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Common CEng interview questions
Olutayo
10 Posts
Question
Hi,
Kindly help in itemising the common/general questions during CEng presentation/interview and the possible pragmatic approach to answering them. 

Thanks
6 Replies
It is impossible to answer that as the questions are aimed at the individual's work and experience and how they as individuals are utilising the UK Spec Competences. However if you want a reasonable guide to the sort of questions that are likely to be asked then you should look at the IET's video on the Professional Registration Interview (available on IET.tv but also on YouTube) which gives as good a representation of the questions as any (though it has been edited to show the questions grouped in terms of competence category but there is no guarantee that the questions will be in that order in the actual interview).
Olutayo
10 Posts
Thank you for your reply. Kindly enghten me on why the interview focuses on competences A and B. I was initially thinking it is expect to focus on C.
Roy Pemberton
349 Posts
Olutayo,
i realise that this discussion has moved on considerably since you asked why the interview focused on competencies A & B, so this may no longer be a question in your mind - I've been having an internet connectivity problem the last few days that prevented me responding sooner. 
However,  if you haven't already received a response to this,  I felt it highly important to correct this perception. 
I'm wondering firstly where you gained the understanding that this is the case as I'm unsure if this is an interpretation issue - what exactly is meant by 'focus'  - or simply wrong information. 
As a Professional Registration Interviewer I want to make it absolutely clear that there can never be a focus only on A&B competencies as I would interpret the word focus.  Our guidance as interviewers is unambiguous,  we have to examine all competencies without exception and satisfy ourselves whether you demonstrate full competence,  partial competence or no competence. 
Having said that,  the major amount of time in the interview is likely to be spent on A & B competencies and maybe that would lead some people to describe that as a focus on those competencies, but I would not personally use that word for it. 
The reason for this is that these two competencies are essentially the foundation on which your practice as an engineer is built.  They are the very core of engineering professionalism.  If you don't hold these competencies then no amount of excellence in competencies C-E will result in you meeting the requirements of registration. It would be akin to somebody wanting recognition as an accountant,  being good at managing people,  budget,  quality,  being ethical,  considering sustainability, safety,  etc. but holding poor ability to deal with finance.  
So,  necessarily,  the lion's share of interview time is spent establishing how well you hold those competencies. 
However,  having established how well we believe you demonstrate ,A & B competencies,  we absolutely MUST then satisfy ourselves what competence you hold in every single one of the C-E competencies, and we therefore have a weathered eye on the clock to ensure that we allow sufficient time to do so. 
However,  from experience,  this does not require as much time as addressing ,A & B. Often,  there will have been elements of the evidence for A & B that inherently and organically demonstrate C-E competencies. We will often ask questions during the discussion on A & B regarding what your role was,  what kind of team you had and what the dynamic of that working relationship was,  what budgetary and quality control you held,  etc. with the full knowledge that these will subsequently contribute to satisfying us on C-E competence. 
Even so,  we would still usually specifically discuss those competencies,  even if only to note that you have already satisfied us,  although,  even in that situation,  I would usually ask a question to ensure that you understood the correlation between the behaviours and the competence requirements - although it is particularly good if these competencies are built inherently and automatically into your day to day professional practice,  it is better that it isn't unconscious,  so that you continually self examine to ensure it is continual and consistent. Hence it is still useful to assure ourselves in interview that,  all apart from building these competencies into your practice,  you are fully aware of doing so and how that relates to the satisfaction of those competencies.
So,  in summary,  if your interviewers are following their training (and I've not encountered any that don't) the interview will not focus in A & B to the exclusion of C-E, every single competence will be addressed,  but,  because they are the foundation on which all of the other competencies are built,  A & B are likely to take up the bulk of the interview time. 
I hope that clarifies things. 
Olutayo
10 Posts
Hello Roy,

Thank you for your response. I agree with you.

I think my question was not being put in the proper perspective. I was wondering what could be so particular about competences A and B that would make the PRI to be built around them (i.e., competences A and B). From the UK-SPEC, 4th Edition (pp 41 - 45), I noticed what actually differentiate CEng from IEng are competences As, Bs,  C3 and C4. This might probably be one of the "latent" reasons why emphases are on A and B in the PRI (I stand to be corrected). You have taken time to explain that other competences (C-E) would be assessed in the course of assessing  A  and B. That actually addresses my point.

In summary, I am of the opinion that competences C should be an "integral" or "major" part of the interview.
Roy Pemberton
349 Posts
Absolutely Alutayo.  Different interviewers have different personal styles,  of course,  and some prefer to maintain a fully structured approach that goes through the competencies one by one,  but my personal style is very open, though supported  by some structure,  adopting an organic approach that seeks to infer as many competencies during the discussions of A & B as possible,  but maintaining my own 'tick list' to confirm that has happened,  seeking to then fill any gaps by addressing them directly. 
Even then,  to give the candidate full confidence that none have been missed,  I would still specifically refer to each one in turn to confirm how I have satisfied myself on it,  even if it's only to say "we already covered this competence when we talked about..... but do you feel you have anything to add".
Whatever the style,  all interviews will do their level best to help you demonstrate every competence to the best of your ability. 
Olutayo
10 Posts
I'm happy with your response,  Roy. Thank you so much.

Please how best is the question on "sustainability " could be addressed or answered, please?

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