Production Operator Interview Questions

Production operator touching machine in factory
Production operator touching machine in factory (Image: simonkr/iStock/Getty Images)

Manufacturing facilities rely on their production operators to keep the process moving and to produce quality items for customers. Production operators need to learn the specifics of their job and manage their responsibility continuously throughout their shift. When companies interview new production operators, they focus on specific topics relevant to the job.


Companies often ask potential production operators questions about focus. Many companies use large pieces of equipment which require the production operator to maintain focus on the process. The production operator needs to make adjustments or interrupt the process occasionally. These occasions include a machine malfunction or refilling components. Interviewers ask questions about the applicant’s ability to focus to evaluate whether the individual can manage the equipment. A sample question might consist of showing the applicant a picture and asking her to identify something out of place.


Safety awareness plays a key role for production operators. These employees work with large equipment and face the possibility of severe injury. Injuries cause direct consequences for the employee who needs to recover physically. Injuries also create consequences for the company. The company faces financial liability to compensate the employee as well as suffering the loss of production time. The interviewer wants to learn what importance the applicant places on safety. She might ask the applicant to describe safety techniques he used in previous positions to reduce the risk of injury.


Many companies strive to minimize the loss of production time incurred during shift changes. Communication between production operators prepares the employee starting her shift and allows her to step in without stopping the machine. The employee finishing his shift needs to explain any problems with the machine and how he addressed them. The interviewer wants to understand the applicant’s communication skills. A sample question might ask the applicant how much information to communicate to the next employee.


Companies strive to sell high-quality products to their customers. The production operator manages the process and maintains responsibility for the quality of each unit. The interviewer asks questions about production quality to find out how important the applicant considers quality during the production process. A sample question might include how would you address a quality problem on your machine.

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