Mechanical engineer interview questions shared by candidates
Four technical questions: 1) two spheres of the same mass and volume, one solid and one hollow. How to do you tell which is which? 2) Car driving towards a cliff, is it best to brake or turn to avoid? 3) Water empting from a horizontal pipe into a container, you're measuring the weight of the container to get a known weight. There is a valve in the pipe which is closed when a specified weight is measured, what should it be set to? 4) A drawer is sticking as you pull it out, what are the conditions for it not sticking?
1) Use ultrasound or roll them down a slope to check the acceleration. The hollow one has a higher moment of inertia so will accelerate slower. 2) Use equation of motion, and some assumptions on weight transfer, to write an equation for the stopping distance. Do the same thing for the cornering where you need to work out the minimum corner radius (assume cornering tyre force is the same as braking force). 3) Tricky, but you need to take account of both the impulse (inertia) force due to water hitting the surface of the water, plus the effect of having some water past the valve (in free-fall) after the valve is closed. 4) Do a FBD and work out the moments from a squint drawer being pulled off-centre. Do the same thing for a drawer being pushed once it is already out.