NukeWorker Forum

Career Path => Resume & Interview => Topic started by: nukeET1 on Oct 27, 2004, 02:18

Title: Interview questions
Post by: nukeET1 on Oct 27, 2004, 02:18
I got a call back this morning from a NE power company for an SRO interview soon.  I was wondering if anyone had any insight to the questions you were asked or if you are an SRO what questions you ask during interviews other then the normal questions.  What are you seeking when you are doing the interviews etc etc.  Any insight would be great.  I appreciate anyone who responds! 
Just a nuke doing homework,

.... the homework never ends.....
Title: Re: SRO Interview questions (need help immediatly)
Post by: Roll Tide on Oct 27, 2004, 02:54
Most interviews I have been associated with in Commercial nukes in the last 5 years have been about 4 on 1. You might have a training manager or designee, a union steward or president, a superintendent or equivalent in OPS, and a Human Resources rep.

They have a standard script which they only deviate slightly based on your answers. Each will ask a question, but all can follow up. Questions are open-ended so you should be able to blow your own horn. Some of the questions are tough, such as, "Give us an example of a time when you didn't think far enough in advance and found yourself in unexpected circumstances. What did you do to rectify the situation?"

As you can imagine, you want to be responsive but don't nail yourself to the wall.

Have a realistic expectation of the interview. Example: if scheduled for 30 minutes (you can find out from HR) then only 5 minutes are reserved for your questions at the end.

You need to write out more questions than you will ask, and then only ask the ones not previously addressed by the information they have volunteered. Some people try to ask questions that make you look better than other candidates. (Are there many problems with aging workforce at this site, what are most people who were hired in this position doing ten years later, what lateral moves would be available from Shift Manager for your later years with the utility.)

It is not the time to discuss money or benefits unless they bring it up. For example, if they ask about certain credits / degree, you might inquire about their tuition assistance program.

Good luck.
Title: Re: SRO Interview questions (need help immediatly)
Post by: bigstew on Oct 27, 2004, 03:18
Here are some popular behavioral interview questions to peruse:
I was licensed for many years and can tell you that any utility will want to make sure you keep them out of the funny papers. Overall,no cowboys or super technocrats need apply. You need a well rounded approach to your work.
Can you make conservative decisions (ie. protect the health and safety of the public and their investment)  on your own, collaboratively, and using the procedues (that you'll have to know pretty darned cold)?
Can you work well with others without pandering or bullying?
Can you multi-task like a big dog and not drop anything important?
If you make a mistake are you willing to immediately ask for help to fix it?
Are you willing to work like hell to get your license and then maintain it?
By a "NE power company" it could be Nebraska, New England or Northeast. Either way, check out which may have some of the names you'll face in an interview but will also have info on some of the issues facing the training departments and their student/participants.
Senior Reactor Operator is a good ticket to get punched but you'll earn it.
Good luck.
Title: Re: SRO Interview questions (need help immediatly)
Post by: Fermi2 on Nov 01, 2004, 11:01
You'll be interviewed by the OPs Manager, OPs Assistant Manager, Usually a Shift Manager, and Training Manager.

1: Why do you want to be an SRO?

2: What talents do you bring to us?

3: Do you have supervisory experience?

4: Give 3 examples where you changed things for the better and how you did it?

5: What are your career aspirations.?

A bit of advice. SRO is a damn tough job. I've done it for 7 years. If you don't think you can handle the worst day of your life, with a plant falling apart around you, then the phone rings, you might want to reconsider. I'm just letting you know, because unlike many positions at Nuke plants, if you F up as an SRO you'll end up fired.

Title: Re: SRO Interview questions (need help immediatly)
Post by: nukeET1 on Nov 01, 2004, 07:12
I appreciate all the advice.  I got through the second interview with the OPs Manager, Training manager, and HR rep.  It was one of the hardest interviews I have done.  They asked alot of the questions posed here.  Such as
1.  When did you lead a project and have all your subordinates rally around you.
2.  Why do you want to be an SRO.
3.  Give an example of safety intervention in the workplace and actions taken to  correct this problem.

I appreciate all the help

Title: Re: SRO Interview questions (need help immediatly)
Post by: Fermi2 on Nov 02, 2004, 12:19
Same stuff I said eh? Virtually everyone is using Targetted Interview Selection right now. And GUESS who has gone to that school?

Title: Dress code for interviews, testing etc...
Post by: scadin on Feb 24, 2005, 12:57
Hello...this isn't actually FreddyFroo, but his better half.  My husband has testing, interviews etc. in a few days with DTE for an NLO position and I want him to make a good impression.  I was just wondering if you guys could give me some insight into proper attire for a Meet and Greet dinner, poss testing, and interviews.  At first we were thinking nice Dockers and a dress shirt, but my aunt (who is an independant career consultant) suggested that he should be wearing no less then a sport coat and tie, preferably a suit.  Help!  Thanks in advance.  --Froo's wife.
Title: Re: Dress code for interviews, testing etc...
Post by: Roll Tide on Feb 24, 2005, 01:07

I wore a suit and tie to my interview because expert career consultants explained it had to be done. (In spite of that, I got the job.) You dress for an interview like you will dress for the job or up to one level above. If NLO's typically wear jeans until they get their company assigned uniforms (like most sites today), then Dockers and a nice shirt are as high as you should go. Wear leather shoes in case there is an opportunity for a tour.

Ask the aunt if you should ever outdress the person giving the interviews? Some sites have upper management in sport coat and tie, but typically casual areas of the country (such as Florida) the OPS manager will be wearing Dockers and a nicer shirt than the NLO!
Title: Re: Dress code for interviews, testing etc...
Post by: RDTroja on Feb 24, 2005, 03:11
Excellent advice Roll Tide and precisely what I would have said assuming he is meeting with the people that will be his immediate supervisors. The only caveat is that if he is meeting with the folks from offsite he may want the tie. The main difference seems to be the site culture vs. home office culture. If they are home office staff, the expectations may be higher... but if it really is a meet and greet, you hit the nail on the head. One level up is perfect.

If he wears a suit he will have outdressed everyone but the maitre d' (assuming they go to a nice restaurant.)

At a plant I recently left after a long-term engagment, the site VP used to come in dressed in jeans and a flannel shirt. If you saw him in a suit you knew there was someone important coming to a meeting. It was amazing how many people he caught wasting time because if you didn't know him you thought he was an average worker.
Title: Re: Dress code for interviews, testing etc...
Post by: shayne on Feb 24, 2005, 05:27
For my interview with DTE, I wore business casual (Dress Pant, Long Sleeve Polo Shirt) for the Meet and Greet.  For the Poss Test, I went with the same type of business casual.  I wore the same clothing at the Dinner after the Poss test.  For the interview I did add a jacket and tie.  I was hired by DTE for NLO position.  The interview schedule HR sent to me had some dress codes listed for each function.  Usually the interviews are done by a couple of licensed operators, Control Room Supervisor, and I do believe they will try to get a NLO to them.  Also an HR person will be there to oversee the interview process.  Overall it was one of the better interview processes I have been through.
Title: Re: Dress code for interviews, testing etc...
Post by: shayne on Feb 24, 2005, 06:35
At Fermi, most of the NLO wear jeans and black polo shirts that the company gives us.  They also provide coveralls that many NLO wear also.  The licensed operators wear dockers and blue dress shirts.  Hope this helps.

If you haven't read this topic yet, here is a link:,4421.0.html

Good Luck with the interview.
Title: Re: Dress code for interviews, testing etc...
Post by: volfireman07 on Feb 25, 2005, 07:50
I am a jeans and T-shirt guy, but ...  When someone comes in to interview with me, I like for them to look like they want the job.  First impressions are important.  I don't think a suit is necessary, but a tie at least.  Regardless the clothes need to be clean and pressed.  It seems that if you dress "professional" you act more professional.  It will come accross in your interview.  Sport coat and tie always are good because you can lose the coat and tie if you decide that is best and still look well dressed.  If you start in jeans and polo you are pretty much stuck.  Just my opinion.
Title: Re: Dress code for interviews, testing etc...
Post by: Fermi2 on Feb 25, 2005, 08:46
When I interviewed at Sequoyah they told me either a button down  or polo shirt and a pair of decent pants and to please not dress past that because the interviewers wouldn't be dressed past that.

My second interview was held in a local pizza place. They told me to just wear jeans..

Title: Getting the interviews, need help closing.
Post by: scrub on Jun 19, 2005, 08:30
Hi all,

I need some assistance with closing the deal during and after an interview.  My background is experience at a DOE site as a control room operator, zero college, and no Navy.  My last interview for an auxiliary operator was with former Navy nukes (with DOE site experience), and degreed engineers (even one with a masters).  I'm getting calls for interviews so that must mean something.  I just can't figure out how to close the deal.  

I've had 2 interviews so far.  One fossil and one nuke.  The fossil was the traditional behavior type (give me an example of a time...).  I prepped for the next interview, the nuke, under the same premise (behavior type).  Wrong.  The nuke was more about teamwork and fitting in to an established high performing team.  Still a behavior type but not based on previous experience.  I have yet to hear about the last interview.  The day after my nuke interview I got a call for another auxiliary operator interview.  Like I said, I'm getting the interviews.  So that's not the problem.

My questions...
Am I really competitive or am I wasting the hiring manger's time and my vacation time?
Is there a hot button or issue that should be covered in a nuke interview?  during my DOE interview safety was a hot button.
Is a suit the best attire to wear for an interview for an auxiliary operator interview?
Any other ideas?  Maybe it's just me, my attitude, or my poor presentation skills.  I did feel out of place slightly.  Maybe that came through in my interview.  Look at the experience of the folks interviewing also.  I almost walked out before my interview.  I have several negatives to overcome (no college, no Navy...).
Is it hopeless?

Thanks for any help.
Title: Re: Getting the interviews, need help closing.
Post by: Fermi2 on Jun 19, 2005, 09:26
No you're not wasting yours or anyones time. You have experience as a Control Room Operator and I take it a license from the DOE. That means a lot.

Most commercial nuke plant interviews are roughly the same. They're all using targetted selection. (what you just described)

After the interview start bugging them IMMEDIATELY!!!! Then bug them constantly!

Title: Re: Getting the interviews, need help closing.
Post by: scrub on Jun 19, 2005, 09:33
Not a license or anything that glamorous.  I'm a certified control room operator for a liquid waste disposal site.  I hope I wasn't misleading about my background.  I guess I should have said zero power generation experience too.

Thanks for your help.  I guess I'll google "targeted selection" interviews.  Do you have any tips about this type of interview.

Thanks again.
Title: Re: Getting the interviews, need help closing.
Post by: scrub on Jun 19, 2005, 09:40
by the way how do you "bug them".  What kind of emails should I send?  To who?  I want the emails or contact to have a point rather than "just wanted to drop you a liine Mr/Mrs hiring manager"  Thoughts??

Title: Re: Getting the interviews, need help closing.
Post by: Fermi2 on Jun 19, 2005, 09:43
It doesn't matter. You have experience at an industrial facility. To me that's important. Provided you're intelligent and can follow work direction you should be all right. Admittedly you are at a disadvantage as compared with someone with Nuke Operating or Naval Experience but it's not insurmountable.

Lots of utilities hire at least one or two people in each class who aren't traditional nukes because it keeps the overall plant outlok fresh.

By the way, mid summer is a bad time to get hired. Most companies hire just after Refueling outages which occur in early to mid spring and in late fall.

I'd start with the people who interviewed you. Usually there's at least one operator on the hiring team. That's the person you have to sell.

Title: Re: Getting the interviews, need help closing.
Post by: scrub on Jun 19, 2005, 09:54
I see.  My next interview has a hire date in Sept.  When I contact them I just say "please hire me" or should I point out the similarities between my work experience and their job posting.  How do I find out who this operator is?  My interview was one session with a training lead and the another session with the Ops manager.

As for plant outlook, the training manager said something like what you said too. 

Thanks for your time.
Title: Re: Getting the interviews, need help closing.
Post by: Fermi2 on Jun 19, 2005, 10:05
Emphasize how much you really want the job, and how you believe your past experience can help them. In other words do your best to turn the interview into something about your unique talents.

As for finding out how to contact them. Ask. Find exactly when they'll make the decision. Ask them if you can have a point of contact.

Targetted selection is basically a bank of questions based on how you can help them and how you handle yourself.

1: Give three examples of how you improved a team?

2: Tell me about a bad team you once were on, and what you did to attempt to improve it?

3: How you improved or would improve a good team?

4: What are your weaknesses? And what are you doing about them?

5: What are your strengths? How are you improving them? How are you spreading your strengths to others?

6: Would you consider getting a mentor to help you?

7: You've been given a job with a fellow employee. You're to do it together but he's slacking. You are not his supervisor. What do you do?

8: How often do you assess yourself?

9: What do you do with this assessment?

Title: Re: Getting the interviews, need help closing.
Post by: shayne on Jun 19, 2005, 05:49
A thank you letter after the interview helps.  It will show that you are more interested in the job and the company.  It also allows you to re-state the a few items that was covered in your interview that was important and that you believe was your strong points.  Not to mension, the minute you walk out of the interview, there is always something you forgot to say during the interview. You should include this in the thank you letter.  Include any follow up from the interview.  This also includes stating that you look forward to hearing from them or that you will contact them on ___.  Also I try to send the letter to all the individuals that involved in the interview.  So at the interview you will want to get business card or some email address to send it to them.  Company mail will work also.  Most of all thank them for their time.
Title: Re: Getting the interviews, need help closing.
Post by: scrub on Jun 19, 2005, 07:57
Good stuff there.  Thanks