Catholic Relief Services
Catholic Relief Services Interview Questions & Reviews
Getting an Interview
Accounting Manager Interview (Positive Experience; Average Interview)
I applied in-person and the process took 1 week - interviewed at Catholic Relief Services in May 2010.
Interview Details – Interview had three stages. First was a panel of interview which consisted of two managers and two director including supervisor. From the number of candidates interview panel selected two finalist. Each finalist had an additional interview with Director (direct supervisor) and then final interview with Chief Financial Officer.
Interview Question – What are the challenges with sub-office common cost allocation and how you're going to approach it to ensure consistency and reasonableness of application among 50 different sub-offices Answer Question
Negotiation Details – Director asked what salary do I expect. I told him I expect fair compensation. He told me the salary and I asked him to round the salary (increase by 2000$) he said he has no problem but have to confirm with HR soon. Next day I received an offer from HR which reflected the salary what I asked.
Sis Specialist Interview (Neutral Experience)
I applied online and interviewed at Catholic Relief Services.
Interview Details – I applied via the website and received an email from a Senior Recruitment Specialist a week later. The text of his message is below in quotes:
"Greetings from Catholic Relief Services. Thank you for your interest and application for our SiS Specialist position based out of our HQ office in Baltimore.
I’m the recruiter for this position and I would like to schedule a brief call to go over the job description, discuss your expectations and review your employment history. This is the initial step in the candidate selection process that precedes a formal interview.
Would you be available for a 30-minute call at 4:15pm EST on Friday, March 8th? I can also offer a 4pm EST time on Tuesday, March 12th as an alternate.
Please let me know if you are available and provide me with the best number, or Skype address, to contact you."
I replied that I wasn't interested in having a conversation unless there was real interest on his part since I had nothing more to add which wasn't already mentioned on the resume or cover letter and the job description was pretty clear. Never heard back.
Not sure what "expectations" he thought I had but I realize CRS is not Goldman Sachs. I applied because of my desire to help those in need. I was hoping to get an interview not spend 30 minutes on the phone so he could decide if he likes my voice. I think "expectations" was code for we don't want to pay you as much as you might want. I have two master's degrees - one from an Ivy League school with a 4.0 GPA, the other earned with distinction from a D.C. school and a 3.8 GPA. I was also a Peace Corps volunteer and interned with the Bureau of Population, Refugees and Migration at the State Department. Despite all that, I can't get an interview? Sorry I can't walk on water. These guys are looking for perfection which is a shame because CRS does good work. Given the nature of their mission, the selection criteria should differ from that of a firm focused on its bottom line but I sadly that is not the case.
Interview Question – Never progressed to the interview stage because the recruiter was trying to decide if I deserved an interview. Answer Question
Project Accountant Interview (Neutral Experience; Average Interview)
I applied through other source and the process took 4 months - interviewed at Catholic Relief Services in February 2009.
Interview Details – A job advert was put in one of the Uganda daily newspapers giving a submission deadline of two weeks. This advert run for three days. I was shortlisted for the first interview which was a written interview two months after the application deadline. One month later, I was shortlisted for the final interview which was an oral/panel interview. I was offered and accepted the job one month later
Interview Question – The unexpected question was to give details of how to go about a situation when a superior gives me wrong instructions Answer Question
Program Manager Interview (Neutral Experience)
I applied through an employee referral and the process took 2+ weeks - interviewed at Catholic Relief Services.
Interview Details – Preference given to applicants recommended by current staff
Negotiation Details – Limited range possible for salary negotiations
Programme Officer Interview (Positive Experience; Difficult Interview)
I applied online and the process took 4+ weeks - interviewed at Catholic Relief Services.
Interview Details – The interview was quite lenghthy which included one hour of written and almost 3 hours of preson interview. the interview panel constituted of key people from finance, program and HR. The hiring was based on the committment, my composure and knowledge and skills level. The interviewer also discussed about the personal and professional balance and willingness to travel to remote area.
Interview Question – finance related questions Answer Question
Negotiation Details – Salary and joining dates can be negotiated, but CRS has salary slabs and within the slab, they accomodate based on your experinece.
Very Easy Interview
Warehouse Supervisor Interview (Positive Experience; Very Easy Interview)
The process took a day - interviewed at Catholic Relief Services in September 2010.
Interview Details – I applied for an advertised post and was invited for an interview on a mentioned date which i accepted.We were eight of us and wanted to hire four persons.We filled interview forms with all our qualifications and work history.After the forms,we did group discussions on given topics and had to score marks.After group discussions we did individual presentation on a given topic for three minutes.After the presentation we then did oral interviews.We had to do practical test using computers with a time limit.
Interview Question – There was no difficult question View Answer
Negotiation Details – I managed to negotiate for the renumeration and working conditions.People should first understand the contract before accepting offers.