Raise Your Interviewing Game with These Tips from Northrop Grumman

Posted by Rob Riggins

craig harris, northrop grummanCraig Harris is a Talent Acquisition Business Partner with Northrop Grumman.

What’s the interviewing process like at Northrop Grumman

The interviewing process at Northrop Grumman is simple, but thorough. Once applying online to the desired position(s), the candidate’s information is available to all recruiters within the company. An HR Representative will contact the candidate if his or her profile is a match for the position. The application review is then separated into two parts: Consideration by the talent acquisition business partner and consideration by the hiring manager. Hiring managers will select specific applicants and a company representative will reach out to schedule an interview.

After completing the interview, the candidate will get feedback from the hiring department. If we offer the candidate a job and it’s accepted, the pre-employment process begins immediately. We require a background check for every employee, which may take up to a month to complete. This may take more time if the applicant has a security clearance. Once every step is completed, the candidate is then a Northrop Grumman employee.

Do I prepare differently for a phone screen vs an in-person interview

Phone screen interviews are often considered easier to prepare for than those conducted in person. Interviewing in the comfort of your own home means you can control your environment. Interviewees can have prep notes at hand if they need any help answering a question.  Make sure for your phone interview that you have a quiet, distraction free space and that you have a glass of water handy, your resume printed out, an electronic version of your resume ready to resend to a hiring manager’s computer, a pad and pen for taking notes.

More preparation needs to happen for in-person interviews. Applicants need to review their key messages beforehand since there’s less opportunity to look at notes when face-to-face with the interviewer. It’s also important to have copies of your resume and other application documentation to show that you’re prepared. Inevitably, your interviewer will ask you if you have questions for them; you’ll look prepared if you have written down your own questions about the company, the culture, and the position. But most of all, try and relax and portray your best, most qualified self in the interview!

Interviewing NGCHow should I prepare for interviewing with the Hiring Manager

Research. Know the company you’re applying to and what the specific position entails. Almost every interviewer will ask why you applied and what makes you a good fit for the company. By researching the company beforehand, you’ll have prepared foundational understanding of the company to discuss. Knowing a little bit about Northrop Grumman shows that you’re actually interested in the position and that you didn’t just apply randomly.

Practice. Do a mock interview with a friend and think about what you want to say. This gives you a chance to present yourself in the best light and respond to questions you might expect to answer.

Be confident. Know why you’re a great fit for the position. Have a strong elevator speech that will set the tone for the rest of the interview. You need to sell yourself and your qualifications.

Show personality. Stand out from the rest of the competition. Everyone is nervous during an interview. Try to calm those nerves and engage with interviewer. Emphasize the unique experiences that make you a better and more memorable candidate.

What are common interview mistakes you see in the cleared community

Many people forget to ask questions at the end of the interview. This is a perfect time to show your interest in the position. Do your homework on the company and make sure not to leave the interview with any questions about the position or company.

Please visit our social media channels and our website before your interview and look up at least these obvious things: CEO and their background, basic company history including any major products, projects, or mergers/acquisitions, primary locations, and at least one recent article in the newsroom.

Also, remember to be totally honest. We’re not going to hire anybody suspected of providing false or misleading information. Integrity is a fundamental trait of all successful applicants at Northrop Grumman.

How do I stand out from my competition in an interview

Preparation. We can always tell when somebody is prepared for their interview. We see it in their dress, their level of comfort, their enthusiasm. We can equally tell when somebody is not prepared and doesn’t fully understand why they’re there.

Highlight the unique experiences that have shaped you as a working professional. Talk about exciting projects you’ve worked on and any unique skills that may benefit the company. Candidates who show leadership potential are also looked at favorably. We look for leadership characteristics for even the most entry level positions.

Being fashionably late isn’t cool when it comes to interviews. Give yourself plenty of time to find parking, get through security and find the interview room. It always takes longer than you think, so give yourself some margin. It’s noticeable when candidates arrive early and have had plenty of time to catch their breath and relax.

I’ve clearly mishandled an answer – do I bring it up again and try to re-answer, or just move on

If you really must correct the record, go ahead if you think you’ve mishandled a question and are confident you know the correct answer. Alternatively, you can wait until the end of the interview when asked if you have any final thoughts. This is the perfect opportunity for you to show you’re paying attention. If you are still not sure on how to properly answer the question, don’t worry. Try highlighting your expertise in other answers. It’s okay to not know that answer to everything. Stress the fact that you pick up on things quickly and give examples of when you were thrown into a similar situation and how you were able to succeed.

What if the person I’m interviewing with is not a good interviewer

Have core messages prepared that the interviewer can easily write down. Follow-up with a thank you e-mail and send any additional documentation you think will help the interviewer understand your background.

If you feel like you’re not making a connection with the interviewer, ask questions about his or her personal experience at Northrop Grumman.  You may find you have more in common with him or her than you think

One way to find a connection is to do a LinkedIn search on the person with whom you will be speaking with. You may find connections in common, like people, education, or even past employers.

What’s something all interviewees should talk about, but rarely do

Talk about why they do what they do. We sometimes get bogged down in facts, figures and qualifications, but try telling us why you chose your profession. Why do you bother getting out of bed in the mornings, is it just for the paycheck or do you have a higher sense of purpose?

All things being equal with two candidates, what have you seen as the tiebreaker

Enthusiasm and effective communication. Showing some spark will go a long way towards securing a new career opportunity. We want to hire people who want to work with us in this industry. There are many jobs out there with something for every unique personality type and skillset. Technical knowledge is very important, but tiebreakers may come down to demonstrating leadership potential, having excellent communication, and sharing passion for your career path.

View Cleared Career Opportunities with Northrop Grumman


This entry was posted on Wednesday, October 17, 2018 3:29 pm

3 thoughts on “Raise Your Interviewing Game with These Tips from Northrop Grumman”

  1. This was a wonderful article! But I seem to be in a difficult position due to changing careers, moving to the west coast from DC, then changing careers. I have extensive experience in government contracting and am not having anyone willing to interview me. I am also an AF veteran. It’s frustrating to have 18 years of experience overlooked. How do I overcome this hurdle? Thank you in advance for any suggestions.

    1. Neshe, I am sorry to hear that you are having trouble getting in contact with someone from Talent Acquisition. Please feel free to reach out to me. I am hoping that I can help find a valid connection that can result in an interview. Please call Craig CL Canady @ 703 251 9525 or on my personal cell – 703 338 7641 soonest. Let’s talk!

  2. Thank you for the informative article! Do you know if there is a time frame for getting a phone call after Workday’s status changed from “Under consideration” to “Preliminary conversation underway”? Also, is it possible to get some advices related to the application process at NG?

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