Getting an Interview
Getting an Interview
Interviews for Top Jobs at Scaled Composites
- Design Engineer (3)
- Composites Design Engineer (1)
- Aerospace Engineering (1)
- Mechanical Design Engineer (1)
- No OfferDifficult Interview
Got a phone interview about 1 month after I applied online. Basic questions on engineering. This was followed by an onsite interview. It was about 3 hours long, where 3 different had about an hour each to interview. Questions were in depth and detailed, some surprising. Midway through the interview there was lunch and a tour of the facilities.
- Calculate the order of magnitude of the distance of the twin towers at the tip versus the bottom, not assuming the Earth/ground is flat. Also, how fuel does an airplane (of your choosing on the posters in the room) carry. Answer Question
- Declined OfferPositive ExperienceDifficult Interview
I applied online – interviewed at Scaled Composites (Mojave, CA).
How many ping pong balls can you fit in this room. Shown a picture of Scaled Composite airplane and asked to name them. Describe an experience in which you had to deal with conflict with another person. How would you design the HVAC in the cabin of a space vehicle.
- Explain how a turbojet engine and turbofan engine works. Answer Question
Reasons for Declining
Better offer elsewhere.
Helpful (4)No OfferNegative ExperienceDifficult Interview
I applied online. The process took 4+ weeks – interviewed at Scaled Composites (Mojave, CA) in October 2012.
Submitted my resume on their website along with a cover letter and examples of my past engineering work. HR called 2-3 weeks later to schedule a phone interview.
Phone interview lasted 20-25 minutes. Interviewing engineer asked why I wanted to work at Scaled, if I had composites experience, some basic structural and technical questions, what my hobbies were, what my favorite plane was, etc. I was told at the end of the call to expect a decision in 2 weeks on an on site interview.
2-3 days later HR called to arrange on site interview at Mojave. One week later flew into LAX and stayed at Mojave right by Air and Space Port.
On site interview was not what I expected. It started with three 1:1 talks with Scaled engineers. First engineer asked a few "estimation" questions, such as "How many ping pong balls can fit in this room?". Second engineer wanted to see if I could draw a shear and bending moment diagram for a wing. The third engineer asked a few systems-level questions which weren't too bad. After that I spent half an hour talking with all three about work environment at Scaled. I had lunch at airport cafe and was then given tour of facilities and aircraft. During tour I was asked to describe the function of various random components on the aircraft I saw. At the end of my day at Scaled I talked briefly with a company vice president about how I thought I did on the interview. I was told to expect a decision in 2 weeks.
Although it was cool to visit and see Scaled, the experience was a disappointing one. I was really surprised that during my whole time at Scaled I was never asked about my past work or project experience. I found this especially disappointing since I had prepared extensively to discuss my past projects, bringing examples of my work and slides describing past accomplishments, none of which I ever got the chance to show. The interviewers I spoke to were impersonal, cold, and often condescending. I never felt like anyone really wanted to get to know me as a person. During lunch and the tour the employees seemed more concerned about talking with each other than getting to know me. Very few employees here last more then 2-3 years before leaving for other work. The work environment seemed hyper-competitive and lonely, which is made worse by the extreme isolation of the Mojave desert. Moving out to desert to do something you're passionate about is tolerable so long as you're working with people who are not only competent but also good-hearted and easy to get along with. This seems to be lacking here.
For these reasons, I did not wait for a decision. The next day I emailed HR to thank them but also to notify them that I was no longer interested in employment. Very disappointing experience.
- Draw the shear and bending moment diagrams for the wing of this aricraft 1 Answer
- Accepted OfferPositive ExperienceDifficult Interview
The process took 2+ months – interviewed at Scaled Composites in March 2012.
Submitted resume, called by HR to set up a time for a phone interview.
Phone Interview started on time and lasted about 25 minutes. Consisted of basic questions of citizenship, willingness to work in Mojave, and position desired. Then short technical questions from different aspects of engineering such as composite and metallic design, material properties you would use, cad packages used. Asked multiple times if I had questions or additional information I'd like to add. Asked why I would like to work at Scaled. Told I would hear something within 2 weeks.
HR called 2-3 days later to set up an in person interview. Scheduled about 5-6 weeks away which was soonest available. HR was more than helpful with directions, attire, even suggesting bringing images or copies of anything notable I'd like to show.
Showed up about 15 minutes early to fill out visit request paperwork as requested by HR. Interview started thereafter. I interviewed individually with three different Scaled engineers each of which seemed familiar with my qualifications as stated on my resume or application.
I was asked many questions including what I would use to instrument an aircraft to acquire information on longitudinal stability, how I would design a flight control system on an aircraft of my choice from a wall of many awesome Scaled aircraft, how I would remove some weight from a particular landing gear component, I was taken on a tour of a newly acquired 747 and asked questions regarding the transfer of loads through components, why parts were designed the way they were, and what each component did.
Next I was given an awesome tour of most of the Scaled aircraft including SpaceShip2 by two of the interviewing engineers and asked a few questions about parts on the plane, we then stopped for lunch at the airport cafe.
After lunch I met with one of the interviewing engineers for about 20 minutes where we talked about different aircraft and watched videos of past Scaled flights.
I then met with the Chief Engineer who seem genuinely concerned about my interview process, told me they would meet as a team to see if and where I might fit their organization and that I would hear from them within 2 weeks.
I was called by the Chief Engineer the next day with a job offer.
All together it was quite a delightful process, though a bit nerve racking for me since this company was at the top of my list of cool!
Selected that the interview was difficult, but the interviewers did a great job to make it as easy as possible.
Did not negotiate.
- No OfferNegative ExperienceDifficult Interview
The process took 3 weeks – interviewed at Scaled Composites in February 2011.
I applied to a position that was posted on their website. About two weeks later I got an interview with HR about simple stuff (would you be willing to move, etc.). A week later I was contacted about another interview with the engineering management and a junior engineer. They called over an hour late and by far it was the strangest interview I’ve ever had. Three people were on the phone (HR, manager, and engineer) and it was almost if they played good guy, bad guy. The junior engineer was abrasive, insulting and sounded angry every time he spoke. He led off the questions with the comment “A person like you is not going to fit in here”. The manager re-phrased the comment into a question “How do you see yourself fitting in at Scaled?” but as soon as I started to answer the engineer interrupted and got into a short argument with the manager over the phone. All while I listened for my chance to defend myself. The interview lasted 15 minutes and I spoke <3 minutes. Very weird and really disappointing since I was very excited to work at Scaled Composites but never got to tell them what I could offer. Two weeks later I was left a voice mail that they were not going to continue in the interview process.
- How do you see yourself fitting in at Scaled Answer Question
Helpful (1)No OfferPositive ExperienceDifficult Interview
I applied through an employee referral. The process took a week – interviewed at Scaled Composites in November 2010.
One initial phone interview, followed up by an on site interview with four of their engineers and the engineering manager. They asked several technical questions but were primarily interested in your past projects and hands on experience building stuff (preferably airplanes...). Interviewers were very personable and overall the interview was actually fun!
- How would you go about designing the flight controls on a small airplane? Answer Question
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