FDA
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FDA Interview Questions & Reviews

Updated Jun 19, 2014
All Interviews Received Offers

Getting the Interview 

42%
36%
6%

Interview Experience 

68%
24%
6%

Interview Difficulty 

Average Difficulty
38 candidate interviews
Relevance Date Difficulty
in

Accepted Offer

Positive Experience

Difficult Interview

Intern Interview

Intern
Bethesda, MD

I applied in-person and the process took 4+ weeks - interviewed at FDA in May 2011.

Interview Details – Asked about chemistry and biology classes taken, asked about my commitment to science and what the position would mean to be, asked some technical questions about biochemistry and organic chemistry which i couldn't answer

Negotiation Details – No negotiation, just the expectations of your lab boss

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Accepted Offer

Positive Experience

Easy Interview

Consumer Safety Officer Interview

Consumer Safety Officer
Dallas, TX

I applied through other source - interviewed at FDA in July 2010.

Interview Details – Applied through a job fair initially and a phone call screening was conducted. Then an onsite interview was conducted at the FDA's local office with the direct hiring supervisor and overseeing director.

Interview Question – Describe a time that you had to overcome a challenge.   Answer Question

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Accepted Offer

Positive Experience

Very Easy Interview

Orise Fellow Interview

Orise Fellow
Silver Spring, MD

I applied online and the process took a day - interviewed at FDA in April 2011.

Interview Details – Very casual hiring/interview process. Mostly through networking and recommendation rather than job hunting. A simple phone interview is all that was needed for me.

Interview Question – What's the difference between XXX and XXX?   View Answer

Negotiation Details – I was able to negotiate a starting date that was more than 6 months away from the interview date. For most companies this would be impossible. But it worked here.

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Accepted Offer

Neutral Experience

Average Interview

Intern Interview

Intern
White Oak, MD

I applied online and the process took 2 months - interviewed at FDA in November 2012.

Interview Details – E-mailed cover letter and resume after seeing a posting through my school, and a few months later received an e-mail that they would like to schedule a phone interview. The phone interview was about a hour long, and there was three different people on the phone. They were very friendly and nice, although the questions they asked were quite difficult. I e-mailed them the next day to say thank-you, and found out I had gotten the position in the reply e-mail.

Interview Question – What would you like to receive out of this internship?   Answer Question

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No Offer

Neutral Experience

Average Interview

Senior Reviewer Interview

Senior Reviewer

I applied online and the process took 6 months - interviewed at FDA in October 2012.

Interview Details – interviews were composed of many 30-min sessions with different interviewers from different divisions. Most are duplicate questions/introductions, etc.

Interview Question – Nothing difficult and unexpected. They are quite boring.   View Answer

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1 person found this helpful

Accepted Offer

Neutral Experience

Easy Interview

Intern Interview

Intern

I applied through college or university and interviewed at FDA.

Interview Details – I applied online after they posted on a carriers site through my school. I had a large amount of research experience and they were looking for a GPA of around 3.4 or higher. I had a phone interview with my most direct boss followed by an in person interview that included the other members of the lab I was to work in.
Following being offered the position I had a lot of paperwork and hoops to jump through to ensure my authenticity as well as get me in the system.

Interview Question – My position changes over time from full-time over the summer, to part time over the full duration of the school year. Finding the necessary 12 hours of useful work was difficult for a full time student but worth it.   Answer Question

Negotiation Details – My salary (stipend) was based on how much past research experience I had (that's how the federal government does it everywhere in the US).

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1 person found this helpful

Accepted Offer

Positive Experience

Average Interview

Consumer Safety Officer Interview

Consumer Safety Officer
Cincinnati, OH

I applied through other source and the process took 3 months - interviewed at FDA in February 2010.

Interview Details – The opening I applied for was not posted on usajobs.gov
I applied at a Federal Career fair at my college.
I followed up on the application with phone calls and even a personal visit (this is not recommended. It was strange to them but I managed to make it positive with lots of smiles and charm. Later on I heard that some people in the office thought this was unprofessional. Nevertheless, I got an interview).
There was only one interview. Two Supervisors were present. Asked a lot of the basic interview questions. Lasted about an hour and half. I dressed in a full business suit.

A week or two later they contacted me about a the next step. I started out in a one year probationary period.

Interview Question – I don't remember the specifics. But I would just google "tough interview questions" and try to prepare for those.
I remember there was one question that I wasn't able to answer very well right away. After a few questions I asked to circle back to that question and give a more full answer. They seemed to like that, for what it's worth.
Take your time, show your interest in their careers and ask them questions about their time at the FDA.
  Answer Question

Negotiation Details – There wasn't much negotiation. It was entry level.

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No Offer

Neutral Experience

Average Interview

Reviewer Interview

Reviewer
Silver Spring, MD

I applied in-person and the process took 6 months - interviewed at FDA.

Interview Details – Telephone interview in June, onsite interview in July.

Interview Question – They were interested in some details of the projects mentioned in cv.   Answer Question

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2 people found this helpful

Accepted Offer

Positive Experience

Average Interview

Biomedical Engineer Interview

Biomedical Engineer
Silver Spring, MD

I applied through an employee referral and the process took a day - interviewed at FDA in May 2011.

Interview Details – I had an hour long interview with the hiring branch chief where he told me about the position and asked about my interest in the position. This was followed by a 5hr long on-site interview where I had 30 minute rotations between different administrators and engineers.

Interview Questions

Negotiation Details – Unable to negotiate a higher salary.

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Accepted Offer

Positive Experience

Average Interview

Research Intern Interview

Research Intern
Silver Spring, MD

I applied through college or university and the process took a day - interviewed at FDA in May 2010.

Interview Details – Went very well

Interview Question – Statistical Concept   Answer Question

Negotiation Details – Did not negotiate

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