Council on Foreign Relations

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Council on Foreign Relations Interview Questions

Updated Dec 1, 2014
Updated Dec 1, 2014
21 Interview Reviews

Interview Experience

Interview Experience

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18%
6%

Getting an Interview

Getting an Interview

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Candidate Interview Reviews

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  1.  

    Internship Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    Interview Details

    Apply on Website to posted positions. Skype Interview, first with HR representative and then functional employees (whom you would be working with). The Skype interview is a little awkward but not too difficult. Make sure to dress up and be enthusiastic

    Interview Questions
    • Nothing too bad, but make sure you're up to date on your current events.   Answer Question
    No Offer
    Average Interview
  2.  

    Intern Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    Interview Details

    Submitted cover letter and resume online. Contacted by phone to set up an interview two weeks later. Interviewed in office with an HR rep and the RA of the department I would be working in. Pretty standard fit interview, then some questions about my research experience.

    Interview Questions
    • Know about what differentiates CFR from other major think tanks.   Answer Question
    Accepted Offer
  3.  

    Program Associate Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    Application Details

    I applied online. The process took 4 weeksinterviewed at Council on Foreign Relations.

    Interview Details

    I applied online and about three weeks later I had a pre-screen interview with HR about 15 minutes. Then another phone interview with the person who would be my boss which went into more detail about the job and how my background fit. Then I had an in- person with the person who would be my boss and some other staff members. I also took a writing test, which I found to be straightforward and a way for me to know the job was a good fit. The writing test was two different samples of things I would be asked to write if I got the job.

    Interview Questions
    • The questions were straightforward and I did not find any questions to be difficult.   Answer Question
    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Average Interview
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    Research Associate Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate in New York, NY
    Anonymous Interview Candidate in New York, NY
    Application Details

    I applied through an employee referral. The process took a weekinterviewed at Council on Foreign Relations.

    Interview Details

    I applied online and also through a friend who sent my application internally. I received a phone call a few days later with a few easy preliminary questions. Then I came in for a half-hour interview with HR with basic behavioral questions, then a half-hour interview with the senior fellow who was hiring with more academic and topic-specific questions. Afterwards, I took a translation test to test my language skills and another research associate test that included editing a passage and completing a budget using Excel. The RA test was very easy. The translation test was more difficult.

    Interview Questions
    Negotiation Details
    They do not really negotiate. There is a set payment level depending on which degrees you have. You might be able to negotiate for a few extra vacation days but that's it.
    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Average Interview
  6.  

    Intern Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    Interview Details

    I received a phone call to have an interview the following week. After the in-person interview I received an email one month later letting me know I received the position.

    Interview Questions
    Negotiation Details
    Not applicable--Internship is unpaid
    Accepted Offer
  7.  

    Internship Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate in New York, NY
    Anonymous Interview Candidate in New York, NY
    Application Details

    I applied through college or university. The process took 2 weeksinterviewed at Council on Foreign Relations.

    Interview Details

    Informal meeting at the Council with questions on work interests and academic interests.

    Interview Questions
    Negotiation Details
    Paper contract outlining pay and benefits as well as work hours.
    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Average Interview
  8.  

    Program Assistant Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Washington, DC
    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Washington, DC
    Application Details

    I applied online. The process took a weekinterviewed at Council on Foreign Relations.

    Interview Details

    Overall the experience was good. Few are selected for interviews but the initial phone call interview, was not an actual interview. Maybe they merely liked me. However I think the process could have gone better if the phone interview was an actual interview, not a mere telling me I had been asked to come in for an in-person one. Being so the HR person who normally conducts phone interviews was there on the in-person and it felt a bit unneccessary. I also had to fill out a paper application upon arrival. It all felt very impersonal and I never felt like they were selling themselves. Merely investigating me as an individual with a piece of paper.

    Interview Questions
    • Please describe a critical global issue today that you think CFR should focus more on?   View Answer
    No Offer
    Neutral Experience
    Difficult Interview
  9.  

    Program Assistant Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    Application Details

    I applied online. The process took 6+ weeksinterviewed at Council on Foreign Relations.

    Interview Details

    Two weeks after applying for a position with the Council on Foreign Relations, I received an email from an HR representative arranging a phone interview for the position. The phone interview was entirely with the HR rep and consisted of straightforward background questions relating to my resume. After speaking with her I was told I would hear back regarding the next step soon.

    Two weeks passed before I was contacted again. Normally they like to bring people into the office for this step, but I live quite far from the NY office, so the next interview was conducted over Skype. This interview consisted of a short interview with the HR rep, then a longer interview with the head of the department, the person currently in the position for which I was interviewing, and someone with whom I would be working in the office. This interview consisted of more probing into my resume and more specific questions relating to the position itself. After the interview I was contacted by the HR rep to set up a writing test, which was scheduled for the next week. Upon the day of the writing sample I was emailed four page paper on regional trade agreements and instructed to copy-edit it using the Chicago Manual of Grammar, with which I was fairly familiar but not strongly confident. I was given two hours to make my edits and email the document back to the HR rep.

    After three or four weeks, I received an email from the HR rep, who informed me that they had decided not to pursue my application further at that time.

    Interview Questions
    • "Which one of these positions on your resume did you enjoy the least, and why?"   Answer Question
    No Offer
    Positive Experience
    Difficult Interview
  10.  

    Publications Intern Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    Application Details

    I applied through an employee referral – interviewed at Council on Foreign Relations.

    Interview Details

    Was referred by a friend and HR quickly called to schedule an interview. Interviewed with the two people I would be working under: the Marketing Assistant Manager, and the Assistant Subscriptions Manager. Nothing unexpected -- talked about my experience, interest in publications, CFR, and Foreign Affairs. Discussed my interests, my typical web and social media usage.
    They were very quick about getting back to me after the interview -- about 2 weeks ahead of the promised schedule.

    Interview Questions
    • What did you think about the Foreign Affairs website? What would you change?   Answer Question
    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Easy Interview
  11.  

    Global Communications Internship Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    Interview Details

    Two part interview - first with the HR associate, then with someone in the actual PR/Global Communications department. I had no idea that would be the case when they e-mailed me about an interview, so it took me aback a little. I guess the HR person was to streamline things in terms of hiring? It also felt like she was trying to "sell" the CFR to me, not that I needed to be anymore: she was explaining perks and programs for employees and such, which was cool, but ultimately bummed me out when I wasn't offered the internship, obviously. I would have liked a free gym membership.... (you get the idea)

    Interview Questions
    • Nothing unexpected exactly, just surprising that I was interviewing with two people.   Answer Question
    No Offer

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