Interviewed at Bonneville Power
Interview Details – I just wanted to point something out that I've noticed. Many of my classmates in graduate school work at BPA, but the only white males who work there are veterans. Everyone else is a minority, a woman, or both. This is clearly reverse discrimination. They hire people because of what they are, not what they know.
Interview Question – Have you ever served in the military? What color is your skin? Are you male or female? Answer Question
I applied through a staffing agency and the process took 4+ weeks - interviewed at Bonneville Power in June 2012.
Interview Details – Found job posted with Contracting agency. Submitted resume for first screen to them. The contracting agency then screens their applicants and sends 1-3 candidates to Bonneville's Contracting Officer for screen. The CO may get submissions from 3-4 different agencies, then selects 3-4 for the Hiring Manager to interview. The hiring manager does a phone screen first, then if the candidate passes the phone screen, is invited (through the contracting agency) for a 1:1 interview. Due to security requirements, the candidate is escorted 100% of the time while on the property. If selected, the candidate has to fill out a Security Background Investigation form that gives the agency the information needed to perform a full National Agency Check Investigation (NACI). While that process is on-going, A clean Local Agency check allows the accepted contractor to get a temporary badge that allows limited access to the building(s) that they require. If the accepted contractor cannot pass the Local or National Agency check, they are released due to non-qualification. If you have anything on your record that may be of concern, put it down on the form! Just because you have something on your record does not mean that you will not be hired, but concealing it will cause an immediate termination when it is found.
Negotiation Details – No negotiation, other than possibly advising them of previously scheduled vacations and asking for the time off (was not a problem). As a Federal Agency, they have standard pay levels and contractor rates under the "prevailing wage" system.
Very Difficult Interview
I applied online and the process took 8 weeks - interviewed at Bonneville Power in April 2012.
Interview Details – The first interview was a conference call with 3 Engineers interviewing me. Very hard to do. Only HR questions asked (very difficult ones). I was given a second interview, where they flew someone over to personally interview me. This interview was much better, I thought for sure I was going to get the position. However I got an automated email a few weeks later saying I didn't make the cut. Never found out why I didn't get it.
Interview Question – Have you ever been in a position where you had to make a choice between something ethical and unethical? What choice did you make (and why) and what was the outcome? Answer Question
I applied through a staffing agency and the process took 1 week - interviewed at Bonneville Power in March 2012.
Interview Details –
Phone screen consisted of skills-based inquiry. In-person interview occurred within a week. This consisted of skills-based and behavioral questions, previous work examples. Hiring manager and work leader were different people. Offer came within a week.
Interviewers were nice people. However, the work leader redirected the interview focus from my strengths to his weaknesses. I had no idea a person could be that weak in their core competency and still hold a job. Civil servant attitudes ranged from embracing change to total apathy. Many employees are 3rd party contractors, and their professional opinions and rational thinking are often trumped by the aforementioned apathy or egos.
Any job tools required beyond computer, pencil, and paper requires several layers of approval, regardless of importance or urgency. Although contract workers make up a majority of the workforce, they are not allowed to attend any federally funded training related to group effectiveness, team work, etc. They are expected to be fully-trained experts at everything.
Advice: Ask how decisions are made, and examples of recent decisions. Ask how many times the same problem has been attacked, and how previous solutions are different from or similar to current projects. Ask for examples of previously solved problems that reoccurred. Also, ask what the organizations biggest concerns are and how they are solving them.
If you want to collect a paycheck and "go with the flow", this is the place for you. Just watch your back and document everything. People disappear for no apparent reason, followed by lame explanations (manager ejected after a year on the job due to "skills mismatch" with no prior discussion or notice).
Negotiation Details – Job grade was not negotiable. Salary was in a range, but benefits were preset.
I applied online and the process took a day - interviewed at Bonneville Power in September 2011.
Interview Details – Was contacted via email, arrived at interview w/5 others. It was similar to speed dating, we rotated for short, 5-10 minute interviews with all the stakeholders/managers that we would potentially be working with. Everyone was friendly. The time with each person was a little short. I also felt like some of the people weren't especially great at interviewing people, but were just there because someone asked them to, but I totally could be wrong (just a gut feeling). There was one individual who really seemed to have no purpose except diversity- they asked really touchy-feely questions that didn't seem too relevant, but you never know in interviews!
I applied through a recruiter and the process took 2 weeks - interviewed at Bonneville Power in November 2010.
Interview Details –
I was submitted for several positions at BPA by a recruiter from ProDX. There was only a single phone interview for this position and it took quite a while to get it set up. It was mildly disconcerting that they chose to offer me a job after that small amount of interaction. This made me wonder if there may be people on the team who are not great team players because many people can be cordial for an hour on the phone. The interview was mainly technical and the questions were fairly standard.
I received an offer the same day as the interview. After careful consideration, I turned it down.
Interview Question – Describe your experience as a developer. Answer Question
Reason for Declining – I had a competing offer from a company that was much more aggressive in recruiting me.
The process took a day - interviewed at Bonneville Power in August 2010.
Interview Details – They required a skills assessment where they asked me to answer a number of technical questions to test my knowledge of the industry and methodology.
Interview Question – Describe your experience with SOA? Answer Question
Reason for Declining – My current contract was renewed.
I applied through a recruiter - interviewed at Bonneville Power in April 2013.
Interview Details – The Interview process depends on if you are applying for a apprentice job or journeyman position.Applying as a Journeyman, it still requires submitting mounds of detailed paperwork. Including info about family members.That being said, if you persist and plow through it, you will probably receive an interview. This consists of a 3-4 person panel that asks you questions on reading prints,writing a quick procedure to isolate a piece of equipment,what concerns you have when isolating it. And of course all the normal,why do want to work here,tell me about a time.. and so on. They really need qualified people now, so if you are decent,you will get a offer.It will take several months for them to process your paperwork and hire you.
Interview Question – If there was a job that you were doing and it was almost finished,but it was close to the end of the day what would you do? View Answer
Negotiation Details – No negotiation due to union rules.However, there is a strong possibility they can pay for your moving costs or a bonus if you are filling a position they really need filled. Ask if you can talk to a person that works at the location you are considering before you commit.
Very Easy Interview
I applied online and the process took 2 days - interviewed at Bonneville Power in August 2012.
Interview Details – All the right questions were asked. I was made very comfortable. The interviewers were very informative and described the job very well. I got a very favorable impression from them and left very happy. I was called within one day with a job offer.
Interview Question – Describe your most difficult supervisor. Why was he or she hard to work with? View Answer
Negotiation Details – No negotiation
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