European Space Agency Interview Questions

Updated Jun 8, 2015
9 Interview Reviews

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  1.  

    Young Graduate Trainee Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Noordwijk aan Zee (Netherlands)
    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Average Interview

    Application

    I applied online. The process took 3+ monthsinterviewed at European Space Agency (Noordwijk aan Zee (Netherlands)).

    Interview

    I have applied online. I have received a mail confirming I was selected for the interview. Only 4 candidates for each position are selected. I had the interview with the section manager who asked questions about my thesis project and in general about the development process. Questions were not too hard as the focus was on things that I actually worked with.

    Interview Questions

    • What is the technology you have developed for? What was the most difficult task to accomplish during the project? Why?   Answer Question
  2.  

    Young Graduate Trainee Interview, ESOC Interview

    Anonymous Employee in Darmstadt (Germany)
    No Offer
    Positive Experience
    Average Interview

    Application

    I applied online. The process took 6+ monthsinterviewed at European Space Agency (Darmstadt (Germany)) in March 2015.

    Interview

    I applied online late November and was first contacted at the end of January. Phone interview followed mid February with the invitation to the on-site interview being sent about 2 weeks after the phone interview. Interview in Darmstadt scheduled for mid March and the final verdict was sent mid May (but, as I understood, the successful candidate received the offer much earlier). 2 Persons were invited for each opening.Travel expenses were covered and a generous daily allowance for board, lodging and food was provided. The on-site interview was a very pleasant experience. Everybody was extremely nice and they tried to make the process as stress-free as possible. Group exercise took place in the morning, followed by a guided tour through the premises and lunch at the company cantina that was actually pretty good. Technical interviews followed in the afternoon. This was the weird part. The 1 hour interview took place with the head of department and an engineer and, while equally nice and hassle-free, was weird. First of all, the question were only partly related to the requirements of the position and some were quite obscure. Secondly, the interviewers were under some sort of possibly artificial time pressure, constantly checking their watches and the engineer asking the manager 'is there time for one more question?'. This was weird because at the beginning of the interview they took the time to explain, in some detail, what the department was actually doing. I did not have the feeling that the interview was prepared in detail by the staff or that it was geared towards actually determining how competent the applicants are or how well they would fit/perform during the time there.

    Interview Questions

    • The questions seemed off, as in not exactly relevant to the actual activities that were required of the candidate. For example asking about a very technical aspect about a technology that, as they mentioned during the interview, will not be used much during day to day activities while little or no questions were asked about the technologies that would actually be used extensively.   Answer Question
  3.  

    No Offer
    Positive Experience
    Average Interview

    Application

    I applied online. The process took 2+ monthsinterviewed at European Space Agency in November 2014.

    Interview

    I applied online and after 2 weeks I was invited for an interview which took place in Darmstadt after another two weeks. The interview itself lasted about 40 minutes and was conducted by a panel consisting of 5 persons. At the beginning of the interview I was asked to tell something about myself and why I am the right person for the job. Afterwards there were technical questions of very general nature: What are the biggest changes in the area of software development in the coming years? Why is standardization in space industry particularly important? How to assure a high quality of code? Then more questions directly related to the job: How to come up with the specifications for the control system of a future mission? You are sitting in the control room and there is software problem, what do you do? At the end of the interview there were many typical HR questions like: Your boss wants you to finish a very important task within the next three days, but you know that you won't manage, what do you do? How do you organize yourself, given that usually you are working on several projects in parallel? Approximately 4 weeks after the date of the board I got a mail stating that my application was not successful. The atmosphere during the interview was very friendly and all in all the interview was a good experience. But I would have hoped for a more personal notification of the outcome, e.g. a phone call including some feedback on the performance during the interview would have been highly appreciated. Pro: I got a generous reimbursement of travel costs which was much higher than my actual costs.

    Interview Questions

    • The questions were ok and there was nothing totally unexpected, but since I never worked at ESA before, often I only was able to give very general answers. Probably it is good to have a bit of knowledge of the ESA software frameworks and procedures to be able to answer in more detail.   Answer Question
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  5.  

    Trainee Interview

    Anonymous Employee in Darmstadt (Germany)
    No Offer
    Positive Experience
    Average Interview

    (Translated from English)

    Application

    I applied online. The process took 4+ monthsinterviewed at European Space Agency (Darmstadt (Germany)) in March 2014.

    Interview

    Zwei Monate nach meiner Onlinebewerbung hatte ich ein erstes Gespräch über Webcam mit zwei Angestellten. Es war sehr technisch und detailliert. 2 Monate nach dem Telefongespräch fand ein richtiger Gesprächstag an dem entsprechenden ESA-Center statt. Es war ein voller Tag mit einem technischen Gespräch mit 3 Angestellten der Gruppe mit der freien Stelle und eine kleine Gruppenaufgabe mit der Personalabteilung.

    Two months after my online application, I had an initial interview over the webcam with 2 employees. It was very technical and to the point of the position. After 2 months of the telephone interview, there was an actual interview day at the specific ESA center. This was a full day with a technical interview with 3 employees of that group of the vacancy and a small group exercise with HR.

    Interview Questions

    • Es war für eine Stelle zur Missionsanalyse und die Fragen waren sehr speziell zum Gebiet der Entwicklung von Raumfahrtflugbahnen.   This was regarding a position regarding mission analysis and the questions were very specific on the area of spacecraft trajectory design.   Answer Question
  6.  

    Trainee Interview

    Anonymous Employee in Darmstadt (Germany)
    No Offer
    Neutral Experience
    Average Interview

    (Translated from English)

    Application

    I applied online. The process took 1 dayinterviewed at European Space Agency (Darmstadt (Germany)) in March 2011.

    Interview

    Nachdem ich mich online beworben hatte, wurde ich zum Bewerbungsgespräch zum Europäischen Raumflugkontrollzentrum eingeladen. Das Interview bestand aus einer Assessment-Übung (Gruppenaufgabe) und einem technischen Interview. Bei der Gruppenaufgabe handelte es sich um eine Simulation. Die Gruppe hatte einen Flugzeugabsturz überlebt und musste darüber diskutieren und letztendlich entscheiden, welche begrenzte Anzahl von Gegenständen sie aus dem Flugzeug mitnehmen wollte. Die Interviewer hörten der Diskussion zu, aber mischten sich nicht ein. Der technische Teil des Interviews fand in einer freundlichen Atmosphäre statt und war zu diesem Gebiet hauptsächlich allgemein gehalten mit den üblichen Fragen zu vergangenen Projekten und Erfahrungen. Die Reisekosten wurden erstattet.

    After filing an on-line application I was invited to attend an interview at European Space Operations Centre. The interview consisted of an Assessment Exercise (Group Exercise) and a technical interview. The Assessment Exercise was a simulation: the group had survived a plane crash and had to discuss and reach a conclusion on a limited set of items to take from the plane. The interviewers listened to the discussion but did not interfere. The technical part went in a friendly atmosphere and involved mainly general discussion about the field with some general questions on past projects and experience. Travel costs reimbursed.

    Interview Questions

    • Was war für Sie das interessanteste Projekt/Erfahrung in dieser Position?   What was your most interesting project/experience in the area of the position?   1 Answer
  7.  

    Kwaliteitsmanager Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Noordwijkerhout (Netherlands)
    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Average Interview

    (Translated from English)

    Application

    I applied through a recruiter. The process took 5 weeksinterviewed at European Space Agency (Noordwijkerhout (Netherlands)) in March 2011.

    Interview

    Het ging via een uitzendbureau aangezien ik geen werknemer ben. Het gesprek is redelijk makkelijk, geen grote of moeilijke vragen. Kennis van ECSS is een must.

    went trough a recruiter agency since I'm not a staff member. Interview is relatively easy, no big or difficult questions. Knowledge of ECSS standards is a must

    Interview Questions

  8.  

    Telecom-engineer Interview

    Anonymous Employee in Amsterdam (Netherlands)
    No Offer
    Neutral Experience
    Difficult Interview

    (Translated from English)

    Application

    I applied online. The process took 1 dayinterviewed at European Space Agency (Amsterdam (Netherlands)) in June 2010.

    Interview

    Ik solliciteerde via de ESA-website. (Hun website deugt trouwens niet, het is allemaal op één pagina en als je een fout maakt, wordt alles gewist en moet je opnieuw beginnen.) Na een paar weken werd ik gebeld voor een gesprek. Merk op dat ze je, net zoals een flink aantal internationals tegenwoordig, over een afwijzing niet zullen informeren, hoogst onbeleefd. Eveneens net zoals bij de meeste internationals zijn er drie interviewers, één van buiten de groep om ervoor te zorgen dat er geen 'vriend' wordt ingehuurd. Daarnaast was er een dame van HR om een paar algemene persoonlijke vragen te stellen. De drie belangrijkste gesprekspartners stelden allemaal een paar technische vragen. Maar wat je misschien niet weet van ESA is dat als er een interne kandidaat is, zij die zullen selecteren in plaats van jou, tenzij de interne een complete mislukkeling is. Er was een interne en dus ik heb de baan niet gekregen. Het grappige is dat ik via via hoorde dat deze kandidaat het inderdaad helemaal verknoeide toen hij de functie had.

    I applied via the ESA website (their website stinks by they way, it's all on one page and if you make an error it all zeros and you have to start again). After a few weeks I was called for interview. Note that like quite a few internationals now, if they reject you they won't iform you - most rude. Again like most internationals their are three interviewers, one external to the group to make sure that a 'friend' is not being hired. In addition a lady from HR was there to ask a few generic personnel questions. The three main interviewers all asked a few technical questrions. However what you may not realise with ESA is that if there is a internal candidate they will pick them over you unless the internal is a complete failure. There was a internal and so I didn't get the job. The amusing thing is that I heard on the grapevine that this cadidate did in fact completely mess up when he was in the post.

    Interview Questions

    • Dit was een functie die verband hield met satellieten, en ik slaagde voor de algemene vragen, maar ik kreeg een vraag over welke aanpassingen aan protocollen op laag 2 in plaats van op laag 3 kunnen worden gebruikt voor satellietuitzendingen. Ik bakte er   This was a satellite based post, and the generic questions I passed, however I had a question on what modifications to the layer 2 protocols could be used as opposed to layter 3 for satellite transmission. I fluffed that!   Answer Question
  9.  

    No Offer
    Positive Experience
    Difficult Interview

    Application

    I applied online – interviewed at European Space Agency in March 2010.

    Interview

    First one has to submit a detailed online application form. In case be selected for an interview there is an invitation to the location mentioned in the vacancy, for example at Noordwijk Netherlands. The interview includes HR questions as well as technical questions. If one passes the interview, they offer a 1-year contract.

    Interview Questions

    • They asked many technical details about the topic of the position.   Answer Question
  10.  

    Trainee Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Darmstadt (Germany)
    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Average Interview

    (Translated from English)

    Application

    I applied online. The process took 1 dayinterviewed at European Space Agency (Darmstadt (Germany)) in March 2008.

    Interview

    1) Gruppentest anhand eines allgemeinen Analyseproblems, das von einem Team, basierend auf richtiger Kommunikation/Koordination, zu lösen ist und Bereitstellung des korrekten Beweises durch die Teammitglieder. 2) Technisches, mündliches Interview

    1) Team test consisting of an analytical general problem to be solved by a team based on right communication/coordination and submission of the right evidence by the team members. 2) Technical oral interview

    Interview Questions

    • Entwerfen und beschreiben Sie die architektonischen Entscheidungen eines neuronalen Netzwerks, mit dessen Hilfe ein Roboter spezifische Muster erkennen kann.   Design and describe the architectural decisions of a neural network, which helps a robot recognize specific patterns.   Answer Question

    Negotiation

    Verhandlungen sind bei dieser Agentur nicht möglich. Die Vergütung ist festgelegt; sie ist allgemein bekannt und wird jedes Jahr durch die Mitgliedsstaaten festgelegt.

    For this agency there is no negotiation possible since conmpensation is fixed, public and decided every year by the member states.

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