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 Post subject: Research Interview
PostPosted: Dec Thu 06, 2018 3:04 pm 
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Joined: Jul Mon 25, 2016 11:34 am
Posts: 356
Location: Wilton IA
Yesterday, I had an interview for a paid research position in a lab here on campus. On my resume I said I had experience soldering, wiring, and troubleshooting with electronics, and so during the interview they asked about this experience. I got talking about repairing antique radios, etc. and somehow we got on the topic of one of my most perplexing radios. They wanted to know how I solved the problem. I said I asked my grandpa, then the forum and could just not figure it out. Finally I inserted a signal into the circuit and just traced it back until I found the problem, which ended up being a cold solder joint (not mine) that was not easy to see.

The professor asked me if I used an oscilloscope and I said, "Well no, I used a screwdriver and my body as an antenna for the signal". You could tell they were not expecting that response and the graduate students there looked back and forth at each other nodding, and finally one said, "Yeah that would work".

I think they were impressed that I used a work around solution and kept going at the project.

Thought you guys might be interested to hear the story. My dad said to save this story for more interviews because it shows my problem solving skills.

As a side note, I have been using my ham license on the weekly nets in the area. I am hopefully getting a better antenna for Christmas which will be nice!

-Noah


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 Post subject: Re: Research Interview
PostPosted: Dec Thu 06, 2018 4:07 pm 
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Joined: Jan Mon 12, 2009 7:38 am
Posts: 1200
Location: homestead, fl
glad you found folks that could accept the fact that troubleshooting sometimes needs to be done outside of the box and not just with pricey gear. it's a valuable skill that a sizable portion of today's tinkerers dont have.


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 Post subject: Re: Research Interview
PostPosted: Dec Thu 06, 2018 7:06 pm 
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Joined: Jul Mon 26, 2010 8:30 pm
Posts: 26019
Location: Annapolis, MD
I spent many hours interviewing people for positions on Space projects including stuff for NASA. For me, what made the difference was whether the candidate could think for himself. One standard question: " why did you go into engineering?" If the candidate said: "because my dad said I could make good money", he/she was not likely to get to the next level.

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-Mark
"Measure voltage, but THINK current." --anon.


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 Post subject: Re: Research Interview
PostPosted: Dec Thu 06, 2018 7:21 pm 
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Joined: Jan Tue 31, 2012 1:55 am
Posts: 8815
Location: Mountains of Mourne. Ireland.
Very good Noah... :)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dx6HojLBsnw

Greg.


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 Post subject: Re: Research Interview
PostPosted: Dec Thu 06, 2018 7:29 pm 
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Joined: Jul Mon 25, 2016 11:34 am
Posts: 356
Location: Wilton IA
Greg---At least two different engineering professors have already shown that in class here. It is pretty funny for engineers.

Thanks,
Noah


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 Post subject: Re: Research Interview
PostPosted: Dec Thu 06, 2018 7:43 pm 
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Joined: Jan Tue 31, 2012 1:55 am
Posts: 8815
Location: Mountains of Mourne. Ireland.
Glad to see that your Profs have a sense of humor.
Use it judicially.

Greg.


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 Post subject: Re: Research Interview
PostPosted: Dec Thu 06, 2018 7:53 pm 
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Joined: Oct Thu 27, 2011 8:39 pm
Posts: 997
Location: Houston, texas
In 2002 I was laid off . A year later they hired a Phd Chemistry guy to fill my position.
He barely could figure out which way to turn a screwdriver and figuratively showed the instruments his degree to bully them to work. He lasted 9 months. By that time I moved to Texas to work for a French company till I retired.


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 Post subject: Re: Research Interview
PostPosted: Dec Thu 06, 2018 11:17 pm 
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Joined: Dec Wed 25, 2013 7:57 am
Posts: 3654
Location: USA
Thanks for sharing. Often, a job interview is two-ways. They want to know if they can work with you; also you want to know what the employer's is like and if you can be happy to be part of the team. Sounds like this might be an interesting job :)


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 Post subject: Re: Research Interview
PostPosted: Dec Fri 07, 2018 2:22 am 
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Joined: Sep Mon 16, 2013 2:42 am
Posts: 3289
Location: Tucson, Arizona U.S.A.
Quote:
I spent many hours interviewing people . . .. One standard question: " why did you go into engineering?"

Interesting. That was one of my standard questions as well. And my reaction was the same as yours.

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Jim Mueller


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