FDA Interview Questions | Glassdoor

FDA Interview Questions

Updated Jul 30, 2017
122 Interview Reviews

Experience

Experience
72%
18%
9%

Getting an Interview

Getting an Interview
54%
18%
13%
7
6
0

Difficulty

2.9
Average

Difficulty

Hard
Average
Easy

Candidate Interview Reviews

Filter

Sort: PopularDateDifficulty

Filter

Sort: PopularDateDifficulty
  1. Helpful (3)  

    Compliance Officer Interview

    Anonymous Employee in Silver Spring, MD
    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Average Interview

    Application

    I applied online. I interviewed at FDA (Silver Spring, MD).

    Interview

    You have to make it through USAJOBS which is a big bottleneck if you don't do it exactly right. The process is outsourced to a third party to eliminate inappropriate hiring practices. So the people vetting your application have no knowledge of your field of expertise, don't recognize the lingo and may not accurately rate your experience if you didn't match, word-for-word what the position description asks for.

    Interview Questions

    • I was asked to define key concepts validating my knowledge and mastery of my field of expertise. I also made a strong case for my qualifications by matching my past experience to the position description.   Answer Question

  2.  

    Program Support Specialist Interview

    Anonymous Employee in Silver Spring, MD
    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Easy Interview

    Application

    I applied online. I interviewed at FDA (Silver Spring, MD).

    Interview

    My interview consisted of 2 individuals. Normal questions such as, why do you want to work here? strengths/weaknesses, time you experienced a difficult employee to work with, etc.

    Interview Questions

    • What would you old co-workers say about you during your going away celebration?   Answer Question
  3. Helpful (1)  

    Biologist Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Silver Spring, MD
    No Offer
    Negative Experience
    Difficult Interview

    Application

    I applied online. I interviewed at FDA (Silver Spring, MD) in May 2017.

    Interview

    I applied to a Biologist position in March. It was a general position. They listed about 7 Centers and Departments that could call you for interviews. The Center of Tobacco Products sent an email to schedule an interview in May. The day of the interview, you had a 30 minutes written exam with two questions. Then an hour for the interview. The interview panel had around 7 people. One person was the leader and introduced everyone. Then, they all took turns asking questions. The interview was very rush and to the point. They were not interested in hearing anything from your resume. They would cut you mid sentence to tell you the answer was enough and other times they would ask for more information. The questions were very specific to the position (even though you didn't know what the position entailed until the moment of the interview). There was no common question like your weakness or anything like that. Sometimes they would talk among themselves while you were there still waiting for more questions. At the end, they said they would let you know once a decision had been made. I never heard back from them. Over two months after the interview, the USA Jobs has not been updated and I found out they had made a selection by calling the FDA Help Desk. I feel they should have at least emailed all the people that didn't get the job to let them know, but that was not the case.

    Interview Questions

    • Why do you want to work for us?, What would you do if two supervisors give you an assignment?   Answer Question

  4.  

    Pathways Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    No Offer
    Negative Experience
    Difficult Interview

    Application

    I applied online. The process took 2+ months. I interviewed at FDA.

    Interview

    I applied to the position online through USA Jobs. I was marked as "referred" about 19 days after the job closing announcement. I was contacted by email about 28 days after job closing to give interview date. Email basically stated "Your interview is scheduled for xx date (3 business days after email receipt date), respond to confirm." After the interview I was never contacted. Finally about 3 months later I received an automated email stating that I was not selected for the position.

    The USAjobs announcement just stated "a Pathways Internship for the FDA in the office of regulatory affairs related to biological or physical science." No other meaningful info was provided, but I applied for experience related to regulatory affairs. I learned during the interview that they were looking for entry level microbiology lab support. I have a doctorate in a scientific discipline, and was getting a masters in regulatory affairs at the time so I felt overqualified for the position.

    During the interview, when they realized I was overqualified, they mentioned several times how basic the duties would be (like washing lab dishes) and how low the pay would be. It was clear that they had not reviewed my resume, and perhaps the job posting, prior to the interview.

    Regardless I decided to see the interview through and put my best foot forward, thinking the may consider me for a different position in the future. I expected the interview to be fairly straightforward and last about 30 minutes to one hour. I was completely wrong. It was one of the longest and most awkward interviews I have ever experienced. I was also shocked how hard the interview was for such an entry level position. The interview took over 2 hours.

    There were some extremely technical questions such as "name the FDA's 6 principals of microbiology validation from the manual and their importance, especially with regards to labeling." Keep in mind that I had no idea this position was specific to micro, let alone had access to their quality manual. I have had experience related to drug manufacturing validation, so I said that I wasn't sure about the FDA's precise 6 principals but I could give 6 principals that would relate relate to validation in drug processing.
    With a bit of snark, the interviewer said "but you said you were an expert in validation according to the questionnaire". This confused me, because I never would have stated this. After the interview I went back to the application questionnaire and there was absolutely no question about validation expertise. So now I'm pretty sure they had the wrong questionnaire for the position, or we're looking at someone else's file. In fact the questionnaire for the pathways position only 4 questions total- Are you a student? Is your GPA 2.8 or better? Have you completed enough education to qualify for this GS level? Do you certify this is true? Nothing even remotely related to validation.

    Other interview questions included:

    -Describe a time you had to work with someone with a differing opinion on how to complete a task.
    -Describe a time you had to make a unpopular decision.
    -Describe how you are detail oriented.
    -Describe a time you had a disagreement on work and how you supported your position.
    -Describe validation methods.
    -Walk through your process when preparing a solution for use in the lab- what are your specific concerns?
    -What is the purpose of positive pressure (in an ISO classified environment)?

    After this intense and borderline aggressive questioning they administered an hour long math exam. The exam included 4 pages of math questions mostly stoichemistry based relating to a micro lab.

    Needless to say, it was not a good experience.

    Interview Questions

    • Describe a time you had to work with someone with a differing opinion on how to complete a task.   Answer Question
    • Describe how you are detail oriented   Answer Question

  5.  

    Deputy Director Interview

    Anonymous Employee in Baltimore, MD
    Accepted Offer
    Neutral Experience
    Average Interview

    Application

    I applied online. I interviewed at FDA (Baltimore, MD) in April 2017.

    Interview

    there was an initial phone screen followed by 2 interviews. First interview was with staff and supervisor. 2nd interview with all managers. Straight forward process but many weeks to hear back.

    Interview Questions


  6.  

    Staff Fellow Interview

    Anonymous Employee
    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Average Interview

    Application

    I applied through an employee referral. I interviewed at FDA.

    Interview

    Interview process was two phone interviews and an in person interview that took about half a day. The in person interview involved a group panel interview, meeting the heads of the department, and giving a one hour prepared research presentation. Overall busy but doable.

    Interview Questions

    • Was asked a few times how I would deal with juggling multiple projects at once   Answer Question

  7.  

    Regulatory Health Project Manager Interview

    Anonymous Employee in Silver Spring, MD
    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Easy Interview

    Application

    I applied online. I interviewed at FDA (Silver Spring, MD) in January 2017.

    Interview

    two panel interview with approximately 10 questions each. One panel had senior level management and the other had team leads. Felt a little bit rushed, but overall the interview ran smoothly.

    Interview Questions

  8.  

    Consumer Safety Officer Interview

    Anonymous Employee in New York, NY
    Accepted Offer
    Neutral Experience
    Average Interview

    Application

    I applied online. I interviewed at FDA (New York, NY).

    Interview

    The interview was an average straight forward process. The hardest part was the anxiousness to hear back from them which took months to hear anything back. The interview questions weren't hard. I had two separate interviews

    Interview Questions


  9.  

    Orise Fellow Interview

    Anonymous Employee
    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Average Interview

    Application

    I applied through an employee referral. The process took 1 day. I interviewed at FDA.

    Interview

    One day onsite consisting of two behavioral interviews with two different sets of managers and one presentation. It was easy. Based on your resume, previous projects were important.Many of the behavioral questions were generated by a computer and sounded clunky. It was easy but preparation needed to happen.

    Interview Questions

    • 1) What does the FDA do?
      2) Who do you think works here?
      3) Describe a time you had to quickly change your mind.

      *Many of the questions were chosen at random   1 Answer

  10.  

    Internship Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Silver Spring, MD
    Declined Offer
    Positive Experience
    Easy Interview

    Application

    I applied online. I interviewed at FDA (Silver Spring, MD).

    Interview

    I sent in my application and received an email within a few hours about wanting to bring me in for an on-site interview. It has been almost three weeks and still waiting to hear back.

    Interview Questions

    • Mostly questions about my resume and experiences.   5 Answers

Don't Miss Out On a Job You Love
Upload a resume to easily apply to jobs from anywhere. It's simple to set up.