Institute for Defense Analyses Interview Questions | Glassdoor

Institute for Defense Analyses Interview Questions

Updated Sep 14, 2017
33 Interview Reviews

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  1. Helpful (1)  

    Science Policy Fellow Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Washington, DC
    No Offer
    Negative Experience
    Difficult Interview

    Application

    I applied online. The process took 5+ months. I interviewed at Institute for Defense Analyses (Washington, DC) in March 2017.

    Interview

    The interview process is pretty long. After applications closed, mid Feb for a phone interview with three research staff members (RSMs). The phone interview was short and only consisted of three questions, two of which were about my interest in science policy, and one that was specific to current events and my background. About two weeks later I was contacted for an in person interview.

    From my research and conversations with current fellows, it seems STPI interviews its Science Policy candidates in two groups, flying candidates in March on Sunday, and interviewing all day Monday. From each group, a certain amount of candidates are selected as fellows. The cohorts range about ~3-8 people.

    My in person interview experience wasn't very well coordinated, to say the least. Before you interview you get an interview schedule on which you see who you are interviewing with (almost entirely groups of RSMs). One RSM interview will be with just one RSM - that is your technical interview. Research the person, their research interests, and feel out conversation starters and interesting questions.

    On interview day, a staff member picks up all candidates from the hotel that STPI reserved from them, and they all go to the institute together. You then check in and hang out in a small room with breakfast waiting for an intro to the institute by a couple of people. The institute did not provide breakfast that met my dietary restrictions, even though I specified them when ordering lunch, so I had to stick to black coffee.

    After the group intro, we went off to our interviews. The interviews aren't difficult. Be prepared for questions like "why science policy?," "what do you think is a problem in science policy?," and also be very prepared to answer questions about your background and research experience.

    After lunch you are divided into two groups, each given the same prompt to answer in a group presentation. Each group researches and puts the presentation together while some RSMs watch. Then each group separately presents in front of the entire institute.

    For the group presentation you are welcome to request a laptop from the institute before hand, which I did. Don't do this. Though I was given the laptop right away, it would not connect to the internet. I had to walk around the institute in search of the person who gave me the laptop while my group started working. I was provided with a temporary laptop that used ethernet, but was really slow. By the time I had a laptop with wifi, my group was far ahead.

    After the group presentation we met with some more staff/directors.

    It took about a month for the candidates who were selected to hear back. About a week later the candidates who were not selected were notified.

    My overall impressions of the institute (STPI) were mixed. It seemed that the work they do is exceptionally interesting and meaningful, but the institute itself seems to be preferential to ivy graduates. s. Also the institute is not very diverse at all. People seem to learn of the position through connections and maybe school specific recruiting ads.

    Interview Questions

    • What is one problem you see in science policy that needs to be addressed   Answer Question

  2.  

    Research Staff Member Interview

    Anonymous Employee in Alexandria, VA
    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Difficult Interview

    Application

    I applied through an employee referral. The process took 4+ weeks. I interviewed at Institute for Defense Analyses (Alexandria, VA) in March 2013.

    Interview

    A round of interviews with research heads followed by a presentation of my own work. Some questioning of the reasoning behind my presentation. Interviews were very comfortable and they paid for my trip and expenses.

    Interview Questions

  3.  

    Administration Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Washington, DC
    No Offer
    Neutral Experience
    Difficult Interview

    Application

    I applied through a recruiter. The process took 4+ months. I interviewed at Institute for Defense Analyses (Washington, DC) in December 2015.

    Interview

    Extensive pre-screening, telephone, and one-on-one interviews followed by large panel interview. The process took a very long time - there was not much of a sense of urgency. Very traditional approach.

    Interview Questions

    • How would you prepare for the change in presidential administration?   Answer Question

  4.  

    ITS Research Analyst Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Alexandria, VA
    No Offer
    Positive Experience
    Difficult Interview

    Application

    I applied online. The process took 3 weeks. I interviewed at Institute for Defense Analyses (Alexandria, VA) in June 2016.

    Interview

    All day interview with different groups of people. Met with HR for 15 minutes followed by a 30 minute conversation with the Department head. Very relaxed setting with her. Then presented to a panel of about 10 people: 4 peers and 6 senior members. Everyone was very well educated and presented articulate arguments to my presentation. Then we broke for an hour lunch where I talked with the peers. They seemed to be determining my personality and culture fit. Last two hours were spent with the 10 people who viewed my presentation, split into two groups of five and lasting for one hour each. Again everyone was very intelligent and the panel was more of a conversation than an interview. At the end of the day, I felt like I did well but knew that they were interested in candidates who mightve been more qualified.

    Interview Questions

    • What framework might one use to format the cyber-security landscape   1 Answer

  5. Helpful (3)  

    Research Assistant II Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Alexandria, VA
    Declined Offer
    Positive Experience
    Difficult Interview

    Application

    I applied online. The process took 2+ months. I interviewed at Institute for Defense Analyses (Alexandria, VA) in April 2015.

    Interview

    After applying online, I was contacted by a secretary stating that IDA would like to set up a phone interview for later that week. They were very clear and detailed in setting up a time and letting me know that it would be about a "20 minute phone interview." My interviewer was very prompt in calling me, however ended the conversation very abruptly once 20 minutes had lapsed. I received an email within a few days from him saying they'd like to have me in for an in-person interview.

    This interview was an all day affair; from 9:30-4:30. They emailed over a schedule of interviews which consisted of 50-minute interviews with HR, 3 research staff members, followed by a 1-hour research talk I had to give (the room was PACKED! About 20 people just to listen to my job interview talk), then a lunch with fellow RAs. Once returning, I had a technical panel interview which was the hardest part of the process, probably also because I was never told it would be a "technical" panel, so some of the specifics of the questions threw me for a loop. After this, you meet with the program director who explains that there is very little room for advancement at IDA and after about 3-5 years, they expect you to move on.

    Aside from the technical panel, the questions they asked were very expected. One interviewer even read from off my resume and asked "tell me about this..."

    I will say this... from the time I applied to phone interview was a matter of weeks. Once I had the phone interview, the time until my in-person interview was about a week and a half. However, after that, it took a while for IDA to get back to me. They mentioned wanting to have me in to meet with other staff members, however once I mentioned I had another offer on the table, they quickly over-nighted an offer to me.

    Interview Questions

    • Why IDA?
      If I gave you a large amount of data, what would be the first thing you would do with it?
      Are you familiar with SAS or SDATA? (I wasn't)
      Had me write pseudo-code for some of the models I had in my writing sample.   Answer Question

  6.  

    Summer Associate Interview

    Anonymous Employee
    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Average Interview

    Application

    I applied online. I interviewed at Institute for Defense Analyses.

    Interview

    The interviewing process was surprisingly laid back. Only had one phone interview where I went over my resume and such with my potential managers. I was then asked to provide three references, and after that didn't hear back for around 3 weeks. After three weeks I got an email to apply for a specific job on their company website with no explanation of why. I applied for the job then waited. About two weeks later they emailed me an offer letter.

    Interview Questions


  7.  

    Research Assistant Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Alexandria, VA
    No Offer
    Negative Experience
    Average Interview

    Application

    I applied online. The process took 3+ months. I interviewed at Institute for Defense Analyses (Alexandria, VA) in February 2016.

    Interview

    What a waste of time and effort. The process took approximately three months. First contacted by a recruiter for phone interview. Then two weeks later had phone interview with a person in the department. Then a week later a phone interview with a department supervisor. Then requested to submit college transcript and writing sample. A couple weeks later I was invited for a day long series of interviews and had to give a presentation. During my day at IDA Headquarters, I gave my presentation, and met with approximately 15 people, (some in group interviews and some in one on one interviews). At the end of that day I was told that they would get back to me in two weeks. A month later after hearing nothing from IDA, I had a firm offer a with another company. I was eventually able to track down the recruiter only to find out that I did not get the job. The most frustrating part this long and drawn out process, was that I was unable to ever get an approximate salary from IDA for the position. When I asked the recruiter during the initial phone interview and during my day at IDA Headquarters, I was told that salary information was IDA proprietary.

  8.  

    Recruiting Coordinator Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Alexandria, VA
    No Offer
    Negative Experience
    Average Interview

    Application

    I applied online. I interviewed at Institute for Defense Analyses (Alexandria, VA).

    Interview

    The process was slow and lackadaisical. It took exactly one week to get any correspondence back even though their Recruiter stated they prefer to move quickly. Interviewed with 3 members of the Human Resources team. Sent thank you emails and 2 follow up emails, no response. Great organization and opportunity, but poor candidate experience.

    Interview Questions

    • Describe a conflict you had in your last role and how you overcame it   Answer Question

  9.  

    Property Administrator Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Bowie, MD
    Declined Offer
    Positive Experience
    Average Interview

    Application

    I applied online. The process took 2 weeks. I interviewed at Institute for Defense Analyses (Bowie, MD).

    Interview

    First step was a phone interview describing the job and what they were looking for.

    The face -to -face interview process was great. Very nice people that make you feel very comfortable.

    Very relaxed discussions rather than super hard interview questions

    Lasted about an hour

    Interview Questions

    Reasons for Declining

    Very low pay. I don't know why you would except that low pay for the level of security clearance required and all that is required to maintain that level of security clearance. Maybe it was just for the position I applied for?


  10.  

    Programmer Analyst Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Washington, DC
    No Offer
    Positive Experience
    Average Interview

    Application

    I applied online. The process took a week. I interviewed at Institute for Defense Analyses (Washington, DC) in September 2015.

    Interview

    I was invited onsite to interview with 3 employees, they discussed my previous experience,
    described the requirements of the job and why they wanted to talk to me. We spend some
    time talking about my interest and hobbies and then spent some time working thru a problem
    on a whiteboard. We concluded with a short discussion regarding security.

    Interview Questions

    • What do you do in your off hours to entertain yourself?   Answer Question

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