Lawrence Berkeley Lab Interview Questions | Glassdoor

Lawrence Berkeley Lab Interview Questions

Updated Jul 11, 2018
89 Interview Reviews

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  1. Helpful (4)  

    Software Engineer Interview

    Anonymous Employee in Berkeley, CA
    Accepted Offer
    Neutral Experience
    Easy Interview

    Application

    I applied online. The process took 5 weeks. I interviewed at Lawrence Berkeley Lab (Berkeley, CA) in February 2014.

    Interview

    My interview was unconventional. I had a telephone interview where they asked only HR-type questions, "weakest quality", "what would you do if you saw a co-worker violate safety", that sort of thing. When I arrived to the in-person, still no technical questions, just a few more HR questions. They asked me to prepare a 5-10 minute presentation of my work, and although the media was set up, they never asked to see it during the course of the interview. It seemed they were just going through the motions to satisfy HR. They do a background check, but I'm not sure who conducts it, I think it was the hiring manager, so you need professional references who have time to answer 10--15 standardized HR questions. There are general training and safety "courses" to take online before you can start work or receive a badge, after hire there are more online safety courses to take within the first 10-30 days of employment. The first day at work is at least 50% hiring intensive. There's an orientation where they make sure you've filled out all mandatory pre-employment paperwork. There's an orientation, then a long picture/badge ordeal. The orientation class started at 9am, and didn't get to my office until after 1pm.

    Interview Questions

    • There were no difficult or unexpected questions. These were very standardized, scenario based, questions.   Answer Question

    Negotiation

    No negotiation, I told them what I was looking for and they paid it. They actually have a pay structure for positions buried in their online HR services, but it's wide and entirely at the discretion of your direct supervisor.


  2. Helpful (3)  

    Staff Scientist Interview

    Anonymous Employee in Berkeley, CA
    Accepted Offer
    Negative Experience
    Difficult Interview

    Application

    I applied in-person. The process took 6+ months. I interviewed at Lawrence Berkeley Lab (Berkeley, CA).

    Interview

    Vero long and elaborate application process: required 5(!) reference letters, one phone screening, then you make it to the big dance. The F2F interview was a full day event. Had to give a seminar in front of a committee, followed by one hour of questioning by them. The questions were pre-planned, with members taking turn asking them to you. Very rigid format. Then I had to come back twice to talk with two deputy division directors to make sure they are ok. By the I knew I was the anointed one, so I was just making sure I don't screw it up.

    Interview Questions

    • I don't think these questions were difficult for anyone who had been through many interviews before. They are typical: how do you deal with a difficult colleague, etc. you just need to put yourself in their shoes and say what they want to hear.   Answer Question

    Negotiation

    Very tortuous. The HR person is a pro. She basically draw a red line for salary, so I just steered myself to just under the number. That was all unofficial. Then after that, it took them another month to prepare the official offer letter. Everything takes a long time. Be patient.

  3. Helpful (5)  

    Web Developer II Interview

    Anonymous Employee in Berkeley, CA
    Accepted Offer
    Neutral Experience
    Average Interview

    Application

    I applied online. The process took 3 weeks. I interviewed at Lawrence Berkeley Lab (Berkeley, CA) in February 2013.

    Interview

    Applied online. Got a call for a telephone interview with two people, one was technical one was admin. The questions were standard designed HR type questions. I was invited to interview for a panel of five, two were from the telephone interview.

    I was asked to give a 5-10 minute presentation about myself and my work background. They had all the AV equipment to do anything. They had no questions. It was very casual, and the bulk of the interview was more of those standard designed HR type questions which they all have on a form, and write your answers in the space provided.

    They asked for scenarios like: What would you do if one of your co-workers were an obstacle instead of a resource. Nothing out of the ordinary, but having scenarios prepared would be helpful.

    I would say that 95% of the interview was behavioral, and maybe 5% superficial technical, but not in the form of questions, more in the form of, "tell us what you've worked with".

    The interview was very positive, ended with a tour of the work space, and no second interview was necessary.

    Then my hiring package was handed off to HR, who had me fill out more online forms to facilitate a rather superficial background check. They wanted to talk to 3 peers or supervisors as references. As far as I can tell, they did not contact former employers to verify any employment information provided on the application.

    After they extend an offer letter (email), they give you a few days to think about it, and you accept the offer via the HR portal online. Then you give consent for them to check your credit and criminal history.

    Working with HR has been friendly, although impersonal. Once the final background checks are complete, you get a congratulatory email stating your employment status and asking for a start date. You can choose your start date, and they were very flexible about that. Once the start date is determined, they send you the New Hire Orientation letter (email), which tells you what to do on your first day.

    Interview Questions

    • "Why did you apply for this position." It seems like a no-brainer, but they asked it anyway!   1 Answer

    Negotiation

    Acceptance did not come easily for me due to some pre-employment interactions with a specific non-HR employee and the experiences my references had with this person. A little throw of the dice, and I accepted.

    During the first in-person interview, we talked about salary expectations, and they warned me that they do not pay like private industry, but the offer they made was nearer the high end of my general expectations, so I didn't negotiate.

    The peripheral terms of employment with the UC are incredibly high, no negotiation took place.


  4. Helpful (1)  

    Internship Interview

    Anonymous Employee in San Francisco, CA
    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Average Interview

    Application

    I applied online. The process took 4+ weeks. I interviewed at Lawrence Berkeley Lab (San Francisco, CA).

    Interview

    I applied on their hiring portal wherein I filled up an application form, was given a programming challenge and then an interview was conducted to find out more about the work I had previously done and the projects that I had undertaken.

    Interview Questions

    Negotiation

    No negotiation


  5.  

    Intern Interview

    Anonymous Employee
    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Easy Interview

    Application

    I applied online. The process took 2+ months. I interviewed at Lawrence Berkeley Lab.

    Interview

    Online Application. Fill out the forms, get letters of recommendation from professors or peers or something. Several long answer questions. After submitting theres an internal matching system. If you are chosen your team will reach out to you.

    Interview Questions

    • What type of experience do you have? What are your interests? What type of projects would you like to work on? Etc.   1 Answer

  6.  

    Intern Interview

    Anonymous Employee
    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience

    Interview

    I applied online through the Department of Energy website, and selected LBNL as my first choice. The application requires letters of recommendations, transcripts, and essays. This was a pretty standard application for research internships. A few weeks after I applied, I was contacted by a research scientist. They said that they were considering my application, but they wanted to have a phone interview before offering me a position. I did a phone interview with that scientist, and they asked me questions about my personality and work style, and questions about my experience (which really was just the classes I had taken up to that point). After that, I received a formal offer via email, which I accepted.

    Interview Questions

    Negotiation

    No negotiation. The stipend is set for interns.


  7. Helpful (1)  

    Intern Interview

    Anonymous Employee in Berkeley, CA
    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Average Interview

    Application

    I applied through an employee referral. The process took 2+ months. I interviewed at Lawrence Berkeley Lab (Berkeley, CA) in May 2015.

    Interview

    4+ weeks of emails between recruiter and me. It was a direct contact with the engineer. The HR only intervened once the engineering department gave the approval. They were very nice and straightforward. They interact with me as a lab and not a company

    Interview Questions

  8.  

    Intern - Hourly Interview

    Anonymous Employee in Berkeley, CA
    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Average Interview

    Application

    I applied through college or university. The process took 3 days. I interviewed at Lawrence Berkeley Lab (Berkeley, CA) in May 2015.

    Interview

    The hiring process consisted of a phone screening interview and 2 follow up interviews. All 3 interviews involved multiple people. Technical questions were asked. I was called backed a day or 2 later with an offer.

    Interview Questions

    • how to utilize root directory on pc   1 Answer

  9. Helpful (2)  

    Administrative Assistant III Interview

    Anonymous Employee in Berkeley, CA
    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Average Interview

    Application

    I applied through an employee referral. The process took 1+ week. I interviewed at Lawrence Berkeley Lab (Berkeley, CA).

    Interview

    Usually, a phone interview and 1 or 2 group interviews. My experience, because I had over 10 years admin experience, was just 2 group interviews, the first with the admin group (my future supervisor, another admin supervisor and an admin employee) and the second interview, was with the group head I was supporting, plus 2 of the group members.
    I interviewed in Berkeley, CA

    Interview Questions

    • It helps to have worked in the military, or have some sort of technical background - where you have worked in a hospital or government office.   Answer Question

    Negotiation

    I got a phone call notifying me of their offer, and then received the offer letter with salary in the mail, for my signature.


  10. Helpful (1)  

    Senior Research Associate Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    No Offer
    Positive Experience
    Average Interview

    Application

    I applied online. The process took 5 weeks. I interviewed at Lawrence Berkeley Lab in April 2015.

    Interview

    I applied online and got onsite interview after 3 weeks. The PI and his postdoc introduced the project I will be involved in and then asked about my background and some very specific technique questions. They also showed me around in the lab. The whole process was more likely a scientific conversation/discussion than a regular job interview.

    Interview Questions


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