US Department of State Interview Questions

Updated Apr 14, 2015
Updated Apr 14, 2015
84 Interview Reviews

Interview Experience

Interview Experience

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  1. Helpful (1)  

    Foreign Affairs Officer Interview

    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Average Interview
    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Average Interview

    Application

    I applied through a recruiter – interviewed at US Department of State (Washington, DC) in November 2012.

    Interview

    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.   1 Answer

    Negotiation

    As a PMF, the program is highly regulated and base salary is set for you (no wiggle room).

  2.  

    Summer Interview

    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Average Interview
    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Average Interview

    Application

    I applied online. The process took 9+ monthsinterviewed at US Department of State in November 2012.

    Interview

    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.   1 Answer
  3.  

    Public Diplomacy Interview

    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Average Interview
    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Average Interview

    Application

    I applied online. The process took 2+ monthsinterviewed at US Department of State (Washington, DC) in August 2012.

    Interview

    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

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  5. Helpful (2)  

    Consular Adjudicator Interview

    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Difficult Interview
    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Difficult Interview

    Application

    I applied online. The process took 11+ monthsinterviewed at US Department of State (Washington, DC) in June 2012.

    Interview

    I found a position on USAJOBS.gov. I applied, passed an initial stage, and then passed an initial language stage. Afterwards, I was told to prepare the e-QIP security clearance application and flew to Washington DC for an interview. The entire process took 6 months.

    The interview actually takes up about an entire day. The morning section consisted of tests, then a formal interview. Once I got the results, I came in for the afternoon for the language test. After I passed that section, I had to complete the rest of the security protocols.

    Interview Questions

    • Most questions revolve around the skillset that the position required. There were no out-of-the-blue questions.   Answer Question

    Negotiation

    There was no negotiation phase as I was only offered a conditional offer. A complete offer was only after a successful security clearance and suitability phase which I did not pass.

  6. Helpful (3)  

    Passport Specialist Interview

    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Average Interview
    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Average Interview

    Application

    I applied online – interviewed at US Department of State (Boston, MA) in March 2012.

    Interview

    Submitted application via usajobs.com. Was contacted by email a month later to set up a phone interview. The first interview was pretty standard. They wanted to see if I had the skills to adjudicate, make decisions and to be meticulous. A few weeks later I had a second interview that was more of the same. I was offered the job a week later. Once this was done I was sent a hireling package. This position requires a high risk public trust screening, this is similar to a security clearance. They went ten years back on law and conducted a credit check. The most important thing to this check is being completely honest. This number one thing that will cause you problems and takes the longest time. It took four months from accepting the position to getting to my start date.

    Interview Questions

    • I really can't remember. I do remember that they were not impressed with prior leadership positions since this is an entry level position.   Answer Question

    Negotiation

    No. This is a GS position and you fall under that scale

  7.  

    Contract Specialist Interview

    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Average Interview
    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Average Interview

    Application

    I applied online – interviewed at US Department of State (Washington, DC) in March 2012.

    Interview

    Apply through USA Jobs. Phone Interview and possible face-to-face interview.

    Interview Questions

    Negotiation

    It depends on your education and experience. Salary is not negotiated. There is a GS pay scale that employees fall into.

  8.  

    Intern Interview

    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Easy Interview
    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Easy Interview

    Application

    I applied online. The process took 6+ monthsinterviewed at US Department of State (Rosslyn, VA) in January 2012.

    Interview

    Easy, learned about supervisor's background

    Interview Questions

  9.  

    Program Analyst Interview

    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Average Interview
    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Average Interview

    Application

    I applied online. The process took 3+ monthsinterviewed at US Department of State in November 2011.

    Interview

    Complicated and difficult. Really the only way to currently get hired and pass the certification process is to be a U.S. Veteran. Using USAJobs.gov is also not easy. Make sure to put as much detail as possible in your online resume and answer each question with as high a possible rating as you can (stretching the truth is recommended but don't lie).

    Interview Questions

    • I didn't find any of the questions difficult or unexpected. I was surprised the person who interviewed didn't know more about the technical field they were interviewing me for.   Answer Question

    Negotiation

    No negotiations. Offer was made and that was it. The U.S. Government's Civil Servant salary is publicly available.

  10. Helpful (4)  

    Foreign Service Officer Interview

    No Offer
    Neutral Experience
    Difficult Interview
    No Offer
    Neutral Experience
    Difficult Interview

    Application

    I applied online. The process took 6+ monthsinterviewed at US Department of State (Washington, DC) in October 2011.

    Interview

    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

  11.  

    IT Specialist Interview

    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Difficult Interview
    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Difficult Interview

    Application

    I applied online. The process took 6+ monthsinterviewed at US Department of State (Washington, DC) in September 2011.

    Interview

    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

    Very automated (with set parameters) and based on one's experience level.

See What US Department of State Employees Are Saying

 Former Anonymous Employee

Pros: “Depends on which office you're in. I worked in a office where the number of staff was small so there was much more interaction between interns and the staff. I was also given much more…” Full Review

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