Smithsonian
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www.si.edu Washington, DC 5000+ Employees

Smithsonian Interview Questions & Reviews in Washington, DC

Updated May 27, 2014
All Interviews Received Offers

Getting the Interview 

70%
16%
12%

Interview Experience 

77%
22%
0%

Interview Difficulty 

Average Difficulty
9 candidate interviews Back to all interview questions
Relevance Date Difficulty
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Accepted Offer

Positive Experience

Average Interview

Museum Technician Interview

Museum Technician
Washington, DC

I applied online and the process took 6 months - interviewed 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 Question – 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.

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Accepted Offer

Positive Experience

Easy Interview

Intern Interview

Intern
Washington, DC

I applied online and 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 Question – I wouldn't say that there was anything truly unexpected.   Answer Question

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1 person found this helpful

No Offer

Positive Experience

Difficult Interview

Editorial Assistant Interview

Editorial Assistant
Washington, DC

I applied online and the process took 5+ weeks - interviewed 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 Question – "If you weren't hired here, what job would you be working?"   View Answer

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Accepted Offer

Positive Experience

Easy Interview

Retail Associate Interview

Retail Associate
Washington, DC

I applied in-person and the process took 3 weeks - interviewed at Smithsonian in February 2011.

Interview Details – I handed in my resume to one of the gift stores. The store manager contacted me for an interview for which I was accepted. They proceeded to run a background check on me. I went to get fingerprinted and get a badge. I attended an orientation class and started work.

Interview Question – Generic interview questions. You should give detail about previous work experience and why you are qualified for the position. Some questions about what you do in this or that situation if it happened.   Answer Question

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No Offer

Positive Experience

Average Interview

New Media Specialist Interview

New Media Specialist
Washington, DC

I applied online and the process took 3 weeks - interviewed 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 Question – 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

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Accepted Offer

Neutral Experience

Average Interview

Museum Police Officer Interview

Museum Police Officer
Washington, DC

I applied online and the process took 1 week - interviewed at Smithsonian in July 2008.

Interview Details – I applied via usajobs.gov and got an e-mail 6 months later saying that my application had been received. A few weeks later, I got a call to come in for an interview. I went in for a panel review, which lasted roughly 20 minutes, most of it focused on my background, VERY little discussion of the actual job. Afterwards, I was offered the position and asked to walk to the Dept. of the Interior for a drug test.

Interview Question – Have you ever been convicted of a felony?   Answer Question

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Accepted Offer

Positive Experience

Average Interview

Senior Sales Associate Interview

Senior Sales Associate
Washington, DC

The process took a day - interviewed at Smithsonian in February 2011.

Interview Details – Great experience. Senior management were kind and respectful. The interview was full of orientation expectations and information about my specific responsibilities. I recommend working for this organization.

Interview Question – Why do you want to work here?   Answer Question

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Accepted Offer

Positive Experience

Average Interview

Program Manager Interview

Program Manager
Washington, DC

The process took 4 days - interviewed at Smithsonian in November 2009.

Interview Details – Extensive interview process requiring four separate interviews with different people and entire team. Had to demonstrate skills live in front of entire team. Originally, they had lost my information and I had to re-send it. Entire process (from sending the resume, to them losing it, to going on four interviews, to offer) took about six weeks.

Interview Questions

  • Most questions were behavioral in nature - tell us about a time when you......   View Answer
  • At all four interviewers, people wanted to know what I wanted to work for the Smithsonian.   View Answer

Negotiation Details – There's not a lot of room to negotiate, but push as hard as you can. It's very, very hard to advance at the Smithsonian and very difficult to even make a lateral move. Your job, upon entry, is the job you're expected to do for your entire tenure there, so think carefully about what you're agreeing to do at what grade and salary.

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No Offer

Neutral Experience

Difficult Interview

Exhibit Director Interview

Exhibit Director
Washington, DC

I applied through other source and the process took a day - interviewed at Smithsonian in June 2009.

Interview Details – connections to person from previous work experience

Interview Question – Will you get a certification for certain experience level?   View Answer

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