Getting an Interview
Getting an Interview
Interviews for Top Jobs at Honda of America Mfg.
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- Paint Intern (1)
Technical Specialist - Coordinotor Interview
I applied through other source. The process took 4+ weeks – interviewed at Honda of America Mfg. in August 2010.
The interview was for a Japanese car manufacturer in expansion - an engineering managing position in car painting department.
Now before getting to the point - there is the big difference between the Best ones and the Good ones.
The Best ones are using the immersion process of getting the paint on the car or better said getting the car covers in paint. On the other hand the Good ones are using the Robot PC controlled process in trying to reach the same result – getting the paint on the car.
Now if you haven’t seen the way a Mercedes or BMW is coated then you might not really realize the great difference between the Best and the Good. But there is a difference and all those owning a car in Ontario Canada realized it during harsh winter conditions. I personlly owned a brand new two-door Honda Civic SE and later only FORDs so I don't make foolish assumptions here.
The Goods’ products paint is simply starting peeling off at salty roads no later second serious winter. The Bests’ products are still going a long way unless the paint is hammered by rocks and such …
Nevertheless, Japanese cars are excellent on gas …but … poor on the body paint work
And nobody can deny that … It’s a stated fact
Now getting back to the interview issue …
I got this interview through word of mouth – an acquaintance had a good friend inside management.
That’s the way it works even if you are the brightest star in the constellation and every smart one knows that.
The whole process was to apply on the official channel involving no email or fax but through a standard mail delivery to a CP address.
I executed myself in quite a Japanese manner regarding preparation for the interview (time, protocol and such)
After I received a call there was an initial 1:1 face interview with the HR Manager
It consisted in a formal meeting with discussions related to my professional background. I was also given the tour of I call the “brain” area – offices level
As I never been in a typical Japanese setup environment at first I was struck by the open type place environment in the “brain” area. No separated offices, no cubicles, no nothing. Just working desks and of course those with “brains”. There was and still is a “standard” light in color uniform to wear by everyone.
The second interview had two phases.
First phase was a 3:1 session. There was the HR Manage, Technical director, Engineering Manager. All were North-American – no Japanese so far. After the introduction and protocol phase we cut it to the chase. General working engineering questions were asked regarding manufacturing related expertise aiming at assembling and high precision operations.
As I have direct hands-on manufacturing (high-precision assembling – robotics) and engineering design experience the session was quite a thrill.
There was the teamwork related section – as there is an open teamwork environment – and questions with impact on the work process related problems/conflicts and solving skills.
That was another thrill I really enjoyed.
The second phase was a 5:1 session.
A VP of Operations got in the picture – a north-American, and a Japanese gentleman a VP of Operations (from Japan). The North –American VP walked into the room with an attitude and stayed that way throughout the whole time. I was expecting the Japanese one to play that way – he had a keen interest in the whole affair.
The second round consisted of straight questions related to the position. Once it was a project Engineer position involved all that good stuff which calls for Time and Budget Management.
The thrill for me here was that they had quite a different perspective especially when it comes to “management”. That’s why Japanese are so successful. It involves what is called programmed decision-making entailing making decisions based on precedent, procedure, policy, custom, and training. Conversely, American management use non-programmed decision-making - analyzing data and information for the purpose of identifying and solving a problem.
Overall, it was professional and very good and challenging experience and did show off the company in a good light
- They asked for the exact code of conduct related to the posted position. And there I could see at work the difference between the North-American way of thinking and the Japanese perspective.
It involved the scenario of setting a robot managed painting line for a given budget ($2 Million) from proposal idea to the final operational stage. 1 Answer