US Department of State Interview Questions

Updated Jun 23, 2015
88 Interview Reviews

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  1. Helpful (1)  

    Foreign Service Specialist Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Washington, DC
    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.

  2. Helpful (1)  

    Intern Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Washington, DC
    Accepted Offer

    Application

    I applied online. The process took 3+ monthsinterviewed at US Department of State (Washington, DC).

    Interview

    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

    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.

  3. Helpful (2)  

    Foreign Affairs Officer Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Washington, DC
    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).

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  5.  

    Summer Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    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
  6.  

    Public Diplomacy Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Washington, DC
    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

  7. Helpful (2)  

    Consular Adjudicator Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Washington, DC
    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.

  8. Helpful (3)  

    Passport Specialist Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Boston, MA
    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

  9.  

    Contract Specialist Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Washington, DC
    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.

  10.  

    Intern Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Rosslyn, VA
    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

  11.  

    Program Analyst Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    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.

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3 people found this helpful

 Former Anonymous Employee in Washington, DC

Pros: “Extremely challenging, sense of purpose, decent compensation, opportunities for international travel/living. Outstanding, high-achieving colleagues who work as a team. Almost every…” Full Review

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