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Electrical Officers job interview questions and answers

Preparing for an Electrical Officer (ETO) job interview involves understanding the key responsibilities, technical skills, and safety protocols associated with the role. 

Electrical Officers job interview questions and answers

Below are some potential questions and tips to help you prepare:

Common Interview Questions

  1. Technical Skills and Knowledge

    • Can you explain the operation and maintenance of electrical systems on a ship (or relevant facility)?
    • How do you troubleshoot electrical faults in high-voltage systems?
    • What experience do you have with electrical power distribution and control systems?
    • Describe your experience with PLC (Programmable Logic Controllers) and automation systems.
    • How do you ensure compliance with electrical safety standards and regulations?
  2. Problem-Solving and Experience

    • Describe a challenging electrical problem you encountered and how you resolved it.
    • How do you prioritize maintenance tasks on electrical systems?
    • Can you provide an example of a time when you improved the efficiency or reliability of an electrical system?
  3. Safety and Compliance

    • How do you ensure safety when working with high-voltage equipment?
    • What steps do you take to perform a risk assessment before starting electrical work?
    • Describe your familiarity with international maritime regulations (for marine positions) or industry-specific regulations.
  4. Teamwork and Communication

    • How do you communicate technical information to non-technical team members?
    • Describe a time when you had to work closely with other departments to resolve an electrical issue.
    • How do you handle conflicts or disagreements within a team?

Tips for Preparation

  1. Review Technical Concepts: Refresh your knowledge on key electrical engineering concepts, particularly those relevant to the industry you're applying to.

  2. Understand the Employer: Research the company or vessel you’re applying to. Understand their specific electrical systems, recent projects, and any unique challenges they face.

  3. Safety Protocols: Be well-versed in safety procedures, especially those related to high-voltage systems, emergency protocols, and industry-specific regulations.

  4. Real-World Examples: Prepare to discuss specific examples from your past experience that demonstrate your technical skills, problem-solving abilities, and teamwork.

  5. Certifications and Training: Be ready to discuss any relevant certifications, training, and continuous education efforts you’ve undertaken to stay current in your field.

  6. Mock Interviews: Practice answering questions out loud, either with a friend or in front of a mirror. Consider recording yourself to review your answers and body language.

Questions to Ask the Interviewer

  • Can you describe a typical day for an Electrical Officer in this role?
  • What are the most significant challenges the electrical team currently faces?
  • How does the company (or vessel) support continuous training and professional development?
  • What safety protocols and equipment are in place to protect the electrical team?
  • How is success measured for this position?

Being well-prepared, demonstrating your technical expertise, and showing your commitment to safety and teamwork will help you make a strong impression in your Electrical Officer job interview.

Electrical Officers job-interview questions and answers

- How many ships have you worked on independently as an Electrical Engineer?

- I’ve worked independently as an Electrical Engineer on board of two ships: container vessel “ Name”* and reefer “ Name” .

- Have you completed any course on automation maintenance and repair?

- No, I haven’t completed any special courses on automation maintenance, but I was learning automation maintenance at The University. My qualification is an Engineer and My major is in Maintenance shipping electrical equipment and automatic devices.

- Have you completed any course on reefer container / reefer system maintenance and repair?

- No, I haven’t completed special courses on reefer system maintenance, but I maintained reefer containers on board of “Name” and reefer system on board “Name” .

- Did you solve any reefer malfunction? Give details.

- Yes, I did on the vessel “Name”. It was malfunction of DAIKIN reefer container’s compressor. This electrical compressor was blocked. I started fan of the reefer container emergency. Due to the Company’s prohibition to repair reefer container on board vessel I had to take that reefer container  for repair in a service company in the port of Vladivostok after two days.

- Did you solve any crane malfunction? Give details.

- I solved the phase failure of the electrical motor of the crane and repair the contactor of the electrical motor (to replace damage contact groups).

- What are the safety routines you carry out weekly on the ship?

- Every week I test emergency generator, rescue boats and bilge water separator.

- How many alarms and trips are there on a generator? How will you go about testing them?

- Generator overheating, bearings overheating, high temperature exhaust air. I check the temperature sensors by heating a signal output by an industrial dryer or temperature calibrator.

- Have you faced any generator electrical component failure? How did you solve it?

- A rectifier diode has been damaged in a synchronous brushless generator.

- How many alarms and trips are there on a boiler? How will you go about testing them?

- The most important alarm and trip functions on marine boilers: Low/ High water level, Low/ High steam pressure, Low feedwater pressure, Low combustion air pressure, Low atomizing steam pressure, Flame failure, Burner not in firing position etc.

- I follow the testing on-board procedure booklet and the maker's instruction books.


- some alarms and trips are tested by isolating the sensors and applying some increased / decreased signals (current, pressure, temperature, etc.). Sometimes I need some master gauges in order to perform this action.

- Did you face any boiler automation failure? How did you solve it?

- I faced damage pressure switches and photocells, sensors of water level and many others.

- How many alarms and trips are there on the main engine? How will you go about testing them?

- Main engine has many alarms. There is low pressure lubricating oil, high temperature lubricating oil, low pressure of the cooling water, high temperature of cooling water, low fuel pressure, rupture of fuel tubes of high pressure, deviation of the exhaust temperatures of the cylinders and others.

The main engine is fitted with various sensors, which measure and transmit actual data to alarm console. Due to such factors as vibration, high temperature, humidity, dust etc. these sensors can malfunction leading to false alarms.

Solution: A routine checks needs to be performed on all engine room sensors and alarms. Different main engine safety alarms and trips also to be tried out on regular basis and faults to be attended immediately.

I check the temperature sensors heating a signal output by an industrial dryer or water heating tester. I check rupture of fuel tubes of high pressure for checking.

- You see a 440V earth-fault alarm. What will your actions be?

- I'll turn to disconnect consumers from the main switchboard, until I find a switchboard with reduced insulation resistance. Using megger I find a decrease in the insulation on the switchboard and eliminate it.

- What maintenance is required on navigation and communication equipment?

  • Clean the sensors and actuators from dirt,  sludge and sediments;
  • Tighten all contact and fasteners;
  • Disconnect and reconnect all detachable plug connections;
  • Check the voltage of the main and reserve power sources

- Did you face any navigation/ communication equipment malfunction? How did you solve it?

- I had not serious malfunctions of navigation or communication equipment.

- What checks and maintenance are required with batteries?

  • Check the voltage.
  • The level and density of the electrolyte.
  • Indirectly, to check the battery capacity (charge-discharge cycles).
  • Check tight contact connections.
  • Lubricate the contact connections to prevent oxidation.

- What are the safety procedures for handling high-voltage equipment?

  • Disable high-voltage electrical equipment
  • Post warning
  • Earthed conductive parts

- How do you connect to shore power in a drydock?

- When I connect the power supply in a dry dock,  I connect the grounding cables from the bow and stern of the vessel.

- What was the most difficult electrical problem that you solved in your career?

- The biggest problem I faced was the malfunction of the voltage regulator, power supply all the navigation electrical equipment and all consumers on the bridge - 24B. I connected the battery with the charger, it allowed to get power for the navigation electrical equipment to moor the vessel at the port.

- How will you prepare for a Flag State or Port State inspection?

- I do everyweek tests and check lights of emergency exits.

- What is your role in preparation for a Class inspection for Continuous Survey of Machinery?

- I check all electrical equipment and eliminate any faults.

- How will you test an emergency generator?

- I will make a black out. Emergency generator would start not more than 40 seconds and power emergency switchboard.

- Which equipment is powered by emergency power, and how will you test it?

- Emergency lighting, electric steering gear, fire alarm system, navigational devices, an emergency alarm, signal lights, fire pump, bilge pump, tyfon. I will start this equipment for the checking.

- How do you continue your professional development?

- I’m going to complete courses of maintenance reefer systems and hydraulic cranes.

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