NIH
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www.nih.gov Bethesda, MD 5000+ Employees

NIH Interview Questions & Reviews

Updated Jun 12, 2014

Getting the Interview 

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12%
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Interview Experience 

50%
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Interview Difficulty 

Average Difficulty
9 candidate interviews Back to all interview questions
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No Offer

Positive Experience

Easy Interview

Contract Research Assistant Interview

Contract Research Assistant

I applied through college or university and the process took 1+ week - interviewed at NIH in June 2014.

Interview Details – Learned the opportunity from college/university career center and applied via email. Three days after application got an email scheduling phone interview, which is one week later. The interview lasted for 30 minutes. Questions were pretty routine: introduce yourself, why you are interested in working at NIH, what is the most fulfilling part of your master program, etc.

Interview Question – Pretty normal. Nothing unexpected   Answer Question

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1 person found this helpful

No Offer

Positive Experience

Easy Interview

Industrial Engineer Interview

Industrial Engineer

I applied through a recruiter and the process took 4 weeks - interviewed at NIH.

Interview Details – Had a 30 min. phone interview to explain the position and go over the hiring process followed by an in person interview with the department manager. No technical questions were asked, just basic interview questions like "Why do you want to work at NIH" and " Describe a time when you were obligated to do something you did not want to do."

Interview Question – Describe a time in which you were forced to become a leader to get a task done and how did you go about it.   Answer Question

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No Offer

Positive Experience

Difficult Interview

Scientific Programmer Interview

Scientific Programmer
Washington, DC

I applied online and the process took 2 months - interviewed at NIH in August 2012.

Interview Details – Hiring process consists of 3 steps. I appliedd to NIH through a headhunter, initially there was an interview with the HR of the headhunter. After the phone interview, I was given an assessment which consisted of some C programming, Mysql, and Python problems. It took me almost two weeks to finish it. The manager was nice, although he did not provide me enough hints, he gave me many chances to finish it. I did complete the assignment and then was scheduled a chat room interview. I was asked many hardware questions that I had no idea of and some simple programming problems like reverse the string, how many times a function is called. After this interview there was supposed to be an onsite interview, but I did not get any call after the chat room interview.

Interview Question – Many computer hardware problems.   Answer Question

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No Offer

Neutral Experience

Easy Interview

Electrical Engineer Interview

Electrical Engineer
Bethesda, MD

I applied online and the process took a day - interviewed at NIH in May 2012.

Interview Details – The interviewer had dinner with me the evening before interview and some brief discussion about the area and family. Next day, no technical questions just went over the resume.

Interview Question – Are you feeling ready to help training others for Electrical Engineering work   Answer Question

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No Offer

Neutral Experience

Difficult Interview

Staff Scientist Interview

Staff Scientist
Baltimore, MD

The process took a day - interviewed at NIH in May 2011.

Interview Details – it was a long and tedious interview

Interview Question – what's the best part of your current job   View Answer

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2 people found this helpful

No Offer

Neutral Experience

Average Interview

Contract Specialist Interview

Contract Specialist
Rockville, MD

I applied online and the process took a day - interviewed at NIH in September 2009.

Interview Details – I applied to the posting via USA Jobs. The questions on the application are fairly standard and designed to eliminate candidates that do not meet certification requirements. Approximately 2 weeks after the posting closing date, I was called for a scheduled interview. The interview was on site (NIAID) and consisted of two individuals asking me questions during the one interview. The experience was different for me because they had a formulated set list of questions which they followed. Literally, I could see them read the question from a paper, they would ask the question, and then they would write my response. My overall impression was that my answers/conduct in the interview were good, but that the interviewers seemed to be going through the motions from the start. I was not offered the position and I found out that they selected a candidate that was internal. To be honest it felt like I was a victim of formality and the job was never really up for grabs.

Interview Question – If you won $100 million, what would you do with the money?   View Answer

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No Offer

Positive Experience

Average Interview

Engineering Research Interview

Engineering Research

I applied through other source and the process took a day - interviewed at NIH in March 2010.

Interview Details – NIH supports travel to and from the interview, and this is usually a full day affair. The candidate presents problems and solutions they have experienced, and several members of labs continue to interview the candidate. There is no central HR and the labs seem somewhat autonomous under the auspices of their respective institute (academic campus).

Interview Question – Where do you see yourself in the future - And what will you do to achieve this?   Answer Question

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No Offer

Neutral Experience

Average Interview

Administrative Specialist Interview

Administrative Specialist

I applied through a staffing agency and the process took a day - interviewed at NIH in May 2009.

Interview Details – The interview process began with a pre-screening through the contracting agency/staffing agency. After the recruiter there interviewed me, I was interviewed by three managers employed by NIH. Several days after the interview the staffing agency contacted me to inform me they went with another individual.

Interview Question – I don't remember the questions. Overall there was nothing exceptionally difficult asked.   Answer Question

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No Offer

Neutral Experience

Difficult Interview

Biochemistry Interview

Biochemistry

I applied online and the process took 4 weeks - interviewed at NIH in December 2009.

Interview Details – I had four interviews in two different weeks. It was difficult as the process involved 1:1 meeting with 4-5 different scientist and presentations. Few of them were very nice however I also came across mean people who think that only the research at NIH is the best

Interview Question – why did you use this technique and not the other   View Answer

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