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The process took 2 days - interviewed at National Geographic in April 2011.
I lived out of state, so the Project Manager from the department arranged a phone interview via e-mail and then called me precisely at the time he stated. National Geographic is a laid back culture, but the people are incredibly driven and from the ranks of top tier schools (georgetown, yale, penn...etc) However, if your niche (like mine) hails from an obscure university--have no fear--they are interested in your skillset and ability to pick up the slack in their department without instruction.
It is unclear to me whether it was my combination of unique skills or my open mindedness about where my career might go that led me to NatGeo, but it was extra fun and rewarding every day!
Words of advice, be yourself (if that self is humble, ambitious, smart and concerned about human interaction with geography.) Don't over-analyze, but be very prepared for questions pertaining to your exact skills--don't give vague answers, tell them how each skill will match what they've posted.
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