Machine Operator Interview Questions and Answers

Updated on June 17, 2019

Interviews conducted for hiring skilled labor are usually focused on the candidate’s ability to handle the many physical duties that skilled work requires them to perform.

For most other types of interviews, much concentration is placed on job knowledge; for hiring skilled workers, it is essential to focus on both job knowledge and physical ability.


If you are a machine operator appearing for an interview soon, you will have to make sure that you are prepared to answer all types of questions.

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

Hence, interview questions for this position will be aimed at the candidate’s understanding of the production world and his ability to handle situations that might go against him in meeting 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 be asked at an interview for the position of a machine operator:

See also: Machine Operator Resume

Machine Operator Interview Questions and Answers

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 them, conducting preventive maintenance and basic troubleshooting in case of any malfunction.

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.

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

After the pre-checks are done with, 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.

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.

How important is quality control? Give us one an 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:

• Make sure that the machine room complies with all sanitary requirements
• Create reports so that the management is aware of daily machine operations
• Perform checks and audits to make sure that machinery is running in compliance with set procedures

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 till date thankful for the chance of learning under the supervision of that person.

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 detailed study of the manual, I finally achieved the correct settings.

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 in 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 which otherwise remain un-addressed.

What strategies do you use to enhance communication and clarify yours and others’ messages?

To ensure 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.

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

My name was nominated for transfer in 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.

What are your salary expectations?

Not higher and not lower than the market rate for machine operator jobs, around 15-20$/ hour.

About the Author

Sam Mogul, MBA (ITM & HR), is a passionate career expert with 15 years of experience in writing and reviewing resumes, cover letters, and career-related content. He founded CoverLettersAndResume in 2011 intending to help job seekers in their job search journey. If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to Contact Us. Or visit our About Us page.

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