Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Interview Questions

Updated Jul 23, 2015
20 Interview Reviews

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  1.  

    Senior Program Officer Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    Accepted Offer
    Neutral Experience
    Average Interview

    Application

    I applied through an employee referral. The process took 5 weeksinterviewed at Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

    Interview

    They tend to over-sell the position and hire over-qualified people, which results in disappointment and frustration afterwards. There's high leadership turnover and they are usually not forthcoming during the interview process. For Program Officer jobs, be prepared that a big percentage of your time will be spent on managing internal stakeholders and administrative matters as opposed external-facing work in the field with partners.

    Interview Questions

  2. Helpful (4)  

    Program Assistant Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Average Interview

    Application

    I applied online. The process took 2+ monthsinterviewed at Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation in January 2015.

    Interview

    I was invited for a phone interview for two different positions then had a follow-up interview in person. The phone interview lasted for an hour or so then the in person interview is several hours long. The campus is nice, and people have been friendly.

    Interview Questions

  3. Helpful (6)  

    Program Assistant Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Difficult Interview

    Application

    I applied online – interviewed at Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation in October 2014.

    Interview

    First is the initial phone interview with the recruiter. I had two for two different positions. They were both very different interviews. However the recruiters were really professional and knowledgeable about the position, and the foundation. I can respect a place and its employees when they are upfront and honest. After the first phone interview they said they would pass my information on to the hiring manager for review and then I would have another phone interview depending upon the review of my resume and notes from the first interview. The hiring process can take up to a couple of months.

    Interview Questions

    • The questions really relate to why you want the job and how you feel you qualify. Review you resume and have an understanding of what they are looking for in a candidate.   Answer Question
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  5. Helpful (1)  

    Associate Program Officer Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    Accepted Offer

    Interview

    It took quite a while and involved many interviews (some with people I didn't ever interact with in the job), but it didn't feel excessively strenuous. There was not a homework assignment, but some questions required talking through a scenario. Because people are spread out, some of the interviews were over video conference which can be awkward.

    Interview Questions

  6.  

    Operations Assistant Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Seattle, WA
    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Average Interview

    Application

    I applied in-person. The process took 1 dayinterviewed at Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation (Seattle, WA).

    Interview

    Hired on after being a temp for a few months. The organization decided I was the best fit for the position after months of periodic extension via a temp agency. So, the natural thing was to hire me, considering I'd done the job very well.

  7. Helpful (21)  

    Associate Program Officer, Global Development Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Seattle, WA
    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Average Interview

    Application

    I applied through an employee referral. The process took 3 weeksinterviewed at Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation (Seattle, WA).

    Interview

    I applied to the position through a former colleague and therefore got a response within a day. A half hour phone interview was scheduled for later that week. That call described the position in more detail and asked questions mostly relating to my employment history and specific skills, such as describing my experience with cost-benefit analysis. Following this interview, I was invited out to Seattle for an in-person interview with five members of the team. Each person had a different "set" or "theme" of questions to ask, such as culture (e.g. What's your work style?), motivation (Where do you see your career in five years?), and fitness (Describe a time you had to work on a project you knew nothing about. What did you do?). The role was also further clarified, and I was invited to ask questions myself. Because one of the team members was unavailable that day, I had a follow-up phone interview with him two days later that was more technical (e.g. What do you see as the biggest challenge in conducting cost-benefit analysis for health programs?). I received the offer one week after this phone call.

    Interview Questions

    • "If we hired another candidate instead of you, what do you think that candidate would have that you do not?"   Answer Question

    Negotiation

    I was told from the outset that they were not able to negotiate much. I asked for more than their initial offer and received half of what I asked for, as well as pushed back the start date.

  8. Helpful (2)  

    Program Coordinator Temporary Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Seattle, WA
    Accepted Offer
    Neutral Experience
    Difficult Interview

    Application

    I applied through a staffing agency. The process took 2 weeksinterviewed at Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation (Seattle, WA) in June 2013.

    Interview

    I contacted a temp agency that interviewed me. They then sent me to another temp agency onsite at the foundation for a second interview. That agency set up a third interview with the department. The department interview was round-robin with three different people.

    Interview Questions

    • Why am I going the temp route?   1 Answer

    Negotiation

    The temp agency basically told me what I was going to get paid.

  9. Helpful (2)  

    Business Analyst Interview

    Anonymous Employee in Seattle, WA
    Declined Offer
    Positive Experience
    Easy Interview

    Application

    I applied through college or university. The process took 3+ monthsinterviewed at Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation (Seattle, WA) in December 2012.

    Interview

    campus recruitment

    Interview Questions

    • 43. Describe a creative solution to a problem you faced? 44. What was the last technology you learned?   Answer Question
  10. Helpful (4)  

    Grants Administrator Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Seattle, WA
    Accepted Offer
    Negative Experience
    Average Interview

    Application

    I applied online. The process took 2+ monthsinterviewed at Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation (Seattle, WA) in May 2012.

    Interview

    After submission of my application online it took about two weeks for a recruiter to reach out to me. After initial contact I went through two phone interviews and was then invited to Seattle for a full day of interviews. This took a full 8 hour day and consisted of 6 interviews 1 hour each. Some were 1:1 and others were 2:1. Each interview was different depending on the person. Some has specific questions, some wanted to talk through my experience. Overall just being at the Foundation for 8 hours was a little overwhelming. The interviews were pretty normal.

    Interview Questions

    • clearly no one had read my resume or even cared about it. I had spell out everything that was already included on the resume, as well as the items you generally discuss. Make no assumption that any preliminary effort was made before each interview.   Answer Question

    Negotiation

    They changed hiring managers in the middle of the recruitment process. The first hiring manager had discussed a higher salary plus relocation, upon actual offer they offered substantially less with no relocation. After over a week of going back and forth they increased the salary a bit (not to the original offer ranger) and paid for relocation.

  11.  

    Program Assistant Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Washington, DC
    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Difficult Interview

    Application

    I applied online. The process took 2+ monthsinterviewed at Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation (Washington, DC) in February 2012.

    Interview

    Very long process. Multiple rounds of interviews with different levels ... Must care about the mission of the organization Be prepared to speak about projects you worked on ... Multitasking Being able to put out fires Overachievers welcomed

    Interview Questions

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