Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Program Officer Interview Questions | Glassdoor

Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Program Officer Interview Questions

10 Interview Reviews

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Helpful (10)  

Program Officer Interview

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

Application

I applied online. The process took 4+ months. I interviewed at Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation (Seattle, WA) in September 2016.

Interview

The process was quite drawn out. I applied online in early May, then did an initial screening interview with one recruiter in early June. She passed me on to a second recruiter who arranged for me to do a phone interview with the hiring manager in late June. Things then came to a standstill in July/early August, probably due to vacations and difficult travel schedules, but it was hard to know. I heard in early July that they wanted to invited me for in-person interviews but coordinating schedules on their end took a long time and I didn't end up in Seattle for the interviews until early September. I met with 5 people from 8:30 until about 2 pm. Things moved quickly after that when they decided to make an offer.

Interview Questions

  • Describe a work project that you found pleasurable.   Answer Question
  • Why would you like to work at the Foundation?   Answer Question
  • Some of the interviewers had a 2- or 3-page guide with typical behavior/fit questions, and they chose one or two from those questions. Nothing out of the ordinary.   Answer Question

Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Response

Nov 9, 2016 – Head of Talent Acquisition and Talent Management

Congratulations and welcome aboard!! As you likely already see, many program staff travel extensively and it makes interviewing a challenge. We continue to try to find ways to make improvements to ... More

Other Interview Reviews for Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

  1. Helpful (4)  

    Program Officer Interview

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

    Application

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

    Interview

    Interview started with a recruiter calling via phone, which was followed by a chat with Senior Program Officer (SPO) who was hiring for the role. Later, I was called to Seattle for an in-person interview with HR and a few other program strategy team members and the SPO. Individual interviews with each person, total process lasted three hours.

    Interview Questions

    • Q. How passionate are you about global development ? (see the Gates mission statements)
      Questions about subject matter expertise, ability to work in teams, challenges that you have resolved  
      Answer Question

    Negotiation

    HR is very strict and does not have room for negotiations. From what one heard, this holds more for emerging economy nations.

    Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Response

    Nov 9, 2016 – Head of Talent Acquisition and Talent Management

    Thanks so much for your feedback. We hope you are enjoying your time here at the foundation.


  2. Helpful (4)  

    Program Officer Interview

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

    Application

    I applied online. The process took 2+ months. I interviewed at Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation (Seattle, WA) in February 2016.

    Interview

    The interview was conducted in a very friendly and relaxed way with typical fit and behavior questions. It was very much a conversation where I had the opportunity to interrupt and ask questions all throughout the interview. The time was also not an issue and interviews went beyond one hour.

    Interview Questions

    Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Response

    Aug 24, 2016 – Head of Talent Acquisition and Talent Management

    Thanks for your review of your Program Officer interview. Best of luck to you.


  3. 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

  4. Is this helpful? The community relies on everyone sharing – Add Anonymous Interview Review


  5. 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.


  6. 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


  7. 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


  8. Helpful (2)  

    Program Officer Interview

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

    Application

    I applied through an employee referral. The process took 3+ months. I interviewed at Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation (Seattle, WA) in December 2014.

    Interview

    This was a long, drawn out process over a period of four months before an offer was extended. It involved three trips to Seattle Washington and a series of phone interviews. For the most part, the same people were seen, however there was always one addition durnig each in person interview. Overall it was a lengthy process from start to finish, and while a few of the interviewers were excellent in their questioning, the others were generally more interested in talking about their own experiences at the foundation.

    Interview Questions

    • The normal set, experiences that would be relevant, etc. They actually did more talking than listening.   Answer Question

  9. Helpful (9)  

    Program Officer Interview

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

    Application

    I applied online. The process took 4 weeks. I interviewed at Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation (Seattle, WA) in January 2009.

    Interview

    One phone call interview from HR. 4 1:1 interviews in a very McKinsey style. Now interview process consist of many more 1:1 interviews. They can be very repetitive.

    Interview Questions

    • Some questions seem a little silly, but they are designed to observe your logical thinking.   1 Answer

    Negotiation

    I was told that these were standard scales and there was no negotiation. But it is possible to negotiate!


  10. Helpful (22)  

    Program Officer Interview

    Anonymous Employee
    Accepted Offer
    Neutral Experience
    Average Interview

    Application

    I applied through an employee referral. The process took 4+ months. I interviewed at Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

    Interview

    You are left alone in a room and each interviewer comes in and asks a series of questions for an hour and leaves. A boxed lunch is brought in at lunchtime that you eat alone. Usually, there are 6-7 such one hour interviews throughout the day.


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