National Democratic Institute Interview Questions

Updated May 26, 2015
25 Interview Reviews

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  1.  

    Program Manager Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Washington, DC
    Accepted Offer
    Neutral Experience
    Average Interview

    Application

    I applied online. The process took 2+ weeksinterviewed at National Democratic Institute (Washington, DC).

    Interview

    First phone interview, then face to face at the hiring agency. Then I got called in the offices where I had to meet my supervisor, followed by a phone call with my supervisor's supervisor and finally the group interview.

    Interview Questions

  2.  

    Program Officer Interview

    Anonymous Employee in Washington, DC
    No Offer
    Negative Experience
    Average Interview

    Application

    I applied through an employee referral. The process took 2+ monthsinterviewed at National Democratic Institute (Washington, DC) in January 2015.

    Interview

    Typically, there is a 20-minute phone screening, two-hour writing test, 90-minute in-person panel interview, and, if you make it to the final round, an interview with the team director. I had applied and interviewed for positions with this same team at NDI previously, so this time around I did not have to do the phone screening nor the writing test. There is no language testing, which I thought was odd for a regional team -- typically in this field, strong foreign language abilities are requisite for this type of work, if not highly desirable.

    The in-person interview lasted for about two hours, and I met with a Program Manager and a Program Assistant. They asked some standard behavioral questions, as well as some questions about politics in the region to assess my knowledge of the main issues. They also described the programs that I would be managing, which the Program Assistant (despite being just out of college with no other relevant work experience), was singlehandedly backstopping. I asked some questions about the team and organizational culture, and they were very forthcoming about NDI's bureaucratic nature and lack of opportunities for professional development. Finally, they said that it could be a long time before they would be in touch about the final round, but they did ask for my references before concluding the interview.

    Over six weeks have passed since the interview, and I haven't received any more information or even an automated rejection email. I followed up with my interviewers a few weeks ago and didn't receive any response. I found out through informal channels that the team instead hired an intern/Project Assistant to help with these programs (instead of a Program Officer)... That seems really fishy to me, especially given that these programs warrant management from a more seasoned employee, as opposed to the skills of an intern. I thought the experience was a tremendous waste of time, and it was unprofessional on the part of the hiring managers to not at least send some sort of "thanks, but no thanks" message. I can safely say that I will not be applying for any positions with NDI in the future.

    Interview Questions

    • Tell us about a time when you had to work with a difficult person.   1 Answer
  3.  

    Intern Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    Accepted Offer

    Application

    I applied online. The process took 2 weeksinterviewed at National Democratic Institute.

    Interview

    I got invited for a phone interview over a month after I submitted my application. The process itself was quick and easy. Interview questions focused on what I knew about the organization, why I was interested in the position I applied for, and how I thought it would benefit my future career path. Orientation is a bit much, especially for an intern position, but it turns out to be useful once you're actually working.

    Interview Questions

    • How did you first hear about NDI? This question threw me off because I wasn't sure how to answer it - at my university it was so well known, it was almost like asking how I first heard about the US government.   Answer Question
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  5.  

    Project Assistant Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Average Interview

    Application

    I applied online. The process took 3 weeksinterviewed at National Democratic Institute.

    Interview

    Applied online, phone interview two weeks later with junior staff team members, a one hour timed writing test the next week, reference check and then extended offer. The junior staff members are all potential supervisors and they make the final decisions on whether to hire you or not. Questions were pretty straightforward. Writing test is just to make sure you have basic writing skills and competencies, so don't be too stressed.

    Interview Questions

    • What is something of interest to you that is happening in the region?   1 Answer

    Negotiation

    None. The pay is set. But be aware- it varies based on your experience, but they don't tell you this. Three pay levels- one for current undergrads, one for graduates, and then one for master degree graduates/students. Pretty unfair for undergrads- considering the same level of work is being done by all.

  6.  

    Technical Trainer Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    Accepted Offer
    Negative Experience
    Easy Interview

    Application

    I applied through a recruiter – interviewed at National Democratic Institute.

    Interview

    Initial interview was with Tech Director, and he was multitasking during the interview. It was held at the office of the recruiting firm NDI used, and I was shown into a conference room where he was working on papers, making calls, and working on his laptop. I sat quietly until he engaged me, and he remained distracted throughout the interview. He conveyed he was a very important and busy person, which I'd like to believe I responded to with wry amusement. His questions were cursory, and I had no feedback about the result. However, the next day I had a phone interview with my supervisor, and got the job.

  7.  

    Program Assistant, Monitoring and Evaluation Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Washington, DC
    Accepted Offer
    Neutral Experience
    Average Interview

    Application

    I applied through college or university. The process took 5+ monthsinterviewed at National Democratic Institute (Washington, DC) in April 2014.

    Interview

    The application process was quite lengthy. When I did get called for an interview, it was a very quick turnaround with minimal flexibility in terms of scheduling. Essentially, after nearly four months of waiting, I received an email on a Monday, asking me to come in on Tuesday or Wednesday. So there wasn't much time to prepare.

    That being said, the interview itself was prompt and professional. The first hour was a brief writing test and data analysis exercise. Very simple, just testing basic writing and data analysis skills while seeing how well an applicant can think on their feet with minimal prior information.

    The second hour was a standard interview. They were very understanding of any gaps in knowledge, knowing that their line of work is quite complicate at times. So it was in part an "orientation" as well as an interview. Most of the questions revolved around material on my resume, asking me to elaborate.

    Interview Questions

    • Please explain how your experience, which is not particularly relevant to M&E, will help you be successful in this role, based on what you have learned today thus far.   Answer Question
  8.  

    Project Assistant Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Average Interview

    Application

    I applied online. The process took 3 weeksinterviewed at National Democratic Institute in April 2014.

    Interview

    The hiring and interview process was smooth. I was contacted for a preliminary phone interview, after which I had a second, longer, phone interview with three current staff members. They asked basic interview questions: why am I interested in working for NDI, what experience do I have, how do I handle x, y, z. Then I was asked to completed a 1-hour written exam and submit three references and a writing sample.

    Interview Questions

    Negotiation

    There was not a negotiation phase as project assistants are paid a set hourly wage.

  9.  

    Project Assistant Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Average Interview

    Application

    I applied online. The process took 2 weeksinterviewed at National Democratic Institute.

    Interview

    3- part interview process: 1) phone interview. 2) language abilities test (if interviewing for a regional team), 3) face-to-face interview. Be sure to know what is going on in your particular region. Read the news, talk to people that know about the region, and do your research of the organization.

    Interview Questions

    • What is going on in X part of the world?   1 Answer
  10.  

    Project Assistant Interview

    Anonymous Employee
    No Offer
    Average Interview

    Application

    I applied online. The process took 4 weeksinterviewed at National Democratic Institute.

    Interview

    Phone interview, the usual questions, walk me through your resume, how you can help the program, what have you learned from this specific position, your skills...Friendly and very polite interviewer.

    Interview Questions

  11. Helpful (1)  

    Senior Program Manager Interview

    Anonymous Employee in Washington, DC
    No Offer
    Positive Experience
    Average Interview

    Application

    I applied online. The process took 2 weeksinterviewed at National Democratic Institute (Washington, DC) in November 2013.

    Interview

    Found job ad on university career service email. Applied online. Was contacted within one week and arranged a 1-on-1 interview. Interviewer was very friendly. The interview was largely based on questions about personal background and familiarity with the specific region. I did not proceed to the second round of interview due to work authorization issues. (NDI rarely sponsors for work authorizations.)

    Interview Questions

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