US Department of Defense
3.8 of 5 412 reviews
www.defenselink.mil Washington, DC 5000+ Employees

US Department of Defense Interview Questions & Reviews

Updated Apr 10, 2014
All Interviews Received Offers

Getting the Interview 

68%
9%
8%

Interview Experience 

59%
33%
7%

Interview Difficulty 

97 candidate interviews
Relevance Date Difficulty
in

Accepted Offer

Positive Experience

Average Interview

Human Resources Assistant Interview

Anonymous Employee

I applied online and interviewed at US Department of Defense.

Interview Details – Being a Veteran has allowed for easier entrance into the GS System

Interview Question – What are your weaknesses.   Answer Question

Negotiation Details – Very little room to negotiate because I was already in the federal government system.

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Accepted Offer

Neutral Experience

Average Interview

Senior Program Manager Interview

Senior Program Manager
Washington, DC

I applied online - interviewed at US Department of Defense in April 2012.

Interview Details – For jobs open externally, candidates apply via USAJobs or via the agency web site. Jobs are announced for two weeks and it usually takes two to three weeks for HR to forward eligible candidates to the hiring manager. HR screening is minimal and it is not unusual for all candidates to be forwarded regardless of eligibility. In addition, hiring managers will also get resumes of those who HR deemed not eligible. This allows the hiring manager, to determine if any candidate not deemed eligible should be added to the eligible list. The hiring manager must get HR approval to move a candidate from the ineligible list to the eligible. This is important since only candidates on the eligible list can be selected. My experience as a hiring manager has been HR will usually defer to the hiring manager. ALL eligible applications are reviewed and scored. Company guidelines strongly recommend applications be reviewed by a diverse panel, most hiring managers do this. A diverse panel is one composed of a female and minority rep. They cannot be the same person. Panels are usually composed of four people but can be as small as two. As long as it meets the diversity requirement. I know, I know! How diverse can a panel with only a female and minority be! All female panels also meet the criteria as long as one is a minority. There have been complaints about this so most hiring manager try to form truly diverse panels, including someone from outside their career field but has a relationship with the group. All applicants are reviewed based on the same set of criteria. Criteria is usually based on the job description, additional duties, mandatory and desired requirements section of the job announcement. Tailor your resume to these!!! Hiring managers with input from the panel determine a "best qualified" list. This is the list of candidates who move on to be interviewed. Interviews are not mandatory but strongly recommended. Most hiring managers will interview candidates. Hiring managers like to interview at least four candidates, no more than six. However, there are always exceptions depending on the situation. After the interview candidates are ranked and discussed by the panel, which is chaired by the hiring manager (usually called the Selection Authority). Sometimes a number one ranked candidate may not be selected. As long as the hiring manager can justify this, it's not a problem. For example, Bob is the number one candidate but panel members have first hand knowledge he is not a team player and often is abrasive. Collaboration and teaming is critical to the position. Bill was ranked number two, his score was only marginally lower than Bob's. Bill is know for building teams, forging relationships, tact and diplomacy. Bill is recommended for the position. This recommendation goes forward to the Approving Official. If the panel has done its job and followed the HR guidelines, this is usually straightforward and quick - that is, once the Approving Official gets the package in front of him/her. For external candidates, if selected they will be called by HR and made an offer. Salary negotiations are through HR, but HR typically serves as the liaison between the hiring manager and candidate. At my agency, efficiencies were put in place and this process can be as quick as six weeks, including the time for posting the application. I believe internal applicants can check the status of their applications. Not sure about external applicants. The hiring manager calls all interviewees after a selection is made and often offers feedback. Feedback is always to be provided if requested. All other candidates are notified by HR after an offer is accepted. Panels usually pick an alternative in the event their first choice declines. This avoids repeating the process.

Interview Question – Describe a time you failed professionally, what lessons did you learn and how did you apply them to future efforts?   View Answer

Negotiation Details – It was a lateral move, no bump in salary.

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Accepted Offer

Neutral Experience

Science Officer Interview

Anonymous Employee

I applied through other source and the process took 2 weeks - interviewed at US Department of Defense.

Interview Details – The hiring process was first a call from the Deputy Director to state that they are interested in interviewing you. Then the management admin. arranged all the details. The interview process consisted of a five person panel of current employees, who would be your colleagues, if you accepted employment and then a two person interview by management.

Interview Question – I really can't remember the most difficult or unexpected questions. The questions were all pretty much the typical interview questions (e.g. where do you see yourself in 5 years, etc.)?   Answer Question

Negotiation Details – I was able to negotiate, but I should have negotiated for more.

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Accepted Offer

Negative Experience

Average Interview

Operations Research Analyst Interview

Operations Research Analyst
Suffolk, VA

I applied online and the process took 6 months - interviewed at US Department of Defense.

Interview Details – The interview was a good opportunity to share my experience and get to know some of those I would be working with. I feel that I had an excellent opportunity to show the panel what I was like and I was able to expand on what was in my resume. The hiring process was pathetic, however. It was 6 months from the time of the interview until my start date.

Interview Question – What is the last book you read and what did you learn from it?   View Answer

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Accepted Offer

Positive Experience

Average Interview

Cyber Operations Officer Interview

Anonymous Employee

I applied through a recruiter and the process took 2 months - interviewed at US Department of Defense in January 2013.

Interview Details – Resume was submitted to Recruiter for review. Internal review of resume was done and an interview was set up. Meet team and was asked cyber related questions by multiple people as they reviewed my resume.Total process took 2 months.

Interview Question – Everything was straight forward.   Answer Question

Negotiation Details – There was not one as the salary is set

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Accepted Offer

Neutral Experience

Easy Interview

Material Handler Interview

Material Handler

I applied online - interviewed at US Department of Defense in February 2011.

Interview Details – A little complicated filling out paper work on line. Reading between te lines is tough.

Interview Question – At my interview all I did was read from a sheet of paper about the job description and asked if I would be able to do the job.   View Answer

Negotiation Details – there was no negotiating . It is the DOD

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Accepted Offer

Positive Experience

Average Interview

Medical Support Assistant Interview

Anonymous Employee
Killeen, TX

I applied online and the process took 3 days - interviewed at US Department of Defense in October 2010.

Interview Details – I had a telephone interview and was given the job a few days after the interview.

Interview Question – I do not remember the specifics of the questions. I remember being asked about my job skills   Answer Question

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Accepted Offer

Neutral Experience

Logistician Interview

Logistician

I applied through a recruiter and the process took 6 months - interviewed at US Department of Defense.

Interview Details – Nothing out of the ordinary that you would have any where else. Just be you and you should have no problems unless you have a disability that really can not be overlooked.

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

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Accepted Offer

Neutral Experience

Staff Officer Interview

Anonymous Employee

Interviewed at US Department of Defense

Interview Details – The hiring process took nearly a year, during which time there was almost no communication from the administrative officers handling the interviewing and on-boarding. The hiring process consistent of a single interview that was entirely composed of behavioral questions. There was a heavy emphasis on why I wanted to join the Department of Defense.

Interview Question – Nothing difficult or unexpected.   Answer Question

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No Offer

Positive Experience

Difficult Interview

Deployed Forces Support Coordinator Interview

Anonymous Interview Candidate
San Diego, CA

I applied online and the process took 3 weeks - interviewed at US Department of Defense in November 2013.

Interview Details – The hiring process is pretty standard. Submit resume/applications to local HR offices. This is a wonderful place to work for room to grow if you really put your best foot forward. The internal hiring process is much simpler, and most positions will require an entry level position experience within the DOD for a couple of years or valuable experience directly to the program to contribute immediately. It can be tedious, but in reality it is worth it once you get your foot in the door. The interviews are panel review style, extremely professional, but also very sincere.

Interview Question – There are no "difficult" questions, merely questions that will allow them to grasp your knowledge of the concepts of their programs and missions and beliefs. The questions are aimed to discover what you actually know, and what you are making up as you go. If you know nothing of event programming, but are applying for an event programming career, their questions will bring that to light very quickly. Its a great place to work, they just value experience like everyone else. The entire thing can be very tedious and trying but patience is a virtue and great things come to those who wait.   Answer Question

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