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US Department of State Interview Questions

Updated Jan 19, 2015
Updated Jan 19, 2015
81 Interview Reviews

Interview Experience

Interview Experience

78%
13%
8%

Getting an Interview

Getting an Interview

62%
27%
4%

Interview Difficulty

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Candidate Interview Reviews

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  1. 2 people found this helpful  

    Passport Specialist Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate in San Francisco, CA
    Anonymous Interview Candidate in San Francisco, CA
    Application Details

    I applied through other source. The process took 2+ monthsinterviewed at US Department of State in April 2013.

    Interview Details

    In person interview as first step

    Interview Questions
    • How would I deal with doing a redundant mind numbing task for hours at a time?   Answer Question
    Declined Offer
    Positive Experience
    Average Interview
  2. 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 weeksinterviewed 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
  3. 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+ monthsinterviewed 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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  5. 1 person found this helpful  

    FSO Interview

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

    I applied online. The process took 6+ monthsinterviewed at US Department of State in March 2013.

    Interview Details

    Completed written test, passed the personal narratives, and was invited to the full-day oral assessments (OA). OA was a true experience that cannot be replicated outside of the testing environment.

    Interview Questions
    • Typical behavior based interview questions for the SI portion. The Group Exercise was challenging due to the limited time and cramped spaces to work.   Answer Question
    No Offer
    Positive Experience
    Difficult Interview
  6.  

    Summer Intern Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    Application Details

    I applied online. The process took a dayinterviewed at US Department of State.

    Interview Details

    1 phone interview: relatively easy, mostly behavioral and concerning my thoughts/opinions about current events.

    Interview Questions
    • Asked me to explain succinctly the events that were currently going on in the Middle East.   Answer Question
    Accepted Offer
  7.  

    Foreign Service Specialist Interview

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

    I applied online. The process took 8+ monthsinterviewed at US Department of State.

    Interview Details

    The hiring process is long and tedious. The interview process takes an entire day, which includes a considerable of waiting. You are interviewed by two or three people who tell you that they have to remain "stone-faced", so as not to display a personal interest in you.

    Interview Questions
    • How have you persuaded a group of people, many of whom you do not know, to change their current mindset to one that is similar to yours?   Answer Question
    Negotiation Details
    There is no salary negotiation. You are paid according to the Foreign Service pay scale. Benefits and most importantly, the start date, is not negotiable, and nor are they even mentioned.
    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Difficult Interview
  8. 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 3+ monthsinterviewed 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 Questions
    • 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.
    Accepted Offer
  9. 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
  10.  

    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
  11.  

    Public Diplomacy Interview

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

    I applied online. The process took 2+ monthsinterviewed at US Department of State in August 2012.

    Interview Details

    Given the size of the organization, the interview will be based on what Bureau and office you have applied for. I interviewed for both a regional and functional Bureau. The difficulty of the interviews was comparable, and I felt it was much more relaxed than expected. I think the most important thing for State is to gauge your ability to act diplomatically under stress, verbal and written communication skills, and genuine interest in the area/function of the Bureau you're applying for. I would say that after having interned there both in person and virtually, the people there are generally relaxed, so it's much better to let your personality show instead of being overly formal.

    Interview Questions
    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Average Interview

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