US Agency for International Development

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US Agency for International Development Interview Questions & Reviews

Updated Jun 21, 2014
All Interviews Received Offers

Getting an Interview  

87%
6%
2%

Interview Experience  

57%
31%
10%

Interview Difficulty  

Average Difficulty
25 candidate interviews
Relevance Date Difficulty
in

Accepted Offer

Neutral Experience

Difficult Interview

Public Health Advisor Interview

Public Health Advisor
Washington, DC

I applied online and the process took 3 weeks - interviewed at US Agency for International Development.

Interview Details – Hired through the Global Health Fellows Program. Contacted for initial phone interview by GHFP [recruiter]. Followed by in-person meeting with project team [4-5 persons]. This was an intensive interview with staff asking a number of questions from personal interests in the field to specific technical knowledge. Included a number of scene setters/scenarios and "what would you do in....". Strong focus on ability to negotiate and/or mediate. Staff in the room ranged from Senior Management to Program Assistants.
Received offer dependent on security clearance [this took 2-3 months to acquire].

Interview Question – This was your typical interview - background, experience, fit, goals and future objectives, expected contributions, knowledge of the field.   Answer Question

Negotiation Details – Negotiations limited and based on GHFP Technical Advisor level. i.e. a I, II, III or IV.


Accepted Offer

Neutral Experience

Average Interview

Agricultural Development Officer Interview

Agricultural Development Officer
Washington, DC

I applied online and the process took 6 months - interviewed at US Agency for International Development in June 2010.

Interview Details – Communications were a little off -- at the time USAID was using a third-party contractor to do all the HR work during their DLI hiring push. I'm not sure if this is still the case, as hiring has tapered off significantly, but it was very difficult to get clear answers in a timely fashion. It also made the whole process feel very impersonal -- after 5 years in the Agency, I think they want it to feel impersonal to secure themselves from accusations of discrimination.

The process takes a LONG TIME for most. While my process was only 4-5 months start to finish, my case was rare. Several of my cohort were in the process for a year or more, from the time they applied to their actual acceptance. There is security and medical clearances as well as a multi-part interview before that. The interview consisted at the time of a written test, a group exercise, and a panel interview session. Display decent writing ability and critical thinking/out of the box approaches in the writing, non-pushy leadership abilities in the group session, and thoughtfulness and honesty in the panel and you should do just fine.

At the time, the agency paid for the flights and hotel during the DC interview. Not sure if they still do that, but if they hadn't I probably wouldn't have been able to interview -- got burned on that one by the State of Ohio, so if anyone from USAID HR is reading, that's super-important to getting less-experienced candidates into the pool!

Negotiation Details – You can negotiate a little, I didn't because I was more or less coming straight out of grad school and had little room to negotiate. It was a good deal for me. They are reluctant to negotiate much because if you decline there are 10 other people ready and willing to take significant pay cuts to get into the Agency.

If you get location pay or other extras in your pay that aren't part of your "base pay", you may get a pretty low offer -- unless you only produce your tax return, which should include all those extras. I know several people who did this to secure a much higher salary as they had a second job or a stipend of some sort.


No Offer

Neutral Experience

Average Interview

Education Communications Specialist Interview

Education Communications Specialist
Washington, DC

I applied online and the process took 4 weeks - interviewed at US Agency for International Development.

Interview Details – I had my first interview for this role four weeks ago with a panel of 3 USAID employees. I haven't heard back either yes or no and the HR contact says the panel has not yet made a decision about who will go into the second round of interviews. In the interview they did let me know that the hiring process would be at least 8 weeks so I am still waiting for word about a second interview or offer.

Interview Question – Give us an example of when you thought outside the box.   Answer Question


Accepted Offer

Positive Experience

Average Interview

Foreign Service Officer Interview

Foreign Service Officer
Portland, OR

I applied online and the process took 6 months - interviewed at US Agency for International Development in June 2011.

Interview Details – This was a limited time and opportunity position during the surges for both Iraq and Afghanistan. Applied on line, was vetted among other applicants and chosen for interview with three experienced Foreign Service Officers.

Interview Question – How would you respond to an Afghan national leader who wanted paid for influencing projects to be developed and/or awarded to his own companies or friends/family who owned them.   View Answer

Negotiation Details – There was no negotiation as the Foreign Service Officer system is a pre-set system. Even my salary was reduced, but so many other 'bonuses' such as separation, danger pay, overtime, etc. made up for the reduction. In the end, salary pay was acceptable and worth time and effort invested.


Accepted Offer

Neutral Experience

Staff Assistant Interview

Staff Assistant

Interviewed at US Agency for International Development

Interview Details – Contractor-- Engility/IRG. Very fast, efficient interview process. Only 1 interview. Shady negotiations with the contractor. Lowball salary offer at first, but quickly moved up. This contractor does not have good benefits for employees.

Interview Question – Will you be able to perform admin work without being frustrated given a substantive background.   Answer Question

Negotiation Details – Able to negotiate a higher salary as a contractor


Accepted Offer

Neutral Experience

Administrative Program Assistant Interview

Administrative Program Assistant

Interviewed at US Agency for International Development

Interview Details – panel interview with 4-5 people
25-30 minutes long
around 15 questions total asked with 1-2 minute response time

Interview Question – Describe a time when you dealt with a difficult customer.   Answer Question


No Offer

Positive Experience

Average Interview

Human Resources Specialist Interview

Human Resources Specialist

I applied online and the process took 5 days - interviewed at US Agency for International Development in January 2013.

Interview Details – You are given a panel interview.

Interview Question – What is your biggest accomplishment.   Answer Question


Declined Offer

Positive Experience

Average Interview

Foreign Service Officer Interview

Foreign Service Officer

I applied online and the process took 7 months - interviewed at US Agency for International Development.

Interview Details – Months after submitting my resume, I was invited to DC for a face-to-face interview. It consisted of a writing assignment, a group activity and an interview panel. It took less than 4 hours, was pretty straightforward. Reviewing technical information like epi data just so that you know what is the range of "Normal" is helpful. Also, being aware of USAID priorities may help and writing persuasively.

Interview Question – We are not supposed to share the questions. I would say that the questions are vague enough for you to either shine or sink yourself based on the examples you chose to give.   Answer Question

Reason for Declining – You can't learn anything about your future in the foreign service until you are IN the foreign service.


Accepted Offer

Positive Experience

Average Interview

Technical Advisor I, II Or III Interview

Technical Advisor I, II Or III

I applied through a recruiter and the process took 4+ weeks - interviewed at US Agency for International Development.

Interview Details – Try not to schedule your interviews around noon if your interview will be held at the Ronald Reagan Buildiing. You are required to go through 3 security checkpoints and that can take from 5-15 minutes.

First round- usually conducted in-person if you live in DC or most candidates are locally based. If 2 or more candidates are outside DC, then it will be done via teleconference or skype

Second round- all interviews are conducted in-person. Some candidates are based overseas so they can be flown in at the company's expense.

Interview Question – Mostly behavioral and technical question. Always bring your personality.   Answer Question

Negotiation Details – They request to see my current paystub but we both felt comfortable with the final amount. ALWAYS ALWAYS NEGOTIATE.


Accepted Offer

Positive Experience

Average Interview

Business Management Analyst Interview

Business Management Analyst
Washington, DC

I applied online and the process took a day - interviewed at US Agency for International Development in August 2010.

Interview Details – This was a very casual interview with my supervisor over coffee as I was being interviewed for a contracted position. They asked detailed questions about project implementation and business planning. They were also very interested in tracking projects (milestones, etc) and overall it was a good interview, and very easy.

Interview Question – Have you ever tracked multi-year projects?   View Answer

Negotiation Details – There was not a negotiation phase.

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