US Department of State Foreign Service Officer Interview Questions

Updated Jul 15, 2015
14 Interview Reviews

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Foreign Service Officer Interview

Anonymous Interview Candidate
Accepted Offer
Positive Experience
Difficult Interview

Interview

The interview process is time consuming and is considered by many to be quite difficult. The difficulty mostly comes from the reality that you cannot easily prepare for it. Be sure you're up to speed on a variety of world events. Also, evaluate your responses before you give them...think!

Interview Questions

  • I was asked about my views of the current situation with North Korea.   Answer Question

Other Interview Reviews for US Department of State

  1. Helpful (2)  

    Foreign Service Officer Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    Accepted Offer

    Interview

    Written test, essay, interview, medical and security clearances. Multi-step process took almost a year. Had to travel to DC for the interview on my own dime. Lots of competition. I was prepared for the interview and made it through to a job offer on my first try. Process was fair and now is a point of bonding among my colleagues.

    Interview Questions

    • Need to provide examples and back them up with details   Answer Question

    Negotiation

    Take it or leave it

  2. Helpful (1)  

    Foreign Service Officer Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    Accepted Offer

    Interview

    I was selected as a Pickering Fellow and was not required to take the exams until after I entered the service. It took me three tries to pass the FSOA. Don't go in thinking it will not be a challenge. Eat a healthy breakfast and get a good nights rest. Probably the most challenging day in your profession.

    Interview Questions

    • Unfortunately, I signed a non-disclosure agreement and agreed not to disclose.   Answer Question

    Negotiation

    No negotiation, they calculate your experience by what you put on your resume. Be exact and include volunteer experience!

  3. Helpful (3)  

    Foreign Service Officer Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Washington, DC
    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Difficult Interview

    Application

    I applied online. The process took 4+ months. I interviewed at US Department of State (Washington, DC).

    Interview

    A cumbersome process in the 1990s-2000s, involving written exams at testing centers - now all online. The key is the oral interview. The key to being successful at the oral interview is to show that you can work in a group setting to accomplish a shared objective. Do not try to 'win', or you will lose. Find consensus.

    Interview Questions

    • What is a tense situation that you managed to overcome in a work environment and how?   1 Answer

    Negotiation

    As a government, there is little room for negotiation, but there is some (salary - based on experience). Take advantage of it because once you join it becomes very rigid.

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  5. Helpful (1)  

    Foreign Service Officer Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    Accepted Offer

    Interview

    It's a test -- and it's changed since I've come in, so I can't give much info.

    Interview Questions

    • The interview questions are easy if you aren't an idiot.   Answer Question

    Negotiation

    None

  6. Helpful (2)  

    Foreign Service Officer Interview

    Anonymous Employee
    No Offer
    Negative Experience
    Average Interview

    Application

    I applied online. The process took 10+ months. I interviewed at US Department of State in June 2013.

    Interview

    All day assessment meant to be a challenge. Group exercise was straight forward but had people who were unyielding--I failed. Case management was just like one from packet--long with a twist towards the end--I passed. Interview is straight forward exactly and I mean exactly what the packet says is going to happen

    Interview Questions

  7. Helpful (4)  

    Foreign Service Officer Interview

    Anonymous Employee in Washington, DC
    No Offer
    Neutral Experience
    Difficult Interview

    Application

    I applied online. The process took 6+ months. I interviewed at US Department of State (Washington, DC) in October 2011.

    Interview

    First took the computer based "written" test, which was three sections of multiple choice and a writing section. Second, submitted 6 personal narrative questions that pertained to leadership, initiative, and other desirable qualities. Final round is a day-long interview consisting of an interview, memo-writing, and a group session where you, along with a handful of other applicants, discuss the merits of a particular project while the interviewers monitor you.

    Interview Questions

  8. Helpful (3)  

    Foreign Service Officer Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Washington, DC
    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Average Interview

    Application

    I applied online. The process took 12+ months. I interviewed at US Department of State (Washington, DC) in April 2011.

    Interview

    Online application followed by sitting for the Foreign Service Test. The test is a comprehensive test that tests everything from US Political and Government history to Logic, to Interpersonal Skills. Following the test there are a series of interviews. You have a group interview where you solve problems as if you were in the embassy as well as a personal interview.

    Interview Questions

    • They were all typical questions that you find in an interview.   Answer Question
  9. Helpful (4)  

    Foreign Service Officer Interview

    Anonymous Employee in Washington, DC
    No Offer
    Positive Experience
    Difficult Interview

    Application

    The process took 1 day. I interviewed at US Department of State (Washington, DC) in May 2010.

    Interview

    First 1/3 of the day was a group exercise (5 people) where you demonstrated your negotiation, communication, and interpersonal skills; Second 1/3 of the day was a 2 on 1 interview; Last 1/3 of the day was a 90 min. memo-writing exercise.

    Interview Questions

  10. Helpful (1)  

    Foreign Service Officer Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Washington, DC
    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Difficult Interview

    Application

    I applied through other source. The process took 1 day. I interviewed at US Department of State (Washington, DC) in December 2009.

    Interview

    The hiring process is driven by a series of tests. First is a written test (FSOT), which assesses candidates' general knowledge and communication skills. If successful, the candidate moves on to an Oral Assessment, which consists of a group exercise, a written case study, and a structured interview, Finally, the successful candidate is subjected to a suitability review, a health clearance, and a security clearance. Candidates are given offers of employment on a space-available basis, with those with the highest scores in the Oral Assessment reviving preference.

    Interview Questions

    • Hypothetical questions concerning difficult situations that might occur at a U.S. Embassy require candidates to express good judgement while thinking on their feet.   Answer Question
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