I applied through college or university and the process took 4 months - interviewed at US Department of Defense in June 2010.
Interview Details – I was hired under the Federal Career Intern Program, which is excepted from the traditional federal hiring method, so I don't think I had to deal with as much of the red tape in that regard. I submitted a resume during a job fair at my college. 3 months later, I received a phone call from an admin assistant asking if I would be available to interview the next day. I was out of town and asked if there were any other available days. The assistant said the hiring manager would only be in town that one day (the program is headquartered out of my state). I went on with my job search, and received a similar phone call about 3 weeks later. Again, the woman asked if I could interview the following day, which I was able to do. I was required to complete a skills and personality index online before my interview.
The interview was very relaxed, and it seemed as if the interviewer had already made the decision to hire me based upon my resume, and was simply confirming his decision. He spent most of the time telling me about the Intern Program and asked a few questions about my resume, as well as a few questions about my character (i.e., how would a friend describe you?). He told me he would be in touch, and I received an offer about a week and a half later.
I was happy with the way the interview went, however, I was not pleased with the lack of organization when scheduling interviews.
Negotiation Details – Not able to negotiate - federal government has a structured pay grade system.
The process took a day - interviewed at US Department of Defense in August 2008.
Interview Details – It was a typical interview. Nothing special. Suit and brief case. Do you homework about the job and show up on time. Conference room with several organizational members participating on the hiring committe.
Interview Question – How did you hear about the position? Answer Question
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