Interviewing For a PLC Programmer Job?

Interviewing for a job can make you highly anxious. It’s even more nerve-racking when you’re trying to get your first job as a PLC programmer.

It makes sense, when you’re trying to get a job that you have spent a couple of thousand dollars on, maybe you took a seminar costing a few hundred, bought a couple of online training programs, bought some hardware, got the free programming license and then decided to spend almost a thousand dollars to get a real license.

In the end, you have a lot of investment, with the hundreds of hours you’ve spent practicing, the dozens and dozens and dozens of hours you’ve spent online learning and networking with other programmers.

It can’t be measured, it just can’t be estimated just how much you’ve put into getting this far. Getting to the point you feel confident enough to interview.

So, you can’t fail. You have to find that right job, the job that will change your life. The job you’ve spent so much time imagining about. You just have to find the right job!

The Goal of an Interview?

Ok, if you’ve put so much time and money getting to the point where your ready to start interviewing and it’s so important to find and land the right job, then this is the article for you, my friend. Because you’re going to learn a few incredibly important things about the interviewing process.

You’re going to learn that – to start with – your idea of what happens in an interview isn’t what you thought it was. In fact, the very first lesson about interviewing for a PLC programmer job – or any job for that matter – isn’t so much about you being interviewed.

To begin with, an interview is really about you interviewing them. It’s about you finding out as much as possible about the company you’re considering going to work for. And here’s why: You put a hell of a lot into getting to this point in your life and you can’t afford to waste it with a terrible company. Your time is too valuable.

An interview is a two-way discovery. You should be learning about the company just as much as they should be learning about you. The reason you should go into an interview to discover as much about a company as possible is to make sure you find a good fit, a company you would enjoy working with and can be successful in.

This article can help you when you’re asking; ‘Ok then, what should I ask during my interview?

Great question. Well, there are 16 very important questions you should ask if you’re interviewing for a PLC programmer job. Keep in mind that these questions will give you everything you need to know to discover if the company your meeting with would be a good fit for you.

Exactly What to Ask During an Interview

  1. Could you reveal why this position is open?

 The interviewer many not know the answer to this question, or they may not be able to answer it. Either way, you should ask, as most companies will try to answer it and it may reveal something to you that you don’t know.

  1. What are the expectations for this position? 

You may have already been given the job description, but with this question, you are trying to dig a little deeper and discover if there is a mixed message or if there are additional expectations that have not yet been revealed.

  1. What types of projects would I be working on?

This question could reveal the level of complexity you may be working with. It could reveal if you would be accepting a job that’s over your head or one that you could easily merge into. It would also give you some information you could use when you get to other questions.

  1. What does the team look like?

Here you are trying to discover if you’re going to be part of a team  or if you will work alone. How many people are on the team? How much experience do they have? How long have they worked with the company?.

  1. What does the structure of your company look like?

Is the corporate office located within your home country or overseas? Is the company a division of an investment company or a family owned business? Each business model has its own inherent benefits to you.

  1. Will I be expected to travel?

This is an important question for anyone who has deep family responsibilities that prevent them from traveling, such as sick parents, kids or sports team commitments. In the end, it’s important to get clear on the possibility of travel early.

  1. What is the budget for our team/department?

The interviewer may not know or care to share with you the team, or department budget, but ask anyway. What you’re trying to discover is what they are willing to reveal. For example, they may say “We cannot reveal that to you, but rest assured we’re in a good financial positon” or “We’re trying to run lean”. Each statement tells you something different about the situation of the company.

  1. Who would our team be working with regularly?

You will want to ask this question to discover what departments you would be working closely with, such as design, integrators, builders or maybe even customers. What teams, departments or groups will you be working closely with on a daily basis?

  1. What resources do we have?

What software do they have licenses for? What CAD software do they use? How many seats for how many people? Does everyone receive a laptop or is there only one that must be shared? These is pretty important if you want some time to spend with a laptop and license to practice after work and on weekends.

  1. Do you offer training?

Being new, this is probably one of the most important questions you’re going to want to ask. Do they offer in-house training?  Do the send their team to training seminars?  Do they pay for college? Do they have reimbursements offers? Do they expect you to pay for your training on your own time?

  1. What is the leadership like?

Does the company president work on-site? Does the HR department have an office on-site? Who do you report to, how many people are in your department, or doing your type of work, etc.

  1. What technology will I be working with?

Here, you’re discovering what tech you would be working with, such as Siemens, Allen Bradley or Automation Direct, as well as what version and models of hardware and software you’re likely to be working with.

  1. What does the pay scale look like?

Many companies share some portion of their pay scale with you, but rarely will they reveal the top pay of their most experienced and senior employees. However, that shouldn’t stop you from asking if they increase pay as a part of their annual reviews or if they offer merit pay increases for improved performance or completed training.

  1. What does the company’s five-year plan look like?

Most companies will share their short-term plan with new employees. They usually share their innovative plans with the hope of getting you excited about working with them. By asking the question, your goal is to give the impression that you are interested in a long-term relationship with the employer.

  1. What is the lead time to joining the company?

Many HR managers or recruiters will share with you that they have several other candidates in the pipeline they need to meet before deciding who would be a good fit for their team. However, they should share with you if it may take a few weeks, a month or more to reach a decision.

  1. Is there anything that would prevent me from being offered this position?

Many interviewers can get lulled into answering this question. They will likely not be prepared for it, which will give you an edge, a glimpse into what they are thinking in regards to your fit with the team. If they have any doubts, they may share them now.

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The Take Away

Now, after having asked all of these questions, you can rest assured that you know almost everything you need to know to make a confident decision about joining this team when the offer arrives.

With this article we’re hoping we’ve answered some questions, sparked your curiosity and shared some useful information. But, we know you may need more, so we invite you to contact us for some follow up questions or to discuss your unique needs.

Just go to our contact page and reach out to us and we’ll get back to you asap!