ERC Interview Tips

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Purpose: To assess Engineering Experience to waive technical exams.

Who is the interviewer? Two professional engineers like you who have completed the process in your field or close to it will interview you.

General Tips:

  • Try to be 15–20 minutes early for PEO interview.
  • Dress as for a regular interview. (It’s better for men to wear suits and ties, and for women to wear suits, but this is not a must)
  • One person will lead you to the interview room and introduce the interviewer.
  • Always remember that this is an interview to test your engineering experience. It’s not a job interview, so align your thought processes accordingly.
  • The interview is approximately 45–60 minutes long.
  • Sixty-five percent of candidates pass ERC interviews.
  • The interview will be videotaped for possible review in the future, in case you wish to appeal the decision.

Preparation for the interview:

  • Pick two of your favorite projects from your Experience record in which your involvement was heavy. Try to explain in the best way possible, practicing all your answers, and demonstrate that you have used engineering principles with some basic engineering equations, if possible.
  • Take exhibits like drawings, samples, reports, and pictures to support your project or work.
  • Read up on the basics in your engineering discipline. Interviewers may ask basics questions on this topic.
  • If you have performed a good project recently, but have not included it in the original Experience record, modify your Experience record, and send it to your coordinator at PEO as soon as possible, so that she can send it to the interviewers. You can use this project for interview

During the interview:

  • Try to strike a rapport with interviewers by making some positive comments. This is not a must, but it helps break the ice.
  • You can mention something like this before starting to explain the project, “I will go over the project which I did. If you have any questions, you can stop and ask me.”
  • You need to lead the interview, i.e., go through the project logically: the objective, what you did, results you obtained, engineering principles you used, your calculations, analyses, conclusions, etc. Show relevant exhibits. If you don’t have exhibits, don’t worry. Just draw and show to some extent.
  • Don’t rush through the interview, but don’t have periods of long silences. This will force interviewers to ask questions in between based on their understanding of the project. You can take questions as they come, but try to lead as much as possible
  • If time permits, you can go over a second project with their agreement or they may ask you to.
  • They might ask some basic engineering questions in your field, e.g., electrical engineering people have been asked “How do you rate transformers?”
  • If you are not sure of your answer, say so. Giving the wrong answer is definitely not okay. It will be viewed more seriously. Saying you are not sure at least indicates you are honest and you will check references before making decisions in real life situations.

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