Employment at IBM
IBM, or ‘International Business Machines Corporation’, has a history that spans over a century. It is specialized in technology and consulting, and is a multinational giant. IBM makes and sells computer hardware and software, as well as infrastructure and hosting. IBM offers consulting services in many technological fields, from mainframe computers to nanotechnology. The company owns 12 research laboratories throughout the world under the name of IBM Research. It was founded in 1911, in the United States, under the name of Computing – Tabulating – Recording Company. The name which was abbreviated as IBM was chosen in 1924 and analysts nicknamed it, after a while, Big Blue because of its size and the use of the said color in the logo, products, and packaging. IBM employees have an outstanding record of patents, prizes, and awards. The company held the record for most patents a business generated for 22 consecutive years since 2013. Its employees received no less than five Nobel Prizes so far and six Turing Awards. The Turing Award is given every year by the Association for Computing Machinery to those individuals who bring significant contributions to the computing world. IBM employees also received over the years ten National Medals of Technology and five National Medals of Science. It is no wonder that many people consider it an honor to work for this company.
Among IBM’s inventions we find the floppy disk, which even if it isn’t used anymore was a major innovation in its day; the ATM, something most of us use frequently; the magnetic stripe card; the hard disk drive; the Universal Product Code, the barcode we see on everything we buy at the store; the SABRE airline reservation system; the copper wiring in semiconductors; Watson artificial intelligence. This is quite a track record that shows us what an impact one single company can have on the way we live. In the later years, IBM started to focus more on data analytics, which is becoming increasingly popular and has spanned the birth of big data, business intelligence and continuity, virtualization, cloud computing, and even green solutions.
Throughout its long history, IBM was a pioneer of its field. In 1937, its tabulating equipment made it possible for an unprecedented amount of data to be processed. This allowed the United States government to make its first efforts of maintaining the employment records of 26 million people as a consequence of the Social Security Act. In 1954, the company introduced the first practical use of artificial intelligence, by developing a computer that not only played chess, but was also able to “learn” from its own experience. IBM also worked closely with NASA throughout the 1960s in tracking the orbital flight of the Mercury program. It also participated in the lunar mission of 1969.
With such a long and rich history, IBM is one of the most sought after employers in the tech world. There are over 375,000 IBM employees throughout the world, 190,000 of which being employed through IBM Global Services, the international division of the company with offices in over 160 countries. IBM Global Services is the largest business and technology services provider in the world, and is constantly growing, as does the number of IBM employees. IBM careers are among the most popular in this field.
IBM Application Process
Those interested in IBM careers can easily find all the available positions online, on the company’s official site, www.ibm.com, or directly on the IBM jobs page – IBM Careers. There are other recruitment websites which advertise various IBM jobs, but going directly to the source is always preferred and simpler. Once on this page, candidates can choose the country they wish to work in, or choose global IBM employment opportunities. After this selection process, candidates can begin their search for IBM jobs, as well as begin the IBM application process.
The search for IBM careers can be done in two ways, one called a quick search, and the advanced search. With a quick search, candidates can filter IBM jobs by position type, which can be student / internship, entry level, professional, or all of these; by keyword or keywords; job area, such as engineering or IT; region; country. Some IBM careers are only available in some countries. The advanced search allows further narrowing; by industry; by business group; by city or local area; by location, such as jobs that can be done from any city or work at home IBM employment options; by work schedule, such as full-time or part-time; by contract type, like permanent or fixed term; by the amount of travel candidates are willing to do.
Candidates will see the entire list of IBM jobs that match their search criteria. They can go through any or all of the available positions and read the job description and they can begin the online application process. To do so, candidates need to have an account within the system. Those who don’t can easily create one by providing their name, email address, and the wanted password.
After the creation of the account, the IBM application process can begin. The first thing candidates are allowed to do is to import some of their personal and work information directly from LinkedIn or Facebook. LinkedIn works best when it comes to this. If they choose not to do this, they will need to fill the information themselves.
The personal information required in the IBM jobs and employment form is the usual, name, address, country of residence, and contact details such as phone. After filling this part, candidates need to answer some questions, such as:
- Are you legally authorized to work in the United States?
- Will you now or in the future require IBM to file a petition or application for employment-based visa status on your behalf to begin or continue employment with our company?
- Are you a U.S. citizen or national, a permanent resident?
- Are you a refugee, an asylee or authorized to work under the amnesty provisions of U.S. immigration law?
The next step in the IBM application process is to upload the resume or write it directly into the specified box. The first option should be considered, as it allows candidates to concentrate on giving as much details as possible. After completing this step, candidates need to give details about their education and previous work experience. Since a resume is already attached or written, this part of the IBM application process can skip details.
The next part is to give details about some specific job qualifications. This section is different among IBM careers and is about the amount of experience candidates have in tasks related to the job, such as the number of years candidates have worked in software architecture. Candidates can also list other working skills and tasks they performed along the years and which may not be included in this section, as well as mention the time period. The next section of the IBM process is about language skills, which are important in a multinational giant like IBM.
After providing this information, candidates will need to state the country they apply to and also the second preferred country if such will be the case, as well as their willingness to relocate. Some IBM jobs require extended periods of time away from home without providing relocation. During the IBM application process, candidates need to state whether they are willing to work extended periods of time away from home.
Other needed information regards the IBM employment type, be it full-time, part-time, or either one of these, and the shifts candidates are willing to work, considering that some jobs require such a schedule either because of the specific of the job, like customer service, or due to the different time zones of the teams.
The next part of the IBM application form requires candidates to answer a few questions, like:
- How did you hear about this opportunity?
- Are you submitting your resume as part of an event you are currently attending, or an event you attended within the past year?
- Have you ever worked at IBM before?
- Have you ever worked for an IBM Business Partner, Subsidiary or Affiliate before?
- Have you ever worked on IBM premises while working for another company?
- Are you currently providing contract services to IBM through another company?
- Have you ever been employed by the U.S. Federal Government, either as a civilian employee or member of the military, excluding mandatory military service, unless in that capacity you were involved in activities related to IBM or any affiliated company?
- Have you ever been employed by any U.S. State or Local Government?
- Have you signed or accepted any agreements, or are you otherwise subject to any restrictions, whether you believe they are enforceable or not?
If the answers to some of these questions are yes, candidates are required to give additional information on the subject. After answering these questions, candidates can go to the next step of the IBM application process or save this as a draft and continue later. The next part regards the education of candidates. Here they can give details of their studies, including if they are still students.
The final part of the IBM online application process has three parts; candidates’ identification of gender and race, which is mandatory, the voluntary self-identification of Veteran status, and the voluntary self-identification of disability. After giving the requested information, candidates can submit their IBM application. The entire IBM application online process is rather complex, and may take more than an hour to complete.
Minimum Age for Employment at IBM
Most IBM careers require at least a minimum of skills, education and work experience. In general, you must have a work permit to be employed, which means you have to be at least 18 years old to work in the United States. However, since there are also many IBM internship programs available, some candidates might be accepted even if they are 16 years old, but these are exceptions which only apply in extremely rare cases.
IBM Hours of Operations
IBM jobs are usually office based, but some require working in shifts, while other IBM careers need to comply with different time zones. This means that the schedule differs from one type of IBM career to another. A good part of IBM jobs have a typical office schedule, starting at 9 a.m. and officially ending around 6 p.m.
However, when it comes to tech careers, especially in competitive environments such as IBM, it is normal for employees to work more hours in a day, and even during weekends in some cases. Nonetheless, if there are special requirements when it comes to schedule, candidates can find this out in the job description.
IBM Careers and Income
IBM careers are diverse, just as IBM employees are. There are many fields of activity, such as Consulting and Services, Engineering, Finance and Accounting, Human Resources, IT and Telecommunications, Legal, Manufacturing, Marketing and Communication, Operations, Research, Sales, and Software Development. There are also available IBM internships in most of these fields, especially when it comes to technical related IBM jobs.
The most popular IBM careers revolve around technology and the related fields, especially Information Technology and Artificial Intelligence.
Among the most popular IBM careers candidates will find Software Engineer, Security Architect – Cloud, Service Client Representative, Senior Test Engineer, Software Developer, Watson Life Systems Engineer, Application Configuration Specialist, Development Engineer, Program Manager, and Unix Developer / Administrator.
IBM Service Client Representative Job Description and Duties
An IBM Services Consulting Representative is in charge of a portfolio of existing IBM clients with Financial Services needs. The IBM Service Consulting Representative identifies what IT services the clients need and offers IT outsourcing solutions that match them. This consultant is a member of a sales team, and has all the prerogatives of a sales person, including closing deals.
The IBM Services Consulting Representative develops and closes highly complex IT solutions and interacts constantly with senior executives such as CEOs, CFOs, and sometimes even with members of Boards of Directors and various evaluation committees. This means that this IBM employee needs to have a deep understanding of the client’s business, strategies, goals, and of that specific industry’s trends and development directions.
The value of the deals which a Service Client Representative is authorized to close is considered small by IBM’s standards, meaning deals under the $50 million mark. This employee needs to meet revenue and signing targets, and will look for opportunities to increase the company’s outsourcing and services revenue. In addition, the Service Client Representative is responsible for the development of all aspects of IT Services, such as Networking, Systems, Mobility, Cloud, Security, and Resiliency.
The requirements candidates need to meet in order to be considered for such IBM careers are:
- A Bachelor’s Degree
- 3 or more years of experience in IT Services Sales
- 2 or more years of experience in Financial Services
- Willingness to travel ¾ of the time
- To be fluent in English
Hiring managers would also prefer candidates who have:
- 2 years or more of experience in IT Outsourcing Sales
- 1 year of experience in Cloud Computing
- 1 year of experience in Mobility Solutions
- Some work experience in Security
IBM Service Client Representative Salary and Compensation
The yearly salary of an IBM Service Client Representative begins at $52,000 and can go as high as $163,000. Since this is a sales position, other compensations are included in it, such as commission and profit sharing, and various cash bonuses when certain targets are met or surpassed. All of these increase the total possible yearly compensation to well over $300,000.
IBM Software Developer Job Description and Duties
This can be considered an IBM entry level career, because the requirements are not as complex as for other technical IBM careers. An IBM Software Developer does exactly what the name suggests: he develops software. The most common software development is Linux, for which developers are in charge of creating custom versions. In this role, IBM employees will support and develop a variety of Linux projects. The responsibilities of an IBM Software Developer include:
- To build Linux custom versions;
- To fix bugs;
- Kernel development;
- To develop tools;
The requirements for these IBM jobs are not complex, and those with a minimum technical experience are welcomed to apply. Candidates looking for such IBM jobs must have:
- A high-school diploma or equivalent;
- Some knowledge in Basic Source Development;
- 6 or more month of experience in Linux;
- Fluency in English;
- Some knowledge in debugging, especially Linux debugging.
IBM hiring managers would prefer candidates who have:
- A Bachelor’s Degree in Engineering;
- 1 or more years of experience in Open Source Development;
- Minimum 1 year of Linux experience;
- Minimum 6 months of Linux debugging experience.
There are a few skills which an IBM Software Developer should have in order to perform at the desired standards. Among these there are good communicational skills, both verbal and written, and an attitude focused on collaboration with various teams.
IBM Software Developer Salary and Compensation
The yearly salary of an IBM Software Developer begins at $52,000 and can go as high as $150,000, depending on experience, location, and the number of years with the company. But the total compensation could be much higher, because cash bonuses, stock bonuses and profit sharing are also available if the employee meets certain requirements. All of these increase the total possible yearly compensation to well over $180,000.
IBM Program Manager Job Description and Duties
An IBM Program Manager is in charge with all the aspects of developing and implementing an IBM product. These IBM careers also sometimes require travelling, sometimes throughout the year, and all candidates must be willing to do so. Among his or hers responsibilities there are client management, risk management, and security. These are complex IBM careers and those working in such a role must also:
- Manage the deliverables;
- Report to their superiors the entire activity of the team;
- Apply the Earned Value Management System;
- Manage the personnel;
- Manage the allocated budget;
- Manage the facilities;
- Manage the subcontractors;
- Oversee invoicing and procurement;
- Manage the client stakeholders;
- Define and manage the requirements;
- Manage the issues and resolutions;
- Insure overall program performance;
- Manage executive communications.
Requirement for these IBM jobs are not complex when it comes to education, but candidates need to have some related working experience. They are:
- A High School Diploma or equivalent;
- English at a basic or intermediate level;
- Candidates must be U.S. citizens;
- 5 or more years of experience in program management;
- 5 or more years of experience in organization, policies, and procedures knowledge;
- 5 or more years of experience in complex programs delivery;
- Willingness to travel up to 4 days a week, depending on the project’s requirements.
IBM hiring managers would prefer candidates with a Bachelor’s Degree, good English skills, and 10 or more years of related working experience.
IBM Program Manager Salary and Compensation
The yearly salary of an IBM Program Manager starts at $63,000 and can go as high as $195,000, depending on experience, location, and the complexity of the projects. But the total compensation could be much higher, because other compensations are available for IBM employees who meet certain requirements, such as cash bonuses, stock bonuses and profit sharing. All of these make the total possible yearly compensation to go well over $300,000.
Basic Tips for Applying at IBM
Candidates who wish to pursue IBM careers should consider a few things. First of all, this is a very competitive field, and this is a company with the most competitive work environment in the tech world. However, many IBM jobs don’t have complex requirements when it comes to education, so candidates who have knowledge, passion, and some related work experience have many chances in landing great IBM jobs.
Since IBM has a high standard when it comes to its products, candidates should apply the same high standards when creating their resumes and cover letters destined to get them the desired IBM jobs.
The easiest way to find out all IBM employment opportunities and also apply for all IBM jobs is to do it online, directly on the IBM careers page which can be found on the company’s official site, www.ibm.com. This should be the only way to approach IBM jobs, except for university or college job fairs. If candidates want to make sure that they have a better chance of being selected for an interview, there are a few tips for applying at IBM, such as:
- Update the resume to fit the IBM jobs you are pursuing. This doesn’t mean candidates need to modify it completely, it simply means that candidates should write more about the skills and job experience which relate to that specific IBM career.
- Candidates should give as many details as possible in their resume about any of their previous work experience that is compatible with any of the IBM jobs they are applying to.
- Candidates should be very specific and use as much data as possible. As an example, if candidates were in charge of a team, they should specify the number of people in the team and their roles. If candidates developed a project, they should write about the number of hours it took them to finish it, and so on.
- When talking about accomplishments, candidates should also use numbers, such as the number of hours it took to fix a specific number of software bugs.
- If candidates have any additional certifications, they should upload them with their resume. Recruiters are always interested in people who are constantly learning and have complementary skills.
- If candidates have any written recommendations, they should upload them too. If they don’t, they might want to consider asking for at least one. Recommendations are a great way to convince hiring managers to schedule an interview.
- In the cover letter, candidates should again be very specific. They should state exactly why they would be the best to do the job. Of course, each cover letter needs to be specially crafted for each job application.
- Both in the resume and in the cover letter, candidates should use brief sentences whenever possible. This doesn’t mean candidates should always do this. They just need to make sure the hiring manager won’t need a long time to read them, unless candidates really have that many accomplishments which could make the resume a very long one.
Benefits at IBM
Working for IBM is an opportunity for more than just a great pay and one of the most famous working environments. This is a tech company, the first of its kind, and, although IBM employee benefits are some of the best, candidates should not expect the extensive perks so common in Silicon Valley. Of course, IBM employee benefits are various and complex, just as the company’s products and services.
The most common benefits among companies are also offered at IBM. When it comes to health insurance IBM offers not just medical, vision, and dental coverage, but also choices between different plans and programs, and access to post-employment health care. The company also offers disability coverage, both long-term and short-term.
When it comes to life insurance, IBM offers Group Life Insurance, Survivor Health Benefit, Transitional Medical Program, Travel Accident Insurance Plan, many Optional Insurance opportunities, and Group Universal Life Insurance Program. The company also matches 401k contributions, and offers a stock purchase plan for employees, as well as a financial program called IBM MoneySmart. IBM also offers paid vacation time, the number of days varying according to the number of years worked for the company. There are also some special benefits for IBM employees, such as the Special Care for Children Assistance Plan, the Adoption Assistance Program, and the Leave of Absence Programs.
IBM Interview Tips & Hiring Process Information
The IBM hiring process has several steps, depending on the type of IBM careers. Usually, the more complex a job is the more complex the hiring process is. Everything begins with the candidates’ IBM online application. After the online application, an IBM resource specialist will review it, and decide whether the candidate will be contacted for an interview. This first step of the IBM hiring process might take a few days to a few weeks, but this is normal, considering the big number of candidates who usually apply. If the candidate’s qualifications, prior work experience, and skills match the company’s requirements, he or she will be contacted for an interview, which can take place either over the internet, the phone, or in person, depending on the location.
Candidates, who have been contacted for an IBM interview, should take some time to prepare. The first thing they should do is read about the company and what it does, about the culture there, and about the IBM jobs they applied for. Since the hiring process is complex at times, and it might require three or four interviews, candidates should prepare in advance not only the answers they want to give to some of the possible interview questions, but also the questions they might consider asking during the interview. Asking questions shows initiative and interest, and all hiring managers expect them. Here are some interview questions examples IBM candidates could ask during their interviews:
- What will my day to day responsibilities be?
- What are the expectations for a new hire in this position?
- What are the learning and growth opportunities in this position?
- What team will I be a part of and how is it structured?
- Are there any training opportunities available for this position?
The interviews will be conducted by an IBM hiring manager, by the manager of the department and sometimes even by representatives of the IBM clients candidates’ will collaborate with. Usually, an IBM interview lasts for at least an hour, and sometimes candidates will also have to complete some online tests or assessments before or after the interview. These tests are usually destined for technical positions, and have a great impact upon the entire hiring process.
The dress code candidates should consider is business attire, especially for sales and management positions, and business casual attire for the rest. Women can wear either a suit or a dress, which shouldn’t be too colorful or too short. For men the business attire should also contain a tie. Even if the position candidates applied for only request a casual dress code, hiring managers do say that it is important to dress professionally for the interview.
During the IBM interview, there are some things candidates can do to increase their chances of being selected:
- Behave professionally and try to be as relaxed as possible. This will lighten up the mood of the interview, and will help candidates concentrate better.
- Before answering questions, candidates should take their time to fully understand them and think of an appropriate answer.
- When answering, candidates should be specific and refrain from unnecessary details. However, candidates should try and not give too short answers. Some details are required so that hiring managers can fully understand what the candidate talks about.
- Candidates should speak of their accomplishments, whether regarding education or work.
- Candidates should not give too much personal information, unless they are asked to.
- Candidates can also bring the questions they already thought about asking, to make sure they not only remember to do so, but also remember them all.
If the hiring manager considers the candidate to be a good choice for the position they interviewed, he or she will be contacted with an initial offer. As a pro tip, do not accept the initial offer over the phone because there will be no subsequent negotiation. Ask for the offer in writing instead, and try to negotiate. The entire IBM hiring process can take from a few days up to two or three months, depending on the complexity if the job, so candidates should be patient.
Frequently Asked IBM Interview Questions
IBM interview questions vary from one type of IBM career to another. In technical related positions, the questions are very technical as expected. Even for other type of IBM jobs candidates should expect interview questions to be specific and related to the tasks they will have to perform. Of course, sometimes the hiring managers would want to know what candidates know about the company and the IBM jobs they applied for, but they should also prepare for some much tougher questions. The most common IBM interview questions are:
- Why do you want to work at IBM?
- Tell us about a service down incident and how you handled it.
- Can you describe how you handle tight deadlines on the job?
- Why do you think IBM should hire you?
- How well can you perform under stress?
Of course, there will be other questions that candidates will have to answer during an IBM interview, like how they dealt with a difficult customer or with a difficult situation. Although there are no pre-set IBM interview answers that can apply to every individual case, candidates should answer them as honestly as they can, and as to the point as they can. Hiring managers are not looking for the right answer; they just want to get to know the candidate better and properly assess how he or she would fit within the team and the company. Of course, candidates should remember to smile once in a while.
Official site: www.ibm.com
Official career site: IBM Careers