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NIH Interview Questions & Reviews

Updated Aug 13, 2014
All Interviews Received Offers

Getting an Interview  

62%
16%
8%

Interview Experience  

69%
30%
0%

Interview Difficulty  

Average Difficulty
53 candidate interviews
Relevance Date Difficulty
in

Accepted Offer

Neutral Experience

Senior Fellow Interview

Senior Fellow

I applied online and interviewed at NIH.

Interview Details – saw the job on usajobs.gov and lots of paper works, and lengthy process, interview is about half a way, presentation, meetings and not a lot of hard questions but saw both the scientific and clinical directors.

Interview Question – where do you live   Answer Question


Accepted Offer

Positive Experience

Easy Interview

IRTA Technical Fellow Interview

IRTA Technical Fellow

I applied through other source and the process took 4 months - interviewed at NIH in February 2014.

Interview Details – I found the available position on an online job forum for my specific field of research. The job description provided a point of contact which I submitted my resume and cover letter to. It was a slow process. I had two telephone interview over the course of 4 months. The interview questions were standard, focusing on my prior experience, research interests, and professional skills. I was asked to talk them through projects I worked on in the past and my career goals. I was offered the position a few days after my second interview.

Interview Question – Be prepared to give an in depth explanation of your previous research projects. Be able to give specific examples of experience with computer software programs if applicable.   Answer Question

Negotiation Details – IRTAs are provided a salary stipend table. The salary is calculated based on education level and years of experience.


Accepted Offer

Positive Experience

Easy Interview

Visiting Fellow Interview

Visiting Fellow

I applied online and the process took a day - interviewed at NIH in December 2010.

Interview Details – I applied through the online NIH application site for a specified posting. I received a response immediately from the PI. I was invited for an interview but paid my own way as I was coming to the area anyway. Casual 1-day interview. Typical for a science position. I gave a 1 hour lecture to the lab and met with lab member throughout the day.

Interview Question – Nothing too difficult but it was important to explain I had a vision for why I wanted to come here,   Answer Question

Negotiation Details – No negotiations


Accepted Offer

Neutral Experience

Average Interview

Human Resources Specialist Interview

Human Resources Specialist
Rockville, MD

I applied through a recruiter and the process took 2 weeks - interviewed at NIH.

Interview Details – Contacted by an NIH recruiter inviting me to apply to the Pathways Recent Graduate program. Quick screening interview over the phone and an in-person interview a few days later. The interview was a panel with 9 or 10 managers at once who all had openings to fill. Given job offer shortly after.

Interview Question – I did not find the questions too difficult. Most difficult thing was juggling separate questions from so many interviewers but still try to make answers relevant to anyone since they were looking to fill multiple positions.   Answer Question

Negotiation Details – No negotiation. This is government so there are policies and legislation on how agencies set pay.


Accepted Offer

Neutral Experience

Very Easy Interview

Facilities Program Specialist Interview

Facilities Program Specialist
Bethesda, MD

I applied through other source and the process took 4 weeks - interviewed at NIH in May 2013.

Interview Details – The hire process is the typical goverment hiring process. The Interview was a panel of three personnel with situational questions. The personnel on the hiring panel did not have the same level of education as I do and were not aware of some of the information that I was giving them upon answering thier questions.

Interview Question – The most difficult question was, Why I felt I was the best person for the job?   Answer Question

Negotiation Details – No negotiation.


Accepted Offer

Neutral Experience

Easy Interview

Administrative Interview

Administrative
Bethesda, MD

I applied through a staffing agency and the process took a day - interviewed at NIH.

Interview Details – Just a one on one interview with two separate staff members. Interviewing process is definitely different depending on the position in which you are applying for. My interviewer asked several questions regarding previous employment positions and asked for me to elaborate about my role and tasks performed during my employment with that company.

Interview Question – None that I can think during my interview.   Answer Question

Negotiation Details – No negotiations.


No Offer

Positive Experience

Easy Interview

Contract Research Assistant Interview

Contract Research Assistant

I applied through college or university and the process took 1+ week - interviewed at NIH in June 2014.

Interview Details – Learned the opportunity from college/university career center and applied via email. Three days after application got an email scheduling phone interview, which is one week later. The interview lasted for 30 minutes. Questions were pretty routine: introduce yourself, why you are interested in working at NIH, what is the most fulfilling part of your master program, etc.

Interview Question – Pretty normal. Nothing unexpected   Answer Question


Accepted Offer

Positive Experience

Easy Interview

Intern Interview

Intern

I applied online and interviewed at NIH.

Interview Details – Contacted via phone after applied on the Federal Governments job board. It was not much of an interview and I found it to be straightforward. My resume consisted of 6 years working in the same environment within the government as a contactor and then as an employee. With this being said I imagine the recruiter saw that it was a one to one comparison for where I was coming from to where I was going and quickly asked if I would like the job.

Interview Question – Position was open and felt like it needed to be filled right away so the most difficult question was would like to work there and that pay.   Answer Question


Accepted Offer

Positive Experience

Postdoctoral Research Fellow Interview

Postdoctoral Research Fellow
Bethesda, MD

I applied online and the process took 4 months - interviewed at NIH in October 2010.

Interview Details – The hiring and Interview Process is Completely depend upon the area of specialization of the candidate and the prospective principal investigator at NIH. The interview generally happens with resume review, then a telephone (sometimes Skype) interview, next is on campus interview. International candidates may not have onsite interview. Generally straight forward; Hardly any behavioral questions. The candidates are asked to give a presentation and meet other section chiefs. Process may go unto 3-4 months

Interview Question – Generally straight forward; Hardly any behavioral questions   Answer Question

Negotiation Details – No negotiation.


Accepted Offer

Neutral Experience

Senior Java Developer Interview

Senior Java Developer

Interviewed at NIH

Interview Details – I got an immediate on site interview. Walked into a room of about 10 people which was a bit unexpected. Everyone was friendly. They asked good tough questions, both conceptual and trivia programming questions. Overall a good experience.

Interview Question – SQL questions which I don't remember anymore.   Answer Question

Negotiation Details – I'm still deciding.

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