NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory Careers | Glassdoor

NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory Careers

Pasadena, CA
5001 to 10000 employees
Nonprofit Organization
Federal Agencies
Unknown / Non-Applicable


New ideas are all around us, but only a few will change the world. That’s our focus at JPL. We ask the biggest questions, then search the universe for answers—literally. We build upon ideas that have guided generations, then share our discoveries to inspire ... Read more

Mission: To serve the nation by exploring space in the pursuit of discoveries that benefit humanity.

NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory Reviews

  • "Cool place to work at"

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Senior Meteorologist in Pasadena, CA
    Current Employee - Senior Meteorologist in Pasadena, CA
    Positive Outlook

    I have been working at NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory full-time


    Awesome workplace, even more awesome people to work with


    None that I have experienced

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NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory Photos

NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory photo of: Women's History Month at JPL
NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory photo of: Mars 2020 Family Day
NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory photo of: Mars 2020 Family Day
NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory photo of: Cassini's Grand Finale
NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory photo of: Find Your Place 2017
NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory photo of: Virtual reality exploration in our Operations Lab
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NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory Interviews



Getting an Interview

Getting an Interview





    Human Centered Designer Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Pasadena, CA
    No Offer
    Negative Experience
    Difficult Interview


    I applied online. I interviewed at NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory (Pasadena, CA).


    Went through three interviews and the whole process took about 2.5-3 months. First interview was a 30 minute call with an HR rep who robotically read through a list of standard questions that had little to do with the job. Second one was scheduled about 3 weeks later and was an hour long video call with the hiring manager where I presented some of my work and we had a conversation about the job and my experience. It was difficult to get a sense of the specifics of the job and what they were looking for though, even though I asked many questions.

    About a month later out of the blue, they contacted me to schedule a third interview. This one was an all day video call from 8 am until 5 pm with one short lunch break. There were about 10 people on the call throughout the day and it was an extremely disorganized experience. First I was asked to give an hour long “job talk” (which is the wrong term to use for a design job and should have been a red flag—it’s called a portfolio presentation in the design world, guys). Then I was given a design challenge project with no advance notice of what the topic would be and asked to lead a team through various stages of the project including developing a research plan, conducting interviews, synthesis, prototyping etc. Toward the end of the day I met with the team I had done the design challenge with to discuss how it went and to learn more about their work. Then I met with others on the extended team, and finally with the hiring manager again. Several members of the team acknowledged that the interview process was flawed and asked for suggestions on how they could improve the experience, so I ended up feeling like I had failed and was simply helping them make the process better for future candidates.

    Overall, it was difficult to have meaningful discussions with individuals since so many people were on the call at the same time, and it was a grueling process that seemed designed to set candidates up for failure. Also, the team didn’t seem aligned on what type of a candidate they were looking for and no one was able to clearly articulate their vision of the job. They did mention many times throughout the interview that design is a relatively new area with NASA JPL. At the very end of the day, the hiring manager mentioned that they were hoping for someone with Six Sigma experience, which makes me think they were looking for someone who was more of a product manager hybrid than anything. I’ve seem this same position posted for over a year now so I think they are figuring it out as they go. Unfortunately that results in a lot of wasted time and effort for candidates.

    Interview Questions

    • Have you ever dealt with others being hostile to the role of design before?   Answer Question
See All 228 Interviews

Company Updates

  • Meet one of our favorite Martians! Christina is an engineer for the Mars Perseverance rover on the Planetary Instrument for X-Ray Lithochemistry. This instrument will take super close-up pictures of chemical elements on the Martian surface, to help look for signs of past microbial life. #CountdowntoMars #Mars2020 #HispanicHeritageMonth

  • It?s September and that means cool new things to look for in the sky. This month, you?ll get a chance to see the Moon? alongside Mars? and Venus?. You?ll also be able to see Fomalhaut?, a bright, young star that can be visible toward the south even in cities. Here are some more skywatching tips:

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NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory Awards & Accolades

  • Top 100 Best Places to Work in IT, Computerworld, 2020
  • CIO 100 Award, CIO Magazine, 2020
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Pledges & Certifications

Veteran Hiring Commitment

Committed to helping America's military veterans find work

Pay Equality Pledge

Committed to paying equitably for equal work & experience

Tech Hiring Commitment

Helping to train, hire and promote more technology workers

Diversity Commitment

Has programs that support a diverse and inclusive workforce

Pledge to Thrive

Taking steps to prioritize employee well-being

First Job Programs

Maintain entry-level hiring and career development programs to give people career starts

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