MIT Lincoln Laboratory

  www.ll.mit.edu
  www.ll.mit.edu

MIT Lincoln Laboratory Technical Staff Interview Questions

Updated Jul 29, 2014
Updated Jul 29, 2014
9 Interview Reviews

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Technical Staff Interview

Anonymous Interview Candidate
Anonymous Interview Candidate
Application Details

I applied through college or university. The process took 3+ monthsinterviewed at MIT Lincoln Laboratory.

Interview Details

The first interview was with a recruiter on campus during the college career fair. After talking to me for about 10 minutes and quickly looking through my resume, an interview was scheduled for the next day. During that interview I was mostly asked to explain my research and how it might be relevant to work done at LL. I was then advised to fill out an online application, being sure to note my school code, and apply for all positions that show up when searching for my major. I was contacted by a different employee a month later, during which I inquired about the status of my application multiple times with the HR and the recruiter. This was a phone interview, where again I was asked about my research, as well as various specifics of my background--including course work, programming experience, etc. At the end of the phone interview, I was told that I would be contacted about scheduling an onsite interview, and sure enough, about a week after the phone interview someone from the HR contacted me about scheduling my visit. The scheduling was very smooth, with LL putting nearly all travel expenses (car rental, hotel, airfare) on their company card, and I got reimbursed for the remaining expenses very promptly. The onsite interview lasted a day and a half: I talked to people from 3 different groups, including the group leaders as well as staff at my level, and I also gave a presentation about my research on the first day. As a side note, I was asked to send my abstract at the last minute (same day as my flight), and also email my slides, again at the last minute (the night before), so make sure you check your email frequently before the interview. Most of the people I talked to were very nice, and didn't grill me--mostly I was asked about my research projects, experience, and interests. There were a couple of cliched questions such as "where do you see yourself in five years" as well. The group I interviewed with on the second day was more intense, as apparently none of the group members were able to attend my talk, and as a result I had to essentially give my talk in five minutes over and over again (I admit it got tiring and annoying at some point). One of the group members asked me a detailed technical question--the only one during my interview process--about the Fourier transform of the signal coming from a radar detector under some conditions (I don't remember exactly). I can't do Fourier transforms in my head and I didn't answer that very well. Some of the people I interviewed with asked about my national origin, even though I believe that it's illegal of them to do so. I am not sure why they were asking that, I suppose out of curiosity. My application was rejected a month later, even though I kept contacting the HR contact person periodically to check up on the status of things, and even informing them of another job offer I received did not speed things up. Overall, LL made a very positive impression on me, but I have no idea why their hiring process is so slow, and why it takes them so long to reject an applicant.

Interview Questions
  • What is the Fourier transform of the signal coming from a radar detector under some conditions (I don't remember exactly)?   Answer Question
No Offer
Positive Experience
Average Interview

MIT Lincoln Laboratory Response

Aug 8, 2014Recruiting Manager

We are pleased that you were overall favorably impressed. It is a concern that you were asked about your country of national origin. The Laboratory is fully committed to legal and regulatory ... More

Other Interview Reviews for MIT Lincoln Laboratory

  1. 1 person found this helpful  

    Technical Staff Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Lexington, MA
    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Lexington, MA
    Application Details

    I applied in-person. The process took 4+ weeksinterviewed at MIT Lincoln Laboratory.

    Interview Details

    Phone interview, technical presentation and face to face interviews

    Interview Questions
    Negotiation Details
    1 month of background checks
    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Difficult Interview
  2.  

    Technical Staff Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    Application Details

    I applied through college or university – interviewed at MIT Lincoln Laboratory.

    Interview Details

    I got the interview through on-campus recruiting. They had me present my graduate work (essentially my thesis defense) to the group, and I met with several interviewers including the group leaders. No particularly challenging or unusual interview questions. I think the interviewees with a background in the same area that my group works in get much more difficult questions.

    Interview Questions
    Negotiation Details
    Definitely try to negotiate!
    Accepted Offer
  3.  

    Technical Staff Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Lexington, MA
    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Lexington, MA
    Application Details

    I applied through college or university. The process took a dayinterviewed at MIT Lincoln Laboratory.

    Interview Details

    - Submitted resume at career fair - told to apply online (yadda yadda)
    - on-site interview arranged via career center
    - *no* behavioral questions - spent full 45 min discussing my research
    - am I authorized to work in the US?
    - was told HR is slow, but to get in touch if I got another offer (??)

    Interview Questions
    • Describe a problem that you solved with your graduate work   Answer Question
    No Offer
    Positive Experience
  4. Is this helpful? The community relies on everyone sharing – Add Anonymous Interview Review


  5. 2 people found this helpful  

    Technical Staff Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Lexington, MA
    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Lexington, MA
    Application Details

    I applied online. The process took 3+ monthsinterviewed at MIT Lincoln Laboratory in February 2013.

    Interview Details

    Applied online. Received an email three months later asking availability to interview on-site. Scheduling was coordinated with HR, who paid for airfare, hotel, and rental car. However, HR would not explicitly state who would be conducting the interview on the other end, so it was not possible to research whom might be interviewing you.

    As part of the interview, I was asked to give a seminar on a topic of my choice, which should last about 45 minutes + time for questions / discussion.

    During the interview, I first met with an HR rep, who went over benefits with the company. Next, I met briefly with the group manager, before starting my seminar. Following the seminar, I spoke with two other members of the group for about 30 - 45 minutes (one for lunch in the cafeteria), and the assistant group manager for about 15 minutes. The interview itself lasted about 4 hours.

    I wasn't asked technical questions per se, but a general working familiarity with techniques for image processing, and pattern recognition were expected. For example, being able to communicate familiarity with Bayesian classification, SVM, etc. Other general questions include the kind of work you would be interested in.

    Prior to this interview I had previously done four on-site interviews for full-time positions and this one appeared to be the least scheduled (in terms of itinerary and number of people to meet). Everyone seemed to be really busy and did not have much time to meet.

    After a week I received an email from the HR rep I met with on-site stating that the group does not have further interest in my candidacy and will continue to interview other candidates as they see fit.

    Interview Questions
    • For me, I was asked to name authors and algorithms from published literature who research object tracking from multiple viewpoints. Not being my area of study, the best I could do was state where I would go to look for topics on the subject, and named a review paper that I was loosely familiar with.   Answer Question
    No Offer
    Positive Experience
    Difficult Interview
  6. 5 people found this helpful  

    Technical Staff Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Lexington, MA
    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Lexington, MA
    Application Details

    I applied online – interviewed at MIT Lincoln Laboratory.

    Interview Details

    I submitted my resume online at their site. Within about 3 weeks someone from HR emailed me asking about my interview availability, because one group was interested in my resume. She was very efficient, and we had an interview set up within the week, scheduled for two weeks from that day.

    About one week before the interview, the same HR person emailed me to say that there were now four groups interested in interviewing me, and asked if they could book a hotel room for me to stay two days and interview. She was very conscientious of my travel, and ended up booking the hotel for two nights and paying for a rental car, and my meals.

    It turned out that only three groups were available over those two days, so I will be going back later this month for the fourth.

    Day 1:
    9am - met with HR person, got security badge. Asked me a little about why I chose my graduate school, when I'll finish, and if I have any other job interviews. Went over benefits

    10am - gave a 1 hour seminar on my thesis research. There were about 15 people in attendance, and I got a lot of technical and broad questions, both during and after my presentation

    11am - met with 1st group leader and associate group leader

    12pm - met with 2 technical staff of 1st group for a lunch interview. They kept asking me questions while I was trying to chew, but were really awesome people in terms of their personality, so it didn't really feel like an interview, just a conversation

    1pm - met with 1 technical staff of 1st group

    2pm - met with group leader of 2nd group, went over what his division did. This guy was weird

    3pm - met with an assistant group leader and another technical staff of 2nd group. These two were weird as well.

    4pm - met with 2 more technical staff of 2nd group. These two were obnoxious cheauvanistic jerks, and are the reason I would turn down an offer from this group

    4:30pm - debreifed with HR person, he told me where to go the next day

    Day 2
    9am - Showed up at a different building that the HR person told me to go to, and no one had any idea I was coming there. There was a flurry of people confusedly talking to each other and looking for my folder. Finally found the group leader of 3rd group, who was great, and the assistant group leader, who was perhaps the biggest a-hole I have ever met in my life. He was looking at his phone while I was answering his questions, would ask me something and be obviously not listening, and then ask me something that I had just talked about. Had no idea what my name was: he asks while looking at my publication list, "who is this person you co-authored all your papers with?" and I say "....um, that's me."

    The group leader then took me on a quick tour of the labs, and talked way longer than he was allowed, so everyone else was calling and yelling at him to hurry up and give him the candidate.

    10am - met with 2 technical staff from 3rd group, who were awesome. They asked me a random question about my resume that had nothing to do with the job, just something they were curious about that I'd done.

    11am - met with 2 more technical staff from 3rd group, one was nice, the other kept saying "I'm not at liberty to discuss that," which he obviously loved that fact.

    11:30am - debriefing with HR person, asked me which group I liked the best, talked about the rest of the process. He said it sometimes takes groups a really long time to make a decision. Then, when I got an offer, I'd have 30 days to give a response.

    out by noon

    Interview Questions
    • I really felt that all of the questions were straightforward, mostly about specifics of my research. One guy asked me about a specific algorithm I had tested and discarded in my research, and since I had ruled that algorithm out, I kind of forgot how it worked.   View Answer
    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Easy Interview
  7.  

    Technical Staff Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Boston, MA
    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Boston, MA
    Application Details

    I applied through college or university. The process took a dayinterviewed at MIT Lincoln Laboratory in November 2011.

    Interview Details

    Brief HR overview, followed by seminar followed by a series of 1:1 interviews. People asked a lot of really good technical questions and all seemed to genuinely love their jobs.
    Advice for others: Put a good seminar talk together and be prepared to ask technical questions about it.

    Interview Questions
    • Some of the technical questions about my seminar caught me slightly of guard.   Answer Question
    No Offer
    Positive Experience
    Easy Interview
  8. 1 person found this helpful  

    Technical Staff Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Lexington, MA
    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Lexington, MA
    Application Details

    I applied through an employee referral. The process took 2 daysinterviewed at MIT Lincoln Laboratory in February 2010.

    Interview Details

    Wonderful interview. People were friendly and warm. Knew instantly that it would be an excellent work environment! Offered a job right away and hardly had time to interview anywhere else.

    Interview Questions
    • Very difficult presentation questions. People were very insightful and asked detailed questions about my PhD work. Knew very quickly how to assess the heart of an issue and really grilled my work. Loved it!   Answer Question
    Negotiation Details
    Not much of a negotiation. I wish that I had been a little more stern with my starting salary. If I had to do it over again I would at least ask for a student loan bonus.
    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Difficult Interview
  9.  

    Technical Staff Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    Application Details

    I applied online. The process took 2+ monthsinterviewed at MIT Lincoln Laboratory.

    Interview Details

    Applied online. Got a technical phone interview about 2 months later. 2 weeks later, flew out for an onsite interview, which consisted of a technical presentation and 4 one-on-one interviews.

    Overall, know your resume, and know your field. You will be interviewing with some of the top people in the field, and they will catch you if you try to BS.

    Interview Questions
    • Specific question involving some of the background I based my presentation on.   View Answer
    Accepted Offer
    Difficult Interview

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