Getting an Interview
Getting an Interview
- Application Details
I interviewed online. The process took 1 week - interviewed at MDA Corporation in March 2012.Interview Details
I submitted my application online (back when we had to directly send cover letter + resume to an HR email address, unlike now) and received a phone call the next day. I'll preface my description of the interview process by saying that: a) I hadn't applied to a specific job because I was overqualified for everything that was posted on their website (in terms of education, not experience), and b) I'm convinced I was contacted by mistake... or that the HR person didn't read my cover letter at all and just saw the word "design" somewhere on my CV, assuming I was a good candidate.
That being said, my phone "interview" was with the mechanical design manager. He called on time and seemed a bit confused as to why he had gotten my CV from HR, but asked me a few questions to get to know me, as well as my motivations and goals. My background didn't really fit with what they were looking for, but he was interested to meet me nonetheless. I assumed (wrongly) that this would be an informational interview and we setup an appointment, 2 days later.
Before the interview, I was greeted by the HR person and he led me to a very small room, without windows, decorated in some sort of 70's fashion. The first part of the interview was with 2 people from the mechanical design group (manager and a senior designer). They sat down and said: "So today, we'll interview you for a mechanical design engineer position". At that point, I realized I wasn't there for an informational interview, but for a real one and I should've read more carefully the job descriptions on their website...haha. They first asked questions about myself and my CV (basic, easy questions), then they moved on to more technical/behavioural questions. "What are the main tasks of a mechanical designer?", "What do you do if you can't reach a solution with the electrical and structural engineers?", "What is the biggest issue for composite materials in space?", "Where do costs come from when budgeting for a specific project?", etc. The interviewers were nice and patient, giving me time and hints to answer questions if needed, but they ended up replying to their own questions if my answers were incomplete.
The second part of the interview was with the HR recruiter. He read questions from a list and wrote down my answers. He was very friendly, though, so it didn't feel like a chore at all. Most of these questions were typical (strong/weak points, what would your friends say about you, would you be willing to work over-time, how's your English, what salary do you expect, etc).
On the same day, I was also supposed to meet with people from the manufacturing and structural analysis groups, but only the manager from the latter showed up. He took one quick look at my resume and asked "Why are you here? You don't fit at all." That was... strange, to say the least. After 5 minutes, he wished me good luck and suggested other companies I should apply to.
After my interview, I clearly felt like I didn't fit there at all, so I wasn't surprised when I never heard back from them. (The end of the story if that they called me again a month later to schedule a second interview with people from the manufacturing group, saying that I didn't get an offer for the mechanical designer position because they were looking for a senior designer (considering my education).)Interview Questions
No OfferNeutral ExperienceAverage Interview
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2 people found this helpfulApplication Details
I interviewed online. 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.No OfferNeutral ExperienceDifficult Interview
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