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BD Electrical Engineer Interview Questions & Reviews

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Electrical Engineer Interview

Electrical Engineer
Baltimore, MD

I applied online and the process took 2+ weeks - interviewed at BD in February 2012.

Interview Details – My initial contact was a phone screen with the HR rep. who set up a phone interview 3 days later with the head of engineering and a lower level manager. The 2nd phone interview was primarily technical, but unfortunately, of the 63 minutes that it lasted, I was listening for about 43 (68%) of those minutes. I clock this because it indicates organizational skill, focus, and whether there is a sense of urgency in a prospective boss. In this case, it was a big red flag, as the department head droned on and on about how impressive their accomplishments were. Regardless, despite BD's reputation for low pay, it's a 2 mile drive from home and I needed the practice, so I agreed to an in-person interview.

The in-person interview was conducted at their Sparks regional HQ on Loveton Circle. BD has a beautiful campus and the interior of the buildings were impressively designed. The same can be said about their manufacturing facilities, they were aesthetically pleasing, as well as immaculate. However, from a technical perspective, I was fairly nonplussed because while their equipment consisted of pretty toys, they were toys nonetheless. As an automation engineer with 10 years experience, coming out of one of heavy industry, I'm looking for a challenge and that wasn't what BD was offering. The obvious question was: What is it that these "engineers" do all day? Luckily, the 4 on 1 interview that followed answered that question.

The panel interview consisted of an HR manager, an operations manager, another engineering manager, and the original engineering manager. In an environment where there are more people than work, office politics usually reigns supreme, so I expected tension amongst the interviewers and it was palpable. The second engineering manager made a complete jerk of himself by starting off chastising me about a dating mistake on my resume. While it was a valid point, he was just demonstrating how bloated BD engineering really is. It was all I could do not to say,"Do you really have the time to be so concerned about a mistake that I pointed out to your people, as I was correcting it?" He then asked me, "If a motor was tripping out, how would you diagnose it?" The answer is that you uncouple it from the load or at least it is in Toyland. In the real world, you run diagnostic tests with a motor analyzer to determine the nature of the current, because uncoupling can be an all day proposition. If I'd wanted the job, I would have used a little interview "judo" and asked him my infamous three XOR gate programming question. (Google it, it's a marvelous tool for shutting jerks up.) Aside from him, everybody else was polite, but it was made very clear that engineering equates to project management at BD. The tough stuff is contracted out. As the IT world has proved, you don't need heavily technical people to run Microsoft Project.

The bottom line is go with BD if you're a recent college grad in EE and are interested in automation. Get your year of experience and then go find something you can sink your teeth into. If you're a bad or lazy engineer, but a snappy dresser then you might do well here also, but if you're the real deal keep moving, there is nothing to see here.

Update: 4/1/12
A former coworker, did, indeed, hire on with BD in an engineering capacity. I asked him for feedback as to why I didn't receive an offer. He told me that he was told it was most likely a salary issue and that none of the candidates would work for what they are paying. I never discussed salary with them and I've found that the companies that get offended at the topic of pay are the ones who aren't paying much. The former coworker is working for much less than he would have made at my current employer, but BD is a far more stable environment.

Interview Questions

  • If a conveyor motor trips out, how do you diagnose it?   View Answer
  • What's the biggest project you've managed?   View Answer

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