Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

www.gatesfoundation.org

Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Interview Questions

Updated Oct 30, 2014
Updated Oct 30, 2014
17 Interview Reviews

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  1. 1 person found this helpful  

    Program Assistant Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    Application Details

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

    Interview Details

    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
    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Difficult Interview
  2.  

    Associate Program Officer Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    Interview Details

    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
    Accepted Offer
  3.  

    Operations Assistant Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Seattle, WA
    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Seattle, WA
    Application Details

    I applied in-person. The process took a dayinterviewed at Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

    Interview Details

    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.

    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Average Interview
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  5. 15 people found this helpful  

    Associate Program Officer, Global Development Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Seattle, WA
    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Seattle, WA
    Application Details

    I applied through an employee referral. The process took 3 weeksinterviewed at Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

    Interview Details

    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 Details
    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.
    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Average Interview
  6. 2 people found this helpful  

    Program Coordinator Temporary Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Seattle, WA
    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Seattle, WA
    Application Details

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

    Interview Details

    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
    Negotiation Details
    The temp agency basically told me what I was going to get paid.
    Accepted Offer
    Neutral Experience
    Difficult Interview
  7. 2 people found this helpful  

    Business Analyst Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Seattle, WA
    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Seattle, WA
    Application Details

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

    Interview Details

    campus recruitment

    Interview Questions
    • 43. Describe a creative solution to a problem you faced?
      44. What was the last technology you learned?
       
      Answer Question
    Declined Offer
    Positive Experience
    Easy Interview
  8. 4 people found this helpful  

    Grants Administrator Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Seattle, WA
    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Seattle, WA
    Application Details

    I applied online. The process took 2+ monthsinterviewed at Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation in May 2012.

    Interview Details

    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 Details
    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.
    Accepted Offer
    Negative Experience
    Average Interview
  9. 17 people found this helpful  

    Deputy Director Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Seattle, WA
    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Seattle, WA
    Application Details

    The process took 3 weeksinterviewed at Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation in April 2011.

    Interview Details

    * Contacted by a recruiter.
    * 1:1 phone interview with recruiter.
    *1:1 interview with Gates HR recruiter.
    *1:1 phone interview with Director.
    * Series of in person interviews with 6 staff members.
    The campus is absolutely awesome. It is LEED certified gold. The work space is open and only the higher levels have closed office space. However, there are a lot of Focus Rooms where you can go to work. They have a great cafe in a beautiful atrium. There is a coffee bar and a great selection of food. All food is organic. However it's not particularly cheap.
    The people, hit or miss. Seems like the average age is 28-38. There are a ton of folks who were at Starbucks or Microsoft.

    Interview Questions
    • What can you offer our team, which is already staffed with experts?   Answer Question
    Negotiation Details
    The relocation package was stellar, but they increased the signing bonus after reconsidering the impact on our family.
    * Relocation includes:
    - corporate housing (domestic location usually includes 30 days; international relocation varies. also your level of hire impacts if you eceive relocation coverate)
    - signing bonus (amount varies and seems to be negotiable)
    - reimbursement
    - moving (packing and unpacking, as well as 30 days storage)
    - week long trip with the family to Seattle (includes airfare, hotel stay, costs during stay)
    - school consultant (if you have children to relocate) and reloaction agent (real estate agent)
    Accepted Offer
    Neutral Experience
    Difficult Interview
  10. 11 people found this helpful  

    Program Coordinator Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Seattle, WA
    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Seattle, WA
    Application Details

    I applied through an employee referral. The process took 6+ weeksinterviewed at Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation in April 2011.

    Interview Details

    I first heard from a recruiter about two weeks after applying online. I emailed a contact I have there as soon as I applied, and I think the referral I got from her helped me to get through the resume screening process (the recruiter later told me they had hundreds of applicants for the position). The recruiter set up a time to talk to me and told me to plan for about a 45-minute call. We ended up talking for less than half an hour, and it was all very basic (i.e. questions about my resume and background and lots of time for me to ask questions). She told me I would hear back the next week and the following week I got an email to set up a time to talk to the hiring manager. This conversation was around 45 minutes and was more questions about my resume and experience. A few days after that I heard from a different recruiter who set up a time for me to come in, and I spent four hours at the Foundation the following week (this is now a month after the initial contact). I spoke to the people I will be working with as well as higher-level people and the recruiter. Most of the questions were again about my background, and everyone I spoke to gave me time to ask questions as well. This is not an interview where anyone will try to trick you, and it's much more about making sure the person they hire is a good fit and is dedicated to the mission of the organization. It was overall a good experience and I would recommend focusing on why you are qualified and what you can bring to the position.

    Interview Questions
    Negotiation Details
    Keep in mind that the benefits here add a LOT to the offer. The extraordinarily generous retirement contributions and top-notch health coverage mean you end up with more money in your pocket, and the support they give their employees can make a slightly lower salary worth it.
    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Average Interview
  11. 5 people found this helpful  

    IT - Business Analyst Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Seattle, WA
    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Seattle, WA
    Application Details

    I applied through an employee referral. The process took 2+ monthsinterviewed at Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation in December 2010.

    Interview Details

    I was pleasantly surprised at how well I was treated during the interview process. They were very gracious in all e-mail to me, thanking me for considering employment there. Given the recent economy and some people still not working, they treated me like I was considering them more than the other way around.

    I had a recruiter phone interview first. Very nice woman and we had a good conversation. (Now that I'm with the company, we still keep in touch.) We discussed my past experience and qualifications. Normal first interview type of questions. At the end of that call, she discussed the salary and the benefits. That was helpful. I had been working at a for-profit for 14 years and thought I would be offered less money. I was very surprised to find that I would be making at least as much, if not more at the Gates Foundation. Plus, the benefits are amaziningly better and there's a pension contribution that is given (not based on tenure or job level).

    Next, I was set up for all day interviews. I was actually being considered for 2 different jobs. I interviewed with 6 people that day in a conference room. They very nicely had me pre-order lunch but I was in the conference room all day w/ no breaks. Even my lunch was an interview. I didn't eat much as it is awkward to interview and eat (plus, I would have no doubt gotten something stuck in my teeth and that was not the impression I wanted to leave w/ anyone!).

    I knew my chances were very good after that series of interviews. I rec'd good feedback and thought I had a good showing. However, I did go back for 2 more interviews late on a Friday afternoon. It was to meet the director of the dept and a person who would be my co-worker (who wasn't available during the first round).

    Again, things went well and I thought I might hear next steps the following week. I was blown away when the recruiter called my cell phone before I had even arrived home. I called her back and she verbally gave me the job offer on a Friday night at 6:30pm! Throughout my experiences, everyone was really great, respectful, and complimentary.

    The only thing that gave me pause was what I was hearing through my background research (I knew people who had contracted with the Foundation) and even existing employees mentioned this during the interview. That is, that it can be a hard place to work and to get things done. The reasons mentioned were that it is still a young company, working on process and organizational maturity. I see that is true now that I'm here. However, it's also exciting to be part of that building process. It has a bit of a start-up feel. People are really passionate and want to make a difference. Both in the world through the Foundation's mission, but also at the company. If you'd like to join a company where you can be part of the creative input to the processes, systems, and culture, you may like it here!

    Interview Questions
    • Pretty basic interview questions for my role. How would I handle this situation or give me an example of a time when you worked on...   View Answer
    Negotiation Details
    The offer was good. I didn't negotiate.
    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Average Interview

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