MDA Corporation Mechanical Design Engineer for Space Antennas Interview Questions & Reviews
Getting an Interview
Mechanical Design Engineer for Space Antennas Interview (Neutral Experience; Difficult Interview)
I applied online and the process took 3 months - interviewed at MDA Corporation in March 2010.
Interview Details – About 2 months after applying for a position posted online (advertised on a University job board), I was contacted by email with the intent of arranging an interview. The interview was a phone interview and lasted for about 40 minutes to 1 hour. The individual interviewing me would be my colleague in this position and was open about the job expectations and the work environment. However, specifics about the project were kept secretive. I found the interviewer to be professional and courteous. It was explained to me that I would be contacted for an in-person interview should I be selected upon review of the phone interview. The interviewer was also frank with me about my chances of being selected for such an interview.
Following the phone exchange I was contacted by an individual from human resources to arrange an in-person interview. This occurred less than two weeks after the phone interview. I was asked to provide some personal information and travel arrangements were made for the interview to Montreal. Flight tickets were provided by MDA, while I was required to get transportation to and from the airports.
At the office I was interviewed in a medium-size meeting room just past the employee entrance. I was first interviewed by a member of human resources, someone other than whom I had been in correspondence with via email, in a one-on-one interview. This interview consisted mostly of a lot of standard questions such as "What are your strengths?" I attempted to answer these politely and with enthusiasm and stress the relevance of my skills and experience to the position. The interviewer was polite, but seemed intent on sticking to the script so that questions and answers did not necessarily flow very well. I was asked my salary expectations but not given any number and asked what kind of accommodation I would require for relocation. I was told that the benefits were very competitive but not given specifics beyond 80% medical, dental coverage guaranteed.
Following the one-on-one interview I was interviewed in the same room by two individuals who were team/department leads. They discussed the position a little bit more in depth but remained secretive about the details. I was grilled about my experiences and about things that I would have to consider for the position. If I brought up a technical skill in my work experience, I was asked to demonstrate it by quickly explaining how something worked. The interviewers were friendly and encouraging, and seemed understanding of my need to think a bit before answering. They asked me if I had reservations about relocating and why I was interested in the company. They would talk a lot during the interview as well, to the point of answering their own questions if I didn't provide a satisfactory answer. This was a bit annoying, since I would ask for a question to be clarified and they would then answer it as part of the clarification and then move on to the next question. This interview lasted for a little over an hour. Near the end of it, the section chief came in to the interview. He asked a few questions that had been asked before. It was only about five minutes or so until the other two left.
The last part of the interview consisted of a one-on-one interview with the section chief lasting about 15 minutes. He did not clarify the organizational structure or the work but instead asked me questions about them, such as "As the mechanical designer, why do you need a thermal analysis engineer?" or "As the mechanical designer, at what point of the design do you involve the stress engineer?" Hints to the answers to some of these questions were provided in the previous interview where the interviewers had briefly explained the workflow of the organization. The interviewer did not assist with the answers and did not indicate whether they were acceptable or not, although occasionally the interviewer would expand on a point I made in the interview.
At the end of the interview I was tired and glad it was over. I never felt like a dialogue was established and felt that my performance had steadily degraded with each interview. The last correspondence I had with the company was two months ago and I was informed that no decision had been made regarding me and the position and that I was still open to consideration. I expect that they have rejected me but have not formally told me so and likely will not.