Efficiency and productivity in business operations are paramount. This not only reduces the cost of production but also helps a company to maintain its profitability.
Machines are often considered to be one of the most important tangible assets that help an organization manufacture goods, which are ultimately sold to customers. The regular maintenance, optimization, and configuration of the production and ancillary machines are important to achieve the ultimate quality goals.
This creates the need for the position of machine operators who are responsible for taking care of all the functions related to supervision and management of the machines. It is a respectable post and interested candidates must prepare hard for the interview questions.
21 Best Interview Questions To Study
1. What Is Your Understanding Of The Concept Of Division Of Labour? From Where Can We Refer To This Concept In Detail?
Sir, before the introduction of “division of labor”, the industries and all the other manufacturing facilities used to employ mixed labor or workers in the production facilities. However, after this concept, there was more stress upon specialization and dedicated production. The workers started getting training in a particular production process and were regularly encouraged to become better.
For example, If there are four different processes to manufacture a particular product, the workers would be divided among the processes based on their existing skills and capabilities. The workers would then be trained so that they become adept in performing their duties, which are linked with the process with which they are associated.
We can refer to this concept from the famous book “The Wealth of Nations“, which was written by Adam Smith.
2. What Is An Assembly Line? In Your Opinion What Led To The Development Of Production/ Assembly Lines?
Sir, assembly lines refer to the usage of several workstations, which are arranged in a sequence. The manufacturing of a product begins with a particular workstation. A semi-finished product goes to different points at which substantial additions are made to this product.
In my opinion, the industrial revolution led to the development of assembly lines. This represents a phase when the demand for industrial goods extended leaps and bounds. To expedite the production process, it was necessary to automate the process, which ultimately led to the development of assembly lines.
3. We Have A Process Wherein We Scrap The Machines That Are Obsolete and Cannot Be Used For Operational Purposes Any Longer. What Is The Best Way To Realize The Maximum Scrap Value From The Sale Of The Machine?
Yes sir, the best way to realize the maximum potential from a machine is to sell it as scrap at the end of its useful life. In my opinion, “open tender” is the best way to realize the maximum scrap value. In this process:
- Tenders are floated in the open market
- The terms and conditions are prepared and only a few interested parties are called for
- The interested parties place their individual bids in relation to the scrap value of the machine
- The machine is handed over to the highest bidder
4. The Automobiles Are Produced On A Mass Scale Owing To The Production Line Models. Can You Tell Something About The First Such Model?
Sir, Oldsmobile Model “R”, also known as Curved Dash Automobile was the first model of the production line that helped the automobile manufacturing organizations to produce the cars on a mass scale. This model was introduced in 1901 and preached for the development of an assembly line based on different interchangeable parts.
5. Assume A Situation In Which You Are Witnessing A Few Factory Workers That Are Deliberately Causing Harm To The Machines, Which They Are Operating. How Will You Handle This Situation?
Sir, any deliberate harm to any asset of the business organization is not at all tolerable. It must be condemned in any form, and the workers who are guilty of causing such harm must be penalized. If I ever face such a situation, I will immediately approach the manufacturing area and would extend a warning to the worker. I will strictly tell him or her not to ever indulge in such a situation, and if he or she is again found doing so then we will terminate forthwith.
6. Some Manufacturing Organizations Try To Group The Machine Operators based on Their Culture, Traditions, and Customs. How Comfortable Are You While Working In Such Organizations?
Sir, it is common for business organizations to group people. However, this grouping is more effective and productive when the workers are grouped based on their skills, educational qualifications, and behavior. Merely grouping of the employees who share a common religious belief, follow a similar culture, or practice a common tradition would never come in handy.
Anyways, I will be comfortable in this set-up as well, as I feel I am a team player and can develop a positive rapport with my team members.
7. Assume A Situation In Which The Production Process Got Halted Due To The Malfunctioning Of A Machine Just At The Beginning Of The Production Shift. As A Machine Operator, How Will You Avoid The Occurrence Of This Event?
Sir, being a machine operator, it is my duty to oversee and manage all the issues and defects that are existing within the production machines. To avoid the occurrence of such an embarrassing situation, I will always inspect all the machines that are under my supervision. In addition to this, I will also conduct a test run every morning to ensure that the production process never gets halted.
8. Describe A Time When You Resolved The Cultural Barriers Related Issues Among The Fellow Machine/ Assembly Line Workers.
Sir, it is common for business organizations to employ people from diverse backgrounds in their workforce. Preference to any particular religion, caste, or creed must be prohibited and should be a hiring norm.
I remember an instance, when while working with XYZ Manufacturing Inc. I encountered a similar situation where a group of four religiously fanatic workers, were fighting among each other. I took immediate cognizance of the matter and approached the workers. I took them to the counseling area and tried to understand all their issues and areas of dispute.
I found that the workers entered into a heated argument that was purely religious. I counseled them using my effective speech and was able to thaw the tensions among them.
9. Share The Three Primary Responsibilities That Every Machine Operator Has To Perform While Being On Duty.
Sure, sir, These are:
- Regularly supervise, manage and test run the machines so as to identify all the issues and problems
- Repair all the damages and malfunctions that occur in the machines while being used for the production
- Regularly overhaul the machines so that they are returning an optimal output
10. Assume A Situation In Which You Are Operating With A Colleague Who Is Racist. How Will You Manage and Maintain Your Productivity?
Sir, working in a corporate setting is challenging. Things are not at all rosy and you need to adjust as per the prevailing situations and circumstances. If I ever find myself in such a situation, instead of having a heated argument or fighting with my colleague, I will sit down at a quiet place and would understand his viewpoint.
This will help me to understand his mindset and the reasons that force him to practice such ideology. Post this, I would try counseling and would help him to see the bright side of life. If still the issues persist, I would request the management to shift me to another group so that I remain productive and can meet my targets.
11. We Follow A System In Which The Performance Of The Employees Is Constantly Managed, Supervised and Analyzed. This Often Leads To Criticisms and Negative Feedbacks. How Open Are You Towards Workplace Criticisms?
Sir, to keep the employees motivated and to better their productivity levels, it is necessary to constantly monitor their performances. No employee is perfect and always has the scope for improvements. I believe, negative feedbacks and criticisms are the instruments of improvements using which an employee can identify his or her weak areas and improve them.
Be assured that I will never feel offended or even feel bad after receiving such criticisms as I am very much open towards them.
12. What Is Your Understanding Of The Standard Output and Standard Labour Hours? Contrast These Terms With Actual Output and Actual Labour Hours.
Sir, every machine that is being used in the production process needs to generate an optimal level of output that is largely based upon previous experiences. For example, A company expects Machine Z to produce 200 units in a shift of 5 hours. This optimal output is known as Standard output.
The standard labor hours represent the number of budgeted hours that must be applied to the machines to generate the optimal output. These terms are different from the “actual”, as the actual output and actual labor hours might vary from the standards established.
13. Upskilling Is An Important Task That Must Be Performed By All The Employees At The Workplace. How Do You Keep Yourself Upskilled and Keep Yourself Abreast Of All The Latest Developments?
Sir, I completely understand the relevance of this question. Just like machines, which are constantly upgraded, an employee too must thrive to consistently upgrade himself with all the latest developments and innovations.
I always search for ways using which I can enhance my productivity. Be it any new version of the software or an improved overhauling process, I am always willing to learn and upskill myself.
14. Cultural Insensitivity Is Largely A Management Affair and The Workers Cannot Do Anything To Eliminate It. Comment On This Statement.
Sir, I completely disagree with this situation. In my opinion, cultural insensitivity arises on the ground and there is a huge possibility of nipping it in the bud at its origin itself. This elimination can be done by the workers working at the factory.
Any particular worker, influential or not, can take the lead and try to fix the issue through informal communications and worker meetings. The role of the management also comes into play, but at a later stage, when the matter becomes uncontrollable.
15. When Can You Start Working With Us?
Sir, I was earlier working with XYZ Garment Manufacturing LLP. But due to mismanagement and their mistreatment of the employees, I decided to make a move and even gave them the 15 days notice period. My resignation was accepted and I even received my dues. Hence, I can join the organization on an immediate basis.
16. Machine Operators Are Required To Prepare Several Reports. Can You Name Some Of Them?
Yes, sir, the role of a machine operator is not entirely limited to the repair and maintenance of the machines, rather, he or she is also required to prepare different reports as well. Some common reports are:
- Machine performance reports
- Log/ Activity book
- Cost report (including all the additional expenses incurred)
- A list of substitute spare parts
- A list of vendors/ suppliers
17. As A Machine Operator You Will Be Required To Perform Several Tasks and Duties. Most Of These Tasks Will Be Deadline Based and Need To Be Executed In A Limited Timeframe. How Do You Ensure A Timely Submission?
Sir, I can deliver the tasks in a time-bound manner. I am largely able to do this owing to my developed prioritization technique, through which I rank my tasks in a pre-defined sequence. I prefer to arrange my tasks for the day based on their difficulty levels.
For example, the overhauling of Machine X will take more time than Machine Y, than I will prefer to first complete the former task, and then move on to the latter task.
18. Change Is An Important Part Of Business Organizations. We Constantly Upgrade and Replace Our Machines With New and Better Versions. How Adaptable Are You Towards Business Changes?
Sir, moving with time and technology is a need. This not only helps the companies to lower their operational costs but also optimize the quality of the finished goods. I am very much adaptable and open to business changes. I always prefer to understand the new processes and try to absorb them.
19. What Is Your Dream Job?
Sir, I want to work in a business organization that allows its employees some sort of freedom in operation. I mean, the machine operators must be allowed to exercise flexibility in their schedules and must be given a free hand while they are on duty. For example, if a machine operator wants to first supervise Assembly Line X, then he must not be forced to first repair Assembly Line Z.
20. What Is Your Ethical Team Culture?
Sir, in my opinion, the team members must be encouraging and supportive. There must not be any kind of serious banter that is done with the sole intention to harass or tease. The team members must work as glue and strive to achieve a common goal.
21. Do You Have Any Questions For Us?
It’s a trend. No matter what position you are appearing for, this question is always last on the list. Every interview session is concluded through this interview question, which requires you to state your doubts and apprehensions in regards to the business organization, its working culture, the promotional aspects, etc. For a better understanding, read out the model questions mentioned below:
- What are the different types of machines that are installed in the production facilities of the organization?
- Is it the policy of the company to share manuals and how-to guides in respect of a particular machine to the machine operators?
- Can you please share the promotional aspects of the company?