RAND Interview Questions

Updated Jun 7, 2014
Updated Jun 7, 2014
28 Interview Reviews

Interview Experience

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Candidate Interview Reviews

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  1.  

    Project Associate Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    Application Details

    I applied in-person. The process took 6+ weeks - interviewed at RAND.

    Interview Details

    Day long process with 8 30-minute interviews with current researchers

    Interview Questions
    Negotiation Details
    RAND does not really feel the need to negotiate with proseptive employees
    Accepted Offer
  2.  

    Applications/Systems Analyst Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate  in  Santa Monica, CA
    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Santa Monica, CA
    Application Details

    I applied through a recruiter. The process took 1 week - interviewed at RAND in August 2011.

    Interview Details

    I was contacted by a technology recruiting firm for contract position. I was interviewed first by the recruiting company and twice over the phone with 2 of RAND's employees. I was hired within the week and started the following Monday.

    Interview Questions
    • There were no unexpected questions. All questions were aimed at my skill set and experience with IS applications and resolving issues and understanding of delivering specific projects.   View Answer
    Negotiation Details
    The negotiation I had was with the recruiting 3rd party and my usual rate as a contractor was accepted.
    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Easy Interview
  3. 2 people found this helpful  

    Associate Physical Scientist Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate  in  Santa Monica, CA
    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Santa Monica, CA
    Application Details

    I applied online. The process took 3+ months - interviewed at RAND in May 2012.

    Interview Details

    Submitted application online in February. 6 weeks later I had a phone interview. 2 weeks after that I had another phone interview (with a second researcher). Both phone interviews went well.

    About three weeks later I received a job offer from a different institution. I e-mailed my RAND point-of-contact and told them I'd love to be able to consider RAND when making the decision. They called me back and said they would "rush" the scheduling to bring me out for an interview. I interviewed about a week later (3 months after I originally submitted the online application).

    The interview was all day, from 8 am to ~4:30 pm. It involved about 7 one-on-one discussions with RAND researchers, a discussion with two researchers over a nice lunch, and my seminar on my postdoctoral research. My seminar was given in a conference room with ~6 attendees from the local office (Santa Monica), and about 3 or so attendees from other offices (Pittsburgh, Washington D.C.) via telecon and sharing my powerpoint screen over the web. 1.5 hours was allotted for my seminar. The attendees asked some good questions, but I was well prepared since the topic was my research of the past 3 years. (This type of all-day interview with a seminar presentation is typical in my field.)

    The day ended with a discussion with HR about benefits and salary expectations. About 2 weeks later I received a phone call and a verbal offer. I asked for 2 days to consider, then called them back and accepted the offer. This was 3.5 months after my initial online application.

    I'm not sure how long the process would have taken if I had not called them to notify them that I had another offer.

    Interview Questions
    • The questions about my research were well-thought out, but none of them were too challenging because they were questions I had answered before. Most of the interview questions seemed to be focused on assessing how amenable I would be to working in policy research, given that my background was more technical data analysis and physics research. So there was recognition that I would be making a bit of change in my career by coming to RAND, and most people seemed to be trying to assess how I felt about that. It was more gauging my interests and attitude than my technical expertise, I think.   Answer Question
    Negotiation Details
    I didn't negotiate. The offer was a good one, so I took it.
    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Average Interview
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  5.  

    Computer Ops Specialist Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate  in  Santa Monica, CA
    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Santa Monica, CA
    Application Details

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

    Interview Details

    Three people interview, nice but awkward intellectual type people, low stress questions.

    Interview Questions
    • How does your previous experience translate to this position?   Answer Question
    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Average Interview
  6.  

    Proposal Position - Santa Monica Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate  in  Santa Monica, CA
    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Santa Monica, CA
    Application Details

    I applied online. The process took a day - interviewed at RAND in July 2009.

    Interview Details

    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.

    No Offer
    Negative Experience
    Difficult Interview
  7. 1 person found this helpful  

    Librarian Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate  in  Santa Monica, CA
    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Santa Monica, CA
    Application Details

    I applied online. The process took 6+ weeks - interviewed at RAND.

    Interview Details

    Had first round interview via phone. Second round interview was in person. Met most of the staff I would be working with, had lunch and various round table sessions. Gave me a chance to get to know most of the staff I would be working with, ask questions and be asked questions. Appreciated getting to spend most of the day with them so that I could get a sense of the culture and who I would be working with.

    Interview Questions
    • Nothing unusual was asked during the interview process. Very professional and typical questions were asked.   Answer Question
    Negotiation Details
    Pretty straight forward. I was given an offer, I gave a counter offer and we met somewhere in the middle.
    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Average Interview
  8. 1 person found this helpful  

    Researcher Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate  in  Santa Monica, CA
    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Santa Monica, CA
    Application Details

    I applied online. The process took a day - interviewed at RAND in June 2011.

    Interview Details

    Phone interview, then back-to-back meetings with 6 staff members. The staff were good listeners, asked smart questions and let me know that it was a great place to work. I set some boundaries early on by saying that I needed work-life balance and that was very much supported.

    Interview Questions
    • Describe the process you would undertake for this specific project and they system your would put in place to carry it out.   Answer Question
    Negotiation Details
    I named a price and they countered with something very close. Plus, the benefits are amazing. 4 weeks vacation with bonus pay for actually taking the days, plus they contribute 10%-14% of your salary to retirement!
    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Average Interview
  9. 1 person found this helpful  

    Web Producer Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate  in  Pittsburgh, PA
    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Pittsburgh, PA
    Application Details

    The process took a day - interviewed at RAND in December 2010.

    Interview Details

    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
    No Offer
    Neutral Experience
    Difficult Interview
  10. 2 people found this helpful  

    Associate Political Scientist Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate  in  Santa Monica, CA
    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Santa Monica, CA
    Application Details

    I applied through an employee referral. The process took a day - interviewed at RAND in September 2008.

    Interview Details

    Had interviews with HR, several peers, some senior associates and the hiring manager who is a part-time manager-part time researcher. Also gave a 1 hr presentation on my research to anyone at any RAND office who wished to attend. Fielded questions from the audience--mostly about methods.

    Everyone who interviews you or attends your presentation can write a review of you and make a hiring recommendation. The hiring manager pools all of these reviews and tries to see whether people who have funded projects might need someone with your expertise in the coming year. These people have to commit to using you for the first year.

    Interview Questions
    • Most of the difficult questions were methods questions about my presentation--so those are easy to prepare answers. Some of the harder questions were challenges from the presentation audience on my findings because they found something different to be true.   View Answer
    Negotiation Details
    I was offered the position and didn't really negotiate because I thought it was my dream job and I was assured my salary would quickly become commensurate with others'. It did. I got several salary increases just because an assessment had been done and mine was too low about 6 months into my time there.
    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Difficult Interview
  11.  

    Administrative Assistant Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate  in  Arlington, VA
    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Arlington, VA
    Application Details

    I applied online. The process took 2 days - interviewed at RAND in July 2009.

    Interview Details

    I applied online in December 2008 and got a call from RAND in the spring of 2009. I was interviewed over the phone, then had to pass a computer-based test on my skills in Word, Excel, PowerPoint, typing, proofreading, etc. I passed and got a second call to come in for an interview. Three researchers interviewed me, each separately; all three of them were very enthusiastic and cordial. A few days later I got an offer which I couldn't refuse. RAND offers great benefits (health insurance, 15 vacation days a year, retirement plan) and has a very friendly work environment.

    Interview Questions
    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Difficult Interview

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3 people found this helpful

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