directly for clarification without hesitation in case the message received is ambiguous.

Effective communication is the key for machine operators because one misunderstood message can result in hundreds of misfed or wrongly fed machine commands which are sometimes irreversible or take too much time to cancel.

16. What was your biggest professional fear and how did you overcome it?

My name was nominated for transfer in the backstitch machine section as a supervisor in the absence of the section in charge. Since I had never supervised a team of machine operators and wasn’t very good in backstitch operation either, I resisted the responsibility as much as I could. I was afraid I’d fail badly at supervision.

Despite my reluctance, I was assigned the duty, and once I got hold of it, I performed it commendable for one month. I learned that accepting more responsibility and daring to explore unperfected horizons, staring in the face of one’s fears is the key to professional growth. I now stand ready to accept any professional responsibility when it comes my way.

17. What are your salary expectations?

I expect not higher and not lower than the market rate for machine operator jobs. I am open to negotiating salary if you offer me this job.

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