14 October 2011

BMW Interview I

So, I'm interviewing for a production position with BMW, which is just up the road a ways in Greer. They're hiring bunches of people. I'm hoping I get to be one of them, since it's certainly better than what I'm doing now, and pays better, and has benefits (not better benefits; it just plain has benefits, where what I'm doing now has nothing). But I wanted to get some inside scoop on the interview and the assessments and such and it was very very difficult to find anything on this here interweb about the BMW interview process.
So I thought I'd mention a few things about the BMW interview process in Greer (which is near Spartanburg and Greenville). And yes, I'm deliberately repeating myself so this will actually show up on search engines in case somebody else is looking.

So, they've got this system now where you apply on line through MAU; they have a separate section of the website just for BMW stuff, which is cool. I evidently filled out an application with them long enough ago that I don't remember, but it doesn't consist of much, mostly just basic work history and contact info. Then you get to schedule your own interview. This is quite awesome, especially if like me you currently have a job and can't skip work to do it. Earliest interview times are 8:30.

They have about 150 slots available for interviews but they aren't actually interviewing anywhere near that many people each day, so you'll probably be able to get the interview for the day after you apply and since there are at least four interviewers you should be able to get the timeslot you want without hassle.

What to wear? It would have been nice to find information about what to wear to the BMW interview with MAU (sorry, but this is how search engines work these days), so I figured, okay, it's a factory-floor job I'm going for here, I'm not going to do the coat and tie thing. But it's still an interview, and you should always overdress for a job interview. I wore my good black slacks and a long-sleeve dress shirt. I considered a tie but I just hate the things so much, so I skipped it.

I was far and away the most overdressed applicant in the office when I got there. Actually, I would say I was the most professionally dressed person in the office period; MAU is not a coat-and-tie sort of place. There were people there in jeans and t-shirts and ratty tennis shoes, no kidding. They may have been applying for positions with other companies, of course (MAU handles contracts other than just BMW, though I'd guess BMW probably provides about 60% of their business), but regardless, this was still an interview place, not a day-labor shop. (Ugh. I remember working at Labor Ready one summer when I was home from college. What a rotten job. I think there's actually a Labor Ready branch office here in Greenville, up in (surprise surprise) the hispanic section of town. I don't miss that.)

I would say you should probably wear khakis and a collared shirt. You want to look nicer than the real slobs there, but I was definitely overdressed. Clearly you could wear jeans and still pass the interview, but please. Take yourself seriously.

So the interview itself (the initial interview for a BMW production job with MAU in Greenville, Greer, or Spartanburg) is the easiest interview you'll ever go through. First they have you fill out a work history and contact information (including SSN) while you're waiting in the lobby. You'll take that paperwork in with you to the interview.

The interviewer will ask you if you'd be able to work any shift, any day of the week. The correct answer is yes. If you can't agree to that BMW doesn't want you and you don't want them. She'll ask if you have any scheduled time off in the next couple of months that you'll have to take--surgeries, weddings, that sort of thing. I mentioned that I hoped I'd get to take some vacation time at Christmas. This didn't seem to matter. She'll ask how many days you've missed from work without permission in the last three months. I misinterpreted this question and tried to account for sick days and the day I had to go to court, but of course I had permission for both of those. So I ended up saying two, which of course sounds like an awful lot to me, really; missing work without permission, that's Dollar General-cashier grade stuff. But obviously it wasn't bad enough to get me kicked out.

She also asked if I'd ever been convicted of any misdemeanors or felonies. To which of course I must answer yes because of the swimming incident in 2003. She started to write down what I was saying, got as far as the word "swimming," and then stopped me and said, "But you don't have anything major going on now, right?" So obviously a goofy misdemeanor several years old won't get you tossed out, either. I don't know how far you could push this; I doubt a single misdemeanor would knock you out, or even two or three if they were old. If you have a string of them maybe. I'm pretty sure you can get on there with a felony conviction if it was old and you haven't had any other issues.

And that was it. The very next question after the criminal history one was, can you attend the first assessment today at 11:30? Which I couldn't, I had to work, but I signed up for this morning instead. She seemed fine to push it until late next week if I had to, but if you're able to take a day off work and schedule an interview early you might be able to get interview and assessment out of the way in one shot.


Anonymous said...

Did you get the job, do you still work there and do you like it?

Anonymous said...

DON'T WORK FOR MAU AT BMW!!! OR BMW AT ALL!! I've been with MAU at BMW for a year and 3 months and have hated every second of it. They work the hell out of you and MAU treats you like crap. The BMW employees look down on you and all the section leaders I've interacted with are rude and act as if they are better than you. This job will cause your body so many overuse injuries. I now have to have carpal tunnel surgery in BOTH of my wrists and a trigger finger release surgery on little finger on my right hand. I am also in physical therapy for back problems that is caused by being bent over in cars all day. I have not yet met someone in the plant that has been there more than 5 years that has not had some type of work related surgery. Oh and when you get hurt, your supervisors stop talking to you and if you get a second workers comp claim MAU will try to push you out. BMW is often referred to as the "Plantation".

Anonymous said...

Dont you ever get put on permanently with BMW?

Anonymous said...

#1 I read on another blog that he did but then about three years afterwards he quit.

Anonymous said...

Does anyone know how long it takes to get the call form BMW to come in to start?

Anonymous said...

Most people who aren't cut out to work at BMW are the ones on the internet complaining about the job. But lets be real no job is perfect and you're going to have issues at any job you work. As far as MAU and BMW goes it's not near as bad as what the internet makes it seem. The process to get hired on does take about a month of waiting so don't quit another job until they notify you about starting dates. As far as BMW employees looking down on MAU employees thats only true in some cases and from personal experience very few because BMW does most of its hiring if not all now through MAU so BMW employees know that there are tons of MAU employees. If you show up to work on time and don't start no drama and don't get into unnecessary personal relationships with people you will be just fine. Just go to work on time do the job to your best ability and go home. For them to be "Oh so terrible" I know of people who aren't cut out for specific jobs in the factory so they move them to a better place for them. If your body hurts take care of it. Ice, stretch, and do some exercises that the therapist tells you to do to help. Yes there's an on sight physical therapist. Yes you're going to be sore but yes there are ways to fix it. If you aren't accepting of being sore then get a desk job. Its 10 or 12 hour shifts with 2 10 min breaks and a 40 minute lunch. Getting hired on permanently is based on job performance, days you take off, and if you create issues. Keep things clean and do a good job and you will get hired on quicker.

Anonymous said...

Just passed the "production simulator" phase of bmw hire through Mau. Got called outside of testing room to be told I passed but had two warrants I needed to provide disposition for. One is nine year old conviction for cdv which happens when you tick off a girlfriend in a small town who daddy knows the judge. Got scared into pleading guilty or paying a several thousand dollar fine. The other is 3 year old conviction for shoplifting, leaving out details I ended up facing judge without lawyer and pled guilty. I can only tell you I am no thief and never have or will be. I have no reason to lie here. No one at Mau will read this. Through fax I sent dispositions and now feel no matter how well I did on previous tests this is my kiss of death. I am a honest, intelligent, hardworking man. Too bad I feel I won't be given chance to excel. Misdemeanors, my inexperienced self let tarnish my record are literally ruining my life. I'm truly at a loss.

Anonymous said...

did they catch anyones misdemeanors in other states? simple oes like shoplifting or something stupid? just wondering

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Matthew Smith said...

Anonymous from February:
I had a misdemeanor in Oklahoma about 7 years before I applied. It was on federal land so it was technically a federal misdemeanor, not a state one. In any event, I didn't list it on my application. If they did find it, they never asked me about it and I got hired anyway. (It was for swimming in a prohibited area, so it's possible they found it and figured it was not important.)
I hope your misdemeanors didn't affect your hiring.

Anonymous said...

What kind of jobs are performed on the paint line?

Unknown said...

Just did physical, it consists of: weight, height, urine collecction, then to the breathing test, you place your mouth over a tube and blow as hard and as long as you can. The machine is handheld and you hold it like a sandwich, so once That is completed, you take an eye test. Machine looks like the ones at the DMV but you're not reading letters you're reading shapes, and then you're reading optical illusions, some bullet points will stand out farther than others, then you are placed in a hearing booth. Put on the headphones, and click the button when it beeps. Then you are moved to a room, shirt removed, they hook you up to a small EKG machine and print out a reading, then they snip your hair. Random close to the scalp different locations at the crown. Small amounts, then the Dr comes in to assess you. Eyes, ears, reflexes, has you do a number of coordination tasks and movements,basically checking your flow of movement, then you hop on each foot three times, walk heel to toe hold your hands and arms in certain positions, again checking range of movements. Presses on abdomen to check that, which I don't know why on that one, while performing these things they will ask you about health history, I'm not sure if the physical is different for everyone but I would think the physical is more geared toward where you are to be placed pending you drug screens are acceptable. That's all I have to share