Sandia Interview Questions & Reviews in Albuquerque, NM
Getting an Interview
- Popular Job Titles:
- Member of Technical Staff (6)
- Senior Member of Technical Staff (5)
- Postdoctoral Appointee (5)
- Engineering (4)
- Intern (3)
- Research Scientist (2)
- Postdoctoral Fellow (2)
- Postdoctoral Research Fellow (1)
- Principal Technologist (1)
- Systems Engineering (1)
- Student Intern - Hourly (1)
- Engineering Coop (1)
- Researcher (1)
- Quality Engineering (1)
- Embedded Systems Engineer (1)
- PMTS (1)
- Financial Analyst (1)
- Senior Technologist (1)
- Graduate Intern (1)
- Summer Business Intern (1)
- Summer Intern (1)
- Recruiting Specialist (1)
- Clerical Support (1)
- Computer Science Intern (1)
- Master's Fellowship (1)
- Trades II (1)
- Master's Fellowship Program (1)
- Computer Science R&D (1)
- Office Management Assistant (1)
- Strategic Contracting Representative (1)
Very Easy Interview
Clerical Support Interview (Positive Experience; Very Easy Interview)
I applied online and the process took 3 months - interviewed at Sandia in July 2011.
Interview Details – testing, interview with HR , interview with manager. Process took 3 months. The interview was more conversational and very relaxed. HR asked about my skills and the manager just asked a little about my background and told me about the position and the company
Interview Question – no difficult questions Answer Question
Negotiation Details – no negotiation
Principal Technologist Interview (Positive Experience; Average Interview)
I applied through an employee referral and the process took 3 months - interviewed at Sandia in June 2011.
Interview Details – Took forever to get in the door. Interview process was fairly simple, 4-5 different interview including one outside the hiring organization. The waiting game for the offer was fairly painful. Took about 3 months to get everything settled.
Interview Question – No real difficult questions. Hardest part was college GPA issues. If you have lower than a 3.5, plan on having to justify yourself to upper management Answer Question
Negotiation Details – Very limitied negotiation. They take in all your info :job experience, degrees, salary and feed it into their formula and spit out your salary. Manager actually does first round of negotiations with HR.
Senior Member of Technical Staff Interview (Positive Experience; Easy Interview)
I applied through a recruiter and the process took 10 months - interviewed at Sandia.
Interview Details – First off your education accomplishments are highly regarded at Sandia. Even if you have many years of experience your grades will matter when you are hired. You also have to pass a very extensive background check which actually requires investigators to personally contact people you know. I was given a tour of the facility and shown several impressive technical achievements designed and built at Sandia. Then I was interviewed by 4 different managers to see where I fit best.
Interview Question – There were some very personal questions that I didn't expect. Technically the interview process was quite benign. Answer Question
Negotiation Details – I tried to negotiate but was turned down.
Engineering Interview (Positive Experience; Easy Interview)
I applied online and the process took 2 days - interviewed at Sandia in January 2011.
Interview Details – I had a two day interview and met with a total of 15 people and gave a presentation based upon my Ph.D. work. The interview was very relaxed, most people asked me what questions I had about Sandia and about the city. I only got a few questions based upon my presentation. Besides that, there were no technical questions. Most of the time during the interviews was spent with me asking the interviewers about their research.
Interview Question – Why don't you want to go into academia? Answer Question
Quality Engineering Interview (Positive Experience; Average Interview)
The process took 2 days - interviewed at Sandia in May 2012.
Interview Details – Initially spoke with recruiter at a career fair. Applied online. Phone interview with hiring manager. Brought on-site for two days of intense interviews. Consisted of hour-long interviews with a variety of people from the hiring organization and outside the organization. Also had a group presentation and round table Q&A with area managers. All of the staff were excellent people who would be great to work with. Excellent benefits, great work culture, nice location.
Master's Fellowship Program Interview (Negative Experience; Easy Interview)
The process took a day - interviewed at Sandia in August 2011.
Interview Details – Met with 5 interviewers that day all asking about my background, what I did over the summer (I was just fresh off an internship with them), and asked if I had any questions. Not really any technical questions, all were personal queries. Interview also consisted of a free lunch. The hiring manager said to expect a decision to be made by the next month. Here I am 4 months later left hanging, wondering if they even care to finish the interview process. I even emailed the hiring manager twice. The best I ever got was, "corporate still hasn't released the amount of candidates they could hire, we'll get back to you later". Not cool.
Summer Business Intern Interview (Positive Experience; Average Interview)
The process took a day - interviewed at Sandia in February 2011.
Interview Details – I applied online for a summer business intern position. After I submitted the application, it took about three weeks to set up an interview. After the interview, the company took about a month to get back to me with an 'approved' response. The interview questions were pretty basic and had a few behavioral questions as well.
Interview Question – Why did you pick Sandia Labs? Answer Question
Very Easy Interview
Member of Technical Staff Interview (Neutral Experience; Very Easy Interview)
I applied in-person and the process took 4+ weeks - interviewed at Sandia in June 2011.
Interview Details – WAY easy interview - they don't ask any technical questions whatsoever. It seemed like they were pitching me to pick their group to work.
HR was kind of disorganized. I talked to a recruiter who then pointed me to a posting, then i heard from several managers, but recruiting/staffing had no idea. No one to help or direct me because there's no way to call. Total disaster but it got coordinated.
People were way to concerned about GPA at this place, bad warning sign to work there.
Reason for Declining – I was impressed with the site, technologies. But talking to employees there, there's only room to climb through title. Benefits are a MAJOR decline at the national labs, raises are horrible, not much for bonuses. Technical people have been leaving and recruited from other places since the Labs can't keep good quality.
Apparently they are hiring so many people, a bunch of folks stated that the bar has lowered tremendously.
Essentially they look at college + GPA + clearance or eligibility and you're in.
Not sure - we are always told to never work for a company that doesn't do technical interviews. It's just a mess because you will be working with low caliber technical people.
Systems Engineering Interview (Positive Experience; Easy Interview)
I applied through a recruiter and the process took a day - interviewed at Sandia in March 2011.
Interview Details – I met a recruiter at a conference and after looking at my resume, she seemed very interested. She made all the arrangements to have me fly out to interview over my Spring Break. A couple of employees took me out to breakfast, then I had 2 interviews, lunch with a couple different employees, 2 more interviews, back to the hotel. It was fairly painless. Everyone I interviewed with was very friendly and more than willing to answer all of my questions honestly. After I left my recruiter (who also arranged all the interviews and gave me a ride from my hotel to the facility and back) gave me the impression it was just of making sure I was a good fit for the company and the company was a good fit for me. I left pretty confident that I would be offered a position.
Interview Question – Tell me about a time when you had to persuade someone to do something they didn't want to do. Answer Question
Postdoctoral Appointee Interview (Positive Experience; Average Interview)
I applied through other source and the process took 3 months - interviewed at Sandia in November 2010.
Interview Details – First of all, Sandia takes a while, but it is well worth it in the end! At least, I think so... I was originally contacted by a Technical Staff Member regarding the position via email. He was having a difficult time filling it (about a year search) and had seen my resume on a conference website. He also knew of my graduate advisor's reputation and had already invited him out for a talk that was to be a few weeks later. I spoke with the staff member on the phone the next day. I must have passed the initial screening because I was automatically moved to "interview status". Two weeks after the initial contact, the position was reposted by HR online. I applied and let the staff member know. I received an email about setting up the flight, etc. a little over 3 weeks after applying online. Though, I knew what day I would be going out there right after I applied since I had already been in contact with the person interviewing me. One week before the interview, which was 6 weeks after initial contact, I spoke with the hiring manager on the phone and submitted an abstract/biosketch for my interviewee presentation. I flew out the day before the interview and had dinner with the staff member that night. I was very comfortable the whole time, and we had great conversation about my work, work I would be doing, work he had done, Sandia in general, etc. In the morning, I was picked up and taken to get a badge; you are escorted the whole time since you do not have clearance yet. My day consisted of: chatting with the staff member I would be working with and touring the lab plus meeting the staff in that lab (~1.5 hr), a 45 minute presentation + 15 min questions, lunch with 4 staff members, 8 1:1 interviews (30-45 min each), and dinner with 2 staff members I would be working with plus the hiring manager. The presentation should be pretty average in difficulty if you are prepared for technical questions directly related to your work and also questions that make you think about where your research could be applied at Sandia. The 1:1 interviews were roughly half about the interviewer's research and half about you, and most people have already heard about your research at the presentation. I really enjoyed hearing about all of the different things people have done and the ways in which I would be able to collaborate with them. It seems like each interviewer is selected for a reason, which I enjoyed. The staff cannot offer you the position until after everyone you met with files official paperwork, which can take some time. References will be called (professional and personal) early on in this process, too. It took just under two weeks to find out that things were moving in the forward directly; note this was because of the Thanksgiving holiday and people being out of town. I received the verbal offer just under 4 weeks after the interview, and I was actually moved up in the queque of people to be contacted by HR. They are currently trying to hire a bunch of folks, and HR is very busy. Just be patient. Also, I knew the offer was on the way two weeks prior, which made waiting for the official verbal offer much more bearable. The papers to be signed came 4 weeks after the interview (12 weeks after initial contact) and just a few days after I received the verbal offer. The offer package was nicely organized, too. If you do accept the offer, you still have some hoops to jump through before you qualify to hire (DOE clearance, drug test, etc.). Overall, I thought the people were great, and I thought the research was very interesting and challenging. It was also nice knowing what the exact position I would be hired for was and who I would be working with. (Some places do not do this!!!) My best advice would be to be yourself. If you think about it, you do not want to be hired for a job that does not fit you, and you will not be happy taking one that does not fit you. So, just be yourself. And... Ask good questions! Everyone is willing to help you out and answer your questions. Take advantage of that! [I realize this is long, but I hope it was helpful.]
- What would you do with 1 million dollars? [regarding furthering your research] View Answer
- Be prepared for technical questions about your research during the presentation. Answer Question
Negotiation Details – Postdoctoral appointees have a set salary.
Interviews for Top Jobs at Sandia