The process took a day - interviewed at California LAO in December 2011.
Interview Details – I was contacted initially via email to schedule a phone screening interview three weeks after submitting my application. I then invited to Sacramento for the 2nd round about a week or two later. LAO covered my travel expenses. That interview was scheduled to last 5.5 hours. It consisted of 4 one-on-one interviews, lunch with a junior analyst, and a written portion. Each interviewer in the one-on-one interviews had a different approach to asking questions, so it wasn't as redundant at it could have been. I believe they usually do a panel interview, instead of the 4th one-on-one. Useful prep for the interview would include the usual research about the LAO and some time thinking about current policy issues in the state.
Everyone I spoke with was nice, and it was helpful to have a more casual conversation with a newer analyst to learn more about the office culture.
They let me know their hiring decision later the same week. I appreciated their promptness.
Interview Question – What do you think are the four most pressing policy issues facing California today? Answer Question
I applied online and the process took a day - interviewed at California LAO in October 2010.
Interview Details – First round interview is a fairly basic phone screen. Questions are asked on background, interest in the office, and quantitative skills/examples of your experiences with them.
Second round interview consists of three 1:1 interviews with senior analysts, a panel interview with two additional analysts, and a written assessment that consists of a very basic Excel spreadsheet exercise. Lunch is also provided at a local restaurant and serves as an opportunity to ask questions of an analyst, but is not considered part of the interview. The entire process takes approximately 5-5.5 hours.
Questions asked in the second round interview were fairly straightforward, with content ranging from inquiries about quantitative experience, motivation to work in the office, opinions on state policies, and a chance to explain your qualifications in more detail. Be prepared to answer the same questions multiple times throughout the day.
The staff was fairly friendly and I was given a response within two weeks. My only complaint would be that the office gave a rather generalist description of the desired candidate (who isn't looking for quantitative skills couple with excellent communication skills?) and made it difficult to focus responses in a way that "sold" myself as a candidate.
Interview Question – Why do you want to work for LAO? Answer Question
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