Georgia Tech Research Institute
Georgia Tech Research Institute Interview Questions & Reviews
Getting an Interview
- Popular Job Titles:
- Research Engineer II (2)
- Research Scholar (1)
- Research Scientist I (1)
- Research Scientist II (1)
- Research Assistant (1)
- Co-Op (1)
- Student Research Assistant (1)
- RF Hardware Engineer (1)
- Computer Engineering (1)
- Web Developer (1)
- Senior Research Engineer (1)
- Research Engineer (1)
- Research Engineer I (1)
Research Engineer I Interview (Positive Experience; Average Interview)
I applied through college or university and interviewed at Georgia Tech Research Institute.
Interview Details – Phone interview followed by an in-person all day interview at the lab I was applying for.
The culture is unique; almost 100% of employees don't leave or come back to GTRI after leaving. Their teams are fluid, so they work together often. The projects are very long-term, but they eventually do submit deliverables for their work. It's definitely different and many people enjoy that atmosphere.
Interview Question – If you're asked about what kind of work you want to get into, just be honest. "I don't know" is acceptable when it's truthful. Answer Question
Research Scientist I Interview (Positive Experience; Average Interview)
I applied through an employee referral and the process took 3 weeks - interviewed at Georgia Tech Research Institute in March 2014.
Interview Details – I very much enjoyed the interview process at GTRI. I knew someone internally so, as others have said, the process moves a lot faster. However, I was also contacted very quickly by other groups that I did not have contacts with so the website submission is not a complete blackhole as others have stated.
I had a short phone call with the manager of the group before I was flown in for an on-site. It was not technical in any form and was more of a formality it seemed to say someone talked to me before I was flown in.
My on-site interview was a good experience. It lasted an entire day (including lunch with people from the group) and got progressively harder as the day went on. I meant with the whole chain of managers, tech leads, branch heads in the morning where we talked about potential projects I could work on and where I fit into the group. I then went to lunch and after that interviewed on a more technical basis.
The questions were pretty easy for the most part. Basic questions about C/C++, how to deal with pointers, data structures (lists, graphs, etc). I have interest/background in HPC so we got into a few neat questions about concurrency and parallelism. It was really nice to be interviewed by someone who had a very wide knowledge of programming, software, and research stuff. I felt like they actually knew the stuff, and weren't just reading off a list.
I really liked the environment and people. GTRI had just moved from the main building which is on campus to the one off campus (14th street). The building is a lot nicer but now a few blocks from campus which is lame. The inside was really nice, all of the secured labs are on the inside of the building so all offices have nice big windows on the perimeter. Everyone seemed to be really happy and enjoy working there so that's a major plus! They also don't seem to be hurting on funding so it seems like a stable work environment.
Interview Question – How would you tell if the stack grows up or down? Answer Question
Negotiation Details – Tried to negotiate but was unable to. The manager said that my initial offer was their "best and final". Didn't like that too much but it seems like that is how it goes at GTRI for the most part. It hard to negotiate up in salary.
Web Developer Interview (Neutral Experience; Average Interview)
I applied through college or university and the process took 3 weeks - interviewed at Georgia Tech Research Institute in April 2013.
Interview Details – Being a student, I actually was able to get a career at GTRI fairly easily. I got my interview after going to the GTRI Career Fair that is held for Georgia Tech students every March. I interviewed with two labs. One gave me a phone interview and an on-campus coding interview, the other just a phone interview. The coding interview wasn't too bad- make sure you brush up on your data structures (esp. Linked Lists and Trees) and make sure you know and have implemented design principles! (I really screwed up on that part because I had not really thought about them in a while)
Interview Question – Name a design principle and describe how you implemented it in a project you have worked on. Answer Question
Very Easy Interview
Co-Op Interview (Positive Experience; Very Easy Interview)
I applied through college or university and the process took a day - interviewed at Georgia Tech Research Institute in March 2012.
Interview Details – I applied online via my school's career search interface. I was invited for an interview. Upon arriving, I was told they were almost entirely sure they would hire me and only wanted to get to know me before extending an official offer. Received an official offer about two weeks later.
Research Scientist II Interview (Negative Experience; Average Interview)
I applied through an employee referral and the process took 4+ weeks - interviewed at Georgia Tech Research Institute in March 2012.
Interview Details – My experience was the the Electronic Systems lab (ELSYS), and it was initially a horrible experience. The main person coordinating the recruiting is an emeritus engineer, which means retired and therefore isn't in the office as much as a full-time employee. So e-mail replies were very few and far between. Luckily I had a personal referral so this might have expedited a bit. (as others have implied or stated, absolutely nothing happened with my online submission until I contacted someone directly)
For a few weeks I traded e-mails back and forth. Then, one Monday morning, I came in to my normal workplace to discover, in complete shock, an e-mail from a GTRI HR person which ended with "See you on Monday" a.k.a. that day, a.k.a. they COMPLETELY FORGOT to notify me of my interview!. Luckily I was able to rush home, throw a suit on, and head downtown and not be late...somehow.
It was a typical all-day interview for GTRI. I talked to many department heads and other senior engineers. Went out to lunch with the division chief and other senior personnel. Came back and did more of the same.
About a week later, I was notified by emeritus recruiter that I was no longer under consideration. It was quite disappointing, considering that one of the interviewing engineers told me (before I got the rejection) that he thought I'd be a great fit at ELSYS.
I e-mailed the two main people who had interviewed me, asking for constructive feedback. However, I received no replies back. If you have a high interest in working at GTRI (as I did), put up with it and try to find someone inside who you can contact. Otherwise if your interest in GTRI is passing, I would suggest that you not even bother.
Interview Question – Nobody told you about the interview? View Answer
Senior Research Engineer Interview (Positive Experience; Easy Interview)
I applied online and the process took a day - interviewed at Georgia Tech Research Institute.
Interview Details – Felt that they were asking questions irrelevant to the job I was being hired for. In my case, it looked like I was too smart for them (over-qualified) so I was surprised to get an offer.
Interview Question – None. I breezed through the interview. Answer Question
Negotiation Details – Easy. Just email negotiation, but the paper-work took for ever.
Very Easy Interview
Student Research Assistant Interview (Positive Experience; Very Easy Interview)
I applied through an employee referral and the process took 3 weeks - interviewed at Georgia Tech Research Institute in October 2008.
Interview Details – I interviewed here and we setup and interview for one afternoon. The interviews lasted about 3 hours and consisted of 4 informal interviews. My interviewers were really pleasant, I met with the head of the department then with 3 different engineers. Everyone was friendly and just explained to me what they did, and how I might fit into the work they were working on. They also asked me detailed and relevant questions based on my resume. The culture there is a little bit closed. Most doors I walked past were closed, but nothing I shocking. Most people seemed to work in labs not actually in their offices.
Interview Question – Can you describe any linux experience you have? Answer Question
Negotiation Details – I was young and got a decent offer at the time based on my experience, so I didn't negotiate at all. I would recommend that people negotiate instead of just taking the initial offer.
Very Difficult Interview
Research Scholar Interview (Positive Experience; Very Difficult Interview)
I applied through other source and the process took 6+ weeks - interviewed at Georgia Tech Research Institute in March 2012.
Interview Details – Invitation to work on a Project involving a testing system design.
Invitation conditionally given by a Senior Faculty Member.
Interviews were 1:1 and involved a series of stages: Personality and Education Check, Background Check, Technical Skills Check, Intelligence and Communicative Abilities Check, Presentation and Quiz on past/previous Research and their outcomes, References and an Interest/Research Specialty Check IN THAT ORDER.
The entire process lasted around 45 days and consisted of personal talk, e-mail communication (partial - for references), telephonic conversations and internet-based discussions.
Advice Tip # 1: Be Honest. If you don't know, admit it. You don't need to know everything to get the position; you are there to LEARN. That is what research is all about.
Advice Tip # 2: You don't need to know everything - that doesn't mean you don't need to know ANYTHING. If you're working/ interested in an area, read about it. Dig into current/past research. Be up to date with the current state of affairs in the field. Conferences/Seminars/Special Guest Lectures/Projects/Presentations/Competitions give added advantages.
Advice Tip # 3: Be willing to listen. An interview is not where you HEAR questions and reply. Your responses are not judged as RIGHT/WRONG. They are judged as SMART/DUMB. Even if you have the correct answer, the way you express/phrase/describe it reflects your thinking abilities. Hone your thinking, sharpen your basics and learn to analyse. That is the route to Research.
Advice Tip # 4: There's no way around this one. WORK HARD.
- Explain your current/past research. Answer Question
- Why do you want to work at GeorgiaTech under XXXX Professor? Answer Question
Negotiation Details – Not Applicable to the current case.
Research Engineer II Interview (Positive Experience; Easy Interview)
The process took 3 days - interviewed at Georgia Tech Research Institute in February 2012.
Interview Details – Before I begin, you should know that each lab within GTRI is completely different. Your experience may not match mine if you aren't interviewing with the same lab. But in my experience people were upbeat, liked their work, and seemed interested in working with me.
Submitting online applications had no traction (black hole is apropos). I only received an interview request after a personal referral.
My interview was scheduled for a half day, not including the dinner they provided. I met with representatives from all levels of hierarchy within the lab Some interactions were in groups, some were done on an individual basis. I also met with the benefits person in that first interview. There were no directed skills tests that day, only questions about my resume and the projects I had previously worked on.
After a few days, I was brought back for a second interview. I was provided lunch, met with people not available during my first interview, and I participated in a skills test. It was designed to identify my domain strengths, covered a variety of topics, and was pretty easy. Given the breath of the questions, I was not too disappointed that I flubbed some of them. It took less than an hour.
About a week later I received an offer.
Interview Question – Identify why the following code may not work, explain. Answer Question
Negotiation Details – GTRI is not the top paying employer in their field and they aren't trying to be, that should be known going in. Negotiation is possible, but I only got between 2.5% and 5% higher than they would have preferred to pay me.