I applied in-person and the process took 1 week - interviewed at General Dynamics Information Technology in April 2009.
Interview Details – GDIT bought out an existing subcontractor who I was previously working for, and prior to transition I was offered an opportunity to a lateral promotion. Because the promotion wasn't a direct promotion for my existing position, I had to go through the entire application and interview process as if I were a new hire.
It starts by submitting a resume and a cover letter online on the GDIT careers website, which is publicly accessible. I located the exact position that I wanted, and my resume was partially imported automatically in to their application tracking system (ATS). After spending about 30 minutes filling in details of my resume in the ATS, I was able to upload my cover letter and submit my application for the position. Normally I would be contacted by a recruiter at this point for pre-screening and to schedule an onsite interview, but since I was already working onsite, the GDIT site lead and later my soon-to-be supervisor interviewed me on the spot three days later to assess my interpersonal and technical skills. I continued with my regular duties for about two or three more days until the GDIT site lead interviewed me one more time. After a brief 5-minute conversation about my future intents (continuing education, if I plan on sticking around, was I looking at any other jobs, etc.), he offered me the position and we negotiated salary and benefits. The next day I was presented with an offer letter containing my salary, benefits, and a starting date, which I signed and gave back. I started as a new employee at GDIT two weeks later, only because I was required to give my current employer a two-week notice of voluntary separation (yet another contract requirement). If I didn't have to give a mandatory two-week notice, I could have started immediately.
Interview Question – What is the most difficult technical problem [in regards to information technology] that you have ever encountered, and how did you handle the problem? View Answer
Negotiation Details – Negotiation was a bit nerve-racking because a lot of the salary and benefits were out of GDIT's control since they were pre-determined by the contract. The only flexible item that was up for negotiation was the salary, and even that was not very flexible.
My advice to future job seekers is to do your homework, as much as you can without being disrespectful. Try to figure out if the employer is a subcontractor or if they are the prime. The primary contractors always have much more flexibility during negotiations, but subcontractors usually won't have much profit margin left for each position to do any viable negotiations. Finally, NEVER underestimate yourself. Two years prior to this interview, I lost the same position to someone else because I asked for too little compensation, which made me appear that I was too incompetent to handle the job with the necessary level of professionalism. Thus, ALWAYS DO YOUR HOMEWORK!
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