US Census Bureau
3.7 of 5 503 reviews
www.census.gov Suitland, MD 5000+ Employees

US Census Bureau Interview Questions & Reviews

Updated Apr 7, 2014
All Interviews Received Offers

Getting the Interview 

39%
34%
12%

Interview Experience 

69%
27%
2%

Interview Difficulty 

130 candidate interviews
Relevance Date Difficulty
in

Accepted Offer

Neutral Experience

Office Operations Supervisor Interview

Anonymous Employee

Interviewed at US Census Bureau

Interview Details – There was a test. After the test, if selected, you got a phone call. You have to undergo a background check and fingerprinting.

Interview Question – There really were not any difficult questions   Answer Question

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Positive Experience

Average Interview

Field Representative Interview

Anonymous Employee
Bel Air, MD

I applied through other source and the process took 2 weeks - interviewed at US Census Bureau in January 2013.

Interview Details – First, contacted by email because I was a former 2010 Census employee. Responded that I was interested in the new survey position. Second, I received a phone call asking me to attend a 3 hour meeting at the local library. The meeting consisted of about 25 people. The job expectations were reviewed, a skill test was given, and those who passed were asked to stay for a one-on-one interview. The questions asked were about my past experience with the Census and a few behavioral questions. I was presented an offer and accepted. Follow up with finger printing and background search.

Interview Question – Basic behavioral questions. Not too difficult.   Answer Question

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Neutral Experience

Office Clerk Interview

Anonymous Employee

Interviewed at US Census Bureau

Interview Details – Had to take a test and received a call back was offered position.

Interview Question – Not anything unexpected or difficult.   Answer Question

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Positive Experience

Average Interview

Help Desk Clerk Interview

Anonymous Employee
Panorama City, CA

I applied online and the process took a day - interviewed at US Census Bureau in November 2010.

Interview Details – I took a written test and did a phone interview.

Interview Question – None. However the odd question was whether or not I was familiar/comfortable working with a computer.   Answer Question

Negotiation Details – I was told exactly my hours, pay and start date.

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Positive Experience

Very Easy Interview

Enumerator Interview

Enumerator
Princeton, NJ

I applied through a recruiter and the process took 2 months - interviewed at US Census Bureau in March 2013.

Interview Details – First, I received a phone call. The job description, including salary, were described to me. I was being invited to take a test, with the intention to be hired a month or so after the phone call. There were scheduled tests in a few locations. I chose a location (a library) and time. I brought my resume, a list of references, a pencil, and something to keep myself entertained, such as a book. A bunch of people took the test together. It was very easy. A sample test is available at census.gov. Next, each of us was interviewed one by one. I was asked to read a sample survey and annunciate clearly. I was also asked to answer questions using examples of my experience, including describing what happened, what the problem was, and how I solved it. Following directions may have been more important than the experiences described.

Interview Question – Describe a time when you failed, what was the problem, and how you overcame the problem.   Answer Question

Negotiation Details – No negotiation with the US government. They are very up front about the salary.

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Negative Experience

Very Easy Interview

Field Representative Interview

Field Representative

I applied through an employee referral and the process took 1 week - interviewed at US Census Bureau.

Interview Details – First you take a test to see if you can read, write and have any sense of direction. Once passing the test it could be between getting an interview on the spot up to two years before you are call. Questions are easy and the process you go through to get hired or trained doesn't really prepare you for what actually happens in the field talking to real people.

Interview Question – How would you handle coming in to a high crime area?   View Answer

Negotiation Details – There are no negotiation with this government position. You take it or leave it. You are a part-time intermittent employee and they make sure you have just few enough hours to never get covered with health benefits or any other federal benefit.

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Positive Experience

Average Interview

Crew Leader Interview

Crew Leader
Tampa, FL

I applied online and the process took 4+ weeks - interviewed at US Census Bureau in February 2010.

Interview Details – The interview process included: 1. Online Application 2. Skills/Aptitude test 3. General Census Training (also a "group interview" for management positions).

1. Online Application is straightforward and easy
2. Skills/Aptitude Test is relatively easy if you have a college degree
3. Training is also very straightforward with opportunity to express your desire for a management position.

If you are a self-starter, this is a great job for you. You will be surrounded by a lot of "government worker mentality".

Interview Question – The most difficult part of the process is navigating the training and identifying the level of leadership you want to pursue.   Answer Question

Negotiation Details – There was no negotiation. Hourly rates are set.

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Positive Experience

Average Interview

Survey Statistician Interview

Survey Statistician
Suitland, MD

I applied through college or university and the process took 2 months - interviewed at US Census Bureau in June 2010.

Interview Details – I was recruited by a campus recruiter, then interviewed over the phone by a senior manager. I came to Suitland and interviewed with another senior manager who offered me the job.

Interview Question – Why do you want this position?   View Answer

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Positive Experience

Average Interview

Census Worker Interview

Anonymous Employee
Torrance, CA

I applied through other source and the process took 3 months - interviewed at US Census Bureau in May 2010.

Interview Details – Completed US Census exam, and later selected for an interview at the U.S. Census office in El Segundo, CA.

Negotiation Details – There was no negotiation with the U.S. Census.

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Positive Experience

Average Interview

Economist Interview

Anonymous Employee
Washington, DC

I applied online and the process took 4 months - interviewed at US Census Bureau.

Interview Details – Apply to be an economist for the Census using the generic job-market process for new PhDs (JOE, EJM, etc). After your fly out, you will be asked to apply through USA Jobs. To negotiate a higher salary, it helps to have proof of another standing offer.

I got the sense that the interviewers were looking for individuals who not only fit their needs, but would fit well into the climate of office. In my first interview they asked questions about my technical skills, research interests, and how well I can think of new research ideas when put on the spot. My fly out was all about whether I would get along with everyone. It was my most pleasant fly out - no one tried to put down my research during my seminar and everyone was friendly.

Interview Question – If you had X, Y, and Z data sources, what types of research questions would you be interested in answering?   Answer Question

Negotiation Details – New PhDs typically enter at grade 12, but the step can be negotiated.

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