Interview Prep

General Dynamics Interview Prep

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Are you scheduled for a phone or video interview?

How should you prepare for your interview? 

Our Recruiters Offer Their #INTERVIEWADVICE

Q: Should I use earbuds, a headset, or just go old school and hold the phone to my ear?
A: Great question!  The short answer is do what’s most comfortable for you as long as it’s not in any way making it difficult for the interviewer to hear, or interfering with your ability to capture good notes when appropriate. Speaking of making it difficult for the interviewer to hear you, please do NOT use a speaker phone. If you need to be hands-free, I suggest using your earbuds or headset. Personally, I almost never hold the phone to my ear anymore, but if you’re comfortable doing that then please do so.
- Andrea Hall, Military & Veterans   

Q: What should I do if my phone cuts off the call?
A: Please test your technology and network beforehand, the day before if possible, and participate in the interview from the same location you tested and prepared from.  If your interview requires a camera and microphone, or Skype, or the internet, please ensure it is all working properly. Do a dry run or two in advance with a friend to ensure everything is working. If your phone cuts off or you somehow get disconnected from the interviewer, please don’t panic, just simply call them back. 
- Tina Barnhart, Senior Recruiting Manager   

Q: Should I be sitting, standing, walking around – or does any of this even matter?
A: I get this question a lot, especially since most face-to-face interviews are conducted seated, why would a phone interview be different? Well, my “knee-jerk” reaction is do what you are most comfortable with. Some people are more comfortable if they are moving while having an important conversation. If that is the case, just make sure the interviewer can hear you at all times and don’t multitask. If you will be teleconferencing, I would recommend sitting up straight and ensuring your face is easily seen by the interviewer. In addition, find a quiet location with the fewest amount of distractions. If you do not have your own home office space, choose a space that is clean and professional looking. Don’t overcomplicate it though. This can be staged in your dining room, bedroom, or even an oversized closet space.  
- Jeff Snyder, Senior Sourcing Manager  

 


Q: I’ve got kids and pets in the house. Will my interviewer be understanding? Should I move to another room in the house?
A: Social media is filled with stories and videos of our new ‘coworkers’ interrupting our meetings and stealing our lunches. In general, I think most interviewers will be understanding if something unexpected happens, but if there are constant disruptions, noise, etc. interfering with your ability to focus, or their ability to hear you, you might not be putting your best foot forward. Here is how I would handle it. Try your best to identify a date and time in which you can sit down and focus in a quiet space. If you are at home let everyone know in advance that you will be using this space for an interview, the time of the interview, and that the space is off-limits during that time. My last piece of advice would be to please avoid public places for interviews. 
- Meschelle Wall, Applicant Tracking Service Specialist   

Q: I’ve tanked phone interviews before, how do I not do that this time?
A: We’ve all gotten so excited for a new opportunity that we’ve let our nervousness overtake us. The big thing is not to dwell on that. When that happened to me, there was a two-fold reaction. First was my reaction in real time during the interview. I took a couple deep breaths, and explained that my excitement and passion for the job created some anxiety that threw me off.  Believe it or not, they thanked me for being honest and transparent, extended the interview by 20 minutes so we could circle back, and ultimately I was able to redeem myself in that interview. Secondly, I reflected on the lessons learned, i.e. what went wrong, accepted it, researched and developed some best practices, and factored that into all my future interview preparations. If you have an interview coming up you will get the best results if you prepare in advance.
- Nathan Cushing, Senior Project Manager – Senior Systems Engineer   

Q: I had a great interview, am excited about the position, and want to make sure the recruiter and hiring manager know how interested I am in this position. How should I follow up post interview?
A: Isn’t it great when you’ve interviewed for a position and feel really excited afterward? Here’s what I advise. Plan to send a well-timed follow up. It’s best practice to send a follow-up email within 24 hours of an interview. Let the interviewer/s know you appreciated their time and that you are available if they have any additional questions. Also be sure to thank the person who coordinated the interview if it was someone other than the interviewer/s. Point being, thank everyone for the actions they played in your interview.
- Eddie Shapley, Senior Recruiting Manager  

Relax

First, relax.

Take a deep breath. We want your interview to go just as well as you do!

  • Our interviews are behavioral based, consisting of open-ended questions to evaluate your technical abilities, work experience and behavioral traits.
  • Be familiar with General Dynamics Mission Systems, have an understanding of our mission and vision and what we do.
  • Know the requirements of the job for which you are applying. Be able to explain how you meet and exceed these requirements.
  • Be sure to include details about your other skills with the Hiring Manager. Explain this to your interviewer, don't put yourself in a box. Use every opportunity to help yourself stand out and sell your skills.
  • Bring examples of any (non-proprietary) work products, writing samples, etc. that you have.
  • If you are applying for a technical job such as a software or systems engineer, be prepared to answer technical questions (i.e. software development).
  • Come prepared with questions for your interviewer and make sure to ask them.
  • Turn your experience into stories. Explain how what you did in the past relates to what you can do for us.
  • For Veterans: have 7-9 "success stories" that can help you explain how your military experience relates to a corporate job.
  • Be on time. Whether your interview is face to face, or your interview is virtual – allow yourself a little extra time in case any issues arise along the way.
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Now what questions can you expect when you show up?

Although these may not be the exact questions that you will experience in your interview, they can help you to gain an understanding of how to prepare for our interview process.

General Questions:

  • What is the strongest attribute that you bring to the table?
  • Describe the last team that you worked on and your role in it.
  • What did you like and not like about your last company?
  • For a recent college graduate, what was your favorite class and why? What was your least favorite class and why?
  • What is your definition of accountability?
  • What has been your biggest success story to date?
  • Why do you want to work for General Dynamics Mission Systems?
  • How do you ensure that your work is the highest quality?
  • How do you define project requirements and how do you make sure they are realistic?
  • Explain how you reason through problems when you don't know the answer right away.
  • Tell us about a time you received feedback which indicated you were not meeting expectations.
  • Describe your ideal work environment.
  • What work experience have you had that prepares you to be successful in this position?

For Technical Positions:

  • Explain a few significant differences between the C++ and Java programming languages.
  • Pick a project that you can discuss in detail and had a significant role on. Discuss the system design/architecture. What was the worst problem you had with this system and how did you fix it?
  • How much reuse do you get out of the code you develop?
  • Explain a time when you were able to improve upon the design that was originally requested.
  • Do you want to stay on a technical career path or eventually move to a leadership/management role?