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    Program Examiner Interview

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

    I applied online. The process took 1 week - interviewed at Office of Management and Budget in November 2011.

    Interview Details

    I was phoned and asked to come in for an interview later that same week. It was difficult to fit it in, given such short notice, but I managed to make it work since I was a local candidate.

    I waited in the lobby for 15 minutes. Everyone who walked through the door said, "good morning!"

    "What a great start," I thought to myself.

    I was interviewed by a panel of three people, one branch chief and two program examiners. The branch chief was much too serious for my taste. He acted like he was screening people to be Navy SEALs. Before introducing himself or welcoming me, he started off by saying, "This place is sink or swim! Sink or swim! Do you think you can handle that kind of pressure!?" I told them I was very buoyant....which produced not one hint of a smile.

    Uh oh.

    In the beginning of the interview, during the introductions, I asked some additional questions about the background of the panel, so I could better understand how I would fit into the team. I was told that I would be permitted to ask questions at the end of the interview, and my time had not come yet.

    I would give a detailed account of a project I completed at work, only for them to follow up with, "Can't you give us an answer that's more substantive?"

    They're sharp people. Really smart; The rumors about OMB attracting the brightest people in gov't might just be true. I was especially impressed with the poise of the younger interviewers.

    However...I would never work there. Ever. Does being intelligent and good at your job preclude being a warm and welcoming person? Was it all just a ruse to see how I'd react under pressure? Who knows, but I'm sure they miss out on a lot of great candidates with that ridiculous interviewing style. By some accounts, I'm an accomplished, hard-working, happy-go-lucky person. But that's clearly not the type of automaton they're seeking to fill their ranks.

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