Top 25 Six Sigma Interview Questions & Answers

Interview Question & Answers


Introduced by Bill Smith— an engineer at Motorola, Six Sigma is an approach aimed to eliminate defects in a process. It was first discovered in the year 1986 and put to use as a strategy in 1995 by Jack Welch. The tools and techniques comprised of Six Sigma are used in improving the quality of products and applied in various manufacturing processes.

Why is it important?

From a customer’s perspective, products with lesser defects are desirable. In order to make products that keep upgrading and improving with time instead of deteriorating, defects need to be minimized. With six sigma methodology, this issue can be combated and great profits can be reaped. It minimized variability in processes and aims to achieve the best results possible. Irrespective of the type of industry, Six Sigma techniques are applied to various processes.

Phases of the interview:

Here are the three major phases of an interview,

Phase 1: Invitation

When you apply for jobs at the organizations you aspire to work with, the first step from the employer’s side is ‘reviewing of the resume’.  After reviewing your resume, if you are believed to be a good fit for the position, you receive an invitation for the interview. The invitation can be sent in various forms like e-mail, phone call, message or even a letter. However, each of them is kept professional and the same is expected from the candidate. Be sure to revert to the invitation professionally and promptly.

Phase 2: Meeting

The next phase is the face-to-face interview on the decided schedule. The main aim of this is to estimate the capabilities of the candidate and understand their personality. It is essential to make a good first impression on the employer by being punctual and professional. Highlight your strengths and very politely, accept your weaknesses. Be confident and positive but don’t over-do it.

Phase 3: Follow-up

The last and certainly not the least important phase is “Follow-up”. This phase can either make or break the opportunity. It is essential to adopt a professional way of communication for a follow-up. You can either drop a mail appreciating the time provided for interviewing you, expressing gratitude for the opportunity or simply give a phone call thanking and enquiring about the job.

Interview Questions:

1.    What is the Pareto Principle?

 The Pareto principle, also known as the 80/20 Rule, states that 80% of the consequences emerge from 20% of the causes.

 2.    Explain the concept of the fishbone diagram?

Fishbone diagram, also known as Ishikawa diagram, is a tool used for analyzing the potential cause of a problem and find its root cause. 

3.    Name the different kinds of variations used in Six Sigma?

 The four different kinds of variation used in Six Sigma are

•    Mean

•    Median

•    Range and

•    Mode

4.    Name the members involved in Six Sigma implementation team

The members involved in Six Sigma implementation team are,

1.    Six Sigma Deployment Leader

2.    Six Sigma Champion

3.    Six Sigma Master Black Belt

4.    Six Sigma Black Belt

5.    Six Sigma Green Belt

6.    Six Sigma Yellow Belt

5.    Explain two differences between the Six Sigma DMAIC and DMADV methodologies?

DMAIC aims to minimize the defects and DMADV framework focuses on getting things done right in the first attempt. While DMAIC methodology is applied to the existing process, DMADV framework cannot be applied to it. Compared to DMAIC, DMADV is a long-term project.

6.    What are the myths about the Six Sigma process?

Some of the myths about Six Sigma are,

•    Applied only in Manufacturing

•    Not cost-effective

•    Requires too many resources

•    Doesn’t take into account the needs of a customer

•    Eliminates job opportunities

7.    What is process sigma calculation?

It is a measure of variation in a process. The variation is measured on a scale of defects per million.

8.    Define defect and defective?

 The defect is a non-conformance of a unit of product with the specified requirements.

Defective is defined as a unit of product that comprises one or more defects.

9.    What is the definition of DPMO or DPPM?

DPMO means Defects Per Million Opportunities.

DPPM means Defective Parts Per Million

10.    What are the six sigma methodologies available?

There are two six sigma sub methodologies available, they are:

DMAIC: Define, Measure, Analyze, Improve, Control

DMADV:  Define, Measure, Analyze, Design, Verify



11.    What are the benefits of six sigma process to an organization?

•    Reduction of production cost

•    Increase in profits

•    Elimination of defects

•    Better customer satisfaction

•    Higher efficiency

12.    State the main difference between lean and Six Sigma?

The main difference between lean and Six Sigma is that while Six Sigma focuses on variation analysis and variance reduction, lean methodology focuses on waste reduction.

13.    What are the three steps for Root cause analysis?

The three steps for Root cause analysis are,

1. The Open step

2. The Narrow step

3. The close step

14.    Explain FMEA

Failure modes and effects analysis (FMEA) is a step-by-step approach for evaluating and identifying potential risks and failures in a process.

15.    How are the defects rated in FMEA?

The defects are rated based on,

1. Chances/possibility of something going wrong

2. Ability to detect a defect

3. Severity level of a defect

16.    What are the three key elements for six sigma process improvement?

The three key elements for six sigma improvement are,

•    Customers

•    Employees

•    Process

17.    What are the kinds of waste Six Sigma eliminates?

1. Motion

2. Inventory waste

3. Transportation

4. Overproduction

5. Defects

6. Extra Processing

18.    Name some of the Quality Management tools in Six Sigma

Some of the most popular and widely used quality management tools are,

•    Cost-benefit analysis

•    Taguchi methods

•    CTQ Tree

•    SIPOC analysis

•    COPIS analysis

19.    What is meant by COPQ in Six Sigma?

Cost of Poor Quality (COPQ) means cost caused by producing defects.

20.    What is the load testing process?

The process of putting a demand on a software system and measuring its process is called Load testing process.

21.    What is process sigma calculation?

The measure of the variation in a process relative to customer requirements is called process sigma calculation.

22.    What is the 1.5 sigma shift?

It takes into account things that happen to a process over many cycles of manufacturing.

23.    When and by whom was Six Sigma developed?

 Six Sigma was developed by Bill Smith at Motorola in the year 1986.

24.    Name some organizations in Asia using Six Sigma

•    Viasystems

•    LG Electronics

•    Lexmark

•    Tyco – Nippon Dry Chemical

•    Reliance

•    WIPRO

•    Tata Consultancy Services

•    Irankhodro

25.    Name the levels of certification available in Six Sigma

•    Six Sigma Whitebelt

•    Six Sigma Yellow belt

•    Six Sigma Greenbelt

•    Six Sigma Blackbelt

•    Six Sigma Master Blackbelt


Interview tips:

Having discussed the phases of an interview and questionnaires, here we have listed some quick interview tips to help you ace the interview,

•    Be punctual and show up on time.

•    Be ready to talk about your achievements — both personal and professional.

•    Keep a check on your language and avoid using fillers.

•    Go through the job description and find key requirements you can talk about.

•    Listen carefully and take time to gather your thoughts before answering.

•    Dress and behave professionally.

•    Avoid interrupting the interviewer.

•    Carry all the essential documents.

•    Do a brief research on the company and understand their needs.

•    Thank the interviewer for his/her time and be polite with criticism too.



We have tried to gather all the essential information required for the interview but know that Six Sigma is a vast topic and several other questions can be asked too. Prepare for the interview based on the type of industry you are applying for and some of the sample answers provided here vary with the type of industry. All in all, be honest and positive as it outshines all other qualities.  


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