"When interviewing candidates for the role of mechanical engineer, employers look for candidates who are enthusiastic to create innovative designs, analyses, and methods of production for mechanical systems. Expect to answer engineering questions that will assess your knowledge of the field as well as your creative problem-solving abilities to turn a theoretical device into a real product. In addition, come ready to discuss examples of past projects or designs and how you would excel in a team-oriented setting."
Asked how the strength to weight ratio of aluminum and steel compared.
strength-to-weight ratio in typically the material's strength (which is force per unit area upon failure) divided by its density. Aluminum has a tensile strength of 572 MPa and a density of 2.81 g/cm^3 which computes to . Steel, on the other hand has a tensile strength of 505 MPa and a density of 8.00 g/cm^3. So, as can be seen, aluminum has a higher strength-to-weight ratio than steel
Strength to weight ratio can be defined properly by the Yield strength (which defines the maximum stress that a material can handle before plastic deformation) to Density (mass/volume). Aluminum (6061) yield strength : density is 250MPa : 2080 kg/m^3 Stainless Steel cold rolled yield strength : density is 500MPa : 8000kg/m^3 For the same volume of material, the ratios are 1/8 for aluminum to 1/16 for stainless steel. You're getting twice as much the amount of strength on the aluminum per given volume than on the steel.
Other two answers here are kinda wrong and honestly I think they're missing the point of the question. Strength is entirely dependent on alloy. Some aluminum alloys will have a higher strength/weight than some steel alloys, and vice versa. Unless the interview specifies specific alloys, you really can't make a blanket statement about "steel vs aluminum." You can, however, make general statements about stiffness. Almost all the densities and elastic moduli of aluminum or steel are nearly constant across the alloys, and actually for straight tension they have very similar stiffness/weight. The difference comes in bending. The same weight of aluminum has a much large cross section, and therefore a much larger moment of inertia, so an aluminum beam in buckling or bending will be stiffer than steel. Hope this helps.