INTERVIEW PREPARATION TIPS

You've been selected to interview at Northrop Grumman! It's an exciting, hopeful, and unnerving time. So before you begin the interview process, read through our helpful interviewing tips to learn more about what to expect, what to wear, and the different types of interviews you might encounter. We’ll even give you some sample questions to help you prepare. After all, we want you to be the hire we're looking for!

Here are some interview preparation tips straight from the Northrop Grumman Talent Acquisition team.


Tell Me about Yourself

One question that seems a pretty obvious way to start an interview is often the one where people tend to have trouble. “Tell me about yourself.” Sometimes your mind goes blank because you don’t think you need to prepare, after all, you do know yourself.

This response should be 1-2 minutes long and should reflect your ability to put words together succinctly and to speak with confidence. Try to highlight your strengths and weaknesses and remember that they want to know more about you.

What we don’t want as a response is the chronological retelling of your whole life story. Instead, the answer to this question should be a very short overview of your life, emphasizing highlights of your professional experience that are relevant to the job for which you’re interviewing. It is basically an elevator pitch about yourself.

The Phone Screen

The phone screen is a brief (usually 30 minute) informal interview used to develop the rapport with your Talent Acquisition Business Partner. It is an opportunity for you to demonstrate your communication skills and personality, and for us to learn more about you as a candidate.

Frequently, questions in the phone screen are centered on behavioral scenarios. The general format of these questions are presented as: “Given a certain situation, how would you respond?”

Your goals for the phone screen should be twofold: to get the Talent Acquisition partner’s attention and to generate enough interest in you for the Talent Acquisition partner to have a desire to know more about you.

The Interview

Prepare. Prepare. Prepare.

For the next phase of the interviewing process, you’ll likely be interviewing in person or virtually with the hiring manager, and these interviews are more technical. Brush up on your technical terms, do some research on current trends, and have something interesting to say about your area of specialty.

Know basic information about the organization. No Talent Acquisition interviewer or manager will expect you to be an expert, but they will be impressed if you’ve done your homework and show genuine interest and knowledge about Northrop Grumman.

Consider checking the LinkedIn profiles for the people who will interview you; see if you can find a connection with them whether personally, educationally, or professionally.

Evaluate the job description and identify the qualities of a “successful candidate”, then ask yourself: “How do those qualities relate to my capabilities and experience?” Be prepared to connect the dots from the job description to your abilities, especially those listed on your resume.

Take the time to know and understand your credentials and the overall job objective and goal. We are excited and driven by our mission and want you to be, too, if you join our team.

It’s likely that you will be asked about your long and short term career goals. Be prepared to answer this question in a meaningful way.

Have at least three questions prepared to ask the interviewers about the company and scope of work.

Virtual Interview

Conducting an interview over video stream becoming more common. Take steps to prepare for this special kind of interaction:

• Test the technology prior to the interview to make sure everything is working on your end.
• Test the camera to ensure that you are taking advantage of the best angles and lighting.
• Dressing professionally during this type of interview is important as well.
• Consider the background of the environment in which you’ll be interviewing, both audibly and visually.

What to Wear

You’d think this would be a no-brainer... but unfortunately it isn’t.

Our regular day-to-day dress code at most locations is business casual. If you are hired, that’s generally what you should expect to wear.

For an interview, however, you should take it up a notch, to business formal. We want you to be you, but we want the professional version of you.

Follow-up

Thank you notes. They don’t have to be long, elaborate or hand written. They should be sent in a timely manner, have everything be spelled correctly, and it should remind the interviewer why you should be hired.

In many cases, you may not get the interviewer’s direct email. Make sure to ask your Talent Acquisition Business Partner if they can forward your thank you note to all the interview participants.


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