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IBM IT Specialist Interview Questions & Reviews

Updated Jun 23, 2014
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IT Specialist Interview

IT Specialist
Washington, DC

I applied online and the process took 3 weeks - interviewed at IBM in December 2011.

Interview Details – I frequently researched companies and their applicant processes on Glassdoor so I wanted to post an informative description of the interview process for the position I accepted with IBM.

I am recent grad and found this opportunity on Dice. I pursued two internship opportunities while in college with IT firms and earned a strong GPA. After applying, I was notified by recruiters by email that I was chosen to interview over the phone. The only interviews were over the phone and they were 3 45 min interviews. Two were with Project Managers and one was with a younger employee. The interviews with the Project Managers were pretty open-ended. A lot of the questions were "situational" in nature. Both managers seemed interested in my work experience while in college and allowed me to expand on the skills I learned (SQL, Java, etc) and my responsibilities. Be able to answer why you chose to work for IBM without giving a canned response. Make sure you are prepared to answer any type of behavioral-type interview questions during the interview with the PMs.

My conversation with the younger employee was a little more technical. He wanted to know what languages I was comfortable with and asked me fundamental questions like "What are the four cornerstones of OOP". Nothing too difficult really - just research common tech interview questions. The interviews went well and they made me a preliminary offer. They seemed to be more interested in finding great, young talent that can work well with a team rather than a developer with 5 years of experience and plenty of SDLC knowledge. However, I would say my previous work experience was instrumental in getting noticed.

Still, I had to complete the IBM IPAT exam after the preliminary offer - do your research before completing it b/c it might be difficult if you are unprepared. Also, there is probably a minimum score you need to attain in order to proceed to the next step. I will not go too in-depth about it because it specifically states not to do so, but you can find basic info on different forums via google search about the format. After the exam, I received an official offer and a whole bunch of paperwork to fill out online. There is a week of orientation at the home office before they send you on-site.

Honestly, the offer was at least 8K more than my other offers. While the home office for GBS is in Herndon, VA, it was communicated to me that much of the work will be done in DC and the higher salary may be accounting for cost of living, frequent travel requirements, etc. but I can't be sure. Regardless, the offer was much higher than what I expected to make my first year out of college and IBM does have a strong reputation as one of the best employers for young IT professionals in the D.C. area, IMO. My interviews with about 5 smaller IT firms in the area were much more technical and paid less. My interview experiences with these firms were not as enjoyable.

This is just about everything I remember about the applicant process. I will be sure to post a review of my role after I have been with the company for an ample amount of time. To this point, my interaction with IBM has been pleasant and I am excited to engage the project I am assigned to.

Interview Questions

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1 person found this helpful

Accepted Offer

Positive Experience

Very Easy Interview

IT Specialist Interview

IT Specialist
Columbia, MO

I applied online and the process took 2+ weeks - interviewed at IBM in July 2011.

Interview Details – I have applied several positions and i got an e-mail from main HR departmant. That process took a while (Lets say about 2 months) After Headquarters HR department. Local HR contacted me via e-mail. Then they called me to confirm interviews date.
At the interview day i went 5 minutes erarlier to the facility. I waited about ten minutes and my interviewer showed up. She was reaaly nice, helpful and polite. She explained job duties and reqirements again. and started to ask me questions about my resume. She took notes all the time.
She asked about my career goals and explained to me what kind of opportunites they can offer.
Salary issue was not a big deal. She asked me about it but. We did not discuss about a certain number.
Then i got a call from HR department at the Headquarter they offered me that position.

Interview Question – What is your career goals?   View Answer

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1 person found this helpful

Accepted Offer

Positive Experience

Average Interview

IT Specialist Interview

IT Specialist
Washington, DC

I applied through college or university and the process took 3 weeks - interviewed at IBM in September 2011.

Interview Details – I got my interview through a university and then was put in touch with a recruiter. I got contact information for three interviewers and had to call them all one after the other. To be completely honest, I have interviewed for quite a few different jobs while in college and the people I interviewed with were among the most pleasant I've experienced. They seemed down to Earth, and the interview was the right amount of balance between a question and answer on both ends. Honestly, just speak passionately about what you know and love from your resume, because that will really make the interview more comfortable, I think.

Interview Question – What is the hardest part about working in a team?   Answer Question

Negotiation Details – There was no negotiation. The offer was great, especially compared to what I would have gotten elsewhere.

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Accepted Offer

Positive Experience

Average Interview

IT Specialist Interview

IT Specialist
East Fishkill, NY

I applied through college or university and the process took 2 days - interviewed at IBM in May 2011.

Interview Details – Phone call asking multiple questions about how I would react to a situtation and what I would like to do for their company.

Interview Question – What made you look at our company?   Answer Question

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1 person found this helpful

Accepted Offer

Positive Experience

Average Interview

IT Specialist Interview

IT Specialist
Herndon, VA

I applied through college or university and the process took a day - interviewed at IBM in July 2008.

Interview Details – There were several phone interviews where they asked me about the work I did in college and at my internship. They sent me a link to an intelligence test of sorts. It was basic logic type problems, nothing too hard or job specific. After the got the results, they offered to fly me to the DC area for a series of interviews. The interview took place on a Saturday, so they flew me out Friday night and then back Saturday night.

THE FLIGHT
The scheduled the flight for me without really asking me what my preferences were. I was a 22 year old woman on my own out of state for the first time. They had me landing at Regan National airport at 12:05 am the morning of my interview. The hotel and interview were in Gaithersburg (45mins away). The airport terminal I landed at was deserted and extremely creepy. It took me almost over a half hour to find a cab. By the time I got to the hotel, it was just before 2am. I had to meet a shuttle at 7:45. Needless to say, I wasn't exactly refreshed for my interview. The interviews were from 8am to noon, and my flight was at 2:30pm... It was definitely a stressful day with a tight timeline.

THE INTERVIEWS
I interviewed with a total of three different managers. They each asked me different types of questions: general, technical and HR. All three interviews were behavioral based. Overall, everyone I met was fairly laid back and easy to speak with. There were around 20 other college level people all there to be interviewed during the morning session. There was also an afternoon session with just as many people.
--GENERAL
These were very standard interview questions. What are your greatest strengths/weaknesses? Give an example of a problem you solved and a time you worked as part of a team.
--Technical
These were questions about things I had on my resume. The questions were things like "So, I see you did some Java work at your internship... tell me about that work." I answered the question, and they delved a little deeper into the technical aspects. They didn't ask me to write code or about anything I didn't bring up or have in my resume. They were definitely doing a BS check on the resume.
--HR
These were questions about me and what I was looking for in a company. They asked me about my desires for travel, if I was okay with moving to the area, etc. They were trying to find out if I would be a good fit
 with the corporate culture.

POST INTERVIEW
The Monday following the interview, I received a call asking how everything went. They told me I'd receive word within a couple of weeks. A couple of weeks later, I received a call and an offer of employment.

Interview Question – What were the last 3 books you read for pleasure?   View Answer

Negotiation Details – They were not willing to negotiate. They made it clear that there were plenty of other new college grads who would love to be in my position. I accepted the position anyway (they were right, IBM is a pretty good catch). Unfortunately, the IBM attitude of "you should feel honored to be chosen to be here" never really goes away. 6 years later, I'm one of only 2 people left out of the 100 people I started with at IBM on the same day... no joke.

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Accepted Offer

Positive Experience

Average Interview

IT Specialist Interview

IT Specialist
Washington, DC

The process took a day - interviewed at IBM in October 2009.

Interview Details – I was hired by IBM right out of my university. I met with representatives at the career fair on campus and was invited to IBM's information session that evening. My interview date was then set up through our campus's career website where I interviewed for one day. The interview consisted of 3 separate 30 minute interviews which were all one on one. Two of the interviews were more informational and a back and forth conversation to get to know one another and included general interview questions such as "why IBM?", "why Washington DC?", and "tell me about your classroom experience."

The third was a "technical interview" which consisted of the interviewer looking at my resume and asking me general questions about what I had on the resume from a technical perspective.

After the 3 interviews were over, I was told that I would know something in 2 weeks, and I was sent the IPATO test through email which had to be completed. The IPATO is a logic/aptitude test that IBM requires, and I had a week to complete it.

I had my offer within 10 days of the interview and had 2 weeks to accept or decline.

Interview Question – Why should IBM hire you over other applicants?   Answer Question

Negotiation Details – Being right out of college, the salary and benefits were equal or better to the other companies I was speaking with, so I did not do much negotiating. If you are interviewing to be hired out of college, I would say it is more important to interview with multiple companies in order to get a feel for salaries and benefits in the industry rather than try to negotiate a specific company's offer.

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Declined Offer

Positive Experience

Average Interview

IT Specialist Interview

IT Specialist
Herndon, VA

I applied through college or university and the process took 3 days - interviewed at IBM in October 2009.

Interview Details – Submitted resume online through school joblink, was invited to a 2 day hiring event in VA. Expenses paid by IBM, dinner with other candidates and employees on Friday night and 3 20 minute interviews on Saturday. Offer received 3 weeks after interview.

The younger people were very nice and enthusiastic but the older more experienced workers seemed unhappy.

Interview Question – What are you looking for in your career and how does that fit into IBM?   Answer Question

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No Offer

Neutral Experience

Very Difficult Interview

IT Specialist Interview

IT Specialist
New York, NY

I applied online and the process took 2 days - interviewed at IBM in June 2007.

Interview Details – The one question you are certain to be asked is going to somehow relate to travel such as "Would you be willing to relocate?". They will ask this question even if the job you are applying for is local. IBM expects people to be willing to change and adapt in many ways and a negative answer on this question will hurt your chances. Most "long time" IBMers I know have changed assignments and work locations many times and that is what IBM likes. If you do not want to travel or relocate then you might want to consider another company to work for.

They also like self-starters on education as they have a great deal of online training programs for employees and they want you to use them aggressively. Some local managers will give you time to do this but most will tell you self-development is an option so do it on your own time. None the less they want you to do lots of self-development because expanded skill sets = expanded placement potential if they need you somewhere else. If you do not want to be constantly taking online classes off the clock then you might want to consider another company to work for.

Interview Question – What is your favorite color and why?   Answer Question

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Accepted Offer

Positive Experience

Average Interview

IT Specialist Interview

IT Specialist
Montevideo (Uruguay)

I applied through an employee referral and the process took 2 weeks - interviewed at IBM.

Interview Details – I was referred by an existing employee, so not sure where about other applicants. I was contacted by phone by an HR outsourcing firm to come to the office and do some tests and was asked a few personal questions. The HR person was not technical, so she just read from a paper what the test consisted of and she did not understand most of it. Then we scheduled a date/time to go and take the test. When I arrived I was directed to a room and given a paper/pencil and some test questions. The test was pretty standard, having some SQL questions and statements, Java and C exercises. At that time I was not very good/familiar with C so I wasn't able to solve the main exercise in the C language, so instead I wrote the solution in pseudo code. After the technical test I was asked to do an english test consisting of a couple simple questions, a translation exercise and an essay. Finally I had to do one of those personality tests.

Having finished the tests, I was contacted a couple of weeks later by the HR person again to have an in person interview with my manager to be and the HR manager for the project I would be assigned to. I was asked all kinds of questions, from technical, to my experience, motivations and why IBM.

A couple of days after the interview I got a call with an offer. Overall, I think it was a pretty standard interview process.

Interview Question – I think everything was pretty standard, write some SQL queries and some code exercises. Everything had to be done with pen and paper, so if you are fresh out of college you should be good.   Answer Question

Negotiation Details – No negotiation, just a plain offer.

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Accepted Offer

Neutral Experience

Very Easy Interview

IT Specialist Interview

IT Specialist
Guadalajara, Jalisco (Mexico)

I applied online and the process took 5+ weeks - interviewed at IBM in August 2013.

Interview Details – Only a couple calls requesting to complete some tests

Interview Question – No questions, that's weird because the account I joint was the worst one   Answer Question

Negotiation Details – They take care a lot of the salary in company benefit, I mean you request any quantity and the cry to give you less (only Mexico)

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