US Department of State Interview Questions

Updated Jul 16, 2015
92 Interview Reviews

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  1.  

    Political Analyst Intern Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    Accepted Offer

    Application

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

    Interview

    You apply by submitting the application on the USAJOBS website. Be sure to include some of your personal interests in your cover letter because they can be the deciding factor in the selection process. My boss picked me instead of the other candidates because we both liked to watch movies, so he knew we would get along well. During the interview there will be the standard questions (Tell me about yourself, tell me about a time when you had to overcome adversity, tell me about a time when you had to do a research project).

    Interview Questions

    Negotiation

    It is an unpaid internship, so it was pretty quick.

  2. Helpful (1)  

    Mechanical Engineer Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Arlington, VA
    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience

    Application

    I applied online. The process took 9+ monthsinterviewed at US Department of State (Arlington, VA).

    Interview

    Via networking, I was told of an announcement on the Department of State's website for a mechanical engineering position. I followed up and submitted all the paper forms via fax to the HR office. About two months later, I was called by the HR person asking for verification that I was a veteran (I am a Vietnam veteran with honorable discharge). That was sent in and then I had to complete a length security questionnaire. Once that was sent in, then it was another two months waiting for a decision. I was told it was a lower salary that I was making, and I had to justify the salary for this position, based on years of experience in this industry. Finally, I got a written offer from the HR office and I accepted.

    Interview Questions

    • I was told by my first supervisor that I was on a one-year probation, and that during that time I could be fired for anything that he felt was justified.   Answer Question
  3. 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!

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  5. Helpful (1)  

    Foreign Affairs Officer Interview

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

    Application

    I applied through other source. The process took 8+ monthsinterviewed at US Department of State (Washington, DC).

    Interview

    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

    Non-negotiable (defined by PMF program)

  6. Helpful (3)  

    Intern Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    Accepted Offer
    Average Interview

    Application

    I applied through an employee referral. The process took 4+ monthsinterviewed at US Department of State.

    Interview

    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

  7. Helpful (3)  

    Information Technology Specialist Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Average Interview

    Application

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

    Interview

    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

    Dependent on your hiring manager and their ability to negotiate with HR on your behalf.

  8. Helpful (1)  

    Intern Interview

    Anonymous Employee
    No Offer

    Interview

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

    Interview Questions

  9. 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+ monthsinterviewed 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.

  10. Helpful (2)  

    Public Affairs Officer Intern Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    Accepted Offer
    Easy Interview

    Application

    interviewed at US Department of State in December 2013.

    Interview

    Applied online through USA Jobs website and was contacted via email by the post after about a month. The interview process was quite easy and mostly had questions regarding my availability and previous experience. I was able to ask many questions about what type of work I would be doing.

    Interview Questions

  11. Helpful (1)  

    Intern Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience

    Application

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

    Interview

    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

See What US Department of State Employees Are Saying

 Former Anonymous Employee in Washington, DC

Pros: “Challenging; wide range of experiences; travel; great work-life balance”“Challenging; wide range of experiences; travel; great work-life balance” – Full Review

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