URS Interview Questions & Reviews
Getting an Interview
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Scheduler-Planner Interview (Neutral Experience; Average Interview)
I applied online and the process took 4 weeks - interviewed at URS.
Interview Details As with most companies, the initial application process is online so need to include key words in resume. Then a phone interview with some brief interest questions. Lastly a face-to-face. Expect safety related questions along with relevant experience.
Interview Question – HR does the hiring so they will probably ask more difficult level questions than the job actually requires because the rep doesn't know exactly what you will be doing. Be prepared to have to know more than the job will require. Answer Question
Negotiation Details – Not much room for negotiating due to their strict pay structure. They bill the client for a limited range of salary. Try to get a little more, but know they may be bringing you in close to the most they will be able to pay.
Senior Project Controller Interview (Positive Experience; Average Interview)
I applied through a recruiter and the process took 1+ week - interviewed at URS in January 2010.
Interview Details Interview was okay. Asked a lot of questions. Got asked a lot of questions. No pressure.
Interview Question – What is your biggest weakness? I hate that question because it's a trick question. If you say you don't have any, then you appear to be cocky and arrogant. If you state a weakness that is job related or was the same weakness as the previous person, then you have just shot yourself in the foot. View Answer
Entry-Level Geologist Interview (Neutral Experience)
Interviewed at URS
Interview Details On-campus interview. Recruiter was very kind and helpful. She was very excited and willing to hire entry-level students. URS was very informational.
Interview Question – What sets you out from other interviewers? Answer Question
Very Easy Interview
GIS Analyst Interview (Negative Experience; Very Easy Interview)
I applied online and the process took 3 weeks - interviewed at URS in November 2013.
Interview Details Submitted resume online; Two weeks later, HR contacted me via email to setup phone interview with a VP of Data Management; One week later, a 30 minute phone interview with the VP and an aviation employee took place. From the very beginning, they were only interested in my aviation background, as I do have other pertinent industrial and academia experiences relating to this position. Amazingly, they "dug" for information specifically about the company's proprietary aviation datasets, main project details, and mostly about government funding as if they weren't interested in "me" but just about my prior company's "status". They deviated away from the job description entirely (i.e. GIS support on environmental and civil projects) - asking about my aviation background only and no other industrial experiences; We briefly spoke about my atmospheric-flight data integration work. They cut me short on discussing my prior accomplishments and also added distractions while I spoke (see below). The distractions happened about 16 minutes within the interview and carried to the end.
What brought this experience to a clearly "negative" level was that the VP had an aviation employee next to him (for screening obviously) who noticeably chuckled and tried adding "gotcha" questions into the interview (demonstrating incompetence and unprofessional, childish behavior).
They never asked if I had any questions regarding their position, about URS, or why I wanted to work for them (it was purely one directional information gathering and they targeted my prior company). It was definitely the worst interview experience in my career, none of which I expected it to be moderated by a 20+ year URS vice president.
Interview Question – Did you even work with any radar data? (sarcastic with a chuckle added) View Answer
Very Easy Interview
Engineer I Interview (Positive Experience; Very Easy Interview)
I applied online and the process took 2 weeks - interviewed at URS.
Interview Details One of the engineers called me in for an interview. He discussed the tasks of the position with me. Then the engineering manager ask me questions on courses I had taken in college and how I would react to certain situations. Then the manager and engineer took me to lunch.
Interview Question – The interview was not difficult at all. They just seemed to need more engineers. Answer Question
Process Engineer Interview (Positive Experience; Average Interview)
I applied through college or university and the process took 3 weeks - interviewed at URS in October 2013.
Interview Details Emailed to set up an interview time. Worked well to accommodate a time interview lasted about 30 minutes. It was a normal interview process. Let me know in 2-3 weeks that they did not have a place for me.
Interview Question – Tell us what sets you apart from the other applicants. How should we remember you? Answer Question
Engineer V Interview (Positive Experience; Average Interview)
I applied online and the process took 6 months - interviewed at URS in June 2013.
Interview Details Process started with an email screen from HR reaffirming minimum qualifications. A couple weeks later there was a phone screen with a supervising discipline engineer that covered basic work history and skills with no tough questions. A week or so later was an in-office interview that initially had about 5 people on the itinerary but only 3 were available at the time. These people included the department manager and a couple other discipline engineer manager types. The level of technical questioning from the section manager was higher than I expected as he went into detail about specific design applications and software. I was even questioned about which professors I had in college despite that being over 10 years ago. No behavioral questions. Everything went well. Unfortunately the position was put on hold shortly thereafter and it took another 5 months or so before it was posted again and offered the position. Being eager to take the job it seemed to require a lot of effort on my part to maintain contact with them over a long period of time in order to get in but I suppose it was worth it.
Interview Question – If you did not take a college course in this subject how are you qualified to do the work and understand what is going on? This requires a high level of proof to show your work history has sufficiently trained you in lieu of the coursework. Answer Question
Negotiation Details – The salary offer was detailed to show at what percent of the median for that title based on skills and experience coming in. They seemed resistant to a counter offer but I tried anyways and was able to get 3% more.
Helpdesk Coordinator Interview (Positive Experience; Average Interview)
I applied through an employee referral - interviewed at URS in October 2009.
Interview Details Didn't interview with URS, was an employee before they obtained the contract
Senior Engineer Interview (Negative Experience; Average Interview)
I applied online and the process took 2 months - interviewed at URS in September 2013.
Interview Details I'll be brief : (biased toward negative, however a collective view on the reader is strongly advised)
Their HR department does a good job of setting up the interview and communicate thoroughly.
However, the management and interviewers rank very poorly in my many years of work experience as a Professional Engineer and years of experience in interviews and engineering consulting. They basically give you a massive false hope for the job and a sense of urgent need on a job to a level that you almost basically give notice to current career. BUT be careful NOT to do so .
1- was that they wanted to interview me a for senior engineer position, but when I showed up for the interview after one of month of organizing for the interview, timing issues,... , they said they have somebody for that position and they are looking for a much junior position!
2- The junior position was to start "immediately" and I sensed that they were just kicking the tires in the tight British Columbia, Canada engineering consulting market and giving some false hopes to potentials, So I provided that I like to move forward with their junior position they are offering and communicated that to their HR, interviewer(s) by email and phone message after after the interview process.
3- No answers for couple of weeks, until I followed up the followup by calling one of the VP interviewers on the provided cell to get an update. Response was "we are still evaluating the offered position and we will let you know". Was that a joke or lack of integrity and professionalism, I would let the reader to judge based on this brief experience.
I would give one advice to all North American fellow engineers and other professionals:
1- Due to economic conditions in North America, a lot of engineering consulting companies are able to get away with their hiring, firing, and employe(r) royalty Mal-practices, lack of integrity, and their hire/fire practices. At the end, the engineer or technical professional always is the damaged product and always ends up in the street. Having your own best interest in mind is a good policy to follow. The royalty era is to be framed and be sold in small town antique shops.
2- Engineers are being thought in many school events and lectures to talk about knowledge modesty, however, a slight "fake it until you make it" within reach usually helps you to exceed in your field if you are the ambitious type.
Disclosure : I never heard back from them.
Interview Question – unexpected : going for senior position, telling you that position is already fulfilled but there is this really junior position available. do you want it ? View Answer
Graduate Electrical Engineering Interview (Neutral Experience; Average Interview)
I applied through college or university and the process took 5+ weeks - interviewed at URS in February 2013.
Interview Details Handed my CV to them at employers fair at Bath University. They called me for an interview after a very long time. In general, they were quite nice. Asked me technical and competency questions. They went through my CV and asked questions on that too.
Interview Question – Asked questions on fault analysis, protection system and also about PID. Answer Question
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