US Department of State Interview Questions in Washington, DC

Updated Jul 16, 2015
34 Interview Reviews

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Interview Experience

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34 Candidate Interview Reviews Back to all Interviews

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  1.  

    Foreign Service Health Practitioner Interview

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

    Application

    I applied online. The process took 1 day. I interviewed at US Department of State (Washington, DC) in April 2015.

    Interview

    Interview consisted of a 1-2 page essay, a 60 point questionaire. After you are done with that you go on to the oral assessment lasting about 2-3 hours. Interviewers were friendly and made it comfortable yet formal. Many of the interview questions required alot of though and they are designed to assess your capability to problem solve, communicate in an effective manner and how knowledgeable you are in your field. Fairly pleasant experience.

  2.  

    Social Media Coordinator Interview

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

    Application

    I applied online. The process took 2+ months. I interviewed at US Department of State (Washington, DC) in September 2014.

    Interview

    They can only ask the same questions to everyone. To show the interview is fair. You can study them online. Theory and case study can help. Show them you really know although you may not have done that before. The whole process is very slow. From the time you submit the application, to interview, then u got selected, background check... It can take half a year. Be patient.

    Interview Questions

    • It's mostly abt experience and skills. Not super difficult.   1 Answer
  3.  

    Information Management Specialist Interview

    Anonymous Employee in Washington, DC
    No Offer
    Negative Experience
    Difficult Interview

    Application

    I applied online. I interviewed at US Department of State (Washington, DC) in June 2014.

    Interview

    Lengthy interview and they dont get to tell you where you went wrong. Funny that they decide a pass or fail, and just hand you a letter....worst kind of interview.

    Interview Questions

    • They asked me why I wanted the job and why I feel suited for the position. I wouldn't want the job if I had not taken the time to avail myself for the interview!!   1 Answer
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  5.  

    English Language Fellow Interview

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

    Application

    I applied online. The process took 5+ months. I interviewed at US Department of State (Washington, DC) in May 2014.

    Interview

    There was a lengthy online interview process including a personal statement and 3 personalized reference letters. Then this was followed by a Skype interview 4-5 months later. I received a few emails matching me with jobs before I was finally offered a position in late June. In total the hiring process took more than 7 months.

    Interview Questions

  6. Helpful (1)  

    Mechanical Engineer Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Arlington, VA
    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience

    Application

    I applied online. The process took 9+ months. I interviewed at US Department of State (Arlington, VA).

    Interview

    Via networking, I was told of an announcement on the Department of State's website for a mechanical engineering position. I followed up and submitted all the paper forms via fax to the HR office. About two months later, I was called by the HR person asking for verification that I was a veteran (I am a Vietnam veteran with honorable discharge). That was sent in and then I had to complete a length security questionnaire. Once that was sent in, then it was another two months waiting for a decision. I was told it was a lower salary that I was making, and I had to justify the salary for this position, based on years of experience in this industry. Finally, I got a written offer from the HR office and I accepted.

    Interview Questions

    • I was told by my first supervisor that I was on a one-year probation, and that during that time I could be fired for anything that he felt was justified.   Answer Question
  7. Helpful (1)  

    Foreign Affairs Officer Interview

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

    Application

    I applied through other source. The process took 8+ months. I interviewed at US Department of State (Washington, DC).

    Interview

    Interviewed through PMF program process. Interview was with three members of the hiring office and questions were a mix of testing technical knowledge and gauging my ability to fit in with the rest of the team. Questions were not particularly difficult, and it seemed like a premium was put on my fit with the "office culture". Hiring was a PAIN. I was offered the job in June, and didn't start until the following February due to background investigation and a candidate with veteran's preference challenging my hiring. If you are trying to get hired for a job with a TS clearance, you may be waiting a long time. Process was also very opaque - they were really not able or willing to tell me anything other than "wait a bit longer, we will definitely bring you on, just be patient". To their credit, they did come through in the end.

    Interview Questions

    • Questions were all pretty expected - most had to do with my graduate research.   Answer Question

    Negotiation

    Non-negotiable (defined by PMF program)

  8. Helpful (3)  

    Foreign Service Officer Interview

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

    Application

    I applied online. The process took 4+ months. I interviewed at US Department of State (Washington, DC).

    Interview

    A cumbersome process in the 1990s-2000s, involving written exams at testing centers - now all online. The key is the oral interview. The key to being successful at the oral interview is to show that you can work in a group setting to accomplish a shared objective. Do not try to 'win', or you will lose. Find consensus.

    Interview Questions

    • What is a tense situation that you managed to overcome in a work environment and how?   1 Answer

    Negotiation

    As a government, there is little room for negotiation, but there is some (salary - based on experience). Take advantage of it because once you join it becomes very rigid.

  9. Helpful (1)  

    Special Agent Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Arlington, VA
    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Difficult Interview

    Application

    I applied online. The process took 12+ months. I interviewed 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.

  10. Helpful (1)  

    Intern Interview

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

    Application

    I applied online. The process took 5+ months. I interviewed 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
  11. Helpful (1)  

    FSO Interview

    Anonymous Employee in Washington, DC
    No Offer
    Positive Experience
    Difficult Interview

    Application

    I applied online. The process took 6+ months. I interviewed 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
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