US Department of State
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www.state.gov Washington, DC 5000+ Employees

US Department of State Interview Questions & Reviews in Washington, DC

Updated May 24, 2014
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Interview Experience 

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Interview Difficulty 

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1 person found this helpful

Accepted Offer

Positive Experience

Easy Interview

Chief Engineer Interview

Chief Engineer
Washington, DC

I applied online and the process took 8 months - interviewed at US Department of State in October 2010.

Interview Details – Must be a veteran! Otherwise you won't be considered for employment. The "cert" requires you to have been a veteran. Ten points guarantees you a job, having served in a war zone.

Interview Question – Why do you want to work here/   Answer Question

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1 person found this helpful

Accepted Offer

Positive Experience

Difficult Interview

Consular Adjudicator Interview

Consular Adjudicator
Washington, DC

I applied online and the process took 11 months - interviewed at US Department of State in June 2012.

Interview Details – I found a position on USAJOBS.gov. I applied, passed an initial stage, and then passed an initial language stage. Afterwards, I was told to prepare the e-QIP security clearance application and flew to Washington DC for an interview. The entire process took 6 months.

The interview actually takes up about an entire day. The morning section consisted of tests, then a formal interview. Once I got the results, I came in for the afternoon for the language test. After I passed that section, I had to complete the rest of the security protocols.

Interview Question – Most questions revolve around the skillset that the position required. There were no out-of-the-blue questions.   Answer Question

Negotiation Details – There was no negotiation phase as I was only offered a conditional offer. A complete offer was only after a successful security clearance and suitability phase which I did not pass.

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Accepted Offer

Positive Experience

Difficult Interview

IT Specialist Interview

IT Specialist
Washington, DC

I applied online and the process took 6 months - interviewed at US Department of State in September 2011.

Interview Details – Visit USAGov site to determine if there are any openings. If so, the job seeker will need to submit an online application. If the application is approved, the job seeker will be invited for a comprehensive test/interview. If all goes well, a security background investigation and medical physical will also be required before any formal job offer is made

Interview Question – The questions range from: history, politics, current events, to situational scenarios where the applicant is given the opportunity to explain how they reacted to certain events. Scenarios may be driven by the specialty desired or general experience.   Answer Question

Negotiation Details – Very automated (with set parameters) and based on one's experience level.

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Accepted Offer

Positive Experience

Average Interview

Contract Specialist Interview

Contract Specialist
Washington, DC

I applied online - interviewed at US Department of State in March 2012.

Interview Details – Apply through USA Jobs. Phone Interview and possible face-to-face interview.

Interview Question – Subject specific.   Answer Question

Negotiation Details – It depends on your education and experience. Salary is not negotiated. There is a GS pay scale that employees fall into.

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Negative Experience

Average Interview

Foreign Affairs Officer Interview

Foreign Affairs Officer
Washington, DC

I applied through other source and the process took 8 months - interviewed at US Department of State.

Interview Details – Interviewed through PMF program process. Interview was with three members of the hiring office and questions were a mix of testing technical knowledge and gauging my ability to fit in with the rest of the team. Questions were not particularly difficult, and it seemed like a premium was put on my fit with the "office culture".

Hiring was a PAIN. I was offered the job in June, and didn't start until the following February due to background investigation and a candidate with veteran's preference challenging my hiring. If you are trying to get hired for a job with a TS clearance, you may be waiting a long time. Process was also very opaque - they were really not able or willing to tell me anything other than "wait a bit longer, we will definitely bring you on, just be patient". To their credit, they did come through in the end.

Interview Question – Questions were all pretty expected - most had to do with my graduate research.   Answer Question

Negotiation Details – Non-negotiable (defined by PMF program)

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1 person found this helpful

Accepted Offer

Positive Experience

Difficult Interview

Foreign Service Officer Interview

Foreign Service Officer
Washington, DC

I applied online and the process took 4 months - interviewed at US Department of State.

Interview Details – A cumbersome process in the 1990s-2000s, involving written exams at testing centers - now all online. The key is the oral interview. The key to being successful at the oral interview is to show that you can work in a group setting to accomplish a shared objective. Do not try to 'win', or you will lose. Find consensus.

Interview Question – What is a tense situation that you managed to overcome in a work environment and how?   View Answer

Negotiation Details – As a government, there is little room for negotiation, but there is some (salary - based on experience). Take advantage of it because once you join it becomes very rigid.

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1 person found this helpful

Accepted Offer

Positive Experience

Average Interview

Foreign Affairs Officer Interview

Foreign Affairs Officer
Washington, DC

I applied through a recruiter - interviewed at US Department of State in November 2012.

Interview Details – I was a Presidential Management Fellowship Finalist and competed with other Finalists for this job. I was recruited directly by the agency.

Interview Question – Describe you experience planning events and working with difficult people.   View Answer

Negotiation Details – As a PMF, the program is highly regulated and base salary is set for you (no wiggle room).

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1 person found this helpful

Accepted Offer

Positive Experience

Average Interview

Intern Interview

Intern
Washington, DC

I applied online and the process took 5 months - interviewed at US Department of State in April 2013.

Interview Details – Applied through USAjobs. Received a request for phone interview from the office a few months later. No in person interview occurred, although it is possible this varies depending on your previous background.

Interview Question – Provide a summary of a recent research topic you have worked on.   Answer Question

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1 person found this helpful

Accepted Offer

Positive Experience

Average Interview

Facility Manager Interview

Facility Manager
Washington, DC

I applied online and the process took 6 months - interviewed at US Department of State in May 2009.

Interview Details – Apply online, electronic resume analysis, selection, interview/exam, selection.

Interview Question – Questions outside of area of expertise   View Answer

Negotiation Details – None

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1 person found this helpful

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Positive Experience

Very Difficult Interview

Foreign Service Officer Interview

Foreign Service Officer
Washington, DC

I applied through other source and the process took a day - interviewed at US Department of State in December 2009.

Interview Details – The hiring process is driven by a series of tests. First is a written test (FSOT), which assesses candidates' general knowledge and communication skills. If successful, the candidate moves on to an Oral Assessment, which consists of a group exercise, a written case study, and a structured interview, Finally, the successful candidate is subjected to a suitability review, a health clearance, and a security clearance. Candidates are given offers of employment on a space-available basis, with those with the highest scores in the Oral Assessment reviving preference.

Interview Question – Hypothetical questions concerning difficult situations that might occur at a U.S. Embassy require candidates to express good judgement while thinking on their feet.   Answer Question

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