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Rockwell Collins Systems Engineer Interview Questions & Reviews

Updated Apr 24, 2014
All Interviews Received Offers

Getting an Interview  

38%
33%
16%

Interview Experience  

90%
10%
0%

Interview Difficulty  

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

No Offer

Positive Experience

Average Interview

Systems Engineer Interview

Systems Engineer
Cedar Rapids, IA

I applied through college or university and the process took 1 week - interviewed at Rockwell Collins.

Interview Details – Everyone was extremely nice and welcoming, as well as very interested in what they had to do. I had an onsite interview in Cedar Rapids, and felt very much like a tight knit group that were passionate about their product. The complex is big, but everyone seemed to know each other. The process itself was long, but I expected it to last most of the day. About 6 hours of questions about technical and behavioral question, most of which were your typical "name a time when..."

Interview Question – Name a time when you had to convince team members to be motivated   Answer Question


No Offer

Neutral Experience

Systems Engineer Interview

Systems Engineer

Interviewed at Rockwell Collins

Interview Details – First contacted them during career fair on campus, scheduled an interview for the next day. First interview was an even mix of technical and behavioral questions. A couple of weeks after the first interview received an email from a manager requesting a phone interview. The phone interview was mainly technical questions and expanding on resume information.

Interview Question – Tell us about a difficult problem you've solved.   Answer Question


1 person found this helpful

Accepted Offer

Neutral Experience

Systems Engineer Interview

Systems Engineer

I applied through an employee referral and the process took 4+ weeks - interviewed at Rockwell Collins.

Interview Details – Seemed to be very informal, much more about personality than experience or knowledge. It was mostly just conversation about semi-related topics. Easy interview.

Negotiation Details – Tried to negotiate, but was told take it or leave it.


Accepted Offer

Neutral Experience

Average Interview

Systems Engineer Interview

Systems Engineer
Cedar Rapids, IA

I applied through a recruiter and the process took 3 weeks - interviewed at Rockwell Collins in September 2012.

Interview Details – Recruiters were very well acquainted with the discipline and various engineering specialties needed to completely describe the requirements for the position and understand my skill set. Throughout the interview process everyone was responsive polite and engaging. I never felt like I was in a "process". Thorough notes were taken and passed to the hiring manager, so I never had to repeat myself about goals, desires or prerequisites. Application paperwork was not onerous, took me about 30 minutes to complete.

Interview Question – The most difficult part of the interview was translating between my experience and the Rockwell Collins vernacular. The company has a very strong corporate culture, and some of their terminology was difficult to decipher from context.   Answer Question

Negotiation Details – The recruiter was able to candidly indicate which parts of the offer were flexible and which could not be modified.


1 person found this helpful

Declined Offer

Positive Experience

Average Interview

Systems Engineer Interview

Systems Engineer
Cedar Rapids, IA

I applied through other source and the process took a day - interviewed at Rockwell Collins in October 2011.

Interview Details – The people were amazing and very nice, got an interview at a career fair, they liked me, emailed me and asked me if I would fly in for a second interview, to which i was much obliged. Interviewed with team managers who really liked me and they were quite hospitable

Interview Question – What was a time you had a member of your team that wasn't very motivated and what did you do about it?   Answer Question

Reason for Declining – I didn't want to live that far from my family in the SE united states


1 person found this helpful

Accepted Offer

Positive Experience

Average Interview

Systems Engineer Interview

Systems Engineer
Cedar Rapids, IA

I applied through college or university and the process took 2 days - interviewed at Rockwell Collins in November 2010.

Interview Details – First contact was through the university career fair. I waited in line, presented my resume and spoke with a representitve for about 15 minutes, which was slightly longer than the other companies I spoke with. That evwning I received a call at roughly 8pm to schedule aan interview the next day. The next day the person I interviewed with was not the same person I spoke with on the day prior. They had 4 or 5 interviews going at a time in a large room, while most of the other second day interviews I attended only had two or three. The next step was accepting an invitation for an onsite interview. Naturally they paid for hotel' flight anf rental car. The onsite consisted of, for me, 4 job interviews for 4 different position. each interview was one hour 45 minutes, totalling about 7 hours, but some interviews were a bit shorter. I received an offer, contingent on background and drug test, about a week later. Overall very few technical questions, most consisted of how you communicate and work with people and how you would evaluate ssomething (systems specific)

Interview Question – Where do you see yourself in 10 years?   Answer Question


Accepted Offer

Positive Experience

Easy Interview

Systems Engineer Interview

Systems Engineer
Cedar Rapids, IA

I applied online and the process took 3 days - interviewed at Rockwell Collins in March 2011.

Interview Details – I was flown to Cedar Rapids. Once in Cedar Rapids, I took a company provided rental car to the Marriott. All food and travel expenses were reimbursed by Rockwell. The next morning we had a welcome breakfast with a company overview. After that there were 4 sessions of interviews/or tour. I had 4 interviews, but most other participants had 1-2 interviews. Each hiring manager drove us to their site. All questions were HR based-- with some questions about past projects. Other than being able to "talk technical" that was the end of the technical aspects. Each hiring manager showed us their labs and their area. During the evening there were snacks and drinks with each of the hiring managers-- jeans/polo-- is acceptable. The next day was a bus tour of cedar rapids. Overall, the interview was easy, but 4 interviews made for a very long, demanding day.

Interview Questions

Negotiation Details – Not really negotiable, but offer was higher than I was expecting. If you decide within 2 weeks you qualify for a signing bonus.


Declined Offer

Positive Experience

Difficult Interview

Systems Engineer Interview

Systems Engineer
Cedar Rapids, IA

I applied through college or university and the process took a day - interviewed at Rockwell Collins in March 2010.

Interview Details – Secured the interview through a Georgia Tech career fair. The interview was an all-day long event, and consisted of talks with 3 departments. Filled out paperwork and listened to presentation about Cedar Rapids area during breakfast. The actual interview process began shortly thereafter. Interviews consisted of behavioral and technical questions, but were mostly technical. I was caught off guard when the very first group I interviewed with asked me to go up to the whiteboard and teach them something from a technical subject of my choosing. Fortunately I was able to pull something out of my head quickly. I came to expect this from the next groups I talked to after it happened a second time (and yet a third time later in the day). They also like to quiz you on the spot. One of the one-on-one interviews consisted of a printout of a short 50-line c code program, and the interviewer asked me to determine what its resultant output was... normally I wouldn't be bothered by this, but the code was full of tricks... coding practices a good coder would never use.
If you interview with them, be prepared for on the spot quizes and spur of the moment requests to go up to the whiteboard. Be sure that you don't "inflate" your credentials in your resume. They may quiz you on work history, school projects, courses, etc... but that's to be expected. They especially liked to ask questions pertaining to what was learned in (a) given course(s).

Interview Questions

  • Go to the whiteboard and teach us something from a technical subject of your choosing.   Answer Question
  • We have people of many faiths and diverse backgrounds working for the company. How would you work with and communicate effectively with people in such an environment?   View Answer

Reason for Declining – The offer was terrible. I have a 4.0 from a top 10 graduate engineering program with 7 years experience (albeit, 4 years as an intern) in the field (related to what I would be doing at Rockwell Collins) and all they offered me was 64k. When I told them I would need more than that, they countered with 67k with a 3k signing bonus. I politely declined their offer. Don't expect to get a competitive salary at this company, that is, unless perhaps you are an SME.


1 person found this helpful

Accepted Offer

Positive Experience

Easy Interview

Systems Engineer Interview

Systems Engineer
Cedar Rapids, IA

I applied online and the process took a day - interviewed at Rockwell Collins in September 2009.

Interview Details – Applied to a req. online, got a call a couple days later by recruiter. In the end, I'd say about 4 managers ended up calling me to ask me about my application. The phone interview was pretty simple, just to confirm that I am who I said I was. The face-to-face interview started with a presentation by myself about what I'd worked on, followed by questions by individuals. The rest of the day was spent interviewing each manager individually along with a tour of the facility.

Interview Questions

Negotiation Details – No ability to negotiate, but the sign-on bonus was pretty generous. Unfortunately, accepting the bonus and relocation money means you need to spend at least 1 year at RCI. Consider this carefully as 1 year can seem like an awfully long period of time while you're waiting.


4 people found this helpful

Accepted Offer

Positive Experience

Average Interview

Systems Engineer Interview

Systems Engineer
Cedar Rapids, IA

I applied through other source and the process took 2 days - interviewed at Rockwell Collins in January 2008.

Interview Details – Rockwell Collins performs what is called a round robin interview process for engineering. I'm not sure if they have the same process for finance or HR or even higher lever managerial or executive positions. I found out about the company through a career fair and after presenting my resume and discussing my skills and interests, was invited to the round robin event at the their headquarters in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. How it works is like this: based on your resume (job experience, intern/co-op experience, undergrad/grad GPA), the folks at Rockwell put you on a "wall" for all hiring managers in your area of interest or their preference of job to see. The managers then pick which candidates they would like to interview at the round robin. They fly you up to Cedar Rapids and put you in the Crowne Plaza, and they give you an orientation of the company in the ballroom with a group of other potential candidates. They provide lunch and a site tour of the campus.

The number of interviews you get that day depends on how many managers are interested in hiring you. If two managers want to interview you, you spend about with each manager,. I had 5 30-45 minutes interviews back to back in a BIG room where candidates are rotated through interview tables. 3 managers in the morning, then lunch at round tables with current employees and managers present to answer any questions about the company, interview process or life in Iowa, then my last 2 interviews. The interviews can be one hiring manager, or a hiring manager plus a current engineer or a manager in the dept, or a manager that may not be your direct manager (this is not good in my opinion, because you REALLY want to get a feel for who you will be working for and ask questions about expectations. In short, if you get to the interview, ask if the person interviewing you would be your direct manager, if they are not, be wary).

Then they take you down to Iowa City, which is a much more liberal and college oriented area (thanks to Univ of Iowa) for a mingler/mixer, where you meet other young people who've been with the company a short time (perhaps in the honeymoon phase before stuff gets real) to ask more questions about what you can do in Iowa, how are the people, and so on. After you get home they rate your interviews amongst everyone that interviewed you. I believe they ask you to rank your top three manger/group choices before leaving. The managers rank the candidates they interviewed. If your top choice matches their top choice, you get the one offer. If more than one manager has you as their number one, I think you get an offer from each and you have to choose. Or, they bid for you internally to only dish out one offer.

ASK LOTS OF QUESTIONS THROUGH THE ENTIRE PROCESS. I find that most people are so excited about being "courted" they think everything is beautiful, but they don't ask the right questions. What is work/life balance like? What are the apartments like in Cedar Rapids? How is the driving in the winter since the weather is harsh? Do you feel connected with the community? Does the community embrace newcomers (since is it primarily a blue collar town)? What kind of cultural outlets are available? Where do the young professionals hang out (NOT college students)? What is the average time a non-native Iowan or Cedar Rapidian stays with the company? Do they treat you as well to keep you as they do to get you? What groups have mandatory overtime? How does the 401(k) program work? What are the differences in the benefits packages (PPO vs EPO)? If you have kids, how long is the waiting list for company daycare? You HAVE to ask these questions.

They send you a formal offer letter through the mail with your salary on it. You can negotiate, which I didn't, or you can reply to accept. Once accepted, you have to do a full background and drug test, in which they DO call your previous employers for references. If you pass everything with flying colors, you pack up and move to Iowa. Your first day you spend in an orientation going over your benefits choices and learning more about the company (AGAIN, ask a bunch of questions. I HIGHLY recommend that if you can get more info from your manager or HR about the PPO and EPO programs BEFORE you get there, the better. That way you know what you're getting into). Just because people OFFER insurance, doesn't make what they're offering good for YOU depending on your financial situation. Plus, they try to hurry you to make important decisions about the medical/dental/vision plans, group life insurance and so on. If you're new to the experience, it can be overwhelming and you just start choosing whatever because you have move on.

The onboarding process from what I hear has SIGNIFICANTLY improved to what I have just described, and some newbies even say that it has gotten better.

Interview Question – Explain high band pass filters.   Answer Question

Negotiation Details – Always counter with whatever the national median is for your position, because I bet they will offer lower. For example, if they offer you $58,000 for an entry starting Systems Engineer, find what the national median is for your area. It may be $60,000 or $61,000. Cost of living is cheaper relatively speaking in Cedar Rapids, but still go for what you are worth. They get HORDES of folks snatching up that first offer because they don't know any better. You may also be able to negotiate your relocation package too. Just be aware, whatever the relocation money is that they give you in the offer, subtract about 40% of it. It's taxed at a higher rate. So if you NEED $3000 to move, don't let them give you a $3000 relocation bonus, because after taxes, the amount you get in your first check is $1800. Ask for $5500 or $6000.

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