Sandia Interview Questions in Albuquerque, NM

Updated Dec 13, 2014
Updated Dec 13, 2014
23 Interview Reviews

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  1. 3 people found this helpful  

    Senior Member of Technical Staff Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Albuquerque, NM
    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Albuquerque, NM
    Application Details

    I applied through an employee referral. The process took 2 daysinterviewed at Sandia.

    Interview Details

    Interview process usually starts with a technical presentation such as PhD or Master's research projects, followed by interviews with several members of your technical group. At least one of these is usually from outside your research area and will ask you about broader themes such as the research community, research processes, conferences etc. The interviews are usually very relaxed with the emphasis on you explaining ideas or research areas you are familiar with rather than question-based driving toward a single "correct answer." My experience was that staff were really trying to explore you thoughts and ideas. Knowledge of current research questions and themes helped considerably at this gave the interviewer and me something concrete to discuss. There was ample opportunity to ask the interviewers questions about the laboratories, the culture, the area (New Mexico) and research at the laboratory. I never felt that anyway was being hidden and I was encouraged to be open about what things I wanted to ask etc.

    Interview Questions
    • What area did I think the laboratory did not perform well in or an area where the laboratory could improve. This is difficult because of the obvious problem of being too critical. My experience here was to be open, explain that there are on-going challenges which require continuous improvements and explain how you could help there or what interests you bring to extend this in novel ways. The interviewer seemed very receptive to this conversation and was very supportive in exploring them.   Answer Question
    Negotiation Details
    Did not negotiate, felt the laboratory offered a good benefits package up front with opportunities for promotion in the future.
    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Difficult Interview
  2. 1 person found this helpful  

    Senior Member of Technical Staff Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Albuquerque, NM
    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Albuquerque, NM
    Application Details

    I applied online. The process took 3+ monthsinterviewed at Sandia in October 2014.

    Interview Details

    Timeline: the hiring process took almost three months. I was contacted for a phone interview two weeks after applying to the position online through Sandia's career website. The onsite interview was confirmed one week later, and took place four weeks after the phone interview. A verbal offer was extended seven weeks after the onsite interview. This longer than usual timeline was due to the holiday season and vacation. Communication and feedback were excellent throughout.

    Phone interview: this was with an engineer with experience in the position and lasted about 30 minutes. It was very straightforward and casual: we discussed my interest in the position, qualifications, experience, biggest challange(s) and success(es) in my Ph.D. work, some details about how the group is composed, and life in Albuquerque.

    Onsite interview: this was a full day, lasting from 8:30 - 4:30. First was an hour-long HR briefing with a few other interviewees at Sandia that day. I was then escorted to the group's building and gave a one hour seminar (50 minutes presentation, 10 minutes Q&A) on my Ph.D. research. This was surprisingly well attended by about 15 Sandians, about half of whom were not interviewing me later on but were just interested (this seems to reflect the atmosphere of the lab - learning and growth are definitely parts of the culture). The rest of the day consisted of a 30 minute 1:1, a 2 hour lunch with managers, two 1 hour 1:1s, and a 1 hour 8:1 group interview. Overall there was great balance between personal, technical, and behavioral discussions. I was given opportunities to show my expertise, sell my character and skills, and ask questions. All of the interviewers were positive and eager to both hear and talk about my fit within the group. I felt like they were selling Sandia to me as much as I was selling myself to them (what a relief this was!). The group interview was the toughest part, but that was expected: thinking out loud is hard for me in front of a group of people, but they understand it is stressful and helped me through parts where I struggled.

    Overall: the entire process was a great experience. Logistical details were handled well and travel was easy.

    Interview Questions
    • Most questions were about my research and I felt comfortable answering them after spending 5 years doing just that. There were a few unpredictable off the wall questions, the kind where sharing them does no good because they are random problems designed to see how you think.   Answer Question
    Negotiation Details
    Salary offer was higher than anticipated. I accepted without negotiating.
    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Average Interview
  3. 2 people found this helpful  

    Recruiting Specialist Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Albuquerque, NM
    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Albuquerque, NM
    Application Details

    I applied online. The process took 5+ monthsinterviewed 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 Questions
    • 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
    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Difficult Interview
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  5. 1 person found this helpful  

    Embedded Systems Engineer Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Albuquerque, NM
    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Albuquerque, NM
    Application Details

    I applied online. The process took a dayinterviewed 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 Questions
    • 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.
    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Easy Interview
  6.  

    Computer Science Intern Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Albuquerque, NM
    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Albuquerque, NM
    Application Details

    I applied online. The process took 3 weeksinterviewed 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 Questions
    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Easy Interview
  7.  

    Internship Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Albuquerque, NM
    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Albuquerque, NM
    Application Details

    I applied in-person. The process took 5+ monthsinterviewed at Sandia in December 2013.

    Interview Details

    I applied online after speaking with a representative at a University fair. They contacted me with a questionnaire regarding basic skills a couple of months later. I returned the questionnaire. About a month later I interviewed. I was told that I would hear back in a couple weeks and when I didn't I assumed I wouldn't get an offer. I didn't hear back until mid-February when I was offered a position.

    Interview Questions
    Negotiation Details
    No negotiation
    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Easy Interview
  8. 3 people found this helpful  

    Research Scientist Interview

    Anonymous Employee in Albuquerque, NM
    Anonymous Employee in Albuquerque, NM
    Application Details

    I applied through college or university. The process took 4+ monthsinterviewed 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.

    Interview Questions
    • 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
    Reasons 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.

    Declined Offer
    Positive Experience
    Difficult Interview
  9. 2 people found this helpful  

    R&D, Computer Science Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Albuquerque, NM
    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Albuquerque, NM
    Application Details

    I applied through a recruiter. The process took 2 weeksinterviewed 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 Questions
    • 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
    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Average Interview
  10.  

    Senior Member of Technical Staff Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Albuquerque, NM
    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Albuquerque, NM
    Application Details

    I applied through an employee referral. The process took 8+ monthsinterviewed 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.
    Accepted Offer
    Negative Experience
    Average Interview
  11. 1 person found this helpful  

    Senior Member of Technical Staff Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Albuquerque, NM
    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Albuquerque, NM
    Application Details

    I applied through a recruiter. The process took 10+ monthsinterviewed at Sandia.

    Interview Details

    First off your education accomplishments are highly regarded at Sandia. Even if you have many years of experience your grades will matter when you are hired. You also have to pass a very extensive background check which actually requires investigators to personally contact people you know. I was given a tour of the facility and shown several impressive technical achievements designed and built at Sandia. Then I was interviewed by 4 different managers to see where I fit best.

    Interview Questions
    • There were some very personal questions that I didn't expect. Technically the interview process was quite benign.   Answer Question
    Negotiation Details
    I tried to negotiate but was turned down.
    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Easy Interview

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