Pew Charitable Trusts
Pew Charitable Trusts Interview Questions & Reviews
Getting an Interview
- Popular Job Titles:
- Senior Associate (5)
- Associate (4)
- Administrative Assistant (3)
- Manager (2)
- Administrative Assistant, Pew Center On the States (1)
- Executive Office (1)
- Pew Leadership Year Fellow (1)
- Some Sort of Higher Level Administrative Support Job (1)
- Specialist (1)
- Research Manager (1)
- Executive Assistant (1)
- Program Manager (1)
- Campaign Manager (1)
Executive Assistant Interview (Negative Experience; Difficult Interview)
I applied through a staffing agency and the process took 5 days - interviewed at Pew Charitable Trusts.
Interview Details – I was invited for an interview at Pew through an agency. The agency had already vetted my skills, and I had taken 4 separate Microsoft Office Suite and spelling/grammar tests. The HR person met me, and was very formal. Not a problem for me....she then insisted I do another grammar and another spelling test. I thought these were merely formalities - I was wrong. When she came back, she graded my grammar test in front of me and was very specific about the 3 mistakes I made. She made me feel like I was in 6th grade again and insisted lots of people get perfect scores. The whole tone of the interview turned decidedly frosty after that, and left me with a bad taste in my mouth. I was not called back - and after reading all the reviews about Pew's culture of intimidation and dysfunctional leadership, that's probably a good thing.
And strangely enough, this position is now hiring again, just a few years later.
Interview Question – I indicated that I wanted to find a position that was not like the law firms, as I found the atmosphere very rigid and conservative. HR person told me, "Well, Pew is run very much like a law firm". Answer Question
Senior Associate Interview (Negative Experience; Difficult Interview)
I applied online and the process took 4+ months - interviewed at Pew Charitable Trusts.
Interview Details – Applied through the online system, as well as enlisted the help of some friends/colleagues that work for the organization. About 6 weeks after submitting, I was contacted for a first interview with the HR representative. Within an hour of finishing that, I was contacted again to set up a second interview with the campaign manager. That was in late November, and I was told that they hoped to make a decision before the holidays. The new year came and went with no word, and around the middle of the month, I contacted the manager to see where they were in in their process, at which point I was told they were still interviewing. In a search for another bit of information on the Pew site about a week later, I came across a new name in the senior associate position on that campaign, but the job was still listed as open until about 2 weeks after that. I never heard anything back from anyone at Pew regarding not being successful, which,considering I was told I was a top candidate as well as a later follow-up, seems inconsiderate and unprofessional.
Interview Question – In the first round, they were very insistent on the salary requirements. Answer Question
Campaign Manager Interview (Neutral Experience)
Interviewed at Pew Charitable Trusts
Interview Details – Preliminary interview on phone was conducted. HR office called in response to application for another position to let me know that that one was already filled, but they did an informal interview to collect information to have on hand for future positions. Appreciated their effort in reaching out to me.
Interview Question – What are your salary requirements? Fairly persistent about that. View Answer
Specialist Interview (Neutral Experience; Easy Interview)
I applied online and the process took 2+ weeks - interviewed at Pew Charitable Trusts in December 2012.
Interview Details – The hiring manager wanted you to describe your last positions responsibilities, and about yourself.
Interview Question – The interviewing manager asked what type of manager do I like to work for. I explained one that is able to do all of our jobs and us as employees can learn from the manager. Well I guess she did not like the answer because I was not offered! Answer Question
Senior Associate Interview (Positive Experience; Easy Interview)
I applied online and the process took 5 months - interviewed at Pew Charitable Trusts in February 2010.
Interview Details – Applied online. Went through initial phone screening followed by three rounds of in-person interviews.
Negotiation Details – HR was very averse to negotiating. Acted like I should be happy just to get the chance to work at Pew. Rigid salary scale. Very unpleasant experience.
Program Manager Interview (Negative Experience; Average Interview)
I applied through an employee referral and the process took 5 months - interviewed at Pew Charitable Trusts in December 2008.
Interview Details – The recruiter that worked with me did not know much about the substance of the work that I would be doing (research), making it very difficult for me to make the case for my qualifications. She treated me with skepticism, emphasizing that people with my skill sets are easy to come by, and I should consider myself lucky to be considered for a position. I eventually took the job in spite of my experience with HR. After I started work, I found out that most of my colleagues felt the same way. Later still, when I served as hiring manager for many positions within my group, I found that HR was an obstacle to the recruitment process.
- Tell me about a time in your current or previous position that you played a role on a project in which you thought you really excelled, either because it made great use of your strengths or because you were especially proud of your contributions. Answer Question
- What is the culture like in your current position? What do you like most about it? Least about it? Answer Question
Negotiation Details – Pew does not negotiate. For each position, they have calculated salary "bands" that define the upper and lower limits for new hires. Years of experience - but not education - and most recently salary are factored into the offer.
Some Sort of Higher Level Administrative Support Job Interview (Negative Experience; Difficult Interview)
I applied through a recruiter and the process took 1 week - interviewed at Pew Charitable Trusts in February 2010.
Interview Details – I was sent by a recruiter who told me to practice behavioral based interview questions which I did. I arrived the standard 10 minutes early and waited in the lobby. I was given an editing test and got all but one correct--the one I got incorrect, I knew was ambiguous and I could have answered it if I had been able to ask a follow up question. I felt okay about the test, and was shown to the small office shared by two HR reps. I was seated in this office at a table that was at a diagonal, with my back to a wall and directly underneath a glaring overhead light. The two HR reps seated themselves across from me. I felt as if I was being interrogated, not interviewed. The impression was made that the person to whom I would report was difficult and capricious. I also got the impression that I would not get the job before I even began. It was an extremely unpleasant experience. By the time I left I no longer wanted the position. I am sure there are other find positions in this organization, but I felt that whoever got the job I interviewed for was in for trouble. I hope he or she fared well.
Interview Question – I was asked to relay my entire 20 plus work history, start to finish, as the two interviewers stared at me. Answer Question
Pew Leadership Year Fellow Interview (Negative Experience; Difficult Interview)
I applied online and the process took 3 weeks - interviewed at Pew Charitable Trusts in June 2011.
Interview Details – Initial contact with HR was great; very friendly, helpful and forthcoming. Initial phone interview (more like a "screening", really) with HR was brief (5-10 minutes) and focused on confirming resume/background. Followed up by two long-distance Skype interviews for 2 different positions. Scheduling these interviews was difficult. An assistant claimed to not be receiving all of my emails--just some, although none of them were bounced back to me. After scheduling, being canceled on and rescheduling, the interviews, they eventually happened via Skype with a panel of 2-3 people. These interviews lasted about 45 minutes to an hour and the panels were friendly but definitely formal with typical interview questions about strengths/weaknesses, leadership style, experiences, etc. After the interviews, for one position, I was notified by HR within a week of the interview that I did not receive an offer. For the other position, the notification dragged on for weeks. I had to email/call both HR and one of the interviewers several times after two weeks had gone by to get any information. For over a month I kept getting the line "we're still deciding and you should know by next week." Then after a month, I stopped receiving responses to my emails/phone messages. After eventually accepting another position elsewhere, I gave up trying to contact them to find out about the status of this position. So on the one hand, my interview process for one position was great (despite the fact that I did not receive an offer), but for the other it was very frustrating and unprofessional of them to have never notified me either way after a second interview. I'm assuming it was just an oversight and not the normal way HR is handled at Pew, but it still couldn't help coloring my assessment of their organization.
Interview Question – Tell me about a time when you had to work with someone who was difficult to get along with. What made the situation so difficult, and how did you deal with it? View Answer
Administrative Assistant Interview (Neutral Experience; Average Interview)
The process took 6 weeks - interviewed at Pew Charitable Trusts in January 2009.
Interview Details – I wwent through several rounds of interviews at Pew. Usually you start with HR interview plus skills test. Then you have at least 2 more interviews with the project team and hiring manager. An additional skills or writing test may be required. For higher level positions, you have a final interview with the Managing Director.
- Why Pew? Answer Question
- If you were presented with X situation, how would you go about addressing it? Answer Question
Negotiation Details – I did not negotiate, though I wish I had. Pew only gives annual raises of a small percentage (2.5-3%) and no bonuses. Negotiate!
Administrative Assistant, Pew Center On the States Interview (Negative Experience; Difficult Interview)
I applied online and the process took a day - interviewed at Pew Charitable Trusts in October 2009.
Interview Details – They seemed very excited to meet me. However, when I came in for the interview they advised me that before any 1:1 interviews, i would have to take a grammar test. I went to a top 10 school, and assumed this would be no problem. However, they use DOS operating software that is impossible to figure out in the very short time they allowed. They told me about 80% of applicants fail the exam, and I couldn't retake it until 30 days had passed. They politely thanked me, and sent me away. It was very disheartening - and I didn't go back.
Interview Question – Did not get any questions - only grammar questions that were phrased impossibly. Answer Question
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