US Department of State

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US Department of State Interview Questions in Washington, DC

Updated Nov 2, 2014
Updated Nov 2, 2014
30 Interview Reviews

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Interview Experience

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  1.  

    Information Management Specialist Interview

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

    I applied online – interviewed at US Department of State in June 2014.

    Interview Details

    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!!   View Answer
    No Offer
    Negative Experience
    Difficult Interview
  2. 1 person found this helpful  

    Mechanical Engineer Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Arlington, VA
    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Arlington, VA
    Application Details

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

    Interview Details

    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
    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
  3.  

    Foreign Affairs Officer Interview

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

    I applied through other source. The process took 8+ monthsinterviewed at US Department of State.

    Interview Details

    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 Details
    Non-negotiable (defined by PMF program)
    Accepted Offer
    Negative Experience
    Average Interview
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  5. 1 person 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 4+ monthsinterviewed at US Department of State.

    Interview Details

    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?   View Answer
    Negotiation Details
    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.
    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Difficult Interview
  6. 1 person found this helpful  

    Special Agent Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Arlington, VA
    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Arlington, VA
    Application Details

    I applied online. The process took 12+ monthsinterviewed at US Department of State in July 2013.

    Interview Details

    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 Details
    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.
    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Difficult Interview
  7. 1 person found this helpful  

    Intern Interview

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

    I applied online. The process took 5+ monthsinterviewed at US Department of State in April 2013.

    Interview Details

    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
    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Average Interview
  8. 1 person found this helpful  

    FSO 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 March 2013.

    Interview Details

    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
    No Offer
    Positive Experience
    Difficult Interview
  9.  

    Foreign Service Specialist 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.

    Interview Details

    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 Details
    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.
    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Difficult Interview
  10. 1 person found this helpful  

    Intern Interview

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

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

    Interview Details

    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 Details
    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.
    Accepted Offer
  11. 1 person found this helpful  

    Foreign Affairs Officer Interview

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

    I applied through a recruiter – interviewed at US Department of State in November 2012.

    Interview Details

    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.   View Answer
    Negotiation Details
    As a PMF, the program is highly regulated and base salary is set for you (no wiggle room).
    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Average Interview

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