US Department of State

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US Department of State Interview Questions

Updated Nov 13, 2014
Updated Nov 13, 2014
76 Interview Reviews

Interview Experience

Interview Experience

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Getting an Interview

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Interview Difficulty

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Candidate Interview Reviews

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  1. 4 people 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 6+ monthsinterviewed at US Department of State in October 2011.

    Interview Details

    First took the computer based "written" test, which was three sections of multiple choice and a writing section. Second, submitted 6 personal narrative questions that pertained to leadership, initiative, and other desirable qualities. Final round is a day-long interview consisting of an interview, memo-writing, and a group session where you, along with a handful of other applicants, discuss the merits of a particular project while the interviewers monitor you.

    Interview Questions
    No Offer
    Neutral Experience
    Difficult Interview
  2.  

    IT Specialist 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 September 2011.

    Interview Details

    Visit USAGov site to determine if there are any openings. If so, the job seeker will need to submit an online application. If the application is approved, the job seeker will be invited for a comprehensive test/interview. If all goes well, a security background investigation and medical physical will also be required before any formal job offer is made

    Interview Questions
    • The questions range from: history, politics, current events, to situational scenarios where the applicant is given the opportunity to explain how they reacted to certain events. Scenarios may be driven by the specialty desired or general experience.   Answer Question
    Negotiation Details
    Very automated (with set parameters) and based on one's experience level.
    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Difficult Interview
  3.  

    Intern Interview

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

    The process took a dayinterviewed at US Department of State in August 2011.

    Interview Details

    The interviewer called me and we spoke, in detail, about the position and my career goals. He then invited me to come in for an interview with a panel of three people (one Foreign Affairs Officer, one foreign service office and one Public Affairs officer). The interview lasted about an hour and consisted of a range of questions from my background, to work experience to Secretary Clinton's diplomacy style. Also, make sure to ask for their business cards at the end of your interview.

    Interview Questions
    Negotiation Details
    No negotiation was possible.
    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Difficult Interview
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  5. 1 person found this helpful  

    Entry Level Planner Interview

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

    I applied online. The process took 3 weeksinterviewed at US Department of State in June 2011.

    Interview Details

    Complex hiring process and testing

    Interview Questions
    No Offer
    Neutral Experience
    Average Interview
  6. 2 people found this helpful  

    English Language Fellow Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Seattle, WA
    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Seattle, WA
    Application Details

    I applied online. The process took 5+ weeksinterviewed at US Department of State in May 2011.

    Interview Details

    The process starts with an interview and then you are put into a pool of job seekers according to regions setup by the government. There is an effort to accommodate a request but in the end you may be placed in an entirely different area than you requested. There is a great deal of paperwork. Once it is complete you are scheduled for an orientation held in Washington DC. The ticket is purchased and usually the job will begin about Sept. 1.

    Interview Questions
    • What is the most difficult part of teaching for you. What has been your greatest challenge living abroad.   Answer Question
    Negotiation Details
    I think that was the most difficult part because they are not very good at providing information on the financial consequences of your decision to work for them. Example, you are not aware that your tax status will be that of an contractor and you will be taxed at a much higher rate than if you work abroad for a foreign university.

    You are NOT told that if you do not stay with your current assignment then you must reapply all over again. Basically, whatever you decide you stay two years OR you risk no job at all.
    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Average Interview
  7. 3 people 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 12+ monthsinterviewed at US Department of State in April 2011.

    Interview Details

    Online application followed by sitting for the Foreign Service Test. The test is a comprehensive test that tests everything from US Political and Government history to Logic, to Interpersonal Skills. Following the test there are a series of interviews. You have a group interview where you solve problems as if you were in the embassy as well as a personal interview.

    Interview Questions
    • They were all typical questions that you find in an interview.   Answer Question
    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Average Interview
  8. 1 person found this helpful  

    Undergraduate/Graduate Internships 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 December 2010.

    Interview Details

    Internship interviews are very generic. More informational in nature. I've had two internship experiences and both calls are impromptu, with individuals from your potential office briefly discussing the basic functions of their particular office and asking questions pertaining to your functional understanding of the work.

    Interview Questions
    • One of my internships was in the Arms Control Bureau - my interviewer asked me a specific question pertaining an on-going treaty negotiation and if I had an idea of which particular country on the delegation was stalling negotiation efforts.   Answer Question
    Negotiation Details
    Be familiar with the bureaus/consulates that you've selected in your internship application! Both calls for me were unscheduled, so I had no time to prep for the specific office that I spoke with. Having a general understanding of the bureau is typically plenty to get you by.
    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Easy Interview
  9. 1 person found this helpful  

    Chief Engineer 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 in October 2010.

    Interview Details

    Must be a veteran! Otherwise you won't be considered for employment. The "cert" requires you to have been a veteran. Ten points guarantees you a job, having served in a war zone.

    Interview Questions
    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Easy Interview
  10. 4 people found this helpful  

    Foreign Service Officer Interview

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

    The process took a dayinterviewed at US Department of State in May 2010.

    Interview Details

    First 1/3 of the day was a group exercise (5 people) where you demonstrated your negotiation, communication, and interpersonal skills; Second 1/3 of the day was a 2 on 1 interview; Last 1/3 of the day was a 90 min. memo-writing exercise.

    Interview Questions
    No Offer
    Positive Experience
    Difficult Interview
  11. 1 person found this helpful  

    Program Assistant Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate in New York, NY
    Anonymous Interview Candidate in New York, NY
    Application Details

    I applied through an employee referral. The process took 12+ monthsinterviewed at US Department of State in May 2010.

    Interview Details

    Pretty standard interview process, they asked about my background from my resume (they'd read it, which is a plus compared to a lot of other places). The real hang-up was that after I'd gotten the offer my paperwork got lost in HR and it was a year before they tracked it down (nobody seemed to know who to call, and I was stuck on the outside).

    Interview Questions
    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Average Interview

See What US Department of State Employees Are Saying

 Former Foreign Affairs Officer in Washington, DC

Pros: “- Opportunity to make an impact on foreign policy decisions; work with very senior officers and talented, intelligent people. - Great benefits, and thanks to Colin Powell, civil servants…” Full Review

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