Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Interview Questions | Glassdoor

Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Interview Questions

Updated Apr 26, 2017
74 Interview Reviews

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  1. Helpful (8)  

    Program Officer Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    Declined Offer
    Neutral Experience
    Average Interview

    Interview

    I had a brief phone interview. The impression that I got from the organization is that they are very selective about who works there and feel that the people need to have a very impressive resume.

    Interview Questions

    • What is the big problem that you would like to solve in the world?   Answer Question

  2. Helpful (21)  

    Program Officer Interview

    Anonymous Employee in Seattle, WA
    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Average Interview

    Application

    I applied online. The process took 2+ months. I interviewed at Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation (Seattle, WA) in October 2015.

    Interview

    The whole process consisted of a recruiter screening call (recruiter was friendly and positive), a call with the hiring manager (I found her serious and hard to read on the phone), and a half day of in-person interviews (interview with other department lead, panel interview with team, one-on-one with hiring manager). After that, they checked my references and then made me an offer. The full process from application to offer took about 2.5 months.

    Interview Questions

    • They asked a lot about my prior work experience and a lot of questions about how I would approach various challenges relevant to the job. I found the questions pretty easy, mainly because the role was a very good fit for my work experience. They knew what they were looking for and I found all the questions very relevant.   Answer Question

    Negotiation

    I did negotiate base salary because I had another pending offer. However, the recruiter emphasized to me that they pay a lot of attention to internal equity in setting salary and the initial offer was very generous. Because of that, I didn't feel comfortable nor did I think it was necessary to be aggressive in negotiation. I think an aggressive stance would have been seen as a lack of culture fit given the emphasis on equity.

  3. Helpful (4)  

    Project Manager Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    No Offer
    Negative Experience
    Difficult Interview

    Application

    I applied online. The process took 6+ weeks. I interviewed at Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

    Interview

    Phone calls and then made it through to a full day interview. During the full day interview the first person to interview me was just rude. She leaned back in her chair, arms crossed, looking out the window and didn't make eye contact. Clearly had no desire to like me. Tough....

    Interview Questions

    • Details about what I thought I could bring to the project, my work history, why I wanted to be at Gates etc.   Answer Question

  4. Helpful (5)  

    Program Officer, Global Health Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Seattle, WA
    No Offer
    Positive Experience
    Average Interview

    Application

    The process took 3+ months. I interviewed at Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation (Seattle, WA).

    Interview

    Same process as described by others, informal interview (telephone) with HR (senior recruiter), informal interview (telephone) with team lead, flown out for one-day interview with 7 members of senior staff, one-on-one interviews, on the hour, every hour. It is a long day but I enjoyed the opportunity to have one-on-one with different individuals as opposed to a pane.

    Interview Questions

    • What do you bring to our team of experts, what would you change about this organisation, why do you want to work here.   Answer Question

  5. Helpful (2)  

    Communications Officer Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Seattle, WA
    No Offer
    Neutral Experience
    Difficult Interview

    Application

    I applied through a recruiter. The process took 3+ months. I interviewed at Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation (Seattle, WA) in July 2015.

    Interview

    The process started with a phone conversation with HR, and was followed up with a few phone conversation with people from the team, then meetings on the Seattle campus. Each step of the way, I met incredibly smart and kind people who were all very happy to talk with me about the position.

    While the interviews were not challenging the process was three months long and ended in a no. Considering the length and time it took to get to this no...that is what is challenging. My biggest piece of advice would be: don't put your eggs all in this basket, regardless of how many interviews you have or how nice the people are. Keep looking and applying other places.

    Interview Questions

    • Tell me about yourself in high school?
      Are you comfortable measuring your results, how?
      Give me a brief overview of yourself and how it relates to the job?
      What are we NOT doing that you think we should be?   Answer Question

  6. Helpful (7)  

    Accepted Offer
    Neutral Experience
    Average Interview

    Application

    I applied through an employee referral. The process took 5 weeks. I interviewed at Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

    Interview

    They tend to over-sell the position and hire over-qualified people, which results in disappointment and frustration afterwards. There's high leadership turnover and they are usually not forthcoming during the interview process. For Program Officer jobs, be prepared that a big percentage of your time will be spent on managing internal stakeholders and administrative matters as opposed external-facing work in the field with partners.

    Interview Questions


  7. Helpful (6)  

    Program Officer Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Seattle, WA
    No Offer
    Neutral Experience
    Average Interview

    Application

    I applied online. The process took 4+ months. I interviewed at Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation (Seattle, WA).

    Interview

    I had two sessions of over 30 minutes interview on phone. It took a while to fix a date for the first interview with the HR recruiter. On both occasions, the questions were fair and both the HR interviewer and hiring manager very friendly.

    Interview Questions

  8. Helpful (1)  

    Executive Advisor Interview

    Anonymous Employee in Seattle, WA
    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Difficult Interview

    Application

    I applied through a recruiter. The process took a week. I interviewed at Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation (Seattle, WA) in May 2015.

    Interview

    Detailed discussion of the most relevant global health and global development issues faced by the client. I was asked to prioritize invest areas for the Foundation and then detail how to address a chosen intervention and its cost-benefit.

    Interview Questions

    • How would you apply technology innovation to the developing world?   1 Answer

  9. Helpful (4)  

    Research Analyst Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Seattle, WA
    No Offer
    Positive Experience
    Difficult Interview

    Application

    I applied through a recruiter. The process took 2+ months. I interviewed at Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation (Seattle, WA).

    Interview

    The interview process is long and tedious, but I found the people to be very friendly and gracious throughout. Be prepared to answer the same basic questions about yourself for each person that comes in.

    Interview Questions


  10. Helpful (8)  

    Program Officer Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Seattle, WA
    No Offer
    Negative Experience
    Average Interview

    Application

    I applied online. The process took 4+ weeks. I interviewed at Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation (Seattle, WA) in January 2015.

    Interview

    I interviewed by phone first, which was standard. My in-person interview lasted all day, with one-on-one interviews from 4-6 members of the team. The interviews took place in various locations, but mostly in one of their small meeting rooms. At least one was by telephone-conference.

    For such a high-end outfit I was a bit disappointed. They were late several times, had glitches with the technology, and at least one interviewer was rude, questioning my reasons for applying, and insinuating on the spot I wasn't cut out for the environment.

    I was notified by phone that I did not get the position and told it was going to someone else. Ironically, I have since seen the position posted multiple times.

    Interview Questions


See What Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Employees Are Saying

Manager

11 people found this helpful

StarStarStarStarStar   Former Human Resources in Seattle, WA

Pros: “-Great benefits -Pay is good for non-profit space -Beautiful campus -Smart, dedicated employees for the most part”“-Great benefits -Pay is good for non-profit space -Beautiful campus -Smart, dedicated employees for the most part” – Full Review

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