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9 diesel technician interview questions and answers

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Estimated reading time: 4 minutes 

Whether you just applied for your first-ever diesel technician job or you’re making the move to a different company, job interviews can be intimidating. You may not know what types of questions will be asked or how to tell your story. 

As a trucking company that employs hundreds of highly-skilled diesel technicians, we have the answers. Here are nine examples of diesel technician interview questions to help you be well-prepared and increase your chance of getting the job. 

9 common diesel technician questions and answers for interviews 

General question examples

General questions are often used in interviews to help employers get a better sense of a candidate's background, experience and personality. Make sure you have an updated copy of your resume handy that you and your interviewer can reference during the interview. 

1. What is your mechanical experience?

When asked about your mechanical experience during an interview, it's important to provide a detailed, yet concise, overview of your maintenance background.

Highlight accomplishments that demonstrate your skills and abilities. Explain:

  • How long you’ve been working as a diesel tech.
  • What types of repairs you’ve made.
  • What type of training you received. 

Use specific examples to illustrate the types of tasks and responsibilities you've had in past positions and be prepared to explain how your previous experience relates to the role you're interviewing for.

2. What are your greatest strengths and weaknesses?

Showcase strengths that align with the needs of the job, focusing on skills and experiences that will make you successful in the position. Use specific examples to show:

  • How your strengths have helped you excel in past roles.
  • How your strengths can be applied to the position you’re interviewing for.

For weaknesses, avoid using vague responses. Instead, talk about areas where you have struggled in the past, but have taken action to address. Go over:

  • What you’ve learned from these experiences.
  • How you’ve improved as a result.

This shows the interviewer that you are self-aware and committed to personal growth.

3. Why did you choose this career?

Start by explaining how you became interested in maintenance. Discuss how your skills, interests and values match the requirements of the job.

This would also be a good time to talk about your long-term goals and how the role you applied for fits into your overall professional aspirations.

Behavioral-based question examples 

Behavioral-based questions gauge how a candidate has handled specific situations in the past and how they are likely to respond in similar scenarios in the future. Be prepared to pull relevant examples from your previous work or school experience. 

4. Tell me about a time when you were working with someone and saw them doing something unsafe. What did you do? 

Since safety is a top priority in shops, interviewers will often ask maintenance job candidates a safety-related question to get a sense for how they uphold this value.

Share relevant experiences that show how you helped maintain a safe work environment while managing conflict. Explain:

  • Why you perceived the situation as unsafe.
  • What you did to address the problem.
  • What the person should have done to be safer.

If you haven’t had direct experience with this situation, describe what you would do if faced with this type of scenario.

5. Describe a time when you were not satisfied with your own job performance. What did you do to get back on track?

Mistakes happen. The good thing is, they also create opportunities for improvement.

Share a specific example of a time when you fell short and detail:

  • What specifically went wrong.
  • How you corrected your performance.
  • What the result was after the correction.
  • What you learned from the experience.

Examples like this show an employer you can learn from your mistakes, take responsibility for your actions and make positive changes moving forward.

6. How would you handle a situation where a customer is unhappy with your services?

This question will show an employer how well you communicate with others, even in difficult situations. It will also demonstrate your customer service skills.

Think of this scenario – real or hypothetical – and describe:

  • How you responded to the customer’s complaint.
  • How you created a solution.
  • What you learned moving forward.

Technical-based question examples 

Technical-based interview questions for diesel technicians test a candidate's knowledge and understanding of specific concepts, tools or processes that are relevant to a maintenance role. Be ready to describe what you would do when presented with common mechanical scenarios. 

7. Can you explain how you would adjust the valves on a diesel engine?

It’s important to show your technical knowledge while also explaining this process in a clear and concise way.

Walk your interviewer through:

  • What you would do in chronological order.
  • Why you chose to do each step in that order.
  • Why each step is important.

If you aren’t as familiar with the repair they asked about, explain to the best of your ability how you would troubleshoot the problem.

8. What types of diagnostic software are you familiar with?

Diagnostic software is an essential tool for diesel technicians, especially as technology becomes more advanced.

If you’re asked this question, make sure you highlight:

  • Any software you have experience using.
  • Any specific types or brands that you are particularly experienced with.

From there, go on to provide specific examples of when you’ve used diagnostic software to find or fix a maintenance issue.

9. Can you describe the diesel-reconditioning process?

Reconditioning involves several steps to restore the engine to its optimal operating condition. The interviewer may be looking for a specific understanding of this process and how to execute it efficiently and safely.

Prove your technical expertise by detailing:

  • A step-by-step breakdown of the process.
  • Which parts are repaired or replaced.
  • How the reconditioning process affects the vehicle.

The interviewer may ask you to clarify certain steps, so be prepared to provide more information as needed.

Make a good first impression.

Put your best foot forward and dress to impress by following these tips on what to wear to a diesel technician interview. 
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Schneider Guy loves the "Big Orange." He's passionate about the trucking industry and connecting people to rewarding careers within it. He's been the eyes and ears of our company since our founding in 1935, and he's excited to interact with prospective and current Schneider associates through "A Slice of Orange."

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