Glassdoor is your free inside look at Institute for Defense Analyses interview questions and advice. All 5 interview reviews posted anonymously by Institute for Defense Analyses employees and interview candidates.
Accepted Offer – Interviewed in Alexandria, VA May 2012 – Reviewed Jul 1, 2012
Interview Details – 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.
Negotiation Details – Salary offered was generous.
Accepted Offer – Interviewed in Alexandria, VA Sep 2010 – Reviewed May 4, 2011
Interview Details – Met with a member of HR and then two Senior Analysts.
Interview Question – How would you conduct research? What would you use to help you with your research? Answer Question
Accepted Offer – Interviewed in Alexandria, VA Mar 2010 – Reviewed Jul 15, 2010
Interview Details – 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 Question – Why do you want to spend your summer at IDA? Answer Question
Declined Offer – Interviewed in Alexandria, VA Feb 2008 – Reviewed Mar 18, 2009
Interview Details –
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 Question – Why don't you want to go to Wall Street and make more money? Answer Question
Reason for Declining – Offer from a peer company in a research area that interested me more.
Accepted Offer – Interviewed in Jun 2010 – Reviewed Jun 30, 2010
Interview Details –
The preliminary phone interview of 30 minutes went well and proceeded like a casual but informed conversation regarding the intersection between academic research, policy, and data needs.
An invitation for an on-site interview soon followed and consisted of a meeting with an HR representative, 7 one-on-one interviews with other RSMs lasting approximately 30 minutes, a presentation of my work, a working lunch with two managers and two staff members, and a final meeting with the division manager. Contrary to another related posting on the website, I found most of these interviews to be extremely informative and helpful in prompting me to accept the offer I eventually received. Some of this difference may be due to personality.
Throughout the course of the day I developed a brief, scripted response to the initial questions we had to work through then worked hard to open up the interaction into one where they could express to me whatever they wanted about IDA (why they chose the job, what they think of the work they do, what their expectations of me would be, and so forth), while I described for them my general approach to research in a policy environment. Many of these conversations exceeded the allotted 30 minutes, which many were fine with.
The presentation had the format of a job-talk but was considerably less hostile than what I have encountered in academic settings (primarily as an audience member). Not to say it was not easy, but it was important to me that there was no one present clearly gunning for my embarrassment and failure. The questions were professional and appropriately probing.
In all, the experience was draining but enjoyable. I can say that with no reservations. In a final note, the another posting on this site describing the IDA interview complained about not being evaluated for the division he or she listed in the online application. This incongruence should have been apparent in the phone interview, so I advise future recruits to take this interview seriously by listening to what the interviewer has to say about the position under consideration.
Interview Question – Why did you take more than 5 years to earn your doctoral degree? View Answer
- A real commitment to education and professional development
- An almost academic atmosphere (difficult to find re: DoD work)
- A lot of fascinating subject material, for the most part
- Good range of tasks and personnel, from hard sciences to… – Full Review `
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