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PNNL Interview Questions & Reviews in Richland, WA

Updated Jul 23, 2014
All Interviews Received Offers

Getting an Interview  

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Interview Experience  

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Interview Difficulty  

Average Difficulty
6 candidate interviews Back to all interview questions
Relevance Date Difficulty
in

Accepted Offer

Positive Experience

Average Interview

Postdoctoral Research Associate Interview

Postdoctoral Research Associate
Richland, WA

I applied through an employee referral and 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 Question – 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.


No Offer

Positive Experience

Difficult Interview

Engineer II Interview

Engineer II
Richland, WA

I applied through a recruiter and 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 Question – How do you proceed your research in a "non-ideal" world in which many assumptions in your research don't hold?   Answer Question


1 person found this helpful

Accepted Offer

Positive Experience

Difficult Interview

Post Masters Research Associate Interview

Post Masters Research Associate
Richland, WA

I applied through a recruiter and 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 Question – What do your peers view as your strengths and weaknesses? Followed immediately by what you view as your strengths and weaknesses.   Answer Question


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2 people found this helpful

Accepted Offer

Positive Experience

Average Interview

Postdoctoral Research Associate Interview

Postdoctoral Research Associate
Richland, WA

I applied online and the process took 5 weeks - interviewed at PNNL in July 2009.

Interview Details – First is phone interview which focuses on the technical skills and your resume. Then they asked for recommendation letters before they asked me to go for the on-site interview. During on-site, I had a lot of one-on-one sessions with the scientists, and most of the time they talked about their own research instead of asking me questions. There was also a person from HR to introduce the benefits, but no behavior questions asked.

Interview Question – N/A   Answer Question


Accepted Offer

Positive Experience

Average Interview

Business Intern Interview

Business Intern
Richland, WA

I applied online and the process took 2 weeks - interviewed at PNNL in March 2012.

Interview Details – The actual PNNL hiring process is great. They are quick to respond and are professional while, at the same time, are casual enough with you that you remember that they are people. First off, you submit an application online with your resume for the position you want. Next, you will wait around 2 months until they go through all of the applications and contact you with a possible interview. You will then have a one-on-one structured interview. Following this, if they think that you're worth the money, they will do a full background check. This is the only annoying part because, for some reason, the company that did the background check was inept. Once that is all done, you will or will not receive an offer of employment which you have approximately a week to accept.

Interview Questions

  • Describe a time when things did not work out as you had hoped. How did you respond or react?   View Answer
  • How have you shown leadership in an activity that you have participated in?   View Answer

Negotiation Details – I was not given an opportunity as an intern.


1 person found this helpful

Accepted Offer

Positive Experience

Very Easy Interview

Postdoctoral Research Associate Interview

Postdoctoral Research Associate
Richland, WA

I applied online and the process took a day - interviewed at PNNL in June 2011.

Interview Details – I knew the hiring manager very well before i got hired since we dusscussed the academic issues in some conferences. I saw a job posting online which was very similr to his research area. At that time I was looking for a new position so I applied immediately. I also checked with him and it turned out that he needed a person for replacement. I was given an offer soon without an interview since we knew each other quite well.

Interview Question – No difficult question for me   Answer Question

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