US Department of State

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US Department of State Intern Interview Questions & Reviews

Updated May 27, 2014
All Interviews Received Offers

Getting an Interview  

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Interview Experience  

90%
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Interview Difficulty  

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1 person found this helpful

Accepted Offer

Positive Experience

Very Easy Interview

Intern Interview

Intern
New York, NY

I applied online and interviewed at US Department of State.

Interview Details – The application process is pretty rigorous, as are all security clearance positions. After you complete your initial application package, you will be contacted for a phone interview. My phone interview was actually pretty brief - they already knew they wanted me and just wanted to verify that I was still interested in the position. Of course, I said yes. The security clearance paperwork following the interview was the most tedious - you really need to know every place you've ever lived at and the dates, etc., as well as everywhere outside of the U.S. that you have travelled, the dates, whom you were with, etc.


1 person found this helpful

Accepted Offer

Positive Experience

Average Interview

Intern Interview

Intern

I applied online and the process took 4+ weeks - interviewed at US Department of State in April 2014.

Interview Details – As everyone says, the online application is a little tedious, but not as bad as some of the other government agencies. However, make sure that when you do it, you set aside time and energy to make the online application as efficient/effective as possible. I was told that my "Statement of Purpose" answer was the reason I was selected for an interview. I used an introduction explaining (in a concise way) my desire to give back to my country and then gave 3 bullet points on my most marketable skills for the State Department. I then added a conclusion and finished by saying that I looked forward to being giving the opportunity to prove my worth.

I was contacted about 4 weeks after the job posting closed and asked to do a phone interview a few days later. The interview itself was only 15 minutes and very simple in structure. The interviewer spent the first 5 minutes telling me about the office and what I could possibly be doing. Next, she asked me to talk about myself. It's best to talk about your strengths and why you are interested in that exact office. Also, it doesn't hurt to reinforce that your aim is to work for government/give back to your country. The last 5 minutes was an open Q&A. I made sure to ask one or two questions directly related to what the interviewer explained in the first 5 minutes. The interview finished and she explained that I would be sent an email in about 3 days regarding the position. 3 days later I was offered the position by email. There was no face-to-face contact through this process.

Interview Question – Nothing difficult, but rehearse what you want to convey. Time is limited. Try to avoid any negative language/vocabulary.   Answer Question

Negotiation Details – N/A. The position is unpaid.


Accepted Offer

Positive Experience

Average Interview

Intern Interview

Intern

I applied online and the process took 4 weeks - interviewed at US Department of State.

Interview Details – I applied online in the autumn for a summer internship. The online application is extensive and time-consuming. A few weeks later I got an e-mail requesting a phone interview with the specific office that was interested in my application. It was a little bit difficult to schedule the interview, as I was in California and the Embassy was in Europe, so it was a little tough to find a time that fell within normal business hours in Europe and waking hours in California.

When the actual interview came, the discussion focused primarily on my previous experience. I felt that confident answers and speaking well were two things that helped during my interview. My interviewer also liked to see writing experience, particularly with deadlines and concise style. Customer service and the ability to work well with others and as a team also seemed to be pluses. Leadership, communication, and social skills were points of emphasis.

I didn't face too many tough questions-- mostly about why I wanted the position, why I chose my field of study, why I requested the particular office and position I selected, what my strengths are, etc. I was also asked things like if I would be comfortable finding my own housing in a foreign country if necessary and other such things related to accepting an overseas internship.

Soon after, my interviewer requested another phone call. I was prepared for another round of interviews, but after a few short questions they offered me the position. I accepted and it was one of the most enriching and rewarding experiences of my life.

Interview Question – There were a lot of questions on self-evaluation-- How would you rate your language skills? How would you describe your communication style? How do you envision this internship contributing to your long-term goals?   Answer Question


1 person found this helpful

Accepted Offer

Neutral Experience

Average Interview

Intern Interview

Intern

I applied through an employee referral and the process took 4 months - interviewed at US Department of State.

Interview Details – I initially filled out the online application. I was later contacted by a bureau coordinator and did a phone interview. She asked me about my strengths, weaknesses and why I wanted to work at State. Nothing out of the ordinary

Interview Question – Why are you the best candidate for this position?   Answer Question


1 person found this helpful

No Offer

Neutral Experience

Intern Interview

Intern

Interviewed at US Department of State

Interview Details – Applied online, you can track your progress and see how far you go into the process.

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


1 person found this helpful

Accepted Offer

Positive Experience

Intern Interview

Intern

I applied online and the process took 3 months - interviewed at US Department of State.

Interview Details – The Hiring process was quick. However, the security clearance took awhile.

Interview Question – No difficult or unexpected question. They all pertained to the position and my availability.   Answer Question


1 person found this helpful

Accepted Offer

Positive Experience

Average Interview

Intern Interview

Intern
Washington, DC

I applied online and the process took 5 months - interviewed at US Department of State in April 2013.

Interview Details – Applied through USAjobs. Received a request for phone interview from the office a few months later. No in person interview occurred, although it is possible this varies depending on your previous background.

Interview Question – Provide a summary of a recent research topic you have worked on.   Answer Question


1 person found this helpful

Accepted Offer

Neutral Experience

Intern Interview

Intern

Interviewed at US Department of State

Interview Details – Long application process, but no interview required. My references weren't contacted either. I don't know if this is typical for the State Department or specific to my bureau, but I submitted my application at the beginning of November and had an internship offer by mid-December.


Accepted Offer

Positive Experience

Very Easy Interview

Intern Interview

Intern
Rosslyn, VA

I applied online and the process took 6 months - interviewed at US Department of State in January 2012.

Interview Details – Easy, learned about supervisor's background

Interview Question – N/A more informational than questioning   Answer Question


1 person found this helpful

Accepted Offer

Neutral Experience

Intern Interview

Intern
Washington, DC

I applied online and the process took 3 months - interviewed at US Department of State.

Interview Details – Very tedious online application - you need to submit your resume on top of filling in your resume information into their own specific resume builder. You will also submit a statement of purpose, and this is very important. Moreover, you need to give detailed info for clearance.

Interview Question – Phone interview Qs: tell us a time you had to deal with a difficult person. Please introduce yourself in the foreign language you are studying.   Answer Question

Negotiation Details – Through email - very understanding - but they want full time interns. The minimum is 10 weeks and maximum is 14 weeks. Usually 8:30am to 5pm. Need strong writing and analytical skills.

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