US Department of State Interview Questions

Updated Mar 12, 2015
Updated Mar 12, 2015
83 Interview Reviews

Interview Experience

Interview Experience

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Getting an Interview

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Candidate Interview Reviews

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  1.  

    Intern Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    Application Details

    I applied online. The process took 2+ monthsinterviewed at US Department of State.

    Interview Details

    The hiring process is all online so have a strong application because there was no interview. Your application can be reviewed by all agencies by Once selected, you must undergo a background check that will last around 3 months. You can only start and complete the internship if you pass the background check. Submit all documentation for the background check as quick as possible to ensure its completion before school starts.

    Interview Questions
    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Average Interview
  2.  

    Intern Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    Application Details

    I applied online – interviewed at US Department of State.

    Interview Details

    Apply 6 months ahead of start date on USAjobs. You do not need any connections or networking, which is really nice. Got emails from the bureaus I was interested in, Brasilia and Lisbon. Scheduled a phone interview for the crack of dawn. Language skills are a massive plus as well as a background of volunteer work. If you really want the internship apply to one of the less popular areas like smaller European countries or even better Africa.

    Interview Questions
    • What do you know about the position/Department of State? (Question wasnt meant to be an "interview" question though)   Answer Question
    • We have a native Portuguese speaker here who will speak with you to gauge your fluency...   View Answer
    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Average Interview
  3.  

    Intern Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    Application Details

    I applied online. The process took 3+ monthsinterviewed at US Department of State.

    Interview Details

    Pretty straightforward. Applied on USA Jobs and heard back in a few months. Had a phone interview and then got my COE. I then waited a few months to get my security clearance, and once received, I was off running.

    Interview Questions
    • If you had a few minutes with the Secretary of State, what would you say are the challenges facing U.S. Diplomacy today?   Answer Question
    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Difficult Interview
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  5.  

    ICASS Administrative Support Interview

    Anonymous Employee
    Anonymous Employee
    Application Details

    I applied online. The process took 2 weeksinterviewed at US Department of State.

    Interview Details

    I sent in my application via USAJobs, and I was contacted after two weeks to set up a phone interview. My interviewer clearly did not read my resume. The interview stopped after I mentioned I had not previously used SharePoint. I was discouraged, particularly because I explained that I managed projects and developed websites in my previous positions. It wasn't going to be a good match.

    Interview Questions
    No Offer
    Negative Experience
    Easy Interview
  6.  

    Foreign Affairs Officer Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    Interview Details

    Most of the jobs in the gs 12-14 range are pre-cooked for people already. Still it is worth taking a chance but dont be too disappointed. Jobs can be pulled and readvertized until the right person gets it. But for about 30 to 40 percent of the jobs there is no internal candidate.

    Interview Questions
    • Please explain how x on your resume meets the goals of the job   Answer Question
    Negotiation Details
    Very difficult to negotiate - they have sops which determine what they will offer.
    Accepted Offer
    Difficult Interview
  7.  

    Summer Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    Application Details

    I applied online. The process took 9+ monthsinterviewed at US Department of State in November 2012.

    Interview Details

    The most difficult part of the application process was waiting for the background check to clear. Other than that the interview process was relatively simple. I applied online in September and was emailed in November for an interview (I went to school in the UK full time, normally the interviewer would cold call an applicant). Less than a week later I was notified that I was the primary candidate, someone was also chosen as a secondary candidate but would only get the position if I did not get security clearance. In May, I had a State Department representative meet me at my school to interview me about my background information. Within the month I had passed the background check and was cleared to work for the US Department of State!

    Interview Questions
    • Please tell me about a time when you multi-tasked.   View Answer
    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Average Interview
  8.  

    Foreign Service Officer Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    Interview Details

    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 Details
    Take it or leave it
    Accepted Offer
  9.  

    Passport Specialist Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    Application Details

    I applied through other source. The process took 12+ monthsinterviewed at US Department of State.

    Interview Details

    6+ months, no interview. Contingent offer based on passing security clearance. Started within a month of security clearance.

    Some colleagues that were interviewed had to go through two rounds with an interview panel.

    Negotiation Details
    No negotiation, federal. Except you can negotiate the starting grade. I didn't have to.
    Accepted Offer
    Easy Interview
  10. 1 person found this helpful  

    Special Agent Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Arlington, VA
    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Arlington, VA
    Application Details

    I applied online. The process took 12+ monthsinterviewed at US Department of State in July 2013.

    Interview Details

    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 Details
    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.
    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Difficult Interview
  11.  

    Program Analyst Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    Application Details

    I applied online. The process took 3+ monthsinterviewed at US Department of State in November 2011.

    Interview Details

    Complicated and difficult. Really the only way to currently get hired and pass the certification process is to be a U.S. Veteran. Using USAJobs.gov is also not easy. Make sure to put as much detail as possible in your online resume and answer each question with as high a possible rating as you can (stretching the truth is recommended but don't lie).

    Interview Questions
    • I didn't find any of the questions difficult or unexpected. I was surprised the person who interviewed didn't know more about the technical field they were interviewing me for.   Answer Question
    Negotiation Details
    No negotiations. Offer was made and that was it. The U.S. Government's Civil Servant salary is publicly available.
    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Average Interview

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