Abt Associates Interview Questions in Washington, DC

Updated Mar 17, 2015
Updated Mar 17, 2015
16 Interview Reviews

Interview Experience

Interview Experience

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16 Candidate Interview Reviews Back to all Interviews

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  1.  

    Senior Technical Writer/Editor Interview

    No Offer
    Positive Experience
    No Offer
    Positive Experience

    Application

    I applied through an employee referral. The process took 4+ weeksinterviewed at Abt Associates (Bethesda, MD) in February 2015.

    Interview

    First I had to complete an online application, including my expected salary range (there was no salary range posted with the job listing, so I stated my expectation based on my research on Glassdoor, etc., my years of experience, education, and comparable jobs in the Washington, DC area). Then there was an initial phone screen with the HR recruiter. She said she was looking to fill the position "yesterday" when I pointed out that it had been listed since October (this was in February). I was asked to provide extensive income information to document what I assumed would be Abt's billable rate to USAID for my time. Next came a phone interview with three staff members, including the woman who would be the immediate supervisor. It went very well with questions back-and-forth, and comfortable laughter. Next came an invitation for an in-person interview, which required me to travel to DC. I was not told until after I had booked and paid for my transportation and accommodations that "the policy" limited Abt's reimbursement for my travel to reimbursement for the train and only one night's hotel stay--I traveled 400 miles each way, and arrived on the weekend for the Monday morning interview. I was surprised, and not pleased, that I had to absorb the rest of the cost. The in-person interview required two stages: (1) a writing test, in which I was expected to write an executive summary for a 10-page USAID request for proposals (since the executive summary is the final portion of a proposal that gets written, and the most important and challenging, I hoped the main aim was to gauge my "raw" writing, and not, unrealistically, whether I completed the executive summary in such a short time); (2) the two-on-one interview went very well, with a VP from the division and a senior project officer. They asked questions about my work style, ability to manage stress, etc. I asked about work-life balance, something Abt touts as important on its website. I was told that it is "aspirational" and that Abt tries to make up in "flexibility" (e.g., remote work) for the imbalances I gathered are common. After the interview, the HR recruiter told me I would hear back by the following Tuesday. As of Friday, three days later, I hadn't heard anything and sent a "just checking in to see if you have everything you need" email. I finally had an e-mail the following Thursday, more than two weeks past the time I expected a decision to offer (or not) the job. I was not offered the job, but was assured that I made a very good impression on everyone and invited to stay in touch.

    Interview Questions

    • How would you deal with people freaking out to meet the deadline for a USAID proposal?   1 Answer
  2.  

    Programmer Analyst Interview

    Declined Offer
    Negative Experience
    Difficult Interview
    Declined Offer
    Negative Experience
    Difficult Interview

    Application

    I applied online. The process took 4+ weeksinterviewed at Abt Associates (Bethesda, MD) in September 2014.

    Interview

    Abt Associates contacted me with an initial phone interview to get a high-level feel for my skill set and were excited enough to hear from me that they quickly arranged an interview for the following week. A day after the phone call I was contacted, via email, with a schedule of my interview, which was arranged to take the better part of the morning it was scheduled for. Included in the schedule were contact information for the HR rep, the address and suite where Abt works from, and other details. It was a very helpful document.

    The day of the interview I arrive at Abt Associates and was greeted at the front office by the receptionist. I received a visitor badge upon signing in and waited for a few minutes (I was early). When my HR POC arrived we found that the room that had been reserved for my first (of five) interviews had been re-assigned for an employee breakfast (bagels and such had been arranged on the conference table).

    After finding an alternative room I was left with two Abt Associates team members. They began to ask about what I did currently. I gave an explanation and they gave me blank looks. They asked how I could translate my current experience with the work at Abt. Knowing I was coming in slightly less experienced than what they were probably hoping for with SAS programming (they wanted someone with macros experience), I tried to make ties, but I honestly didn't have a good grasp yet on what exactly it was they were doing.

    After interview 1 of 5, I was handed off to a very kind HR rep to head towards interview 2. I met with a Senior Analyst/Statistician and felt comfortable with her. She asked about where I was interested in going career wise and how working at Abt fit into that. It was really a pretty easy interview and I felt like I got to ask her a lot about what she does for Abt.

    After that I met over video conference with one of Abt's Officers. She was kind and talked a lot about the team work aspects of the company. She asked a little bit about me, but mostly spent the time filling me in on the nature of the work and culture of the company.

    Next I met with another Senior Analyst/Statistician. He also was pleasant, though very straight forward and blunt. He asked about my experience with several statistical programming languages primarily and about my experience with statistical modeling techniques. I left feeling confident, that I had now made two great impressions with important interviewers.

    Finally, I met with another Lead Analyst, she asked about my background in statistics and familiarity with SAS. She was very to the point, but I did get to talk about my goals and how I could see Abt being a great place to learn, grow, and make a difference in the world through my career.

    After that I was picked up by the kind HR rep and we had an impromptu interview about the benefits and culture at Abt. This was actually a really meaningful conversation and I think that the culture sounded pretty excellent.

    Interview Questions

    • How to translate what I was doing in Parametric Cost Estimation for Military Programs into analyzing the success of educational or housing programs for insights into stopping or continuing with improvement of these programs.   1 Answer

    Reasons for Declining

    Abt Associates returned by telling me I did not qualify for the position I interviewed for, but that they wold gladly bring me on board at a lower position. The salary for the position they wanted to bring me on at was lower than the salary I received starting off with my current employer three years earlier.

  3.  

    Senior Analyst/Technical Coordinator Interview

    No Offer
    Neutral Experience
    Average Interview
    No Offer
    Neutral Experience
    Average Interview

    Application

    I applied through an employee referral. The process took 2 weeksinterviewed at Abt Associates (Bethesda, MD) in August 2014.

    Interview

    When I applied and after being referred by Abt employee, I was invited to an interview after exactly 6 days. Went to the interview one week after. After a 15min delay, the interview started with 2 people physically present and 1 by conference call. One key person from the panel was missing. No HR coordinator or recruiter was part of the panel. The whole Interview lasted for 45 mins. I was put at ease by the panel. I was asked the traditional question "Tell us about yourself" and other ones. I was told to receive a feedback from HR within a week, which happened since the position had to be filled before the end of the month.

    Interview Questions

    • How do you see yourself in 5 years? What's the most innovative approach in the field of International Health?   Answer Question
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  5. Helpful (1)  

    Analyst Interview

    No Offer
    Positive Experience
    Average Interview
    No Offer
    Positive Experience
    Average Interview

    Application

    I applied online. The process took a dayinterviewed at Abt Associates (Bethesda, MD) in March 2014.

    Interview

    I was contacted by a recruiter and we set up an interview 3 weeks into the future at their office. I videoconferenced with 4 employees and had 1 in-person interview over a span of 3 hours. Everyone I spoke with was very nice and laid back, which comforted me (probably a bit too much now that I think of it). A majority of the time the employees described the culture of the organization and their day to day processes. When they did ask questions, it was simple behavioral questions and experience straight from my resume. Every employee mentioned at least one time that they were impressed with the experiences I had described and thought it was admirable I had worked multiple internships while in graduate school. I got a semi-verbal offer before I left my final interview, but when I followed up a week later, I was told that the hiring team felt as if my skills did not match this position. I was really upset that I did not get this position, it seems like a great company to work for.

    Interview Questions

    • Why would you want to get a Ph.D? Why did you choose the writing sample you did?   Answer Question
  6. Helpful (1)  

    Portfolio Manager Interview

    Declined Offer
    Negative Experience
    Easy Interview
    Declined Offer
    Negative Experience
    Easy Interview

    Application

    I applied online – interviewed at Abt Associates (Bethesda, MD).

    Interview

    Poor communication from the recruitment director, little follow-up or personalization of process. Poor follow-up to interview process and feedback.

    This is a good place for people who want to get hands on experience in the international public health field.

    Interview Questions

    • What does your husband do!?   1 Answer
    • Questions regarding whether the Nigeria team should be beginning their meeting with a morning prayer or not!   1 Answer

    Reasons for Declining

    I was not inspired by the recruitment management and concerned by the lack of structure to the hiring process.

    I felt there was little handling of senior candidates and difficulty in obtaining guidance. I was surprised by the lack of leadership within the recruitment department, competing organization were head and shoulders above I am afraid to say. If you can make it past the shambles of recruitment, the rest of the organization is amazing and very respected.

    This is a good place for people who want to get hands on experience in the international public health field.

  7. Helpful (2)  

    Analyst Interview

    No Offer
    Positive Experience
    Average Interview
    No Offer
    Positive Experience
    Average Interview

    Application

    I applied through an employee referral. The process took 2 weeksinterviewed at Abt Associates (Bethesda, MD) in June 2013.

    Interview

    I was referred by an employee and set up to meet with five employees. The HR rep was first and she had pretty standard interview questions, beginning with, "why do you want to work at Abt?" Then I met with the SEP Division Director and she asked me about my background and interest in specific practice areas. I then met with other members of the SEP team who wanted more detailed as to my professional experience and skills (including quant analysis).

    Everyone was very warm and devoted to their work.

    Interview Questions

    • What did you do to sell your approach to the rest of the team? Tell me about your biggest regret in a professional setting.   Answer Question
  8. Helpful (2)  

    Finance Management Interview

    No Offer
    Positive Experience
    Average Interview
    No Offer
    Positive Experience
    Average Interview

    Application

    I applied online. The process took 6 weeksinterviewed at Abt Associates (Bethesda, MD) in May 2013.

    Interview

    I applied to a requisition on line. I was contacted by an Abt Associates recruiter within a few days of the application. She inquired about my availability for interviews which I provided. After several scheduling rounds the interview was schedule about one month after the application was submitted. A panel interview was schedule for four Abt management staff, two made the interview, schedule conflicts. The interview was relaxed and there were no unexpected questions. It was scheduled for an hour and we ran over.

    Interview Questions

  9. Helpful (2)  

    IT Interview

    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Average Interview
    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Average Interview

    Application

    I applied through a recruiter. The process took 2 weeksinterviewed at Abt Associates (Bethesda, MD) in November 2012.

    Interview

    I was contacted by a recruiter for a phone screen, followed by a phone interview with Abt employee, followed by a lengthy in person interview with several members of the IT department.

    Interview Questions

  10.  

    Finance and Contracts Manager Interview

    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Average Interview
    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Average Interview

    Application

    I applied through an employee referral. The process took 2 weeksinterviewed at Abt Associates (Bethesda, MD) in January 2012.

    Interview

    The interview/hiring experience was positive overall. Three people interviewed me and it was rather enjoyable. The office environment seemed positive. The response after the interview was very quick.

    Interview Questions

    Negotiation

    I did not negotiate the salary as I was offered 8% over my most recent salary.

  11. Helpful (4)  

    Senior Analyst Interview

    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 Abt Associates (Bethesda, MD) in March 2011.

    Interview

    The best way to get your resume looked at is an employee referral. Employees get a bonus if they successfully help recruit someone (which is great in terms of your contact actually helping you through the hiring process). I found a job I wanted, did the online application, then my friend shared my application materials with her project director. Within about two weeks I had an interview. It was with the project director, and two other senior staff. It only lasted about 40 minutes, and the questions were pretty standard (skill specific questions related to the job, and questions meant to gauge your ability to be a team player and multitask.

    They were upfront with me about the fact that after about three months at Abt, you are responsible for finding your own coverage. I got an offer within a few days. The whole process took about a month, and was very straightforward. Abt does have a tendency to hire people at a level beneath they should, but you can get promoted very quickly here.

    Interview Questions

    • Why do you want to leave your current job   1 Answer

    Negotiation

    I didn't get negotiate - it was a 10,000 dollar raise from my previous position, and I was fine with that.

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