Smithsonian Interview Questions

Updated May 30, 2015
24 Interview Reviews

Interview Experience

Interview Experience

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17%
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Getting an Interview

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Candidate Interview Reviews

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  1.  

    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Average Interview

    Application

    I applied online – interviewed at Smithsonian.

    Interview

    I was contacted for a phone interview because I was not in DC at the time. I was interviewed by two of the coordinators who were very friendly. I cannot remember how long it took me to hear back (for interview or their decision) but I emailed them asking when I would hear back since I was offered another internship else where. One of the interviewers said I would hear soon and I received the call the next day.

    Interview Questions

  2.  

    Intern Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Easy Interview

    Application

    I applied online. The process took 1+ weekinterviewed at Smithsonian.

    Interview

    I submitted an application through SOLAA, which is the Smithsonian's online application management site. The application asked for two recs, a resume, and a cover letter. I got an email about a week later scheduling a phone interview; we then had a phone interview. The interview was pretty easy, got the offer essentially on the spot.

    Interview Questions

  3.  

    Director Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    Accepted Offer
    Neutral Experience
    Average Interview

    Application

    I applied online. The process took 3+ monthsinterviewed at Smithsonian.

    Interview

    Interview was day-long process. Some staff were significantly tardy. The room for the interview was in disrepair. The questioning was standard, nothing unique. Although I interviewed all day, my direct reports were not included on the schedule.

    Interview Questions

    Negotiation

    Negotiate vacation time, salary, retirement benefits.

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  5. Helpful (1)  

    Program Specialist Interview

    Anonymous Employee in Washington, DC
    Declined Offer
    Negative Experience
    Average Interview

    Application

    I applied online. The process took 3+ monthsinterviewed at Smithsonian (Washington, DC) in January 2015.

    Interview

    They contacted in 2-3 weeks .They took the interview & said they are interested & asked for written documents & technical paper. Then they did not replied back for months and when I did a follow up came to know they want to interview more people and reopened the position. Then after 4 months they said they are again interested and wanted me to come for second round of interview .In the second interview they said we downgraded the position for lower pay scale let us know if you are still interested. The salary they offered was less then what I am earning right now . so I declined the offer .

    Interview Questions

    • We have downgraded the position grade Are you still interested in joining the Company ?   Answer Question
  6.  

    Retail Associate Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Easy Interview

    Application

    I applied in-person. The process took a weekinterviewed at Smithsonian.

    Interview

    I submitted an application and was contacted within a day. An interview was scheduled for the same week. The interview was a standard form package of about three pages, and the questions were all your standard "What's a time when you've gone above and beyond for a job?" and "What makes you a team player?" They were so general that I actually had a little bit of difficulty thinking of an answer that didn't sound phony or naive. After those questions was a very basic math test to make sure you can give a customer change correctly.

    Interview Questions

    • "If you suspected someone of shoplifting, what would you do?" This one was hard because the procedure really varies from employer to employer, but your basic "Watch the customer, then notify a supervisor and security" pretty much covers it. Again, all the questions seemed very general and cutesy to me, so they were all difficult to answer without coming across as obnoxious.   Answer Question

    Negotiation

    There was really no negotiation. It was, "This is what we can pay you, and there are opportunities for a raise each year." That raise was something like $0.20 this year, so it was kind of insulting.

  7.  

    Museum Technician Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Washington, DC
    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Average Interview

    Application

    I applied online. The process took 6+ monthsinterviewed at Smithsonian (Washington, DC).

    Interview

    Initial contact and interview were clear but informal. The person conducting the interview was detailed about the expectations of when, where, and who of the interview including the dress code (which was informal). A single in person interview was conducted with introductions (after the interview) to other members of the work unit.

    Interview Questions

    • The interviewer asked technical questions directly related to the mechanics of doing the actual job. Although potentially difficult, these are questions that a person interviewing for this position would be comfortable answering. In fact I found the interview easy and relatively low stress (if such a thing is possible).   Answer Question

    Negotiation

    Ha! There was no negotiation. I was contacted by the HR department with the job offer (position and starting salary being offered). The negotiation consisted of either accepting their offer or declining employment.

  8.  

    Intern Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Washington, DC
    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Easy Interview

    Application

    I applied online – interviewed at Smithsonian (Washington, DC).

    Interview

    This was fairly simple. So long as you had the appropriate qualifications and a work ethic it seemed that they could accept you. The questions were very much along the lines of where you want to go in life. The interview was over the phone and was not stressful at all. As for after the acceptance there was a simple background check and everything else was fairly straight forward.

    Interview Questions

    • I wouldn't say that there was anything truly unexpected.   Answer Question
  9. Helpful (2)  

    Editorial Assistant Interview

    Anonymous Employee in Washington, DC
    No Offer
    Positive Experience
    Difficult Interview

    Application

    I applied online. The process took 5+ weeksinterviewed at Smithsonian (Washington, DC) in February 2014.

    Interview

    Sent application via email in late January, interview happened in early February; didn't find out about company decision until early March.

    Was told repeatedly that the position was very competitive, many, many applicants received.

    Emailed first for a very brief phone interview basically confirming my interest and asking for an in-person interview. Came in for the in-person interview and spoke with two editors. Questions were more casual, personal, not the usual job interview questions. Shown around the office, asked about my background, etc.

    I received a personal phone call when I wasn't selected for the position; the interviewer actually apologized and expressed her regret that she couldn't hire me, which I appreciated, even if I was still deeply disappointed. Did not, however, receive feedback as to WHY I wasn't hired.

    Interview Questions

    • "If you weren't hired here, what job would you be working?"   1 Answer
  10.  

    Greeter Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Washington, DC
    Accepted Offer
    Negative Experience
    Easy Interview

    Application

    I applied online. The process took a weekinterviewed at Smithsonian (Washington, DC) in February 2014.

    Interview

    The interview process was simple and easy and very helpful to get the job. They were very simple and easy and i ended up getting the job on the spot which made life very easy and i was very thankful for the opportunity and yeah and yeah and yeah and yeah

  11.  

    Sergeant Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate in New York, NY
    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Average Interview

    Application

    I applied online. The process took 1 dayinterviewed at Smithsonian (New York, NY).

    Interview

    I applied online through USAjobs. I received notice that I got the interview. I went in front of a panel of interviewers whom each asked different questions. The interview lasted 45 minutes to an hour. The panel consisted of one security manager, one higher level supervisor, and the building manager.

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