PNNL Interview Questions

Updated Aug 31, 2014
Updated Aug 31, 2014
16 Interview Reviews

Interview Experience

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Getting an Interview

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Candidate Interview Reviews

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  1.  

    Postdoctoral Research Associate Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate  in  Richland, WA
    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Richland, WA
    Application Details

    I applied online - interviewed at PNNL in January 2010.

    Interview Details

    Very formal interviewing process. Committee members knew well what they are looking for. But they did not understand my presentation about my research. Nobody asked critical questions about my research. During the entire interview I do not fell any challenges.

    Interview Questions
    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Easy Interview
  2.  

    Postdoctoral Research Associate Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    Application Details

    I applied through other source - interviewed at PNNL.

    Interview Details

    It had a fixed procedure to follow. The interview wasn't too stressful. It took a day, but wasn't tightly scheduled. It might take a while. Just have to be patient.

    Interview Questions
    • Not really. It is more about talking about the technical background. Interviewers were pretty nice, but smart too.   Answer Question
    Negotiation Details
    There wasn't one.
    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Average Interview
  3.  

    Postdoctoral Research Associate C Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    Application Details

    I applied in-person. The process took 2 weeks - interviewed at PNNL.

    Interview Details

    Very easy.
    Just a walk around the place and meeting the collaborators.
    Make to understand your responsibility, the place and people.
    Started with a phone call and called for an onsite visit. everything organized very smoothly.

    Interview Questions
    Negotiation Details
    Easy
    Accepted Offer
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  5.  

    Postdoctoral Research Associate Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate  in  Richland, WA
    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Richland, WA
    Application Details

    I applied through an employee referral. The process took 3+ months - interviewed at PNNL in June 2014.

    Interview Details

    I had an excellent interview experience overall. I was referred to my lab manager by a colleague via email. The manager replied and we had two talks on the phone about my research, what he was looking for, and the details of the project. I was asked to complete an online application and I was then invited out to an on-site interview about a month later.

    The on-site interview went great; it was professionally organized and I met with probably a dozen different researchers. All seemed to be interested in sharing their experiences, and they were quite frank about their opinion of the group/lab. I was asked to give a 45 minute talk to a group of about 30 researchers from around the laboratory. The questions were no more difficult than those asked at my thesis defense and I generally got a good reception. I was then taken out to lunch and offered a tour of the various facilities. The lab allowed me to stay on for the weekend to explore the area and then I headed home. HR followed up about a month later with a formal offer, which I accepted.

    Interview Questions
    • There were a couple difficult technical questions during the presentation, but I was able to handle them.   Answer Question
    Negotiation Details
    The lab offered a generous package of compensation, but they would not negotiate on any points. I have heard that some of the divisions at the lab are more amenable to negotiating, so this may be different for other people.
    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Average Interview
  6. 1 person found this helpful  

    Post Masters RA Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    Application Details

    I applied online. The process took 5 days - interviewed at PNNL in October 2013.

    Interview Details

    Hiring process was very smooth and exciting. Question asked were directly related to the question and majority of them were technical. They went off of my resume and didn't ask any "human resource" type of question.. They were purely interested in research abilities and technical knowledge.

    Negotiation Details
    NA
    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Average Interview
  7.  

    Engineer II Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate  in  Richland, WA
    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Richland, WA
    Application Details

    I applied through a recruiter. The process took a day - interviewed at PNNL in June 2014.

    Interview Details

    7:30 am having breakfast with group manager, security check in, 9:30am one-hour presentation and Q/A, 12:00pm lunch with group manager and colleagues, 2 on 1 interview for the rest of the day, 5:00pm interview with HR

    Interview Questions
    • How do you proceed your research in a "non-ideal" world in which many assumptions in your research don't hold?   Answer Question
    No Offer
    Positive Experience
    Difficult Interview
  8.  

    Post Bachelor Research Assistant Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate  in  Seattle, WA
    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Seattle, WA
    Application Details

    I applied online. The process took 2 weeks - interviewed at PNNL in May 2014.

    Interview Details

    First you will have a 1-1 phone interview with the immediate supervisor, which is pretty informal. Next they will likely ask you the send sample code for one of your projects. Following that there is either an on-site interview or teleconference interview with the group that you would be work with.

    Interview Questions
    Negotiation Details
    Not negotiable.
    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Easy Interview
  9. 2 people found this helpful  

    Postdoctoral Research Associate Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    Application Details

    I applied online. The process took 2 months - interviewed at PNNL.

    Interview Details

    The smoothest I've ever experienced.

    A month after I applied, I received an email from one of the staff scientists asking for recommendation letters. Meanwhile, they were conducting their own background check on me by asking anyone in our shared circles of coworkers/collaborators about me, I guess to get a sense of what type of person/scientist I was.

    Soon afterwards, I was scheduled for a phone interview, which lasted about 30 min with a few of the staff scientists in the group I would potentially work with. They first told me a bit about PNNL, the group, and the project. Then, they asked me about my grad school research, my work habits, why I want to work in a national lab, what are my career aspirations, and if I had a preference for any of the projects with openings. They allowed some time for me to ask questions, which I took advantage of to show my interest in working there. An important thing was before my interview, I read papers published by the staff scientist I was scheduled to interview with so I'd be more prepared to discuss some science.

    Interview Questions
    Negotiation Details
    As a postdoc, the only thing to negotiate is the start date.
    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Easy Interview
  10.  

    Staff Scientist V Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    Application Details

    I applied online - interviewed at PNNL.

    Interview Details

    Interview process was better than average, good scheduling, well organized, nice arrangements, two interviews performed. However hiring personnel had little clue about the position and what to expect from it.

    Interview Questions
    • Because of the nature of the position there were few technical questions and interview thus was not quite challenging on a technical side   Answer Question
    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
  11. 1 person found this helpful  

    Post Masters Research Associate Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate  in  Richland, WA
    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Richland, WA
    Application Details

    I applied through a recruiter. The process took 4+ weeks - interviewed at PNNL.

    Interview Details

    Initial communication came from a very helpful admin, who kept me informed and quickly setup up the initial phone screening. The phone conversation had a nice flow to it and the interviewers did not waste time with typical interview questions, which was very refreshing. The on-site interview was scheduled 2 weeks later and took place from 9am to 3pm. It consisted of one-one interviews with potential mentors, colleagues and managers, tours and panel interviews. Very thorough, but I felt comfortable going through the process. They make it very apparent that you should be interviewing them as much as they are interviewing you. It was, by far, the longest interview of my life, but I can't say it was painful. It wasn't easy by any means, it was just very high caliber and well organized.

    Interview Questions
    • What do your peers view as your strengths and weaknesses? Followed immediately by what you view as your strengths and weaknesses.   Answer Question
    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Difficult Interview

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