US Department of Defense
3.8 of 5 453 reviews
www.defenselink.mil Washington, DC 5000+ Employees

US Department of Defense Interview Questions & Reviews in Washington, DC

Updated Jul 9, 2014
All Interviews Received Offers

Getting the Interview 

36%
16%
13%

Interview Experience 

36%
45%
18%

Interview Difficulty 

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

Positive Experience

Easy Interview

Accountant Interview

Accountant
Washington, DC

I applied online and the process took 4 months - interviewed at US Department of Defense in January 2014.

Interview Details – The hiring process was long. It took about 4 months to get an email. Followed up with a phone. Went in for a panel interview. Why do you want to be a federal employee? What are your strengths and weakness? Do you prefer to work on a team or individually.

Interview Question – Questions were very easy, more so about my previous experience.   Answer Question

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Accepted Offer

Negative Experience

Average Interview

Manager Interview

Manager
Washington, DC

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

Interview Details – Follow directions from USA Jobs. Sometimes it is hard to tell if an internal candidate has the inside track for the job offering. The hardest part is getting your resume through Personnel...really key in on the job description and get those key words in your education, training, and experience.

Interview Question – It is really hard to tell. Generally will be interviewed by a panel with a set of questions addressed to all being interviewed.   Answer Question

Negotiation Details – Not much to negotiate, the pay scale is set. You may be able to get a little more if you can prove that your current salary is above their offer.

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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

Positive Experience

Average Interview

Cost Analyst Intern Interview

Cost Analyst Intern
Washington, DC

I interviewed at US Department of Defense in April 2011.

Interview Details – Multiple phone interviews and one on-sight interview.

Interview Question – Explain how to use regression analysis to judge sensitivity.   Answer Question

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Declined Offer

Neutral Experience

Average Interview

Program Manager Interview

Program Manager
Washington, DC

I applied in-person - interviewed at US Department of Defense in January 2012.

Interview Details – Thorough multi-day background investigation with polygraph, financials, certification of birth, certification of citizenship, family, residences, previous supervisors, medical status. Several hour written pyshological evaluation and interview.

Interview Question – Nothing if you are honest and have nothing to hide.   View Answer

Reason for Declining – It was obvious the environment was toxic, unhealthy and the people hide behind uneasy smiles

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1 person found this helpful

Accepted Offer

Neutral Experience

Difficult Interview

Analyst Interview

Analyst
Washington, DC

I applied through an employee referral and the process took a day - interviewed at US Department of Defense in December 2010.

Interview Details – I received an email to set up the date of the interview from a series of possible days. The interview was arranged for a month later. I was interviewed in a hotel room by three managers at the organization. I had prepared for behavioral questions typically asked of recent graduates, such as "how do you work as a member of a team" and "what is your greatest weakness." The questions, delivered by a stoney-faced higher-up who never smiled, were about international relations and current events. I would recommend for people who interview to prep by staying abreast of the news and foreign policy, and to focus on up to three issues that you'll be able to speak about in-depth. If you can speak intelligently on foreign affairs, or at least demonstrate logic in your thought, you should be fine. Don't be worried that there are three people sitting around you, or that some of them look unhappy and unimpressed. That's just the nature of the people you'll be dealing with!

Interview Question – Pretend I'm the President and I am relying on you for information regarding any issue of your choice. Brief me.   Answer Question

Negotiation Details – There was no room for negotiation.

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Accepted Offer

Neutral Experience

Very Easy Interview

Senior Project Manager Interview

Senior Project Manager
Washington, DC

The process took 12 months - interviewed at US Department of Defense in May 2010.

Interview Details – I was poached, so the interview process was minimal and easy

Negotiation Details – long and drawn out since the gov't had difficulty hiring anyone

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1 person found this helpful

Accepted Offer

Neutral Experience

Easy Interview

Auditor Interview

Auditor
Washington, DC

The process took 2 days - interviewed at US Department of Defense in January 2008.

Interview Details – They only check your resume and grades for entry level positions. The ability to handle the work and your inspirations. Basically you have to show yourself as a very nice and cool person. Smile, it does help a lot. Show that you are productive and you are also a good friend. Feds want normal people who can achive results.

Interview Question – they were all easy, they were looking for a new guy with good grades, responsible,cool, and definetly, NO criminal recors at all.   View Answer

Negotiation Details – that is very hard for entry levels, however they are flexible if you have experience, and if you know somebody from the inside.

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No Offer

Positive Experience

Average Interview

Logistics Manager Interview

Logistics Manager
Washington, DC

The process took a day - interviewed at US Department of Defense in March 2010.

Interview Details – You arrive with a group of people interviewing for the same job and your luck of the day determines what time you'll get to leave. Of course for security reasons absolutely no electronics are allowed, so bring a book. Questions were your basic interview questions.

Interview Question – Describe a time where you took a leadership position   Answer Question

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Accepted Offer

Neutral Experience

Average Interview

Analyst Interview

Analyst
Washington, DC

I applied through an employee referral and the process took a day - interviewed at US Department of Defense in January 2008.

Interview Details – It was a group interview with three interviewers. Had the benefit of a referral from someone on the team. Asked me about my experience. Asked me specific questions related to the subject matter of the team to test how well I would be able to contribute, how quickly and what I was interested in learning about. Importance on what I wanted to work on when I was on the team.

Interview Question – Describe what you think are the trends regarding xyz and where you think this situation is heading.   Answer Question

Negotiation Details – No negotiation. There is a grade system.

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