Oak Ridge National Laboratory Interview Questions & Reviews

Updated Aug 23, 2014
Updated Aug 23, 2014
15 interviews

Interview Experience

Interview Experience

76%
23%
0%

Getting an Interview

Getting an Interview

77%
11%
11%

Interview Difficulty

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Average

Interview Difficulty

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Candidate Interview Reviews

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  1.  

    IT Engineer Interview

    Anonymous Employee
    Anonymous Employee
    Application Details

    I interviewed online. The process took 6 weeks - interviewed at Oak Ridge National Laboratory in August 2012.

    Interview Details

    Had a phone interview followed up with an on-site meeting with multiple teams. The process was very professional and detailed. I felt very comfortable and was excited at the opportunity to take the position. The work/life balance they offer was very enticing combined with a great benefits package. The negotiations with pay took the longest time and were unable to meet my expectations to leave my current job.

    Interview Questions
    • Nothing too hard, did a good job letting me explain my professional skill set and asking questions based on my experience.   Answer Question
    Reasons for Declining

    Could not meet my expectations on pay to leave my current job.

    Declined Offer
    Positive Experience
    Average Interview
  2.  

    Group Leader Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate  in  Oak Ridge, TN
    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Oak Ridge, TN
    Application Details

    I interviewed through an employee referral. The process took a day - interviewed at Oak Ridge National Laboratory.

    Interview Details

    Well-planned, easy, straightforward. Spent a day with various people up and down the management chain and with HR. Offer was presented very quickly. Everything was arranged, so visit was easy. Wife spent the day with friends.

    Interview Questions
    Negotiation Details
    Straightforward. No games.
    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Average Interview
  3. 2 people found this helpful  

    Postdoctoral Research Associate Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate  in  Oak Ridge, TN
    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Oak Ridge, TN
    Application Details

    I interviewed online. The process took 3+ weeks - interviewed at Oak Ridge National Laboratory in May 2012.

    Interview Details

    Wanted to learn neutron-scattering, and then saw advertisement for position in Linked-in on post-doctoral fellowship on neutron sciences. Found that the head of the division was a co-worker with my boss at IBM Research. I always wanted to work under somebody like this, hence I emailed him directly (got ID from the Linked-in website). He replied, and we set up a time for a telephonic "chat". The chat went simple, he asked me about my background, simple science questions on my PhD project. He also briefed me about how it is different to work in a National Laboratory and an University. It was rather friendly. At the end of it, he gave me guidelines to fill up the application online, stressing me to keep it 'to-the-point' and short (and not write long essays which no-one will read).

    The second interviews were on-site. After badging and security clearance at gate, I had to report with an HR personnel in the morning, followed by 3 morning interviews, and 5 evening interviews with various groups (associated with different instruments at the Spallation Neutron Source). They were all very enthusiastic in describing their research, rather than listening to mine, and the best stance for me was to listen carefully and offer useful and promising suggestions. Finally, there was a tour of HFIR and SNS, before I was released for the day. The entire interview focused on how working with neutrons is different from working in other fields, and whether I am a good personality match for the same. Very little science questions were asked, although a lot of science that is done in the laboratory (and in USA in general) was discussed in a friendly manner.

    Interview Questions
    • How would you cope into a National Laboratory in the middle of no-where after coming from a vibrant city like Chicago? Remember, post-doctoral people have complained about feeling dejected at work because of a lack-lustre social life.   View Answer
    Negotiation Details
    I was informed of the offer over telephone, and I was told a salary. which is at par my expectations from this laboratory, and slightly higher than what the average entry-level post-doctoral fellow in my field make here. They recruited me as a "Material Science Post-Doc" rather than a "Physics post-doc" since it allows higher pay-package according to ORNL rules. I was happy about this change that they made (even before they contacted me with the offer). I took a month to compare this offer to my other offers, before I accepted.

    The background check that followed was. however, painful. It took them 3.5 months to go through it, since apparently my country of citizenship is considered 'sensitive to national security'. It was eventually cleared.
    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Easy Interview
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  5.  

    Network Administrator Interview

    Anonymous Employee
    Anonymous Employee
    Application Details

    I interviewed online. The process took 1 week - interviewed at Oak Ridge National Laboratory in July 2011.

    Interview Details

    Initial communication only took a few days after submitting resume. 1 hour phone interview and lots of technical questions.

    Interview Questions
    • Most difficult questions were questions about hardware that is seldom used in the industry.   Answer Question
    No Offer
    Positive Experience
    Average Interview
  6. 1 person found this helpful  

    R&D Staff Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate  in  Oak Ridge, TN
    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Oak Ridge, TN
    Application Details

    I interviewed through an employee referral. The process took 2 months - interviewed at Oak Ridge National Laboratory in December 2009.

    Interview Details

    The interview process is commonly described by candidates as "intense". It generally begins at 9am, and consists of the candidate presenting an hour long seminar on a research topic of their choice (relavant to the position), followed by a series of interviews. The interviews will be a mix of one-on-one interviews and groups of 5-20 people in the peer group for the position under consideration. While there can be long delays between the opening of a position and the start of interviews, hiring decisions usually follow the interview of the top 5 candidates fairly quickly. Drug test and background check are required.

    Salaries, number of weeks of vacation, start date, moving expenses, and temporary remote work arrangements among other things are negotiable for senior R&D positions.

    Interview Questions
    • The peer group interviews will test the limits of your knowledge in those areas where you claim expertise in either your seminar or your resume. Candidates who cannot back up their claims generally do not stand any chance.   View Answer
    Negotiation Details
    Negotiation is typical for R&D staff positions. Salary, vacation days, moving expenses, temporary remote work arrangements, start date, etc. are negotiable.
    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Difficult Interview
  7.  

    Staff Scientist Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate  in  Oak Ridge, TN
    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Oak Ridge, TN
    Application Details

    I interviewed through an employee referral. The process took 2 months - interviewed at Oak Ridge National Laboratory.

    Interview Details

    Got hired after invited to give a seminar. Talked with other staff members very informally.

    Interview Questions
    Negotiation Details
    I was not able to negotiate.
    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Average Interview
  8.  

    Electrical Engineer Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate  in  Oak Ridge, TN
    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Oak Ridge, TN
    Application Details

    I interviewed through other source. The process took a day - interviewed at Oak Ridge National Laboratory in January 2011.

    Interview Details

    I spoke with each department head I would be directly working with. I was asked about my background and my area of expertise.

    Interview Questions
    Negotiation Details
    Fail and balanced I got what I was asking for.
    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Average Interview
  9.  

    Postdoctoral Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate  in  Oak Ridge, TN
    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Oak Ridge, TN
    Application Details

    I interviewed through other source. The process took a day - interviewed at Oak Ridge National Laboratory in November 2011.

    Interview Details

    Good communicatoin during interview process.

    Interview Questions
    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Average Interview
  10. 1 person found this helpful  

    Research Associate Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate  in  Knoxville, TN
    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Knoxville, TN
    Application Details

    The process took 2 days - interviewed at Oak Ridge National Laboratory in March 2008.

    Interview Details

    I interviewed for two days by giving presentation and talking to the people who work in the group I was interviewing for. The presentation ended with in-depth questioning on the research topic of the presentation. One on one interviews were targeted towards evaluating my interpersonal skills as well as technical qualification.

    Interview Questions
    Accepted Offer
    Neutral Experience
    Average Interview
  11.  

    Software Developer II Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate  in  Oak Ridge, TN
    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Oak Ridge, TN
    Application Details

    I interviewed online. The process took 3 weeks - interviewed at Oak Ridge National Laboratory in March 2009.

    Interview Details

    I received a call from the supervisor, scheduled an interview, talked to the three group members about the position and my skills/experience, the average work day, and my interests as far as a career. The group members were dressed casually in jeans, tennis shoes/boots, and had a relaxed demeanor. They have been this way for the past year I worked here and only dress up for conferences and media events. They maintain a professional attitude most of the time and rarely speak badly about each other. Good atmosphere to work in.

    Interview Questions
    • I don't remember any questions aside from What is your experience? Have you used "x" skill? etc.   View Answer
    Negotiation Details
    There was basically no negotiating.
    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Easy Interview

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