Pratt & Whitney is a world leader in the design, manufacture, and service of aircraft engines and auxiliary power units. With more than 43,000 employees across 12 countries, Pratt & Whitney is one of the largest aerospace companies in the world.
If you’re applying for a job at Pratt & Whitney, you can expect to be asked some tough interview questions. The company is known for its rigorous hiring process, which includes a series of interviews with managers, engineers, and human resources representatives.
To help you prepare, we’ve compiled a list of sample Pratt & Whitney interview questions and answers. These questions will give you an idea of what to expect during your interview and help you showcase your skills and experience.
Pratt & Whitney Interview Process
The interview process at Pratt & Whitney can vary depending on the position you are applying for. However, most positions will require at least one face-to-face interview. The length of the hiring process also varies, but it is typically fairly lengthy.
Overall, the interview process is relatively difficult. Many of the questions asked are technical in nature and require a great deal of knowledge about the company and the engineering field. However, the interviewers are generally very friendly and helpful, and they are usually willing to give candidates a chance to ask questions and clarify any confusion.
Overall, the interview experience at Pratt & Whitney is generally positive. The company is known for being very selective in its hiring, so getting an offer is considered a great accomplishment. The interview process is challenging but fair, and the interviewer are generally knowledgeable and helpful.
Common Pratt & Whitney Interview Questions
- What is the most important thing to remember when designing an engine?
- Can you tell me about a time where there was a conflict or disagreement between your team members, how did you handle it?
- Describe a time when you had to work on a project that required collaboration with many different teams. How did you manage those relationships?
- Describe a time when you had to solve a problem that wasn’t straightforward. How did you approach it?
- Tell us about a time where you were working on a project with someone who was not pulling their weight, how did you handle it?
- As a manufacturing engineer, how would you use Six Sigma methodology?
- Provide some examples of your experience testing mechanical components.
- What are your thoughts on the future of additive manufacturing in aerospace?
- Give us a brief overview of your previous experience as a project engineer.
- We have several new projects starting soon. Are you able to travel if needed?
- What is your biggest weakness and strength?
- Which specific area of engineering is your specialty?
- Have you ever worked with 3D printing before? How so?
- Do you feel comfortable working independently?
- Tell us a little bit about yourself.
- How would you describe your management style?
- What is your experience working with software tools such as Labview?
1. What is the most important thing to remember when designing an engine?
This question is a great way to test your knowledge of the design process. It also allows you to show how important it is for you to follow company procedures and safety protocols. When answering this question, make sure you highlight the importance of following all policies and procedures when designing an engine.
Example: “The most important thing to remember when designing an engine is that every decision you make can affect the entire system. For example, if I were to choose a certain material for one part of the engine, I would have to consider what other parts are made out of so they work together properly. Another important thing to remember is that there are many different factors that go into making a successful engine. You need to be able to understand each factor and know how to apply them to the design.”
2. Can you tell me about a time where there was a conflict or disagreement between your team members, how did you handle it?
This question is a great way to assess your leadership skills and ability to resolve conflicts. When answering this question, it can be helpful to mention how you helped the team members work together again or how you resolved the conflict yourself.
Example: “In my last position as an engineer, I had two coworkers who disagreed on a project we were working on. One of them wanted to take a different approach than what was originally planned, but the other coworker didn’t want to change anything. I met with both of them separately and asked each one about their opinions. After hearing both sides, I decided that the original plan would be best for the company and explained why to both coworkers.”
3. Tell us what you know about Pratt & Whitney’s history and current market position.
This question is a great way to test your knowledge of the company and its products. It also allows you to show that you have researched the company before applying for the position. When answering this question, it can be helpful to include specific facts about the company’s history or current market position.
Example: “Pratt & Whitney has been in business since 1925 when Frederick Rentschler founded the company. The company was originally called United Aircraft Corporation, but after World War II, the company changed its name to Pratt & Whitney. In 2017, the company had $9.5 billion in revenue. The company currently produces engines for commercial and military aircraft.”
4. Describe a time when you had to work on a project that required collaboration with many different teams. How did you manage those relationships?
This question is an opportunity to show your leadership skills and ability to work with others. When answering this question, it can be helpful to mention a specific project or task that required collaboration and how you managed the relationships between different teams.
Example: “At my current job, I have worked on many projects where I had to collaborate with other departments. For example, one of my most recent projects involved working with multiple marketing teams to create new advertisements for our products. In these situations, I always make sure to communicate clearly with everyone involved in the project so we all understand what needs to be done. This helps me manage relationships with other teams.”
5. Describe a time when you had to solve a problem that wasn’t straightforward. How did you approach it?
This question can help the interviewer understand how you approach challenges and solve problems. Use your answer to highlight your critical thinking skills, problem-solving abilities and ability to adapt to new situations.
Example: “When I was working as a project manager for an IT company, we had a client who wanted us to create a website that would be compatible with all devices. At first, this seemed like a straightforward task, but when we started looking at the coding of the site, it became clear that creating a website that worked on all devices wasn’t possible. Instead, we decided to focus on making the website work on mobile devices only. This allowed us to complete the project within our timeline and budget.”
6. Why do you want to work at Pratt & Whitney?
This question is a great way for the interviewer to learn more about your interest in their company. They want to know what you like about working at Pratt & Whitney and how it fits into your career goals. Your answer should include specific details about why you are interested in this particular job, as well as the company’s mission statement or values.
Example: “I am very passionate about aerospace engineering, and I have always been fascinated by the work that Pratt & Whitney does. When I was looking for my first job out of college, I knew I wanted to find a place where I could use my skills to help advance technology. I also love the idea of being part of a team that works together to create something new and exciting.”
7. Tell us about a time where you were working on a project with someone who was not pulling their weight, how did you handle it?
This question is a great way to see how you handle conflict and also shows the interviewer your leadership skills. When answering this question, it can be helpful to mention that you helped resolve the issue in a positive manner.
Example: “In my last position as an engineer, I was working on a project with two other engineers who were not pulling their weight. They would often miss deadlines or take long breaks during work hours. I approached them both privately and explained that we needed to meet certain goals by specific dates. We all agreed upon these terms and they started meeting our expectations.”
8. As a manufacturing engineer, how would you use Six Sigma methodology?
This question is an opportunity to show your knowledge of Six Sigma, a methodology that helps companies improve their processes and products. Use examples from your experience with the methodology to explain how it can be used in your role as a manufacturing engineer.
Example: “In my last position, I was tasked with using Six Sigma to reduce defects on a product line. Using data analysis, I determined which steps in the production process were most likely to produce errors. Then, I implemented changes to those steps to reduce defects. For example, I reduced the number of defective parts by 50% after implementing new quality control measures.”
9. Provide some examples of your experience testing mechanical components.
This question is an opportunity to show your knowledge of the testing process and how you can apply it in a manufacturing environment. When answering this question, consider providing examples that highlight your ability to work with others and communicate effectively.
Example: “In my previous role as a mechanical engineer, I was responsible for designing and implementing tests on various components. For example, one test I conducted involved using sensors to measure the temperature of a component during its use. This allowed me to determine if there were any issues with the component’s performance or safety. Another test I performed was a vibration analysis, which helped me identify areas where the product could be improved.”
10. What are your thoughts on the future of additive manufacturing in aerospace?
This question is a great way to gauge your knowledge of the aerospace industry and how you can apply it to future advancements. Your answer should include an overview of additive manufacturing, its current applications in aerospace and what you think will be possible in the future.
Example: “Additive manufacturing has been used for years in aerospace to create parts that are lighter than traditional ones. This allows for more efficient use of fuel and other resources. In the future, I believe we’ll see even more uses for additive manufacturing as new materials become available. For example, carbon nanotubes have already been used to make lightweight parts for aircrafts. As these materials continue to advance, I think we’ll see them being used more frequently.”
11. We have very high standards for quality here at Pratt & Whitney. How can our company ensure we maintain these high standards?
This question is a great way to test your knowledge of the company’s values and standards. It also allows you to show how you can contribute to maintaining these high standards. When answering this question, it can be helpful to mention specific ways that you have contributed to quality in previous roles.
Example: “I believe one of the best ways to ensure we maintain our high standards for quality is by hiring employees who are passionate about their work. I’ve noticed at my past job that when an employee has passion for what they do, they’re more likely to produce higher-quality products. Another way we can maintain our high standards is through regular training. By providing opportunities for professional development, we can help our team members learn new skills and improve upon existing ones.”
12. Give us a brief overview of your previous experience as a project engineer.
This question is a great way to learn more about your potential new employer. It’s also an opportunity for you to show how well you can communicate and organize information. When answering this question, it’s important to be concise and clear in your response.
Example: “I’ve been working as a project engineer at my current company for the past five years. In that time, I’ve managed several projects including designing and implementing new equipment upgrades and creating maintenance schedules for our clients. I’m very familiar with the processes involved in these tasks and have developed strong communication skills when working with other team members.”
13. We have several new projects starting soon. Are you able to travel if needed?
This question is a way for the interviewer to assess your willingness to travel and how often you have done so in the past. If you are not willing to travel, be honest about it and explain why. If you are willing to travel, discuss some of the places you’ve traveled to in the past.
Example: “I am happy to travel as needed. I enjoy traveling and have been to several locations across the country. In my last position, I was asked to go on two business trips per year. One trip was out of state and lasted three days. The other was within the state and lasted one day.”
14. What is your biggest weakness and strength?
This question is a common one in interviews. It allows you to show your honesty and self-awareness by discussing both a weakness and a strength. When answering this question, it can be helpful to think about the skills that are most important for the role you’re interviewing for.
Example: “My biggest weakness is my attention to detail. I am always looking for ways to improve myself, so I have started using an app on my phone to help me keep track of details throughout the day. My greatest strength is my ability to work well with others. I enjoy collaborating with others to find solutions to problems.”
15. Which specific area of engineering is your specialty?
This question is a great way to show the interviewer that you have an in-depth understanding of your field. When answering this question, it can be helpful to mention a specific project or accomplishment that relates to the job description.
Example: “My specialty is propulsion systems engineering. I’ve been working on my master’s degree for three years now and am very excited to finish soon. In fact, I’m currently writing my thesis about how to improve fuel efficiency in commercial airplanes. My research has led me to discover new ways to reduce weight while also improving performance.”
16. Have you ever worked with 3D printing before? How so?
This question is a great way to see if you have any experience with the company’s products. If you do, it can be an excellent opportunity to show your knowledge and expertise in the field. If you don’t, you can explain how you would use 3D printing technology to complete projects or tasks.
Example: “I’ve worked with 3D printing before when I was working on my master’s degree. My thesis project required me to create a prototype of a new engine design. Using 3D printing allowed me to test out different designs without having to spend money on creating full-sized engines.”
17. Do you feel comfortable working independently?
This question is a great way to assess your ability to work independently. Employers ask this question because they want to know if you can complete tasks on your own without needing constant supervision. When answering, it’s important to show that you are self-motivated and able to manage your time effectively.
Example: “I feel comfortable working independently. I am very motivated by challenges and enjoy the satisfaction of completing projects on my own. In fact, I prefer to work alone as opposed to in teams because I find that I get more done when I’m not distracted by other people.”
18. Tell us a little bit about yourself.
This is a common question that employers ask to get to know you better. They want to learn more about your personality and how it fits with the company culture. When answering this question, be sure to highlight any skills or experiences that relate to the job description.
Example: “I am an avid runner who has completed several marathons. I also enjoy cooking and have been known to throw dinner parties for my friends. My favorite food is Italian, so I often make homemade pasta dishes. I graduated from Boston University with a degree in mechanical engineering. While there, I was part of a team that designed a new type of engine.”
19. How would you describe your management style?
This question can help the interviewer determine how you would fit into their team. Your answer should show that you are a strong leader who is able to motivate and inspire your team members. You can describe your management style in detail, including what motivates you as a manager and how you reward your employees for good work.
Example: “I believe my management style is collaborative and inclusive. I like to make sure everyone on my team feels valued and included in decision-making processes. I also think it’s important to be open with my team about company goals and progress toward those goals. I find that when people know where they’re going, they feel more motivated to do their best work.”
20. What is your experience working with software tools such as Labview?
This question is a great way to assess your technical skills and how you apply them in the workplace. When answering this question, it can be helpful to mention which software tools you have used in the past and what your experience was with each one.
Example: “In my previous role as an engineer at XYZ Company, I worked with Labview on a daily basis. This software tool allowed me to create complex programs that helped automate many of our manufacturing processes. It took some time to get used to using Labview, but once I did, I found it very easy to use and understand.”