US Department of State Interview Questions

Updated Apr 18, 2015
85 Interview Reviews

Interview Experience

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Getting an Interview

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Candidate Interview Reviews

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  1. 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.

  2. Helpful (1)  

    Foreign Affairs Officer Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    Accepted Offer
    Accepted Offer

    Interview

    Very based on who you know and on getting referred by an insider.

    Interview Questions

    • "Imagine you arrive at the office and learn of a major natural disaster, refugees are crossing international borders, people are dying, etc., etc. - what do you do?"   1 Answer

    Negotiation

    No negotiation at all. It was a take it or leave it offer, with the HR person stating out loud that he has a stack of 500 other qualified people he can call next if I don't like the offered salary.

  3. Helpful (2)  

    No Offer
    Negative Experience
    Average Interview
    No Offer
    Negative Experience
    Average Interview

    Application

    I applied online. The process took 10+ monthsinterviewed at US Department of State in June 2013.

    Interview

    All day assessment meant to be a challenge. Group exercise was straight forward but had people who were unyielding--I failed. Case management was just like one from packet--long with a twist towards the end--I passed. Interview is straight forward exactly and I mean exactly what the packet says is going to happen

    Interview Questions

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  5. Helpful (2)  

    Passport Specialist Interview

    Anonymous Employee in San Francisco, CA
    Declined Offer
    Positive Experience
    Average Interview
    Declined Offer
    Positive Experience
    Average Interview

    Application

    I applied through other source. The process took 2+ monthsinterviewed at US Department of State (San Francisco, CA) in April 2013.

    Interview

    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
  6. Helpful (1)  

    Student Assistant Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Bay City, MI
    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Easy Interview
    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Easy Interview

    Application

    I applied online. The process took 3 weeksinterviewed at US Department of State (Bay City, MI) in April 2013.

    Interview

    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

    Management asked if I would except the position at a certain amount of money with no benefits, there was no negotiation.

  7. Helpful (1)  

    Intern Interview

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

    Application

    I applied online. The process took 5+ monthsinterviewed at US Department of State (Washington, DC) in April 2013.

    Interview

    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
  8.  

    Intern Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Cleveland Heights, OH
    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Easy Interview
    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Easy Interview

    Application

    I applied online – interviewed at US Department of State (Cleveland Heights, OH) in April 2013.

    Interview

    Online application through State Department internship program portal. Was called for different position than that for which I applied. Telephone and background check for security clearance with several in-person interviews by investigator.

    Interview Questions

    Negotiation

    There was nothing to negotiate. This was an unpaid, internship position.

  9. Helpful (1)  

    FSO 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 6+ monthsinterviewed at US Department of State (Washington, DC) in March 2013.

    Interview

    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
  10.  

    Summer Intern Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    Accepted Offer
    Accepted Offer

    Application

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

    Interview

    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
  11.  

    Foreign Service Specialist 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 8+ monthsinterviewed at US Department of State (Washington, DC).

    Interview

    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

    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.

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