Sandia Interview Questions

Updated Jul 2, 2015
83 Interview Reviews

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  1. Helpful (1)  

    Senior Member of Technical Staff Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Albuquerque, NM
    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Average Interview

    Application

    I applied online. The process took 3+ monthsinterviewed at Sandia (Albuquerque, NM) in October 2014.

    Interview

    Timeline: the hiring process took almost three months. I was contacted for a phone interview two weeks after applying to the position online through Sandia's career website. The onsite interview was confirmed one week later, and took place four weeks after the phone interview. A verbal offer was extended seven weeks after the onsite interview. This longer than usual timeline was due to the holiday season and vacation. Communication and feedback were excellent throughout.

    Phone interview: this was with an engineer with experience in the position and lasted about 30 minutes. It was very straightforward and casual: we discussed my interest in the position, qualifications, experience, biggest challange(s) and success(es) in my Ph.D. work, some details about how the group is composed, and life in Albuquerque.

    Onsite interview: this was a full day, lasting from 8:30 - 4:30. First was an hour-long HR briefing with a few other interviewees at Sandia that day. I was then escorted to the group's building and gave a one hour seminar (50 minutes presentation, 10 minutes Q&A) on my Ph.D. research. This was surprisingly well attended by about 15 Sandians, about half of whom were not interviewing me later on but were just interested (this seems to reflect the atmosphere of the lab - learning and growth are definitely parts of the culture). The rest of the day consisted of a 30 minute 1:1, a 2 hour lunch with managers, two 1 hour 1:1s, and a 1 hour 8:1 group interview. Overall there was great balance between personal, technical, and behavioral discussions. I was given opportunities to show my expertise, sell my character and skills, and ask questions. All of the interviewers were positive and eager to both hear and talk about my fit within the group. I felt like they were selling Sandia to me as much as I was selling myself to them (what a relief this was!). The group interview was the toughest part, but that was expected: thinking out loud is hard for me in front of a group of people, but they understand it is stressful and helped me through parts where I struggled.

    Overall: the entire process was a great experience. Logistical details were handled well and travel was easy.

    Interview Questions

    • Most questions were about my research and I felt comfortable answering them after spending 5 years doing just that. There were a few unpredictable off the wall questions, the kind where sharing them does no good because they are random problems designed to see how you think.   Answer Question

    Negotiation

    Salary offer was higher than anticipated. I accepted without negotiating.

  2.  

    Senior Member of Technical Staff Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Kirtland AFB, NM
    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Difficult Interview

    Application

    I applied through an employee referral. The process took 2+ monthsinterviewed at Sandia (Kirtland AFB, NM) in October 2014.

    Interview

    First off, I cheated. I have been a contractor at SNL for a few years. I had already developed a reputation and several professional contacts within Sandia before I applied.

    1) Search for the job on Sandia's website.
    2) Apply for the job via Sandia's website.
    3) Discuss application with manager filling the position.
    4) Wait patiently for official email response from Sandia's hiring group.

    Once I received the official email inviting me to an interview, I had a great deal of background paperwork to fill out. Most of this was easy, as I already carry a security clearance and had filled out similar paperwork two years before. Be prepared to detail everything about the last 10 years of your life.

    I was also invited to a benefits meeting, where an HR rep detailed the benefits that Sandia offers.

    Two weeks after the interview, I was given an official verbal job offer. Two days after that I received the official offer letter.

    IMPORTANT POINT: The interview took place in the Limited Area. Do no take any personal electronics with you - no cell phones, mp3 players, cameras, etc. You will need to stay close to your escort the entire time you are in the Limited Area.

    Interview Questions

    • Why do you want to leave your current position as a contract employee?   1 Answer

    Negotiation

    The hiring manager knew my current wage since I was a contract employee. This actually took a lot of the uncertainty out of the process. I was able to ensure a 13% increase in pay through casual conversation. This put me at just about the mid-point in the pay scale I was being hired into.

  3.  

    Member of Technical Staff Interview

    Anonymous Employee in Livermore, CA
    No Offer
    Negative Experience
    Average Interview

    Application

    I applied online. The process took 2+ monthsinterviewed at Sandia (Livermore, CA) in October 2014.

    Interview

    I had a phone interview but when they found out my undergraduate GPA from 20 years ago was less than 3.2 they didn't want to go further with the interview process, even though my graduate GPA was 4.0!

    Interview Questions

    • What do you know about Sandia, do you think we are as impressive as we think we are?   Answer Question
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  5.  

    Department Manager Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Albuquerque, NM
    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Difficult Interview

    Application

    I applied online. The process took 2+ monthsinterviewed at Sandia (Albuquerque, NM) in August 2014.

    Interview

    A short list of candidates was generated based on written answers to a set of questions provided. The short listed candidates were interviewed by a team consisting of other managers and staff in the department. Rapid fire questions seeking responses to situations encountered were asked. The top two candidates were interviewed one-on-one by hiring senior manager.

    Interview Questions

    • How will you apply your technical skills and prior work experience to this position   Answer Question
  6.  

    Manager Interview

    Anonymous Employee in Albuquerque, NM
    No Offer
    Positive Experience
    Average Interview

    Application

    I applied online. The process took 2+ monthsinterviewed at Sandia (Albuquerque, NM) in July 2014.

    Interview

    Interview day began with an HR briefing. Was picked up by group admin. assistant and taken to site for interview. Later, there was a team interview that included a person from outside the hiring group or its principle customers. The intent was to ensure the candidate could fit in well in other areas and was a cultural fit. There were five behavior-based questions.

    Interview Questions

    • Tell us about a time when you had a customer with an impossible request or need. How did you handle it.   1 Answer
  7.  

    Graduate Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Average Interview

    Application

    I applied through college or university. The process took 3 daysinterviewed at Sandia.

    Interview

    The process started with a phone interview with the supervisor I will be working with. It was very casual and revolved around discussions about my skill set, the various projects that were available and how I would fit into their current research agenda and what my contributions could be.

    Interview Questions

    • There weren't any unexpected questions - most of them revolved around my current research, and my interests in what I would like to do in the future.   Answer Question
  8. Helpful (1)  

    Human Resources Interview

    Anonymous Employee
    Declined Offer
    Positive Experience
    Easy Interview

    Application

    I applied online. The process took 8 weeksinterviewed at Sandia in June 2014.

    Interview

    The interview process was fairly quick. Had a ten minute conversation on the phone with just basic questions. The in-person interview was a little daunting at first because it was a huge room with three people form the team but everyone was super nice and none of the questions were hard at all. I did have prior experience and did a few internships before applying here.

    Interview Questions

    • No question was difficult or unexpected. They mostly asked about how you stay organized, do you know how to use microsoft applications, what your future goals are etc.   Answer Question

    Reasons for Declining

    I did not feel like I would benefit much from the position. It seemed very administrative and like I already had the qualities that the previous intern learned from the position. I think this would be a great start for a recent high school graduate but since I had previous internships it just was not enough for me.

  9.  

    Senior Member of Laboratory Staff Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Average Interview

    Application

    I applied online. The process took 3 weeksinterviewed at Sandia.

    Interview

    Easy process - I was selected to interview with a panel in Albuquerque. I was flown down and given standard questions. The interview is more about determining if you fit with the culture and are a likeable person.

    Interview Questions

    • Provide a situation where you solved a problem in a creative, unorthodox manner?   Answer Question

    Negotiation

    None - you take what they give

  10.  

    Computer Science Graduate Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Albuquerque, NM
    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Difficult Interview

    Application

    I applied online. The process took 3 daysinterviewed at Sandia (Albuquerque, NM) in June 2014.

    Interview

    Very informative and very good. I was nervous at first but then I studied up on it. I would recommend this opportunity to anyone. Sandia is a great place to work. I love it here.

    Interview Questions

    • Write a program that takes in a string and reverse the string?   1 Answer
  11. Helpful (2)  

    Recruiting Specialist Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Albuquerque, NM
    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Difficult Interview

    Application

    I applied online. The process took 5+ monthsinterviewed at Sandia (Albuquerque, NM).

    Interview

    Applied and wasn't contacted for over a month. I was then called in for an interview which was all day. It consisted of briefings on benefits, meeting the team, interview., and lunch.

    Interview Questions

    • It was definitely more of a conversation. I did not feel stumped on any questions   Answer Question

    Negotiation

    I told them the salary I had at my current position and they raised the initial offer by $7000

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