Boeing is one of the most recognizable names in the aerospace industry. If you’ve ever traveled by air, the odds are good that you’ve flown on at least one Boeing aircraft. And that’s without getting into everything they do in relation to defense and space systems!
It’s safe to say that if you want to forge a lasting career in aerospace, Boeing is a great brand name to have on your resume. So how can you give yourself the best shot at getting hired by Boeing? Once you’ve built the perfect resume for the job, the best thing you can do for yourself is prepare for your interview.
Fortunately, we’re here to help you get a head start! In this article, we’ll cover the following points:
Boeing is a huge company with a high profile, and it can afford to be selective when looking for new talent. As a result, you can expect a fairly rigorous screening process before you get anywhere close to a job offer. To help you prepare, we’ve written up a short guide to the Boeing hiring process below!
After submitting your online application for a role at Boeing, you will be notified via email if you have been invited to proceed to the next stage. But before you have the opportunity to attend an interview, you will need to complete Boeing’s online aptitude test.
The exact nature of the test may vary depending on the role you’ve applied for. It contains three possible sections: a situational judgment test, a numerical reasoning test, and a technical test. Of course, if you aren’t applying for a technical role, you probably won’t be asked to complete the technical section of the test!
The situational judgment test will present you with scenarios you might experience as a Boeing employee, and will ask you to choose the appropriate course of action. Most applicants will likely need to complete this section of the test. You may also need to complete the numerical reasoning test, which will test your ability to carry out Grade 10-level mathematical problems.
If you pass the aptitude test, you will be invited to attend a phone screening. This will usually be carried out by a manager at Boeing, though you may not get to speak to the manager directly responsible for hiring.
This phone screening will usually focus on your work history and resume. It’s a great opportunity to talk about times when you have shown the skills you’ll need to thrive at Boeing. You may also be asked about your motivations for applying to Boeing – so make sure you’re ready to be enthusiastic about the company and its mission!
If you make it past the phone screening, you’ll be invited to one last screening exercise at the Boeing Assessment Center. This won’t be a one-on-one interview – you’ll be invited alongside other applicants, so will need to brush up on your group interviewing skills ahead of time.
The exact exercise you’ll be asked to carry out will vary depending on the role you’re applying for. You will probably be asked to work as part of a group, and may be required to deliver a presentation. Throughout the exercise, Boeing recruiters will observe your body language, your communication skills, and your ability to work effectively within the group.
This is the last stage in the Boeing hiring process, and you’ll only make it this far if you excel at every step beforehand! This interview will usually take place in person, although Boeing has adapted its hiring practices to reflect the ongoing pandemic. It will last up to an hour, and will be conducted by managers and senior personnel.
As always, you can expect the interview questions to vary depending on the role you want. You may be asked to answer technical questions if you’ve applied for a technical role. Either way, you should expect a selection of behavioral questions designed to explore your work history and your skills.
As a result, it’s a good idea to do some research into Boeing’s work and culture before attending this interview! You should also revisit the job description, so you can prepare to talk about times when you’ve exhibited relevant skills in the past.
To help you prepare for your final interview at Boeing, we’ve put together a list of some behavioral questions you might face. We’ve also included some notes on how to answer them, and some example answers to get you started. But remember that Boeing wants to hear about you, not us – make sure you tailor your answers to your own unique qualities and skills.
The learning curve for roles at Boeing is generally pretty steep. In fact, most roles require an extensive period of on-the-job training. That means it’s safe to say that you’ll be faced with unfamiliar concepts and situations as you find your feet at Boeing – and interviewers will want to be sure that you have the tools to cope.
This question is all about gauging your ability to learn on the job – but remember, learning isn’t all about asking other people for help! Learning on the job might mean finding the time to research a new concept independently before reaching out to a colleague for advice. It might also mean asking clarifying questions at the beginning of the process, when you have a colleague’s attention already, so you can tackle it with confidence from the very beginning.
Another major part of learning on the job is being able to identify the gaps in your own understanding. As you answer this question, think about how you work to be self-aware in professional settings. You should also call attention to your communication skills – they’re a crucial part of seeking out the advice you need at work.
Example answer: “I value the opportunity to learn on the job, and to benefit from the expertise of my colleagues. In the first instance, I would try to ask as many clarifying questions as possible when assigned the new task, to give myself the best advantage in approaching it alone. If I still found myself struggling, I would do what I could to research the new task independently. Ultimately, though, I understand that part of teamwork is knowing when to ask for support – if I really couldn’t get it, I would approach a colleague and ask for further advice.”
Boeing works hard to hold itself to the highest ethical standards. As a result, it takes integrity very seriously when screening potential new employees. Hiring managers at Boeing will want to be confident in your ability to act with integrity in your new role.
This is a classic example of a behavioral question, and a perfect place to apply the STAR formula. If you aren’t familiar with STAR, it stands for Situation, Task, Action, Results – it’s a guide to answering behavioral questions as thoroughly as possible. Start by describing the situation you were in, then the role (or task) you occupied in relation to the situation. Then talk about the action you took to address the situation, and the results – ideally positive! – you achieved by doing so.
Remember, showing integrity doesn’t have to mean blowing a whistle on bad conduct or catching someone else in a lie! It can be as simple as doing the right thing, even though you had the opportunity to do the wrong thing instead. And if you can show Boeing that you understand that ethical behavior gets results, so much the better.
Example answer: “In my previous role as a software engineer, I made a mistake that was still present when we passed the final product to our client. I knew I could have lied about who made the mistake, and passed the blame onto a more junior member of the team – but I wanted to respect the contributions of the rest of the team and take accountability for my own actions. I told the truth and apologized to the client. Thankfully, they respected my honesty, and we maintained a great working relationship over many future projects.”
Everyone has had to deal with negative feedback at some point – it’s just a part of life at work! But at Boeing, a company with a huge name and reputation, you’re likely to be held to extremely high standards from day to day. That means it’s very likely that you’ll have to face negative feedback while employed at Boeing.
Hiring managers will be looking for people who can take and accept criticism. More than that, though, they will want to see that you can learn from negative feedback, even when it hurts to receive it. The first question in our guide centered on learning at work – it may help, when answering questions like this one, to think of difficult feedback as just another way to learn and develop in your role.
Again, this is a behavioral question, and your answer should focus on your past experiences with negative feedback. Think about times when you really took negative comments on board, learned from them, and used them to do better in the future. That’s a vital skill set, and it’s the one Boeing will want to see.
Example answer: “In my previous role, I produced a lot of work for a client with extremely high standards. My very first piece of work for them was sent back to me with a lengthy email criticizing what I’d done. However, I was always taught to treat negative feedback as an opportunity to do better next time – I used that email to build a set of guidelines for all my future work with that client, so I would always know what to avoid. We ended up working productively together for years, as a result.”
Boeing does important work for big-name clients, which means you can expect to face inflexible deadlines as a Boeing employee. That means you’ll need to be prepared to work to those deadlines, even when it requires you to go above and beyond. Boeing’s hiring managers will be looking for people who are prepared to bring that level of commitment to the company.
Think about your previous experience, and about times when you have had to bring a short-notice project to fruition. What did you do to make sure that it happened on schedule? And how do the actions you took reflect your priorities as an employee?
Once you know the answers to those questions, you’ll be well-equipped to answer this question at interview. Remember, short-notice deadlines are likely to be a part of life at Boeing, so take that into account as you formulate your answer! Don’t give the impression that the effort you made was an inconvenience, or you may jeopardize your chances of landing the role you want.
Example answer: “I used to work for an advertising company, where short turnaround times were a part of daily life. I once had to put together a pitch for a major national ad campaign within a week – a real challenge, but one I was determined to meet head-on! I worked with the rest of my team to ensure that all my other projects were covered while I threw myself into this task, and ultimately delivered a pitch that the client accepted happily.”
As an aerospace company, Boeing is at the forefront of new technologies and innovations. It’s always looking for new and more efficient ways to meet its clients’ needs. That’s why Boeing asks questions like this – to ascertain whether your mindset is a good fit with this mission of innovation and development.
While this might look like a question about your personality, it’s actually a question about your past experience. Think about times when you have had to innovate at work, and use those to support your claim that you are an innovative thinker. Remember, making a claim without any evidence won’t get you very far in an interview setting!
Example answer: “I take real pride in my innovative thinking – it’s been my biggest asset throughout my career so far. For example, when I came into my most recent role, I found a department stuck with a set of very old procedures that hadn’t been updated in almost a decade. I worked with the team to ascertain what they needed, then produced a set of updated process documents that took into account the way work has changed since 2012. It went beyond the remit of my role, but I was prepared to put in the work to ensure that my team had the support it needed.”