Sandia Interview Questions & Reviews in Albuquerque, NM
Getting an Interview
- Popular Job Titles:
- Member of Technical Staff (6)
- Senior Member of Technical Staff (5)
- Postdoctoral Appointee (5)
- Engineering (4)
- Intern (3)
- Research Scientist (2)
- Postdoctoral Fellow (2)
- Postdoctoral Research Fellow (1)
- Principal Technologist (1)
- Systems Engineering (1)
- Student Intern - Hourly (1)
- Engineering Coop (1)
- Researcher (1)
- Quality Engineering (1)
- Embedded Systems Engineer (1)
- PMTS (1)
- Financial Analyst (1)
- Senior Technologist (1)
- Graduate Intern (1)
- Summer Business Intern (1)
- Summer Intern (1)
- Recruiting Specialist (1)
- Clerical Support (1)
- Computer Science Intern (1)
- Master's Fellowship (1)
- Trades II (1)
- Master's Fellowship Program (1)
- Computer Science R&D (1)
- Office Management Assistant (1)
- Strategic Contracting Representative (1)
Senior Member of Technical Staff Interview (Negative Experience; Average Interview)
I applied through an employee referral and the process took 8 months - interviewed at Sandia in February 2013.
Interview Details – It takes forever. HR briefing. Multiple interviews with technical staff. A "technical" presentation. Why do yo have a 50 word min Glassdoor?! bla bla bla bla bla bla
Negotiation Details – Painfully slow.
Computer Science R&D Interview (Neutral Experience; Average Interview)
I applied through other source and the process took 2 days - interviewed at Sandia.
Interview Details – They flew me out. I did a presentation and then was passed around the department for one-on-one interviews with various staff members. Also met some senior managers, but that was just hand-shaking. They are far more focused on checking some basic boxes (GPA, good school, ability to pass a drug test, ability to obtain a classified clearance).
Interview Question – "red or green" (that's a trick question…here in NM they eat a lot of local chile - either red or green sauce). View Answer
Negotiation Details – I was able to do some negation regarding moving costs, but was to wet behind the ears to try any harder.
Recruiting Specialist Interview (Positive Experience; Difficult Interview)
I applied online and the process took 5 months - interviewed at Sandia.
Interview Details – Applied and wasn't contacted for over a month. I was then called in for an interview which was all day. It consisted of briefings on benefits, meeting the team, interview., and lunch.
Interview Question – It was definitely more of a conversation. I did not feel stumped on any questions Answer Question
Negotiation Details – I told them the salary I had at my current position and they raised the initial offer by $7000
Embedded Systems Engineer Interview (Positive Experience; Easy Interview)
I applied online and the process took a day - interviewed at Sandia.
Interview Details – There was a phone interview first and then an in-person interview with the manager of the department. It was pretty easy. They just asked some technical questions to gauge whether I had enough knowledge to perform the job and explained what types of projects their department generally worked on. The interviewer was very friendly and not at all stressful.
Interview Question – There wasn't really anything too difficult. I applied for a job that I knew I would excel in so there weren't any problems. Answer Question
Negotiation Details – The offer was generous. No negotiation required.
Very Easy Interview
Computer Science Intern Interview (Positive Experience; Very Easy Interview)
I applied online and the process took 3 weeks - interviewed at Sandia.
Interview Details – It was just a behavioral interview. Asked questions about my resume and my interests. Not hard at all. If they choose to hire you the paper work is a nightmare because they have to do an in depth background check.
Interview Question – None really. Answer Question
Very Difficult Interview
Research Scientist Interview (Positive Experience; Very Difficult Interview)
I applied through college or university and the process took 4 months - interviewed at Sandia in April 2013.
Interview Details – Initial communication took place at a career fair on a university campus; a former colleague of mine was actually there working the career fair and helped me to get my foot in the door. I was called back for a one hour behavioral interview on campus the next day. A few weeks later, I received a phone call from a manager who was interested in bringing me out to interview on site. I had to fill out an application for a specific position there, which is sort of a formality, but legally necessary. I don't remember if it was before or after the on site interview, but I also had to fill out paperwork for a background check and provide contact information for both personal and professional references; they did contact everybody that I listed and asked questions about my qualifications and character. For the on site interview, Sandia paid to fly me out to Albuquerque and paid all travel/lodging expenses while I was there. The on site interview process involved me giving a one hour open seminar on my area of research and then interviewing with at least 15 individuals from several departments at various levels of authority over the course of two days (there was no standard test of my skills in my field, but the interviews were clearly meant to evaluate that, among other things); they also had me meet with HR to go over the benefits package that their employees receive. For two days straight, I was constantly in meetings, being shuffled from person to person, giving presentations, explaining my work, asking them questions, going on tours, and being shoved into impromptu rushed social situations with my potential future peers. The on site interview process was mentally and physically exhausting (after the first day, I returned to my hotel room, sat down in a chair, and instantly fell asleep right there with my suit still on and everything). About a week later, I received a phone call saying they were interested in extending an offer to me. My GPA was below their minimum for hiring, but I had medical reasons for my temporary poor performance, a former colleague working there who could vouch for me, and now a department interested in hiring me, so they decided to try to make an exception. Their GPA requirements are very real, and getting an exception is not a simple process; they actually had to appeal to somebody several rungs up the ladder to approve making me a hiring offer. I was lucky to have a connection in the right place to help initially get my foot in the door and an acceptable reason for some anomalous grades, and I made a good impression, so they were willing to go through this process for me; however, in most cases, they just won't bother if you don't meet the numbers. It's not them being discriminatory elitists; it's just a hassle and a gamble to pursue somebody who doesn't meet the numbers that are in their rule book due to the bureaucracy of the place. Once they got approval to extend an offer to me, I was sent a job offer / hiring package in the mail. It included instructions for getting a drug test done (necessary if accepting the job) and starting the security clearance application process.
- During the behavioral interview, they just asked the standard questions you can find on google and wanted the STAR-type answers. My interviews on site were tailored specifically to my background, so the details of those questions wouldn't really help anybody else. The most difficult question I was faced with, though, was, "What was the most important thing you learned in grad school?" View Answer
- Another good question to be prepared for is, "Why do you want to work here?" View Answer
Reason for Declining – I honestly would have loved to accept the offer (it was a dream job with a great salary), but I had to decline for personal/family reasons. It was one of the hardest decisions I've ever had to make. If circumstances had been different, I definitely would have accepted.
Engineering Coop Interview (Neutral Experience; Easy Interview)
I applied through college or university and the process took 5 days - interviewed at Sandia in April 2011.
Interview Details – I had phone interviews with the department manager and with two of his staff members. The interviews consisted of very basic technical questions along with questions about projects I've worked on.
Interview Question – No difficult questions. Answer Question
Trades II Interview (Positive Experience; Average Interview)
I applied through an employee referral and the process took 3 months - interviewed at Sandia in September 2009.
Interview Details – Three letters of recommendation were required before an interview was granted. Interview was scheduled for about an hour and included two engineers from the department and one other trades person. There were technical questions, behavioral questions and an opportunity to see a sample component produced by the department. The type of work was discussed: attention to detail and manual dexterity required.
Interview Question – Where do you see yourself in five years? View Answer
Negotiation Details – The position of Trades II was a union position with a salary that was contained in the collective bargaining agreement between Sandia Corporation and the Metal Trades Council, so no salary negotiation took place. I accepted and then a drug test and background investigation followed and then a start date was arranged.
R&D, Computer Science Interview (Positive Experience; Average Interview)
I applied through a recruiter and the process took 2 weeks - interviewed at Sandia in February 2013.
Interview Details – I interviewed for the research organization within Sandia. This group's interview process is different than for other groups at Sandia. They require you to give a 30-60 minute presentation on previous research and/or projects. I gave my presentation at from 8-9am and then I got about 5-6 questions afterwards. The questions were not horribly difficult but you do need to make sure that you know that details of your presentation. Afterward, I had about 5-6 interviews. All the interviewers were very friendly. Most of the interviewer asked me background questions and some behavioral questions (only a couple general technical questions, no coding or anything). Their main goal I think was make sure my background was appropriate and that I was good fit for the job. At Sandia, I've been told many times they want people with good teamworks skills and even some of the interviewers told me they just flat out don't hire arrogant people.
I was called by the manager a week after the interview with a job offer and started the job 2 weeks after the interview. I'm not sure this is the usual case, but for me the hiring process was pretty fast. (I already had a clearance)
In the research organizations at Sandia 90% of the employees are PhDs. However, I only have a masters so it is certainly possible to get those type of jobs.
Interview Question – I had an internship at Intel 4 years before this interview, and I got asked details of that internship (my interviewer was familiar with the type of job I had done). This kinda threw me off because I had to remember and extract what exactly I did back then. Just be ready to talk about your previous projects, internships, and previous jobs in detail. Answer Question
Negotiation Details – No negotiation
PMTS Interview (Positive Experience; Average Interview)
I applied through an employee referral - interviewed at Sandia in April 2011.
Interview Details – I initial had a telephone interview with hiring manager. He asked very general questions about my background. One particular specific question was about my people's skills And putting a large team in place to solve a technical problem. This was followed by a two day on-site interview in Albuquerque. I was picked up from the hotel by a senior engineer (pmts, same level as what I was being interviewed for). He took for breakfast. This was follwed by my presentation to an audience of about 25 people in a crowded conference room. The rest of the day was all 1:1 interview with different levels of staff. Next day, hiring manager took me for breakfast followed by a group interview at the labs. Then I had lunch with the manager and his boss (senior manager). The afternoon was spent at the humane resources.
Interview Question – How will I go about picking a team to solve a technical problem with limited funding and time resources. Answer Question
Negotiation Details – Initial dollar amount 'twas not acceptable to me. Then after a few months, they came back with higher offer which I accepted.
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