Institute for Defense Analyses Interview Questions

Updated Apr 17, 2015
11 Interview Reviews

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11 Candidate Interview Reviews Back to all Interviews

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  1.  

    Ra Interview

    Anonymous Employee in Alexandria, VA
    Declined Offer
    Positive Experience
    Average Interview
    Declined Offer
    Positive Experience
    Average Interview

    Application

    I applied online. The process took 3 weeksinterviewed at Institute for Defense Analyses (Alexandria, VA) in April 2015.

    Interview

    My interview process seemed rather quick. I was contacted within two weeks of submitting my application online for a phone interview, and scheduled an on-site interview a week after that. The on-site interview process was enjoyable with a blend of meetings with human resources and senior research staff personnel. I gave a talk (~45-60 mins) on previous work for the group of people who would have input on application. Everyone was very friendly and cordial.

    Interview Questions

    • Do you consider yourself a creative person? Provide an example illustrating your answer.   Answer Question
  2. Helpful (1)  

    Research Staff Member Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Alexandria, VA
    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Average Interview
    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Average Interview

    Application

    I applied online. The process took 2+ monthsinterviewed at Institute for Defense Analyses (Alexandria, VA) in February 2015.

    Interview

    I applied online to a variety of Research Staff Member positions at IDA over several months. Some seemed like better fits than others based on the job description, but I figured that there was no harm in applying. I then got an e-mail about setting up a phone interview for a position for which I had applied roughly a month before.

    The phone interview lasted a little over an hour, and was very interesting and enjoyable. The interviewer was incredibly friendly and it was clear that he really enjoyed his job. He described in broad strokes the kind of work this particular division performed, and how it fit into the larger Pentagon structure. He then asked me about my work and interests. I got an e-mail about three weeks later inviting me for an on-site interview. It would be an all-day interview, and I would have to give a ~40 minute presentations (total 1 hour with questions) on my research. The e-mail was very detailed about what I could expect, and also had very helpful instructions on what they were looking for in a presentation. This was encouraging, as it was clear they were not trying to trick me, and wanted to see me at my best.

    They flew me out and put me up in a very nice hotel just a few minutes’ walk from the building. After arriving I met with an HR representative, then two research staff members one after the other, and then gave my talk. Next came lunch at a nearby restaurant with a few of the people who had seen my talk, then I met with a panel of four people, then another one on one interview, and then finally an interview with the division director.

    Everyone was extremely friendly and welcoming - it’s hard to overemphasize this. I was very impressed with not only how nice they were to me, but how well they got along with each other, most notably during my talk, at lunch, and in the panel interview. These interactions with larger groups were very illuminating about what I could expect if I accepted a job there. The individual interviews were also instructive, and I learned a lot about the kind of work I would be expected to do, which sounded both interesting and challenging. It was easy to see that everyone enjoyed their work.

    The presentation was actually quite enjoyable. The atmosphere was casual, and people asked questions during the talk as well as at the end. I was impressed with the caliber of the questions. I was given the impression that the presentation was a very important part of the interview, and that it went a long way toward getting me a job offer. I was never asked any hostile or openly adversarial questions in the interviews or in my presentation.

    Nearly everyone mentioned the strength of the work/life balance at IDA, which various acquaintances of mine there have confirmed. The benefits and salary are competitive. Many of the people I met with had worked there for 10 or 20 years, some even longer. They made it clear that IDA is a very flat organization, and that if I wanted rapid promotion and managerial roles I should look elsewhere.

    Overall, it was an exhausting day, but I was able to form a very strong and positive impression of the place.

    Interview Questions

  3.  

    Security Guard Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    Accepted Offer
    Accepted Offer

    Interview

    The interviewers were the Lead Captain and the Physical Security Manager. They were very professional and courteous. It's a great place to work of you're a researcher if you're a PhD. Folks here tend to work for the company for extended periods. With many retiring.

    Interview Questions

    Negotiation

    A letter arrives in mail, and you call the number provided.

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  5.  

    Research Associate Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Alexandria, VA
    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Average Interview
    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Average Interview

    Application

    I applied through an employee referral. The process took 4+ weeksinterviewed at Institute for Defense Analyses (Alexandria, VA).

    Interview

    I got the interview through a personal contact. The interview consisted of multiple one on one interviews with staff members, a "job talk" (i.e. formal presentation of your research), a lunch, a panel discussion with multiple staff members asking you questions, and finally a meeting with the division director. I was at their campus for about 8 hours. Everyone is genuinely nice and extremely professional, but they clearly take HR decisions very seriously and will bore down into your strengths and weaknesses with a high degree of accuracy and candor. I personally think is admirable and reflects an organizational focus on getting the right kind of person, but some may find it intimidating. There was a particular focus on cultural fit and methodological tools. Be prepared to talk about your weaknesses. I received an informal offer a three weeks later and a formal one a week after that. In terms of timeframe, that's definitely slower than the private sector but far faster than government. All in all, a very fair and positive process, and I'm excited to be joining them.

    Interview Questions

    • How would you feel about your work product only being consumed by a few people, as opposed to a wider audience?   Answer Question

    Negotiation

    Very generous offer, and didn't feel the need to negotiate.

  6. Helpful (1)  

    Research Staff Member Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Alexandria, VA
    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Easy Interview
    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Easy Interview

    Application

    The process took a dayinterviewed at Institute for Defense Analyses (Alexandria, VA) in May 2012.

    Interview

    The style of this interview followed those for faculty job interviews at research universities. A week after I applied I got an invitation for a full-day interview at the HQs in Alexandria. Everybody there was nice. The interview consisted of about 8 half-hour interviews with other research staff members, a one-hour presentation on my research work, and a lunch. All the interviewees were friendly and just wanted to learn about my research work, no hard questions or anything like that. The presentation atmosphere was a lot like colloquium style at universities.

    Interview Questions

    Negotiation

    Salary offered was generous.

  7.  

    Multimedia and Conference Support Coordinator Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Alexandria, VA
    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Easy Interview
    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Easy Interview

    Application

    I applied online. The process took 2 weeksinterviewed at Institute for Defense Analyses (Alexandria, VA) in November 2011.

    Interview

    first step was a phone interview describing the job and what the position entails. then basic questions on skills and knowledge. the second step was a callback for an interview with the supervisor and manager. that was pretty straightforward. all questions pertaining to my past skill set and why i would be a good fit.

    then if i passed them there was a third interview with the Division director. he pretty much reiterated what was asked the last interview.

    Interview Questions

    • it was pretty straight forward from what i could remember. nothing out of the ordinary.   Answer Question
  8.  

    Multimedia and Conference Support Coordinator Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Alexandria, VA
    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Average Interview
    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Average Interview

    Application

    I applied online. The process took 3 weeksinterviewed at Institute for Defense Analyses (Alexandria, VA) in November 2011.

    Interview

    pretty straight forward. Had a phone interview first, which consisted of basic questions of about the position and my experience. then came in for a in person interview with the supervisor, manager and division director. again, basic questions about experience and why i wanted to work there. nothign out of the ordinary

    Interview Questions

    • what are some of the technologies you have worked on in the past?   Answer Question
  9.  

    Research Assistant Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Alexandria, VA
    Accepted Offer
    Neutral Experience
    Easy Interview
    Accepted Offer
    Neutral Experience
    Easy Interview

    Application

    I applied through an employee referral. The process took 2 daysinterviewed at Institute for Defense Analyses (Alexandria, VA) in September 2010.

    Interview

    Met with a member of HR and then two Senior Analysts.

    Interview Questions

    • How would you conduct research? What would you use to help you with your research?   Answer Question
  10. Helpful (1)  

    Intern Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Alexandria, VA
    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Easy Interview
    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Easy Interview

    Application

    I applied through college or university. The process took a dayinterviewed at Institute for Defense Analyses (Alexandria, VA) in March 2010.

    Interview

    The hiring process was much like most typical internship processes - throw your resume, cover letter, and transcript into a black hole and hope to hear back. Luckily for me I did hear back. The interview was about half an hour to forty five minutes and the PhD's interviewing me were very nice (seems like they're more brutal with Research Staff Member and Research Assistant candidates than Intern candidates). Week or two later I got the offer.

    Interview Questions

  11. Helpful (1)  

    Research Staff Member Interview

    Anonymous Employee in Alexandria, VA
    Declined Offer
    Neutral Experience
    Average Interview
    Declined Offer
    Neutral Experience
    Average Interview

    Application

    I applied through college or university. The process took 3 weeksinterviewed at Institute for Defense Analyses (Alexandria, VA) in February 2008.

    Interview

    I started with 30 minute on-campus interview following application through the university's career center. This interview was pretty standard and unremarkable.

    The site interview followed a few weeks later. The day started with a meeting with an HR/recruiting staff member, and covered general background (mine and theirs) and benefits. The rest of the day was 6-7 short (about 30 minutes) one-on-one interviews with members of the research staff, a long lunch interview with the head of one of the divisions, and a seminar presenting some of my research to members of that division. The short interviews were so brief that I question their utility both to IDA and to myself, as little time was available for getting beyond the standard initial questions.

    The staff were generally friendly and seemed like they would be good coworkers. However, the work they were doing in that division did not particularly interest me. Though I specified divisions of interest when I applied, I did not interview with any of those; I'm not sure how the process of circulating applications works, but this is the potential result.

    The administrative details of my visit (including reimbursement) were carried out quickly and without fuss. The offer came through about 2-3 weeks later.

    Interview Questions

    • Why don't you want to go to Wall Street and make more money?   Answer Question

    Reasons for Declining

    Offer from a peer company in a research area that interested me more.

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