Questions and Answers about California Institute of Technology

Here's what people have asked and answered about working for and interviewing at California Institute of Technology.

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  • What is the work environment and culture like?
  • How are the working hours?
  • What are some tips for doing well in the interview?

10 questions

At the LIGO Hanford site I was given a yearly raise, typically 2-2.5%, sometimes 3%. I worked there for seven years and felt that the raises were fair, or at least better than what other places I've worked have given. Bonuses were not to be expected, but we all got an extra $2,000 one year.

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Many people do work from home, sometimes just for the morning, sometimes for the entire day. I was a tech at LIGO, so I was pretty much hands-on, but I did on occasion work from home, like when I was writing and reviewing procedures or putting together work suggestions and proposals.

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Average. Nothing exceptional. Meet the department manager and some members of staff then meet with the director. I had three interviews.

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They have a good vacation policy. Employees start at ~2-3 wks/yr, with additional hours per paycheck accrued at the 5 and 10 year marks. Vacation hours roll over year to year. When I left I had accumulated the maximum allowed vacation of 320 hrs, and so got a very nice extra check.

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Be relaxed and affable- just enjoy the process. I treated it more as a conversation than an interview, but I did ask a lot of questions. I made sure to talk about how my past work experience related to the subject matter at hand, particularly when I was touring the facility during my LIGO interview.

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I'd institute a more thorough vetting process for the hiring of managers and supervisors. The facilities engineer at your LIGO Hanford site has repeatedly indulged in ruinous behavior and has a lousy attitude toward his co-workers, making an otherwise great job absolutely miserable for some of them. A more thorough check into his background and interviews with people who have worked with him (not the fishin' buddies he might use for references) might have persuaded management to understand that he was definitely not the man for the job.

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Typically 40 hrs./week, sometimes more if on travel or heavily involved in a site project.

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8, although if I worked from home, it was at least 10.

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Takes a while, patience is the key!

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