Aerospace industry is experiencing an unprecedented boom in the recent years. Boeing, one of the top 5 players in the field, advertises many vacancies for engineers, programmers, analysts and managers all year round.
And while some questions differ from one interview to another, depending on your specialty, whether you did internship with the company or not, and on other factors, certain questions–mostly situational and behavioral (often also called STAR), but also some basic questions, tend to repeat in most Boeing interviews, regardless of the position and situation. Let’s have a look at them.
Why do you want to work for Boeing?
You should do your research and find something that resonates with you. If you apply for an engineering job, it can be some technology, or innovation the company is working on right now. The field has always interested you greatly, and you’d love to join their team of engineers, working on the fascinating stuff they are working on right now.
If you apply for managerial or analytical or programming job, you can refer to excellent employee benefits, reputation of the company (Boeing belongs to the most admired companies in the world), the value they place on environmental aspects of work (designing new bio fuels, for example), or to anything else that caught your eye on their job description.
They should get an impression that Boeing is your no.1 choice, and that you have mostly positive associations with their brand.
* Special Tip: Having an online interview with Boeing? Check our post on Boeing HireVue interview questions.
Please tell us something about your previous experience.
You should always talk about relevant experience–relevant to the exact job you are trying to get with the company. Try to talk in a logical and systematic way about your past jobs, or about your experiences from the University.
Remember that they observe a lot of things while you are narrating your experience in the interviews. Do you talk to the point? Do you narrate mostly your personal achievements, or things you actually did for your former employers? Is it easy to understand your words? Do you use technicalities and terminology? Has your former experience prepared you for your role with Boeing, and if it hasn’t, are you confident that you will handle the job?
Try to demonstrate strong communication skills, attention to detail and right attitude to work while walking them through your resume.
What is your experience with XY software?
When they inquire about a specific software, you can be almost sure that they use it in the company. If you have such experience, just tell them for how long you’ve been working with this or that software, what modules you used, and how it helped you in your work. You can also describe a particular project you worked on while using the SW. You can check good sample answers for MS Excel for example, for some inspiration.
If you have no experience with the software of their choice, you have two options:
- Talking about substitutes. Perhaps you worked with a different software with the same functionality, or even better. Since you know the interface and understand the logic behind your work, you will easily learn to work with their program.
- Referring to your excellent computer intelligence, which will help you to learn to work with any software in no time. You can also emphasize your willingness to learn with this or that program, perhaps even in your free time.
Tell us about a time when you faced adversity. How did you deal with it?
Life is no walk in a park. At least for most of us it isn’t. Try to pick a difficult situation from either your personal or professional life, one that had a happy ending. This is the first STAR question on the list, which means that you should describer the Action you took, and also the Result, when you faced adversity-the Situation, and you Task was to overcome it.
Perhaps you battled with illness or lost someone you loved and struggled to get over your loss. Or you had a great idea, one that would help your employer a lot, but everyone else in the office was against it, and you struggled to get forward with it.
Anyway, your attitude to adversity matters more than the situation you narrate. Show the interviewers that you do not give up easily. You may struggle, but you continue fighting, trying to find a way out of a difficult situation. What’s more, you know that struggles belong to every workplace, and you won’t avoid them working for Boeing. But you are ready to face them. You aren’t scared.
Describe an experience when you had to deliver bad news to your manager or a team.
You should again pick an example that is as close to your actual job application as possible. For example, if you apply for a job of a programmer, bad news can be finding a leak in the code, or announcing to your manager that certain tasks can’t be completed in the given time frame.
When describing the situation, be sure to admit making a mistake. Do not blame someone else for the bad news. Show the hiring managers that you do not think twice about an impact sharing such news will have on you and your reputation. When the news is relevant and important for them to know, you share it immediately.
From a managerial position bad news can be terminating someone’s contract, or relocating your team members, or something similar. Ensure the interviewers that you always try to do the best thing for the company, and that emotions do not interfere with your decisions in work.
Tell us about a time when you were innovative?
Innovation is the core of Boeing’s business. They are looking for engineers and technicians who can bring new ideas onboard. You won’t get any manuals here…
You can talk about any process you engineered, or improved. Or perhaps about an innovative way in which you solved some problem, or addressed some situation, saving your employer a decent amount of money. Just like with any other behavioral question, in an ideal case you should talk about a situation which has something to do with your job field.
Try to talk with enthusiasm. Hiring managers at Boeing should get an impression that you enjoy innovating things and solving problems.
* You can also download the list of all questions in a one page long PDF, and practice your interview answers anytime later:
Tell us about a time when you disagreed with your boss.
You should choose a disagreement that had something to do with the job, and not with some pointless personal conflict. Perhaps you had a different idea about a certain strategy or process in work, and considered it more effective, but your boss disagreed.
Ensure the interviewers that you do not hesitate twice to share constructive criticism with your superiors. While you respect the hierarchy of the organization, you won’t blindly follow each order. You think creatively, you have your opinion, and you do not mind sharing it with your superiors.
Other behavioral (STAR) questions you may face in your interview with Boeing
- Describe a time when you had to meet a tight deadline in work. How did you prioritize your work to meet the deadline?
- Tell me about a time when you failed.
- Tell us about a time when you had to make a decision without having all important information.
- How would you define quality?
- Describe a time when you faced a conflict of personal and professional interests. What did you do to overcome the conflict?
- Describe the situation in which you were able to use persuasion to successfully convince someone.
- Tell us about your greatest professional achievement.
- Describe a situation when you had to use logic to solve a problem.
- Tell us about a time when you felt overwhelmed with work.
* Special tip: Not sure how to answer the behavioral questions, “tell us about a time when…”, “describe a situation…”, etc? Have a look at our Interview Success Package, where you’ll find up to 10 brilliant answers to more than 100 interview questions, including 30+ behavioral questions–basically everything a hiring manager at Boeing can throw at you in an interview. Thank you for checking it out!
Conclusion, next steps
Job interviews with Boeing belong to interviews with average difficulty. You may face up to 15 behavioral or situational questions, which is not easy, especially if you have little previous working experience.
Try to think about the questions, and do a good research about Boeing, especially about the particular department or organizational unit where you will work. Learn about their latest projects and innovations, organizational structure, and other things.
It should help you with your interview answers, and it is always easier to connect with your interviewers once you know a lot about their company… We wish you good luck!
May also help you succeed in your interview with Boeing:
- Guide on how to overcome interview nerves
- Salary negotiation tips
- Software engineer interview questions