NSTAR Program Manager Interview Questions & Reviews
Getting an Interview
Program Manager Interview (Positive Experience; Average Interview)
I applied online and the process took 3 weeks - interviewed at NSTAR in April 2014.
Interview Details – I had two interviews face to face with NSTAR and the way I was handled from HR, to sales, to engineering and management was exceptional. They described the job I interviewed for, in complete detail in regards to the technical, administrative and other functional tasks/duties and they demonstrated down to the personal level about how much they care about the people they hire not just as employees but as individuals with needs and wants. The personnel I interviewed with want people to join NSTAR as members of an extended family for the long term in order to be comfortable to operate at their best. Last but not least, they offer good benefits and a pension plan, which is rear in the corporate world these days. They also offered advancement opportunities and a clear vision about the future of the company and how one could be inclusive to their vision for career growth.
Interview Question – How I can handle the type and amount of workload that was presented and explained in high degree of detail by the hiring manager who was thorough enough to go into the functional and timing aspects of it piece by piece. View Answer
Program Manager Interview (Negative Experience; Difficult Interview)
I applied through a recruiter and the process took 2 months - interviewed at NSTAR in August 2011.
Interview Details – The entire reason for my posting this review is to reveal the haphazard, inefficient and obnoxious interview process at NSTAR. My initial contact was through a recruiter with NSTAR online through LinkedIn. The recruiter commented that my credentials and experience were a good fit for a Program Manager position with the company. When I looked on Linked In at other “Program Managers”, I quickly discovered that this was a ‘catch all’ job title and that the people in these roles varied dramatically in their experience, be it technical or managerial in nature. I called NSTAR on it during my initial phone screenings, asking them the nature of the role. There was some tap dancing, and they requested to bring me in for an in person interview. I was clear about my background, experience, and technical limitations from the get go. To which NSTAR responded that they were looking for someone with my particular skills and experience, technical abilities not being of concern with their educational and training options. Come to find out that the NSTAR recruiter was a CONTRACTOR, and not only did NOT work for NSTAR, but was in my hindsight opinion NOT QUALIFIED to screen candidates!
I came in for a total of four interviews over a period of two months – each time when I asked the interviewer(s) about the role, the description, roles & responsibilities changed. Finally, they admitted that they were only beginning to figure out what this role was going to fulfill. They changed the ‘team’ I was interviewing with mid-stream. The culmination of all the time and energy for BOTH NSAR and I was that I had a 30 minute technical grilling over the phone, my third phone interview after four in person interviews and two months. I failed with style, and was declined for the position. The frustration is that I was up front about my technical abilities as well as throughout the entire process! It was NSTAR that changed what they wanted in the role multiple times and finally decided to go another route. It’s a simple cautionary tale: DON’T WASTE YOUR TIME UNLESS YOU KNOW EXACTLY WHAT YOU’RE INTERVIEWING FOR! I want those hours, no DAYS of my life back, but they’re gone forever. NSTAR – a simple resume screening would have ruled me out of this position, at least what it ended up being, right out of the gate. I know it’s a buyer’s market for employers right now, but how can you run an efficient organization with this kind of flagrant time abuse?
Bottom line on process:
Phone screen 1 - recruiter, general questions for 30 minutes
Phone screen2 – manager, experience based questions for 30-45 minutes
In person interview 1 – manager & team, scenario based questions & digging into experience for 4 hours
In person interview 2 – next level management, more experience questions for 1 hour
In person interview 3 – another team based interview, generic questions getting a sense of cultural fit for 4 hours
In person interview 4 – sales and senior management interview, experience questions, descriptions about position and plans for growth for 2 hours
Phone interview 3 – technical questions in rapid succession for 30 minutes
Interview Question – Given a set of mechanical/electrical conditions, how would you go about re-designging an HVAC system to make it more efficient View Answer