Sandia
3.6 of 5 157 reviews
www.sandia.gov Albuquerque, NM 5000+ Employees

Sandia Member of Technical Staff Interview Questions & Reviews

Updated Jan 30, 2014
All Interviews Received Offers

Getting the Interview 

62%
25%
6%

Interview Experience 

83%
16%
0%

Interview Difficulty 

10 candidate interviews Back to all interview questions
Relevance Date Difficulty

Accepted Offer

Neutral Experience

Member of Technical Staff Interview

Member of Technical Staff

I applied online and interviewed at Sandia.

Interview Details – I talked to someone at a Career Fair who directed me to apply online. I then received a call about 3 months later and got an interview. I got an offer about a week later and started about a month after that.

Interview wasn't too complicated but did last all day. I was taken on a tour of the labs and spoke with different managers that I would interface with. Only about 1 hour of the day was an actual interview.

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1 person found this helpful

Accepted Offer

Neutral Experience

Senior Member of Technical Staff Interview

Senior Member of Technical Staff

I applied online and the process took 2 days - interviewed at Sandia.

Interview Details – Just like any high level scientific position. You give a talk about past work. A talk about future plans. And then meet with ~10-15 current staff scientists to discuss both their endeavors and your plans.

Interview Question – What's one thing in your life you regret?   Answer Question

Negotiation Details – I asked for a sign on bonus and got one added.

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Accepted Offer

Neutral Experience

Member of Technical Staff Interview

Member of Technical Staff

Interviewed at Sandia

Interview Details – Was straightforward, I applied online and got a call from the hiring manager. I conducted a phone interview with her and then went in for an onsite interview. Gave a 30 min presentation on my work and then completed some behavioral/technical interviews, and was hired within one month of applying.

Interview Question – What is your biggest weakness?   Answer Question

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1 person found this helpful

Accepted Offer

Neutral Experience

Senior Member of Technical Staff Interview

Senior Member of Technical Staff

I applied through other source and the process took 3 days - interviewed at Sandia.

Interview Details – Was an intern here so interview was mainly a formality. HR did their usual speech about what a wonderful place to work it is, but couldn't be helpful beyond that. Their moving package is handled by a third party contractor who has horrible web security, my personally identifiable information (SSN etc) was exposed by them which led to identity theft. The moving contractor employee I worked with went on vacation and never came back.

Interview Question – What was your worst course in college?   View Answer

Negotiation Details – No negotiation allowed. HR will low ball you and it's up to the hiring manager to reject it before he makes the offer to you, once your get the offer there is no negotiation allowed even if you have multiple offers. I had competing offers from LLNL and LANL and SNL wouldn't negotiate even though LANL's was higher.

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2 people found this helpful

Accepted Offer

Positive Experience

Average Interview

Senior Member of Technical Staff Interview

Senior Member of Technical Staff
Livermore, CA

I applied online and the process took 5 days - interviewed at Sandia in April 2011.

Interview Details – Applied online, was contacted by the hiring manager to schedule a phone interview. Phone interview was fairly brief, mostly looking at the fit between my experience at the position. After that, was contacted by HR to schedule on-site interview. They paid for the flight, the hotel room, and the car rental (nothing out of pocket except meals/taxi to airport from home which were reimbursed). After getting to California, drove myself to the hotel, had dinner with some of the staff members that evening. Seemed like a very congenial crowd. Next day started at 7:30am, drove to the lab, was badged in under 20 minutes, and then went to HR. Very informal HR interview, mostly telling me about the benefits I would receive if hired. Some behavioral interview questions but very easy.

Technical part of the interview started next. Was met by my prospective boss's secretary and followed him in my car back to the lab. They had to escort me everywhere as I did not have security clearance. I had sent them my presentation beforehand (personal computers not allowed) and it was setup for me in a smallish conference room. About 8 people attended the seminar. Some general interest questions followed. No one asked any malicious questions, but one person did have to show off how much she knew while asking hers.

After the seminar, there were a series of 1:1 interviews and a panel interview over lunch. Maybe it wasn't supposed to be a panel interview but it certainly felt like it. I was brought to each person's office and spent 25 minutes talking. The people I talked to represented a variety of levels and careers -- some mid-level managers, some technical peers, some technical direct reports. These interviews lasted roughly five hours. At the end, there was one more dinner with a small group of people (who I would work with closely). Overall, a very standard interview experience.

Interview Question – For an experimental mechanical engineering position, I did not expect to be asked chemical engineering computational questions. "Speaking generally, how would you model reactor flow in this case? How do you justify the boundary conditions you chose? At this arbitrary point, can you derive the governing equations?"   Answer Question

Negotiation Details – No negotiation allowed by HR

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Accepted Offer

Positive Experience

Easy Interview

Senior Member of Technical Staff Interview

Anonymous Employee
Albuquerque, NM

I applied through a recruiter and the process took 10 months - interviewed 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 Question – 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.

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Declined Offer

Neutral Experience

Very Easy Interview

Member of Technical Staff Interview

Anonymous Interview Candidate
Albuquerque, NM

I applied in-person and the process took 4+ weeks - interviewed at Sandia in June 2011.

Interview Details – WAY easy interview - they don't ask any technical questions whatsoever. It seemed like they were pitching me to pick their group to work.

HR was kind of disorganized. I talked to a recruiter who then pointed me to a posting, then i heard from several managers, but recruiting/staffing had no idea. No one to help or direct me because there's no way to call. Total disaster but it got coordinated.

People were way to concerned about GPA at this place, bad warning sign to work there.

Interview Questions

Reason for Declining – I was impressed with the site, technologies. But talking to employees there, there's only room to climb through title. Benefits are a MAJOR decline at the national labs, raises are horrible, not much for bonuses. Technical people have been leaving and recruited from other places since the Labs can't keep good quality.

Apparently they are hiring so many people, a bunch of folks stated that the bar has lowered tremendously.

Essentially they look at college + GPA + clearance or eligibility and you're in.

Not sure - we are always told to never work for a company that doesn't do technical interviews. It's just a mess because you will be working with low caliber technical people.

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Accepted Offer

Positive Experience

Difficult Interview

Member of Technical Staff Interview

Member of Technical Staff
Livermore, CA

I applied online and the process took a day - interviewed at Sandia in October 2010.

Interview Details – The interview consisted of a full day of 1:1 interviews plus a group presentation and a lunch with two other staff members.

Interview Question – What original research have you performed?   Answer Question

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Accepted Offer

Positive Experience

Difficult Interview

Member of Technical Staff Interview

Member of Technical Staff
Livermore, CA

The process took a day - interviewed at Sandia in November 2008.

Interview Details – I knew someone working there and submitted resume through him. Whole day of 1:1 and 2:1. Very bright people. Liked to talk about their projects. They were more interested in whether you could potentially contribute to a problem they were solving than any specific questions on programming syntax. They are also very concerned with education.

Interview Question – I got a bunch of math problems from one of the interviewers.   Answer Question

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No Offer

Positive Experience

Easy Interview

Member of Technical Staff Interview

Member of Technical Staff

I applied online and the process took a day - interviewed at Sandia in April 2011.

Interview Details – S.E.E event interview, where ~60 other candidates were invited. Several interviews were arranged for each person, from different groups. The people are friendly and generally appear to be very proud in the work that they do for the government. Interviews were fairly casual and relaxed. The lab site is very large and expansive, with many well-stocked research labs, located on an air force base. Traversing the site requires a car.

Interview Question – Why are you interested in working at a national lab?   Answer Question

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