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General Atomics Aeronautical Systems Interview
Questions

29 Questions and Answers by Rachelle Enns
Updated June 15th, 2018 | Rachelle is a job search expert, career coach, and headhunter
who helps everyone from students to fortune executives find success in their career.
Job Interviews     Companies     Engineering     Aerospace And Defense    

Question 1 of 29

How do you manage your time?

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1.

How do you manage your time?

What tools do you use to stay on task and meet deadlines? How do you prioritize when everything demands your attention at once? Think about the ways you manage your projects and daily tasks. Do you keep a calendar? Do you set reminders? Sometimes a to-do list is helpful when organizing your time because it can help you prioritize what needs to happen next. Paying attention to which tasks require the most time and which ones bring the most value are ways you can pick and choose what needs to happen in your schedule. What are some ways you have found work best for you to manage your time at work?

Rachelle's Answer #1

"I will determine which project requires my attention by the number of hours we are behind and then the project size. I am comfortable delegating tasks when needed, but I am also aware that these times will require an additional commitment of hours from me. Never have I under delivered on a deadline."

Rachelle's Answer #2

"Time management has been something that I have worked on improving since my time in University. I set goals for myself and attached a time deadline for those goals. Also, I am diligent with the use of my calendar and have a great scheduling app on my phone that I refer to as well."

2.

How do you like to encourage ideas in others?

Encouragement to others is a great skill to possess. Talk to the interviewer about your ability to encourage creative ideas in your team members.

Rachelle's Answer #1

"I like to encourage other people to be creative in their thinking and present ideas to the company, no matter how off the wall they may seem. Some of our most successful employees are ones who are confident in their ability to bring forward their unique ideas. I encourage participation through an open door policy and strong praise for those who show initiative."

Rachelle's Answer #2

"I encourage others by praising their great ideas and helping them to continue being their best self. Noticing the small things is important. People want to feel like their contribution is important to the overall workplace success."

3.

Our goal is to be the top-rated company in our industry. After researching General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, what do you think we could improve on?

If General Atomics asks for your feedback on what they could improve on it is best to keep your answer positive and light. Be sure to start, and finish, your suggestion with a compliment on what they are doing right.

Rachelle's Answer #1

"I have conducted a great deal of research on General Atomics before meeting you today. I like your branding, and your online presence is strong. If I could make a suggestion, it would be to have a confirmation email sent to all online job applicants. I found the site a bit difficult to navigate and was not sure that my initial application went through successfully. Luckily, your HR department was amazing, and they called me just a few days later for a pre-screen interview."

Rachelle's Answer #2

"If you could improve on anything, I would recommend updating the website a bit more frequently and adding a blog for aerospace enthusiasts. Aerospace and defense is a popular topic for research, and you could gain many website visitors by putting a greater emphasis on your online content."

4.

At General Atomics Aeronautical we seek to hire only those with aerospace experience. Are you more experienced in the private or public aerospace industry?

General Atomics Aeronautical Systems is a leading manufacturer of Remotely Piloted Aircraft (RPA) systems, radars, and electro-optic and related mission systems solutions. The interviewer would like to see that you have experience in the industry; whether your aerospace experience comes from private or public entities. If the job description or job posting from General Atomics Aeronautical points out a preference of one over the other, it is wise to focus your answer on that particular experience.

Rachelle's Answer #1

"I noticed in your job posting that you prefer to see experience in the public aerospace sector. I do have experience in both public and private; however, the most recent three years of my work experience is in the public sector."

Rachelle's Answer #2

"I can say that I have equal experience in both public and private aerospace matters. Is there a specific sector where you would prefer to see stronger experience? I would be happy to highlight that experience for you, further."

5.

Who would you say inspires you?

Show you preparedness for the interview by having an immediate answer. The only wrong answer here is, 'I don't know.' In most discussions, you will get one or two personal questions to see how you present yourself. You want to be able to articulate yourself well, responding politely and even passionately when appropriate. An excellent way to respond to this question is by sharing a story about a person who has been a positive influence on you and your career. If your dad motivated you to push through, to finish your education, talk about how that impacted you. Who showed you that it was possible to overcome even the most significant obstacles? Who taught you the skills that brought you where you are today?

Rachelle's Answer #1

"My previous manager was a huge inspiration to me. Her passion for the aerospace industry was motivating and put the fire in me to climb the ladder in my career."

Rachelle's Answer #2

"I have always been inspired by my grandfather. He is the person who gave me an initial interest in the aerospace field. He is the hardest working person I know, and he taught me how important it is to read and continually grow. Because of him, I always seek to learn."

6.

We are looking for specific post-secondary education for this role. Tell me about your post-secondary education and how it will help you in this position with General Atomics.

It is vital that you check the job posting or job description provided by General Atomics to ensure that you have the proper educational requirements. If you do not bring the desired degree or certification, be prepared to defend your education and remind them why you are still the best candidate for the job!

If you have the desired education: "I saw on your job posting that you are looking for candidates with a degree in Aerospace Engineering. I have my degree in Aeronautical Engineering from an accredited University. My education will be helpful in this role as it is directly related to your company's focus."

Rachelle's Answer #1

"I saw on your job posting that you are looking for candidates with a degree in Aerospace Engineering. I have my degree in Aeronautical Engineering from an accredited University. My education will be helpful in this role as it is directly related to your company's focus."

Rachelle's Answer #2

"If you do not have the desired education: "I have a Graduate Degree in Mechanical Engineering. Although my degree does not boast a primary focus on Aerospace, I do have significant industry training outlined on my resume."

7.

Many of our industry competitors have their employees under a non-compete contract. Are you bound by any non-compete contract with your current employer?

The interviewer would like to avoid any hurdles during the offer and negotiations stage that would prevent you from being successfully on-boarded. If General Atomics Aeronautical Systems is a direct competitor to your current or most recent employer, then you should carefully review your employment contract to ensure nothing is hindering you. Be prepared to present the agreement in your late stage interview.

If you are under a non-compete contract: "I am under a non-compete contract with Company ABC; however, it specifically states that I cannot share any trade secrets or recruit any of their current employees. There is nothing in the contract hindering me from joining General Atomics."

Rachelle's Answer #1

"I am under a non-compete contract with Company ABC; however, it specifically states that I cannot share any trade secrets or recruit any of their current employees. There is nothing in the contract hindering me from joining General Atomics."

Rachelle's Answer #2

"If you are not under a non-compete contract: "I am free to sign any offer letter that comes my way as there is no such contract with my current employer."

8.

Your workload will be large at General Atomics. How do you balance life and work?

General Atomics is a very busy defense contractor specializing in nuclear physics including nuclear fission and nuclear fusion. The company also provides research and manufacturing services for remotely operated surveillance aircraft, including the Predator drones; airborne sensors; and advanced electric, electronic, wireless, and laser technologies. You will be kept very busy working here! It is essential to keep a healthy work/life balance to prevent burnout. Talk to the interviewer about how you can maintain that appropriate balance for yourself.

Rachelle's Answer #1

"I find that with the right company, it's pretty simple to balance life and work. When I enjoy what I do, it doesn't feel like a chore. I am always sure that when at home, my family gets my attention first. I take time on the weekends to do things for myself and ensure that I regenerate before the work week begins."

Rachelle's Answer #2

"Not every day will be balanced, and I understand that. I find that I can achieve a great work/life balance most days when I take some time to do something for myself. Whether that be a quick workout, or cooking a delicious meal when I get home."

9.

Looking at your resume, I see multiple gaps between employments, what were you doing during those gaps?

There are many reasons for having a gap in your resume, and it's best, to be honest about the intentions.

Rachelle's Answer #1

"I had a gap from 2009-2010 while I was on maternity leave and then another for six months in 2015 while I cared for an ailing parent. During that time I was vigilant in keeping up to date on the market so that my knowledge did not become redundant."

Rachelle's Answer #2

"If your employment gap is due to illness: "I took a medical hiatus between 2008 and 2008 under doctor's orders. I am fully recovered and have had zero health concerns since."

10.

How do you think your early career will help you succeed in this position?

Did you start working at a young age? Perhaps you have held some tough jobs earlier in your career? Many hiring managers agree that the best employees are ones with 'grit' and who have held a 'dirty job' or two in their lives. Talk to the interviewer about your early work experience.

Rachelle's Answer #1

"I have been working since I was just 14 years old. My first job was as a shop hand for my father who was a mechanic. I had to sweep, clean, greet customers and order parts. It was a great way for me to get my hands dirty and I was taught excellent customer service skills from an early age. Everything that I learned during that time has helped me to stay grounded and humble in my career."

Rachelle's Answer #2

"I started my career working in an office, so I was able to quickly understand how important it is to stay organized and maintain clear communication with everyone on the team. I believe my early experience will help me succeed in this position because it caused me to form good habits from the beginning."

11.

Are you actively interviewing with other companies, and are you close to offer stage with anyone?

The interviewer is looking for answers to a few points when asking this question.

1. General Atomics wants to know what kind of timeline is present before you are scooped up by another organization.
2. They want to know how discerning you are with your job applications.
3. They want to know the types of roles that interest you.
4. They want to hear that they are your top choice.

You can certainly discuss your search but avoid giving too many details. Give the interviewer enough to satisfy the question without revealing your entire search. Some mystery is okay here.

Rachelle's Answer #1

"I recently started my search and had found some interesting job postings related to my degree; however, your role is the position I am most enthusiastic about."

Rachelle's Answer #2

"If you are not interviewing: "I just started my search, so I am not in final interviews with any other company. I am aggressively seeking; however."

12.

Would you say you focus more on reasons why change will not work rather than adapting to new changes?

When a change occurs in the workplace do you view it positively or do you resist the change? Talk to the interviewer about how you adapt to change.

Rachelle's Answer #1

"When a change occurs I initially try to balance the pros and the cons before reacting. Overall I would say that I prefer to focus on why the changes will work. I am a positive person by nature."

Rachelle's Answer #2

"Some changes can be tougher to accept immediately than others. Once I understand the motivation or the goal behind the change, I can easily adapt."

13.

If you were given a choice, which work related task would you leave for last? Why?

Often we will leave the tasks that we don't like for last, in the act of procrastination. Other times, we will mindfully move responsibility for last because we feel that it makes the most sense. Help the interviewer to determine which personality type you are by answering this question.

Rachelle's Answer #1

"If given a choice, I would leave my documentation tasks for last. I say this because I like to spend my time with my customers so anything to do with documentation during business hours - I feel takes away from my client-facing tasks. I do understand the importance of it, though."

Rachelle's Answer #2

"I would leave my email to last! I find that once I am in my email, it's a never-ending whirlwind of small replies and to-dos. For this reason, and to remain focused and productive, I will schedule my email time periodically throughout the day."

14.

Rate your communication skills from 1-10 with proper examples backing your given rating.

On a scale of 1-10, how skilled are you in communication? Why did you choose that particular rating for yourself?

Rachelle's Answer #1

"I rate my communication skills as a 9/10 as I will, on occasion, have times when I am not as clear as I would like to be. My supervisor and co-workers will attest to my clear and concise communication skills. Because I am an open leader, my team will let me know if I need to clarify anything."

Rachelle's Answer #2

"I believe there is always room to improve communication skills so for that reason I will rate myself as an 8/10. I have not received any complaints related to my communication abilities and am quite proud of my oral and written communication skills."

15.

Do you believe it is possible to be a good team member yet disagree with the leader?

The interviewer wants to know that you can be diplomatic in the workplace, even when you may not agree with your leader.

Show the interviewer that it is possible for you to be a good team member, yet disagree with the leader from time to time. Explain that you believe everyone is entitled to their own professional opinion, yet capable of maintaining respect for each other at the same time.

Show that even if you disagree with the final decision they make, you support the direction the team is heading.

Rachelle's Answer #1

"I think that it is possible to be a great team member, even when disagreeing with the leader. It's all in how you maintain respect for each other despite the difference in opinion."

Rachelle's Answer #2

"Yes, I think it is possible! What makes a great team member is not that they agree with everything but the level of respect and positive thought that goes into the person's communication style. It's okay to disagree; however, you have to communicate your thoughts professionally."

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29 General Atomics Aeronautical Systems Interview Questions
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Interview Questions

  1. How do you manage your time?
  2. How do you like to encourage ideas in others?
  3. Our goal is to be the top-rated company in our industry. After researching General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, what do you think we could improve on?
  4. At General Atomics Aeronautical we seek to hire only those with aerospace experience. Are you more experienced in the private or public aerospace industry?
  5. Who would you say inspires you?
  6. We are looking for specific post-secondary education for this role. Tell me about your post-secondary education and how it will help you in this position with General Atomics.
  7. Many of our industry competitors have their employees under a non-compete contract. Are you bound by any non-compete contract with your current employer?
  8. Your workload will be large at General Atomics. How do you balance life and work?
  9. Looking at your resume, I see multiple gaps between employments, what were you doing during those gaps?
  10. How do you think your early career will help you succeed in this position?
  11. Are you actively interviewing with other companies, and are you close to offer stage with anyone?
  12. Would you say you focus more on reasons why change will not work rather than adapting to new changes?
  13. If you were given a choice, which work related task would you leave for last? Why?
  14. Rate your communication skills from 1-10 with proper examples backing your given rating.
  15. Do you believe it is possible to be a good team member yet disagree with the leader?
  16. What is your current salary?
  17. How often do you think of innovations that will improve your work performance?
  18. How have you demonstrated leadership ability when you were not in a leadership role?
  19. How do you define success?
  20. Tell me about an achievement you are proud of. What did you find challenging about it?
  21. Looking at your resume, it seems there are certain skills necessary for this position that do not stand out. How do you think you will be able to compensate for these missing skills?
  22. Have you progressed in your career as you have expected?
  23. How do you like to be recognized for your accomplishments?
  24. Confidentiality is of utmost importance to us at General Atomics Aeronautical Systems. Are you willing to sign a confidentiality agreement, if hired?
  25. At General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, we have some strong competitors. In your opinion, what makes us stand out from the others?
  26. Because of the nature of business at General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, we conduct background checks on employees. This includes criminal background, credit, and education verification checks. Are you willing to comply?
  27. There are numerous career avenues you can take with General Atomics Aeronautical Systems. Which career path interests you the most?
  28. In your opinion, what is the biggest breakthrough in the aerospace and defense industry in the past decade?
  29. The aerospace and defense industry is ever-changing. At General Atomics Aeronautical we seek to hire individuals with a keen interest in this industry. How do you stay up to date on aerospace-related current events?
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