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Smithsonian Interview Questions

Updated Sep 30, 2014
Updated Sep 30, 2014
19 Interview Reviews

Interview Experience

Interview Experience

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16%
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Getting an Interview

Getting an Interview

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Interview Difficulty

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Candidate Interview Reviews

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  1.  

    Retail Associate Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    Application Details

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

    Interview Details

    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 Details
    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.
    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Easy Interview
  2.  

    Museum Technician Interview

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

    I applied online. The process took 6+ monthsinterviewed at Smithsonian.

    Interview Details

    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 Details
    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.
    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Average Interview
  3.  

    Intern Interview

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

    I applied online – interviewed at Smithsonian.

    Interview Details

    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
    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Easy Interview
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    Editorial Assistant Interview

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

    I applied online. The process took 5+ weeksinterviewed at Smithsonian in February 2014.

    Interview Details

    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?"   View Answer
    No Offer
    Positive Experience
    Difficult Interview
  6.  

    Sergeant Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate in New York, NY
    Anonymous Interview Candidate in New York, NY
    Application Details

    I applied online. The process took a dayinterviewed at Smithsonian.

    Interview Details

    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.

    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Average Interview
  7.  

    Major Gifts Officer Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    Application Details

    I applied online. The process took 2+ weeksinterviewed at Smithsonian in August 2013.

    Interview Details

    I received a very timely response requesting to meet for an interview. The support, management, and executive staff were all extremely friendly and personable. I met with the hiring director and executive director at once - this was very efficient for them and for me. During our interview, I really felt they'd taken the time out to look at my experience and skill set individually to consider how it would complement the other members of the team and their new goals. The interview felt very much like a team strategy meeting and less like a judge's panel; I found this to be a great way of getting a good send of how we could all work together. This was one of the better interviews I've had - no rapid-fire, cookie-cutter questions were asked in order to check them off a template.

    Interview Questions
    • What do you think will be the most difficult challenge to taking on this higher role - the aspect of the job which you have the least amount of experience in and the highest learning curve to achieve the desired results?   Answer Question
    No Offer
    Positive Experience
    Average Interview
  8.  

    Program Coordinator Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    Interview Details

    First round selection, the resume and coverletter;
    then, if you pass, you would obtain the interview opportunity;
    and the interview would be through skype or telephone.
    Only one interview is needed.

    Interview Questions
    Accepted Offer
  9.  

    E-Marketing Intern Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    Interview Details

    The interview was brief as I was on the train when I received the call. For the internship, no previous experience was required, just a basic understanding of what marketing entails and enthusiasm and passion for hard work is needed. Mastery of english and problem solving skills is a bonus.

    Declined Offer
  10.  

    Development Intern Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    Application Details

    I applied online. The process took 4+ weeksinterviewed at Smithsonian.

    Interview Details

    I had a phone interview with the Development office, and there are two people in charge of the office, a male and female. They were both very friendly and professional. The female lady has an interest in Renaissance art. During the interview, they were focused on asking about the background and interest in this position. Very professional and knowledgeable about nonprofit fundraising.

    Interview Questions
    No Offer
    Positive Experience
    Average Interview
  11.  

    New Media Specialist Interview

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

    I applied online. The process took 3 weeksinterviewed at Smithsonian in January 2012.

    Interview Details

    Lesson learned: Be assertive.

    Initially, I received an email stating that I did not quality for the position, but since I was close to finishing college, and getting rejected left and right at the time, I really wanted to know why I did not qualify. Someone from the Center called me a few days later, and told me that they realized that they would need more than one candidate for the position, and that if I was still interested, I should come in for an interview. And I did! The interview was conducted by 4 people, whom were all very friendly, and easy to talk to. I think the biggest thing is to be confident, even if you may not have the best answer, be as confident as you can be because it can make up for other things.

    They asked about all my work experience, had written all over a copy of my resume ready to be asked, they asked about my different work situations, how I handled school and work, etc.

    In the end, no offer, but they did say that they loved talking to me and that I was an excellent candidate.

    Interview Questions
    • What is your greatest weakness? This was expected, but I hate answering this question. And I don't think I gave the best reply.   Answer Question
    No Offer
    Positive Experience
    Average Interview

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