Lawrence Berkeley Lab

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Lawrence Berkeley Lab Interview Questions & Reviews

Updated Jun 26, 2014
All Interviews Received Offers

Getting an Interview  

39%
23%
21%

Interview Experience  

62%
28%
9%

Interview Difficulty  

Average Difficulty
41 candidate interviews
Relevance Date Difficulty
1 person found this helpful

Accepted Offer

Neutral Experience

Computational Scientist Postdoctoral Fellow Interview

Computational Scientist Postdoctoral Fellow

Interviewed at Lawrence Berkeley Lab

Interview Details – Connected to the boss via mail and started the usual procedure: application through website, cv, interview and then hired. The first interview was on skype and it was about 15 minutes. After that they were already convinced and we did not go into other details.

Negotiation Details – I was not able to negotiate


Accepted Offer

Neutral Experience

Very Easy Interview

Software Engineer Interview

Software Engineer
Berkeley, CA

I applied online and the process took 5 weeks - interviewed at Lawrence Berkeley Lab in February 2014.

Interview Details – My interview was unconventional. I had a telephone interview where they asked only HR-type questions, "weakest quality", "what would you do if you saw a co-worker violate safety", that sort of thing. When I arrived to the in-person, still no technical questions, just a few more HR questions. They asked me to prepare a 5-10 minute presentation of my work, and although the media was set up, they never asked to see it during the course of the interview. It seemed they were just going through the motions to satisfy HR. They do a background check, but I'm not sure who conducts it, I think it was the hiring manager, so you need professional references who have time to answer 10--15 standardized HR questions. There are general training and safety "courses" to take online before you can start work or receive a badge, after hire there are more online safety courses to take within the first 10-30 days of employment. The first day at work is at least 50% hiring intensive. There's an orientation where they make sure you've filled out all mandatory pre-employment paperwork. There's an orientation, then a long picture/badge ordeal. The orientation class started at 9am, and didn't get to my office until after 1pm.

Interview Question – There were no difficult or unexpected questions. These were very standardized, scenario based, questions.   Answer Question

Negotiation Details – No negotiation, I told them what I was looking for and they paid it. They actually have a pay structure for positions buried in their online HR services, but it's wide and entirely at the discretion of your direct supervisor.


Accepted Offer

Positive Experience

Very Easy Interview

Graduate Student Researcher Interview

Graduate Student Researcher
Berkeley, CA

I applied through other source and the process took a day - interviewed at Lawrence Berkeley Lab in August 2010.

Interview Details – There is no formal interview or hiring process if you a grad student at UC Berkeley and your scientific adviser has a shared employment with UC Berkeley and the lab. It is often up to your adviser and the funding sources to put you on a campus or LBNL payroll. There is no differences in salaries. The salary information for this position is public and the salaries at LBNL for graduate student researchers are matched to the salaries of corresponding departments on campus.

Interview Question – There are no questions asked if you are already working with an adviser on UC Berkeley campus.   Answer Question

Negotiation Details – There is no real negotiation phase.


Accepted Offer

Positive Experience

Average Interview

Senior Laborer Interview

Senior Laborer
Berkeley, CA

I applied through an employee referral and the process took 2 weeks - interviewed at Lawrence Berkeley Lab in October 2010.

Interview Details – Panel Interview - they ask you questions pertaining to the job. Tool knowledge is a plus. Situational experience necessary. Be yourself. Emphasis on learning and contributions. Safety oriented and reliable.

Interview Question – Situational questions regarding roadwork and proper execution.   Answer Question

Negotiation Details – Non negotiable- temporary probation period.


1 person found this helpful

Accepted Offer

Negative Experience

Difficult Interview

Staff Scientist Interview

Staff Scientist
Berkeley, CA

I applied in-person and the process took 6 months - interviewed at Lawrence Berkeley Lab.

Interview Details – Vero long and elaborate application process: required 5(!) reference letters, one phone screening, then you make it to the big dance. The F2F interview was a full day event. Had to give a seminar in front of a committee, followed by one hour of questioning by them. The questions were pre-planned, with members taking turn asking them to you. Very rigid format. Then I had to come back twice to talk with two deputy division directors to make sure they are ok. By the I knew I was the anointed one, so I was just making sure I don't screw it up.

Interview Question – I don't think these questions were difficult for anyone who had been through many interviews before. They are typical: how do you deal with a difficult colleague, etc. you just need to put yourself in their shoes and say what they want to hear.   Answer Question

Negotiation Details – Very tortuous. The HR person is a pro. She basically draw a red line for salary, so I just steered myself to just under the number. That was all unofficial. Then after that, it took them another month to prepare the official offer letter. Everything takes a long time. Be patient.


Accepted Offer

Positive Experience

Average Interview

Post Doc Interview

Post Doc
Berkeley, CA

I applied online and the process took 4+ weeks - interviewed at Lawrence Berkeley Lab in June 2011.

Interview Details – Sent in resume and cover letter first. Waited for about three back to hear back from the HR. After a quick phone call with the hiring manager, I was offered the job.

Interview Question – What do you see yourself five years from now?   Answer Question


Accepted Offer

Positive Experience

Easy Interview

Research Associate Interview

Research Associate
Berkeley, CA

I applied through other source and the process took 2+ weeks - interviewed at Lawrence Berkeley Lab in May 2010.

Interview Details – Simple and straight forward. Based on scientific merit.


Accepted Offer

Positive Experience

Average Interview

Software Developer Interview

Software Developer
Berkeley, CA

I applied through other source and the process took 3 days - interviewed at Lawrence Berkeley Lab in May 2012.

Interview Details – Interviewing process was moderately easy and quick

Interview Question – come up with a database design for a real-world problem   Answer Question


1 person found this helpful

Accepted Offer

Positive Experience

Average Interview

Computer Systems Engineer Interview

Computer Systems Engineer
Berkeley, CA

I applied through other source and the process took 6+ weeks - interviewed at Lawrence Berkeley Lab in March 2010.

Interview Details – Had 3 rounds of phone interview followed by on site interview. On site interview was 5 hours long. First 2 hours consisted of presentation and technical questions from the panel. A group lunch with the team followed by 1:1 with team manager and general manager.

Interview Question – Algorithms   Answer Question


Accepted Offer

Positive Experience

Average Interview

Software Developer Interview

Software Developer

I applied through college or university and the process took 3 months - interviewed at Lawrence Berkeley Lab in November 2013.

Interview Details – Skype Meeting with a couple of senior engeneer asking me some thecnical questions and my background.

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