SPX Interview Questions & Reviews
Getting an Interview
- Popular Job Titles:
- Financial Analyst (2)
- Engineering Development Program (2)
- Human Resources Rotational Position (1)
- Human Resources General Assistant (Rotational) (1)
- Human Resource Development Program (1)
- Engineering (1)
- Communications (1)
- Mechanical Engineer (1)
- Technical Writer (1)
- Analyst (1)
- Senior Software Engineer (1)
- Automotive Technician (1)
- Engineer (1)
- Process Design Engineer (1)
Engineering Development Program Interview (Positive Experience; Difficult Interview)
I applied through college or university and the process took 3 weeks - interviewed at SPX.
Interview Details – Applied online and talked to them at a booth at my career fair. Had an on-campus interview the next week and that went really well and connected with the recruiter and was then invited for the final on-site interview which was pretty tough. I flew to their facility and I arrived the night before and had dinner with managers and people whom I would be interviewing with the next morning. The next morning we had HR presentation and then I had 2 and a half hours of panel interviews with maybe 10 people total. I just sat in a room and people rotated in and out every half hour. It was tough because one would write and another person would maybe look at me and it was hard to sort of give both people attention at the same time whenever one person asked a question. All STAR questions of course and every single one I was asked that day was unique, so we're talking about 40 questions, so get those situational answers ready because they all compare notes after you leave and want to have different answers even though some questions could overlap. We then went out to lunch with some newly hired engineers and then had a tour of their plant and I flew back to school.
- Why are you better than the rest of the candidates here? Answer Question
- Tell me about a time where your ethics were challenged and how did you cope with it? Answer Question
- What drives you? Answer Question
- What is success to you? Answer Question
Negotiation Details – Very straightforward and positive.
Financial Analyst Interview (Neutral Experience)
I applied through college or university and the process took 4+ weeks - interviewed at SPX.
Interview Details – campus recruiting - campus interview(first round) - final round on site (including interviews + lunch + dinner)
Interview Question – No question was unexpected, the difficult thing is how they asked Answer Question
Senior Software Engineer Interview (Negative Experience; Easy Interview)
I applied online and the process took 4+ weeks - interviewed at SPX in September 2013.
Interview Details – This reviews both the interview experiences I had with SPX Genfare, located in Elk Grove Village, as well as the company hired to recruit their employees, Superior Technical Solutions (STS). I've searched Glassdoor for an STS entry, but was unable to find one. STS should reviewed as well since they are hired to represent SPX.
Never in my career have I had such a negative experience with a company as well as a recruitment firm. Unless you need a life boat between jobs, are in a bad situation, or face imminent layoff, avoid both of these firms. I feel a moral obligation to inform people about this company and the recruitment firm. In my opinion, the recruitment firm is bottom of the barrel. In the past, I've worked with other recruitment firms and companies which are more professional and without any issues.
The recruiter seemed to like to play mind games. He made manipulative statements, such as how SPX is really "going to bat," "I'd better take the position if," and implying I have financial issues. I don't. One of my colleagues had some good insight regarding his tactics:
"...based on what the recruiter has said, I'd agree that he's playing mind games. In other words, trying to make you feel bad, so that you'll reduce your desired salary amount to make it more likely that you'll get an acceptable offer so that he gets his money, etc..."
I heard about the opening through a colleague. SPX is using a niche RTOS which I currently use and have many years experience with. I had a look at the opening and applied from one of the job websites. A few days later I received a call from the recruitment firm (STS) describing the opening in more detail. It sounded like an interesting application and I decided to pursue it.
The 1st step was to set-up a phone interview. SPX blew off the initial phone interview and didn't apologize or provide any reason. Against one of my colleagues advice, I went ahead and set-up a 2nd phone interview.
The phone interview was with the Director of Software Engineering. The questions were pretty typical, asked about my background and involvement with the particular RTOS, and nothing too technical. I was invited to an on-site interview. In general it was professional and they seemed to understand the technology. I was told it will be a panel interview and assured I wouldn't be grilled.
The on-site interview wasn't very good. I spoke with the Director of Software Engineering and a few engineers. The questions weren't difficult. I found it humorous that in one case, one engineer asked me a question, and another answered it! One interviewer spent most of the time complaining about the company and its lack of development process. Also, I kept asking about what the working environment was like (i.e. cubicals, tools, etc..), but never got a straight answer. One clue was that there was only one more phone extension available at the facility and he wasn't sure if he or someone else would get it. SPX probably shouldn't have had that individual as part of the interview process and listening to the complaints was disturbing. In general, he's description sounded like a lot of people running around with their heads cut-off and a pretty chaotic situation. After discussing this with one of my colleagues, he had some good insight:
"..(good) managers should have a clue about how their reports feel about their job/employer. If you knew somebody didn't like their job/employer, you wouldn't line them up to help with interviews! Clearly SPX has no clue about this guy. In other words, they've lost (or never had) their connection to their employees!.."
The next step was another on-site interview with the Director of HR, required and part of the process. Once again, against advice from my colleagues, I went ahead with the interview. I should have stopped this right then and listened to my colleagues, but I was hoping the company would redeem itself at some point.
This person was very nice and professional, and invited me to send any further questions I may have regarding the benefits. I collected a set of questions, and sent them to him as well as the recruiter (to keep him in the loop). It was somewhat difficult to get specific benefit costing answers from the HR department.
SPX decided to make me an offer.
Interview Question – Nothing really difficult or unexpected. I expected more "behavioral" type questions from the Director of HR, but there were none. Answer Question
Reason for Declining – Although SPX did make me a substantial offer, most of the offer was based on a lateral move. The residual amount was a pretty typical offer for changing employers. However, I declined the offer primarily based on my negative experiences during the interview process and the initial on-site. I carefully reviewed the information I had, and concluded that this would be an unstable and chaotic development environment.
After I declined the offer, the recruiter sent me a very nasty and unprofessional message. He banned me from any further involvement with his firm (no loss), told me "...I'm a dime a dozen...," and forbid any further contact to SPX. Of course, I took the liberty of forwarding that message to the Director of HR at SPX. I felt he should be informed of the kind of person and firm that is representing SPX. Also, I forwarded the recruiter's message to other managers and colleagues I know who are currently looking to fill openings or are in the job market.
The recruiter needs to realize that an offer is an *offer* for employment and does *not* constitute an employment contract or guarantee acceptance. Additionally, SPX *chose* to make the offer. I wonder if the recruiter had misled his client into believing that the offer would be accepted.
Furthermore, after showing the message to another colleague, he made an insightful statement:
"...I've never heard or seen anything like this in a professional environment in my life. This, together with his tone during negotiations indicates a deeply troubled and immature personality. You did well to stay away from these people if he is representative of the quality of person they engage. Really sorry you, or anyone, should be exposed to something like this..."
Process Design Engineer Interview (Negative Experience; Average Interview)
I applied online and the process took 2 days - interviewed at SPX in April 2010.
Interview Details – i must admit i was very pleased with the intial phone screen. once passed, the HR rep moved rather quickly in getting me on site for a face to face. once i met with the staff on site, it was there i quickly learned about company culture etc. two of the interviewers obviously felt threatened by me. one, another military vet, was asking me to divulge information pertaining to my sub duty. another, the hiring manager i believe, spent more time critiquing my resume and telling me how his girl left him then asking me questions about the position. on my way out, i asked to be reimbursed for my gasoline expense for driving from buffalo to rochester, which HR agreed. definitely one of my strangest interviews.
Interview Question – could you tell me the names of the submarines you had duty on? View Answer
Automotive Technician Interview (Positive Experience; Difficult Interview)
I applied through a recruiter and the process took 5 weeks - interviewed at SPX.
Interview Details – Panel Interview
Interview Question – Explain how you got into trouble and how you got out of it. Answer Question
Negotiation Details – No negotiation.
Engineer Interview (Neutral Experience)
Interviewed at SPX
Interview Details – This was a while back so I'm not sure if I remember all the details, so I have interviewed with them (SPX) on campus, If I remember correctly the interview was for less than 45 minutes.
My advise; be well prepared for the interview.
Interview Question – Since this was a long time ago, I don't really remember, so I don't want to put something that's not very accurate. Answer Question
Human Resource Development Program Interview (Positive Experience; Difficult Interview)
The process took 3 weeks - interviewed at SPX in November 2011.
Interview Details – First, I had a phone interview, which was fairly easy in my opinion. It consisted of basic questions, mostly behavioral and others such as why I chose the college I was attending and my major. Then I met in person with one of the recruiters and had an easy-going conversation about my interest in HR and with SPX (career goals, my strengths and weaknesses, etc). About one week later I was invited to the final round interviews.
The final round interview day was pretty intense. There were 12 candidates for ONLY 2 positions... so it was very competitive. The day is split in two: 6 candidates go for their interviews in the morning and the next 6 come around lunch time. I was in the group that came in later so when I arrived we all had lunch (all 12 interviewees and the 8 interview team members). Next, I was taken into a board room where the entire interview team and 6 of us candidates had to present our SPX tagline. Most of the interviewees introduced their tagline and then explained why they chose it. I however told everyone how I went about creating my tagline, why I chose it, and finally what it was. This is supposed to be fun - do not worry about if your tagline isn't the best. You didn't get a degree in marketing or whatever. You need to make sure to smile, be excited, and to fully explain your tagline. Go through your thought processes and the research you did on the company - this is where you show everyone what you know about SPX.
For the next few hours, I had a series of 4 interviews. Each interview was with two members of upper management. These were very structured and lasted 25 minutes, with 5 minutes of Q&A. The interviewers asked typical behavioral questions and some I had already been asked before in the phone interview. Be ready to tell them why they should pick YOU over the rest of the qualified graduates. Also, there was a quick tour of the building with two of the current members of the program.
After all of this, I was mentally exhausted... and we were sent back to our hotel to regroup and get ready for the social that evening. You are told to dress very casual, but in my opinion, don't go in your chuck tailors. You need to look older and mature so wear something nice, not a t-shirt. We all rode uptown together to Strike City for dinner, drinks, and bowling. SPX had rented out the party room so there were two private lanes and servers for the group. This was very casual, and yes you can get a drink, but don't get carried away and get 3 vodka tonics because you are still trying to make an impression. The food was your usual pub grub and you sit where ever to eat. Make sure to make your rounds and to talk with each member of the interview team. If you are nervous, like I was, try to come up with things to talk about that you can contribute to. I started many conversations with asking people where they had traveled to or if they spoke another language.
Overall, what you want to take away from this is: the behavioral questions they ask you will be different than most companies use. SPX likes to take basic interview questions and put their own spin on it so just take a second and think about what the interviewer is really trying to know from the question.
Finally, it took about 1-2 weeks to hear back from them to see if I got an offer, which I did not.
Human Resources General Assistant (Rotational) Interview (Positive Experience; Average Interview)
I applied through college or university and the process took 2 days - interviewed at SPX in May 2011.
Interview Details – Interview process consists of two rounds; first consists of a phone interview, the second consists of personal interviews. The initial interview was laid-back. Most of the questions were to gain further insight on my background. The second interview was a little harder. I interviewed with three different people who all asked knowledge and aptitude questions. There was some overlap in questions so I tried to remain consistent. Overall, everyone was friendly and conversational. I felt very welcomed and enjoyed a tour of the building after the second round.
Interview Question – Describe, in specific detail, what your time management skills are and how you use them on a daily basis. View Answer
Engineering Interview (Positive Experience; Difficult Interview)
The process took 2 weeks - interviewed at SPX in September 2010.
Interview Details – Communication was quick, efficient, and feedback was quick (few days after the interview). Only issue was the schedule deviated slightly from what was proposed a day earlier, but I understand that happens in today's fast-paced companies. Interview questions were basic behavioral questions, but with a few specific twists based on my experience on my resume. There was a lot of emphasis placed on communication, teamwork and product knowledge. I met with HR the same day and all of the questions that I had on benefits, training and future potential was answered very quickly. Overall it was a good experience in that I felt the process enabled me to get to know SPX and for them to get to know me. Although I was not offered a position, I believe they displayed professionalism throughout the process.
Interview Question – Can you tell me about your biggest accomplishment? Answer Question