US Department of State Interview Questions

Updated Apr 18, 2015
85 Interview Reviews

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  1. Helpful (3)  

    Foreign Service Officer Interview

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

    Application

    I applied online. The process took 5+ monthsinterviewed at US Department of State (Washington, DC) in June 2009.

    Interview

    Lots of post on Oral Assesment elsewhere. It consists of a group excercise, a one on one interview, and a written assignment.
    -The group assignment involves 4-6 people with ~4 assessors (sp?) sitting around the outside of the room. You are given a scenario and need to advocate for your project and then work towards a compromise.

    Interview Questions

  2. Helpful (2)  

    Foreign Service Officer Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate in San Francisco, CA
    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Difficult Interview
    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Difficult Interview

    Application

    I applied online. The process took 9+ monthsinterviewed at US Department of State (San Francisco, CA) in October 2009.

    Interview

    Started with written exam, followed by submission of 6 short essays. Once invited to the Oral Assessment portion of the interview, look forward to a structured group exercise, a one on one (or one on two) interview, and a case management exercise. It's a full day, and it's quite daunting.

    Interview Questions

    • Cannot answer this because of non disclosure agreement.   Answer Question
  3. Helpful (2)  

    No Offer
    Neutral Experience
    Difficult Interview
    No Offer
    Neutral Experience
    Difficult Interview

    Application

    I applied online. The process took 5+ monthsinterviewed at US Department of State in November 2011.

    Interview

    After passing the initial computer assessment, I made it to the mysterious QNP section, which is relatively new. Submitting a number of essays on various subjects regarding my past experiences in school and work, I came to realize why the State Department values older, mid-career hires more than younger recruits.

    Interview Questions

    • Speak to a failure of yours in the workplace and how you overcame it   Answer Question
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  5. Helpful (2)  

    Foreign Service Officer Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Difficult Interview
    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Difficult Interview

    Application

    I applied online. The process took 11+ monthsinterviewed at US Department of State in June 2010.

    Interview

    Step one is the FSOT, step 2 is the QEP which is a series of essays about oneself, third is the oral exam. If you pass the oral exam you then have a background investigation done and have to get a medical clearance. Doing all this is no guarantee of job offer though as candidates are then rank ordered by their oral assessment score and called as needs arise.

    Overall a very long and intensive process. Approximately 3% of those who apply to take the FSOT will eventually matriculate as FSOs.

    Interview Questions

    Negotiation

    There is no salary negotiation. Compensation is based on the FS pay scale.

  6. Helpful (1)  

    Special Agent Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Difficult Interview
    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Difficult Interview

    Application

    I applied online. The process took a year or moreinterviewed at US Department of State.

    Interview

    a series of tests and interviews to assess skills, personality and suitability.

    Negotiation

    this is a govenrment job, no negotiation.

  7. Helpful (1)  

    Foreign Service Officer Interview

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

    Application

    I applied through other source. The process took a dayinterviewed 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
  8. Helpful (1)  

    Special Agent Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Arlington, VA
    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Difficult Interview
    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Difficult Interview

    Application

    I applied online. The process took 12+ monthsinterviewed at US Department of State (Arlington, VA) in July 2013.

    Interview

    The interview process was very interesting. I had to travel to Washington DC on my own dime, find my own lodging, etc. The interview itself consisted of 4 phases that take about 3-4 hours to complete. I cannot go into detail (they make you sign a paper saying that you cannot disclose this type of information) but I can say that the interview was pretty free flowing. By that, I mean that there was little time of rest in between phases. You will have to explain your experience, verbally and on paper, you will get cross checked, you will be asked about international relations, foreign policy and current events, and you will be asked about security matters. The hardest part, beside the interview itself is the written test that you have to complete. You have 45 minutes to complete a 5 paragraph essay based on the information that the provide you with. It has to be official and relevant to the scenario that's been given to you. Written competency has to be sharp because of the time limit. Overall, it was a great experience.

    Interview Questions

    • I cannot disclose that information, but I can say that your knowledge of government operations, functions and international relations as well as security operations, and integrating all of these will be required.   Answer Question

    Negotiation

    It was a conditional offer of employment based on my background investigation. If everything clears, then you get put on a waiting list called the register with a ranking, based on that ranking you will get assigned to a Special Agent class.

  9.  

    Information Management Specialist Interview

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

    Application

    I applied online – interviewed at US Department of State (Washington, DC) in June 2014.

    Interview

    Lengthy interview and they dont get to tell you where you went wrong. Funny that they decide a pass or fail, and just hand you a letter....worst kind of interview.

    Interview Questions

    • They asked me why I wanted the job and why I feel suited for the position. I wouldn't want the job if I had not taken the time to avail myself for the interview!!   1 Answer
  10.  

    Logistics Specialist Interview

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

    Application

    I applied online – interviewed at US Department of State (Washington, DC) in May 2010.

    Interview

    Once your resume passed the USA job process, you are referred, than called for an interview and possible written testing. Priority is given to certain candidates categories, if you are not a vet, you will need to wait for a long time if your application is submitted to the hiring manager.

    Interview Questions

    • Scenario questions, nothing different than what you would expect for this position   Answer Question

    Negotiation

    No room for negotiation

  11. Helpful (2)  

    Consular Adjudicator Interview

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

    Application

    I applied online. The process took 11+ monthsinterviewed at US Department of State (Washington, DC) in June 2012.

    Interview

    I found a position on USAJOBS.gov. I applied, passed an initial stage, and then passed an initial language stage. Afterwards, I was told to prepare the e-QIP security clearance application and flew to Washington DC for an interview. The entire process took 6 months.

    The interview actually takes up about an entire day. The morning section consisted of tests, then a formal interview. Once I got the results, I came in for the afternoon for the language test. After I passed that section, I had to complete the rest of the security protocols.

    Interview Questions

    • Most questions revolve around the skillset that the position required. There were no out-of-the-blue questions.   Answer Question

    Negotiation

    There was no negotiation phase as I was only offered a conditional offer. A complete offer was only after a successful security clearance and suitability phase which I did not pass.

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