Development Alternatives

Development Alternatives Reviews

36 Reviews
36 Reviews
Rating Trends

Recommend to a friend
Approve of CEO
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James Boomgard
14 Ratings
  1. 2 people found this helpful  

    Heavy workload in a friendly, but driven work environment

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Bethesda, MD
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Bethesda, MD

    I worked at Development Alternatives full-time (more than 5 years)


    1 - Many opportunities for personal and professional growth at this company.
    2 - The office culture is very friendly, with many smart and driven co-workers who are dedicated to the company mission and cause.
    3 - There are opportunities to move around in the company, including to overseas project assignments.
    4 - Reputable firm in the international development industry with strong technical expertise.


    1 - Has a "decision by consensus" culture, which although collaborative, leaves a large gap in accountability.
    2 - Salaries for entry-level and mid-level positions are low, although typical for the international development industry.
    3 - Internal support departments (i.e. IT, HR, Procurement, Contracts) are not effectively managed and operate inefficiently.
    4 - Depending on the department you are in, work-life balance can be challenging as the workload is quite heavy and there is pressure to keep staffing levels low.

    Disapproves of CEO

Development Alternatives Interviews

Updated Nov 21, 2014
Updated Nov 21, 2014

Interview Experience

Interview Experience


Getting an Interview

Getting an Interview


Interview Difficulty


Interview Difficulty



  1. 2 people found this helpful  

    Learning Specialist/Senior Learning Specialist Interview

    Anonymous Employee
    Anonymous Employee
    Application Details

    I applied online. The process took 4+ weeksinterviewed at Development Alternatives.

    Interview Details

    I got through two rounds of interviews with DAI. While I was ultimately not selected I am happy with the outcome because my final impression of the company is that they are disorganized and exhibit poor business practices. Had I received a job offer by the end, I likely would have turned it down as a result.

    My first interview with DAI actually went very well and I left feeling excited about the opportunity and the company. Unfortunately from then on everything went downhill. It began about a week later with the email I received congratulating me for making it to the second round interview. The email began: “It was a please speaking with you regarding the [Position/Title] opportunity here with DAI.” Clearly this was a form letter and the Senior Corporate Recruitment Manager did not bother to fill in the actual position name; this did not inspire my confidence. The email also requested I bring a photo ID when I arrived at the second interview, even though I had not needed one the first time. This seemed a little confusing and as it turned out I did not actually need an ID.

    When I arrived for the second interview about a week after receiving the email I found the atmosphere to be very chaotic. The person I was supposed to meet with initially was too busy and so I was brought into an impromptu meeting with someone I had spoken to in my first interview. They seemed unprepared and somewhat disengaged. I was then shuffled into another hasty meeting with someone I had also previously met who also seemed unprepared and confused. Finally I met with the person I had planned to meet initially. Admittedly by this time my enthusiasm has dropped somewhat, however we had what I thought was a good discussion and after repeated apologies about how hectic things were from the recruitment manager I was told I would hear more about my status soon.

    About a week after my second interview I received another email informing me I was one of the top candidates. The email included several release forms for a background check and was followed by a link where I had to fill in contact information for five professional references that could provide me a recommendation. I was also asked to send a copy of my most recent pay stub to verify my current salary. My references all received emails and graciously took the time to answer all the questions it asked. I also took the time to fill out the release forms. About two weeks later I received a call informing me they had decided to go with another candidate.

    For both my in-person interviews DAI seemed to struggle finding times, indicating their managers are bad at time management. I had to take off two days from my current job to attend these interviews and spent many hours more filling out forms as part of the process, ultimately I feel as though much of this time was wasted due to their process involving too many unnecessary steps. Most of my second interview involved meeting with two people I had already spoken to extensively in my first interview and they seemed to struggle with finding new questions to ask. Finally, I found it unprofessional that they would contact my references and ask me to fill out release forms before they had selected me as the final candidate. As a result of this my current employer is now aware I am looking for other employment which puts me in a bad position. Based on my experience, I would not recommend DAI to others.

    Interview Questions
    • No one particular question stands out as being difficult. In my experience the difficulty was more in how disorganized the interview process was.   Answer Question
    No Offer
    Negative Experience
    Easy Interview

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Additional Info

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Headquarters Bethesda, MD
Size 1000 to 5000 Employees
Founded 1970
Type Company - Private
Industry Accounting & Legal
Revenue $100 to $500 million (USD) per year

Development Alternatives (DAI) lends the world a hand. The company assists both public and private-sector clients with social and economic development projects around the globe. DAI focuses on natural resource management, economic reform, crisis mitigation, democratic governance, and HIV/AIDS management. It employs experts including agriculturalists, economists, and health officials who provide analysis and assessment, advice, and training and development services to those who need it most. DAI clients have included development agencies like USAID and other government... More

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