Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Interview Questions in Seattle, WA | Glassdoor

Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Interview Questions in Seattle, WA

Updated Apr 26, 2017
52 Interview Reviews

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  1. Helpful (4)  

    Senior Business Systems Analyst Interview

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

    Application

    I applied through a recruiter. The process took 2+ weeks. I interviewed at Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation (Seattle, WA) in November 2016.

    Interview

    They referred to it as Social Hiring event. Different! One day in a hotel venue where you participate in 5 different activities. It maybe more but at least 5 activities. I call it survival of the fittest event. All candidates for different positions compete and if you are the type that barely spoke, you may not have made the cut. If you have this vibrant personality and really good at speaking in a crowd, you will most likely make the cut. I'm consentuios and like to process thoughts before taking action or speaking. At times, it's immediate response, and at times, sleep on it. It depends on the situation. I was not a big fan of the hall monitors as I call them. They monitored each person in each activity like a hawk and writing notes fast. Last activity was speed interview where you get 15 minutes with the hiring manager in a room full of people where you can barely hear the conversation. Bottom line - Consulting company that pioneered or sold the process did well for sure perhaps financially.

    I came in thinking of a non profit atmosphere where I should feel that all lives are equal. I felt corporate culture - no different than for profit organizations.

    I also read all the reviews on Glassdoor, and it confirmed the areas of development for IT org.

    Interview Questions


  2.  

    Coordinator Interview

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

    Application

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

    Interview

    Telephonic & one on one interview, pleasant and very easy going on both interviews, though I was so nervous they made it so easy for me to express myself. I wasn't hired but I am positive this wasn't my last interview process with the organization.

    Interview Questions

  3. Helpful (5)  

    Digital Community Manager Interview

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

    Application

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

    Interview

    Applied online. About a week and a half later received an invite to attend a "social hiring happy hour" scheduled for one week after that. Billed as a way to "meet and interact with executives," it's essentially a personality contest for job hopefuls. As one executive put it, "everyone here is smart," before he went on a spiel about how it's important to be "high energy." After introducing myself to the team member who was fielding questions for the position I was applying for, she opened with, "so, I guess you should tell me about yourself." I did, but my experience told me a great deal about the foundation as well.

    Interview Questions

    Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Response

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

    Thanks so much for your review based upon your experience. I wish you the very best in your continued job search.


  4. 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


  5. 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.


  6. Helpful (1)  

    Communications Officer Interview

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

    Application

    I applied through an employee referral. The process took 4+ weeks. I interviewed at Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation (Seattle, WA).

    Interview

    Applied online, but pinged a former colleague who is a senior professional there that I applied. Had a phone call with HR, then a phone call with the hiring manager. They flew me out to Seattle for a series of 1 on 1 meetings with the whole team, that lasted an entire day. They were very accommodating, friendly, and nice. The hiring manager was unfortunately unimpressive and definitely less experienced than me, so it was a little awkward. The HR team was very responsive, professional and supportive though.

    Interview Questions

    • Pressed me on one behavioral analysis question I had been already asked on the phone, which was like, "How would you deal with angry people?" That was kind of strange.   Answer Question

    Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Response

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

    Thanks for the feedback on your interview experience.


  7. Helpful (11)  

    Senior Project Manager Interview

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

    Application

    I applied through an employee referral. The process took 3+ weeks. I interviewed at Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation (Seattle, WA) in February 2016.

    Interview

    Crazy all day "Social Interview" with all the candidates. They spent a good 50% of the time focused on "Enneagram type" you were. Turns out this is pseudo science, mystical BS. I can't believe that this would actually happen at someplace like the Gates Foundation. Maybe they fund Rain dances for crops in Africa too. Whacked out stuff.

    Interview Questions

    • Find your Enneagram type session.   1 Answer

    Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Response

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

    Thanks for your feedback on the social hiring event. We continue to evaluate ways to hire for emotional intelligence and cultural fit.

  8. 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.


  9. Helpful (1)  

    Senior Manager Interview

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

    Application

    I applied through an employee referral. The process took 4+ months. I interviewed at Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation (Seattle, WA) in February 2016.

    Interview

    Following submission of a CV, there were several interview cycles over four months. There was a long list which presumably was filtered down at each stage. Initially interviews took place on phone. Later on there were one to one interviews with a number of officers.

    Interview Questions

    • What is your motivation for applying for this position?   1 Answer

    Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Response

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

    Thanks for your post.


  10. 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.


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