US Department of Homeland Security IT Specialist Interview Questions | Glassdoor

US Department of Homeland Security IT Specialist Interview Questions

4 Interview Reviews

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Helpful (2)  

IT Specialist Interview

Anonymous Interview Candidate
No Offer
Negative Experience
Difficult Interview

Application

I applied online. I interviewed at US Department of Homeland Security in September 2015.

Interview

Coordinated in advance via admin. No update on job site noting referral or interview. 30 minute phone interview. Interview consisted of 5 minute intro, 20 minutes of technical questions and 5 minute exit. Panel interview via phone and staff were congenial. The technical questions related to UNIX, networking and Windows. The questions were not difficult and could be answered via a search and so stated as such but the questions continued. Unclear if I should have searched for the answer or stated unknown. One strength / weakness question. Job announcement was not in line with the interview. Disconnect between the hiring entity and HR. No hope of an offer but based on clearance requirements 3-9 months between interview and job.

Interview Questions

Other Interview Reviews for US Department of Homeland Security

  1. Helpful (3)  

    IT Specialist Interview

    Anonymous Employee in Washington, DC
    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Average Interview

    Application

    I applied online. The process took 6+ weeks. I interviewed at US Department of Homeland Security (Washington, DC).

    Interview

    I really don't recall much of anything about an interview so long ago. The hiring process started out electronically through USAJOBS and I eventually got an in person interview. I dressed by best and presented myself the best I good. Nothing out of the usual.

    Interview Questions

    • What are you strengths and weakness. Not a new question or unusual, but know your weakness and how you adjust for them   Answer Question

    Negotiation

    There was no room for negotiation.

  2. Helpful (8)  

    IT Specialist Interview

    Anonymous Employee in Washington, DC
    Accepted Offer
    Neutral Experience
    Average Interview

    Application

    I applied through an employee referral. The process took 1 day. I interviewed at US Department of Homeland Security (Washington, DC) in January 2008.

    Interview

    The Federal government - particularly the HR element - is a slow moving beast. I had a referral into this position, so it definitely helped to get past the first round of outsourced HR (machine read) vetting of resumes and KSAs (knowledge, skills, abilities) write-ups. The KSAs were pretty involved and involved relating prior experience to various position elements, including budgeting, program management, IT knowledge. Upon initial selection, the interview process was conducting via phone with an interview panel of GS-14/15s from the organization. These are the higher level, though none executive (SES) govies. The position I was interviewing for was a GS-14, which is comparable to a mid-level private sector manager or Director level (not to the VP, EVP, etc level). The panel interview was very straight forward and followed the elements listed in the position description. Later, once I had the position and was a manager in the org myself, I did my own hiring and also served on interview panels to assist others with their hiring and I learned that by govt rules, the process is very rigid. Each interviewee is asked the EXACT same questions to prevent any preferential treatment, though follow-up questions can elaborate as necessary. Once the interview was complete, the waiting began. Looking at this from the org side, this is due to the HR hoops necessary, lack of HR personnel, etc within each govt org. It was several weeks before I got the call and the offer. After that the security clearance took another 2-3 months. Whew! As to culture, DHS is a young org in govt terms and as it was created by combining several different org, there are still some growing pains - mostly political in terms of upper level control and positioning for budget $$$.

    Interview Questions

    • Discuss your experience in formulating IT policy and strategic planning for an IT centric organization.   1 Answer

    Negotiation

    It IS possible to negotiate with the government, though the manager hiring you will then have to do a specific write-up to be submitted via HR up the organizational chain for approval. I was offered a Step 1, which is the lowest pay level for this grade (GS14). This was comparable to my current salary, so I took it (and the govt stability/benefits) with little negotiation. If you want to negotiate, you should have a current salary in excess the offer. If this is the case, they will ask for documentation and HR will take your request back to the hiring managers, who typically are not offput by this, unless this is an "old" salary level and you're trying to bs them for more money. Also it should be noted that relative to the private sector the salary is lower, though benefits and retirement plan is better. I had contractors working for me that made 30-50% more than me, but when their work goes away, they're fired. Govies rarely if ever get fired once they're made it through the 1 year probationary period.

  3.  

    IT Specialist Interview

    Anonymous Employee
    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Difficult Interview

    Application

    I applied online. The process took 2+ months. I interviewed at US Department of Homeland Security in April 2008.

    Interview

    Filed online application with OPM.
    Complete Questionair.
    Interviewed by phone with 3 individuals.
    Complete medical and security screening.

    Interview Questions

    Negotiation

    Ask about receiving a higher pay grade.

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