US Department of State Interview Questions

Updated Sep 4, 2014
Updated Sep 4, 2014
72 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.  

    Foreign Affairs Officer Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate  in  Washington, DC
    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Washington, DC
    Application Details

    I applied through other source. The process took 8 months - interviewed at US Department of State.

    Interview Details

    Interviewed through PMF program process. Interview was with three members of the hiring office and questions were a mix of testing technical knowledge and gauging my ability to fit in with the rest of the team. Questions were not particularly difficult, and it seemed like a premium was put on my fit with the "office culture".

    Hiring was a PAIN. I was offered the job in June, and didn't start until the following February due to background investigation and a candidate with veteran's preference challenging my hiring. If you are trying to get hired for a job with a TS clearance, you may be waiting a long time. Process was also very opaque - they were really not able or willing to tell me anything other than "wait a bit longer, we will definitely bring you on, just be patient". To their credit, they did come through in the end.

    Interview Questions
    • Questions were all pretty expected - most had to do with my graduate research.   Answer Question
    Negotiation Details
    Non-negotiable (defined by PMF program)
    Accepted Offer
    Negative Experience
    Average Interview
  2. 1 person found this helpful  

    Intern Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    Application Details

    I applied through an employee referral. 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 Questions
    Accepted Offer
    Average Interview
  3. 1 person found this helpful  

    Student Assistant Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate  in  Bay City, MI
    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Bay City, MI
    Application Details

    I applied online. The process took 3 weeks - interviewed at US Department of State in April 2013.

    Interview Details

    Emailed resume, called in for interview, sent on fingerprinting and drug testing, interviewed and called back week later to see if I would like the job.

    Interview Questions
    Negotiation Details
    Management asked if I would except the position at a certain amount of money with no benefits, there was no negotiation.
    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Easy Interview
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  5. 3 people found this helpful  

    Information Technology Specialist Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    Application Details

    I applied online. The process took 2 days - interviewed at US Department of State.

    Interview Details

    USA Jobs is the only process for all federal employment. You must make the cert by being evaluated as the top candidate from all of the other submissions in order for your information to passed on to the next phase and finally the hiring manager.

    Negotiation Details
    Dependent on your hiring manager and their ability to negotiate with HR on your behalf.
    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Average Interview
  6. 1 person found this helpful  

    Intern Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    Interview Details

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

    Interview Questions
    No Offer
  7. 1 person found this helpful  

    Foreign Service Officer Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate  in  Washington, DC
    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Washington, DC
    Application Details

    I applied online. The process took 4 months - interviewed at US Department of State.

    Interview Details

    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?   View Answer
    Negotiation Details
    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.
    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Difficult Interview
  8. 1 person found this helpful  

    Foreign Affairs Officer Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate  in  Washington, DC
    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Washington, DC
    Application Details

    I applied through a recruiter - interviewed at US Department of State in November 2012.

    Interview Details

    I was a Presidential Management Fellowship Finalist and competed with other Finalists for this job. I was recruited directly by the agency.

    Interview Questions
    • Describe you experience planning events and working with difficult people.   View Answer
    Negotiation Details
    As a PMF, the program is highly regulated and base salary is set for you (no wiggle room).
    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Average Interview
  9. 1 person found this helpful  

    Foreign Affairs Officer Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    Application Details

    I applied online. The process took 12 months - interviewed at US Department of State in July 2009.

    Interview Details

    I came in through a fellowship program after grad school. Applied to fellowship online, then applied to State online. Had several phone interviews before was hired. Entire process took about a year. Security clearance took four months.

    Interview Questions
    Negotiation Details
    No negotiation - State pays all of its incoming fellows in my program the same amount.
    Accepted Offer
    Neutral Experience
    Average Interview
  10. 1 person found this helpful  

    Intern Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    Application Details

    I applied online. 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 Questions
    • No difficult or unexpected question. They all pertained to the position and my availability.   Answer Question
    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
  11. 1 person found this helpful  

    Intern Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate  in  Washington, DC
    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Washington, DC
    Application Details

    I applied online. 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 Questions
    • Provide a summary of a recent research topic you have worked on.   Answer Question
    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Average Interview

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Pros: “Ability to work in huge DC federal agency, make contacts. Looks good on resume.” Full Review

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