RAND Interview Questions

Updated Apr 29, 2015
14 Interview Reviews

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14 Candidate Interview Reviews Back to all Interviews

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  1. Helpful (2)  

    Solutions Architect Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Santa Monica, CA
    No Offer
    Positive Experience
    Easy Interview

    Application

    I applied through a recruiter. The process took a week. I interviewed at RAND (Santa Monica, CA) in April 2015.

    Interview

    First I had a phone screen. Then, a few days later, I went in for a face-to-face interview with the hiring manager, three of his colleagues, and finally, a brief stop to an HR person. On the face of it, I seemed to be a perfect fit for their stated requirements. The manager said they were looking for someone eager to learn new technologies, explain them, and demo them to various parties. Well, no-one loves to learn new technology and can explain them better than I can! They were a bit behind the times, just starting to move to AWS, for instance. Also, they were just starting to look at using Hadoop, which seemed a little behind the times for a research organization that analyzed data. The manager explained to me that the old CIO had allowed deep attrition during the whole sequestration debacle within the government. Now they were looking to expand staffing again. The interviews did not press me or place me under any kind of stress. They had expressed some concern to the staffing recruiter that I had a consulting background, and perhaps they were afraid I wouldn't stay there in their organization for the long term. They "deliberated" about the interview for two days, so they must have struggled with some issue. Or perhaps some liked me and others didn't. At any rate, they didn't proceed to the next level, which would have been a second face-to-face, where I met some of the research developers.

    Interview Questions

    • To explain something which I had architected, so they could see the thought process and approach.   1 Answer
  2. Helpful (1)  

    Linux Systems Administrator Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Pittsburgh, PA
    No Offer
    Neutral Experience
    Difficult Interview

    Application

    I applied through a recruiter. The process took 2 weeks. I interviewed at RAND (Pittsburgh, PA) in October 2014.

    Interview

    First I interviewed with the hiring manager over the phone for about an hour. This was an easy, conversational interview that went well. Following that, I had to do an online exercise to demonstrate my linux administration skills. They send you an email 30 minutes before the exercise telling you how to login to the exercise and giving basic facts about the administration problem your will solve. It is moderately difficult and you won't do well unless you know your way around a Linux system. I apparently did well enough to get an in-person interview at the Pittsburgh location. The interview was a panel type, with the first interviews with technical folks and then an HR person. Then I had an hour with the IT director followed by a couple more interviews with technical folks who were probing to determine my sysadmin chops. The whole thing was about 4 hours.

    Interview Questions

  3. Helpful (4)  

    Research Assistant Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    No Offer
    Positive Experience
    Average Interview

    Application

    I applied online. The process took 3+ months. I interviewed at RAND in July 2014.

    Interview

    I was contacted about 2 months after I applied online. When I went to RAND, I spoke with a series of research scientists and was asked to discuss my thesis, the writing sample I had submitted, and talk through my research experience. Everyone was very friendly, it wasn't a normal behavioral interview at all. I had a lot of friendly conversations about my interests and experience. I also had lunch with current employees in the position I was applying for. It was a very nice experience all-around; I was disappointed not to receive the offer a month later.

    Interview Questions

    • I was asked to explain why I chose specific statistical analyses in the data analysis section of my thesis. I wrote it and spent a lot of time on it, so I didn't struggle responding. The research scientist asked detailed follow up questions about specific analyses I mentioned.   Answer Question
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  5. Helpful (3)  

    Project Associate Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    No Offer
    Neutral Experience
    Average Interview

    Application

    I applied online. The process took 3+ months. I interviewed at RAND.

    Interview

    The process was long and scattered. But I was able to do the phone and site visit after 2.5 months of application. The position description does not match the actual role. So make sure you ask in details. When I learned about the actual role on site, I was not as interested because it wasn't a good match. The project director asked why my cover letter was so short, and seemed to doubt the decisions I made in my career paths. Her questions also seemed to test and challenge me in an unfriendly way. The peer interview was very casual and cordial. I enjoyed it.

    Interview Questions

    • what would you do on your starting day in this role? what do you think about surveys? why you want to leave your current job?   Answer Question
  6.  

    Sociologist Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate in New York, NY
    No Offer
    Easy Interview

    Application

    I applied online. The process took 1 day. I interviewed at RAND (New York, NY).

    Interview

    The interview was held in the ASA conference. I was interviewed by a senior researcher. Interview questions are not difficult and within my expectation. He asked about my Ph.D. research, what kind of dataset I use. He also talked about what it is like working in RAND as well as the potential career path.

  7.  

    Contracts Administrator Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    No Offer

    Interview

    First contacted by a phone interviewer. Basic questions; describe your past experience, why are you the best candidate for this position? etc. I then received an e mail about a day later and invited me back for an in-person interview. I first met with a human resources representative, Again, same basic questions and she also went over the benefits and the rest of the interview process. Then meet with the Associate Director of Contracts. More detailed questions, not really about my experience or skills but more scenario based. Next people I met with were to co-workers, who I would be working directly with. One person was leaving to another position in the company and the other was taking her position. So, I imagined that I would be filling the open position. More of a friendly interview, some of my favorite hobbies and my negotiation skills and computer skills. Last person I met with was the Director of Contracts. The shortest interview of them all and very similar to the interview with the Associate Director. They informed me that they had another week of interviews left but I would definitely be contacted if I was offered the job or that they were no longer pursuing my candidacy. I didn't receive any correspondence for 3 weeks and even sent a follow up with the Associate Director. I then received a phone call from a human resource rep and she said that they were no longer pursuing my candidacy. They even mentioned that they didn't hire any candidates from the interviews and were going to do another round of interviews which I wouldn't be invited back to.

    Interview Questions

    • Most of the unexpected questions came from the other contract administrators, which they had mentioned the found off the internet. One example is, What is your idealistic job and what is your realistic job?   Answer Question
  8. Helpful (2)  

    Telephone Interviewer Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Santa Monica, CA
    No Offer
    Negative Experience
    Easy Interview

    Application

    I applied online. The process took 2 weeks. I interviewed at RAND (Santa Monica, CA) in September 2013.

    Interview

    Apply on line, then received telephone interview, then in person group interview with computer test. Don't spend a lot of time reviewing the area of research you are being hired for. This was a position for Medicare Research and they really did not care to much if you knew anything. I was friendly and outgoing as that is my personality after being in the counseling field for 30 plus years. I think it worked against me. The phone interview was like talking to a robot. The group interview had a panel of 3 people. The supervisor for the Telephone interview area was unfriendly, made no eye contact, uninterested in people, he made no comments and only asked his share of questions. It was apparent the three had split up what to ask. He was slouching in his chair and uninterested in the process at all. I may be wrong but he wanted people who ask survey question, type in data fast and nothing else. Interview lasted 1 1/2 hours. They did not tell you at the end how you would be notified of results but the training started the next week. I emailed the HR contact and she was nice enough to tell me that those who were hired had been call already. MORE than a week after the training started they sent an email stating I was not qualified!!! What I don't get is why tell me I am qualified for the group interview but then use lack of qualifications for the excuse of no hire. Awful people with NO people skills. Make you go through through all this for a low paying job.

    Interview Questions

  9. Helpful (4)  

    Web Producer Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Pittsburgh, PA
    No Offer
    Neutral Experience
    Difficult Interview

    Application

    The process took 1 day. I interviewed at RAND (Pittsburgh, PA) in December 2010.

    Interview

    I applied for the RAND Web Producer position by answering an online ad. Over a month later, I was contacted by their HR manager to schedule an in-person interview. She was very personable and helpful in letting me know where the office was and what I needed to do to get signed in and registered. I wore business formal (suit) to the interview, which was appropriate for this interview. The employees were dressed in "nice" casual and informal business casual. The HR manager got me prepared in the conference room and gave me a packet about their benefits, and then we went through the interview process. It took about two hours. I had several conference calls with managers in Santa Monica (corporate headquarters), as well as a panel interview, 1:1 interviews, and a chat with the HR person in California. Most of the interview questions were easy. However, there were several I found difficult to answer. They kept asking why I voluntarily changed duties at my current job, and seemed concerned that I was at a higher management level than the position required. The man who interviewed me also chose to ask many questions that were more fitting of a stress interview. He seemed to also feel the position was a bit low-level for me. He questioned several times whether I was able to work independently, since I was so used to being a manager. The job didn't sound appealing in the end. It had a strict 8:30-5:30 or 9-6 schedule, with an hour for lunch. The duties were also not in my area of interest. I was in a creative position at that time, and the described job duties were very heavy on analytics gathering and reporting, which don't interest me. I also didn't appreciate the inflexibility of the role, or how quiet and sterile the office environment seemed. There wasn't a lot of room for growth or upward mobility, and the youngest employee there was around 35. (This may be a Pittsburgh thing more than a RAND thing, though.) For the last interview, which was a private conference call with the HR lady in Santa Monica, they left me alone in the room. I could see my college apartment from the conference room window, and halfway through our call, I realized I was straying far from my major and from my career goals in taking this job. At this point I realized the job was not for me, but I finished out the interview to be polite. No one remembered I was in there, so I had to come out and find people to conclude the interview and show me out. I wrote a series of thank-you notes the next day, in which I announced I was withdrawing my application. A month later, they sent me a rejection form letter by e-mail.

    Interview Questions

    • Describe a conflict you had with a co-worker and how you solved it. Please be specific.   Answer Question
  10.  

    Proposal Position - Santa Monica Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Santa Monica, CA
    No Offer
    Negative Experience
    Difficult Interview

    Application

    I applied online. The process took 1 day. I interviewed at RAND (Santa Monica, CA) in July 2009.

    Interview

    This is a review for a position from several years ago - approximately 2009. I received a phone interview for a proposal position for which I fit hand in glove. Not only did I have the proposal experience, I had education in science and political science (graduate degree), and experience in medicine - all which were related to the types of proposals I would be working. The head of the proposal department called and obviously had only briefly scanned my resume. When he asked if I had any experience in anything other than MS Word and any desktop publishing or graphics experience, I said I did. He clearly expected a "no" and was taken aback then stated I didn't need such experience. (?) I stated he just asked me and the job description also required it. He then began to actually read my resume and I could tell that he was going to do whatever to block me from working at RAND. He was seeking someone lesser than what the position description actually required. Clearly, he was one of those people who ensure no one too skilled is in his line of subordinates. To guarantee I didn't walk through the door for an interview where someone may have said "hire this person," he ended the conversation swiftly by selecting the least skilled item in my resume (desktop publishing) and stated that is who I really was and - get this - stated that made me unqualified for the position. When I pointed out that my resume did not reflect that, he began screeching at me to end it right there.

  11. Helpful (1)  

    Associate Economist Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    No Offer

    Application

    I applied online. The process took 4+ weeks. I interviewed at RAND.

    Interview

    30-40 min interviews/ challenging questions about research

    Interview Questions

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