US Department of State Interview Questions in Arlington, VA | Glassdoor

US Department of State Interview Questions in Arlington, VA

5 Interview Reviews

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  1. Helpful (1)  

    Mechanical Engineer Interview

    Anonymous Employee in Arlington, VA
    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience

    Application

    I applied online. The process took 9+ months. I interviewed at US Department of State (Arlington, VA).

    Interview

    Via networking, I was told of an announcement on the Department of State's website for a mechanical engineering position. I followed up and submitted all the paper forms via fax to the HR office. About two months later, I was called by the HR person asking for verification that I was a veteran (I am a Vietnam veteran with honorable discharge). That was sent in and then I had to complete a length security questionnaire. Once that was sent in, then it was another two months waiting for a decision. I was told it was a lower salary that I was making, and I had to justify the salary for this position, based on years of experience in this industry. Finally, I got a written offer from the HR office and I accepted.

    Interview Questions

    • I was told by my first supervisor that I was on a one-year probation, and that during that time I could be fired for anything that he felt was justified.   Answer Question

  2. Helpful (1)  

    Special Agent Interview

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

    Application

    I applied online. The process took 12+ months. I interviewed at US Department of State (Arlington, VA) in July 2013.

    Interview

    The interview process was very interesting. I had to travel to Washington DC on my own dime, find my own lodging, etc. The interview itself consisted of 4 phases that take about 3-4 hours to complete. I cannot go into detail (they make you sign a paper saying that you cannot disclose this type of information) but I can say that the interview was pretty free flowing. By that, I mean that there was little time of rest in between phases. You will have to explain your experience, verbally and on paper, you will get cross checked, you will be asked about international relations, foreign policy and current events, and you will be asked about security matters. The hardest part, beside the interview itself is the written test that you have to complete. You have 45 minutes to complete a 5 paragraph essay based on the information that the provide you with. It has to be official and relevant to the scenario that's been given to you. Written competency has to be sharp because of the time limit. Overall, it was a great experience.

    Interview Questions

    • I cannot disclose that information, but I can say that your knowledge of government operations, functions and international relations as well as security operations, and integrating all of these will be required.   Answer Question

    Negotiation

    It was a conditional offer of employment based on my background investigation. If everything clears, then you get put on a waiting list called the register with a ranking, based on that ranking you will get assigned to a Special Agent class.


  3.  

    Diplocmatic Security Special Agent Interview

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

    Application

    I applied online. The process took 3 weeks. I interviewed at US Department of State (Arlington, VA) in May 2013.

    Interview

    Rigorous 4-step process designed for survival of the fittest. First, a person must do a traditional online employment application which involves, resume, basic job history, proof of citizenship, some essays, a personality test. Second, a phone interview. Third, an in-person interview at a secure facility where current and former foreign service officers monitor you in group settings and in private settings.

    Interview Questions

    • Q: How do you think you can handle stressful situations where American staff abroad are relying on you for their safety?   Answer Question
    • Q: How long have you had a driver's license? Do you feel comfortable and able to drive large groups of people, sometimes in sensitive and certainly foreign environments?   Answer Question

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  5.  

    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Average Interview

    Application

    I applied online. The process took 6+ months. I interviewed at US Department of State (Arlington, VA) in October 2012.

    Interview

    Was interviewed over Skype from home in Kentucky. Hiring manager and her manager went to the hiring manager's home to do this because Skype is forbidden at the secure Foreign Service Institute.

    There were two separate interviews. The first was the basic behavioral based interview. At one time I taught behavior-based interviewing to managers. I would grade these interviewers with a B- . Basic questions were the expected, but the hiring manager really wanted a certified counselor with extensive credentials in counseling. She did not ask questions that zeroed in on her true desires for the candidate. The more senior manager's performance was nondescript. She was retiring within six months of the interview date. She appeared to want to get a warm body in the position so that she did not lose Full-time employees numbers in her department.
    Neither of these women were polished or poised and did not come across Skype in an impressive manner.
    The second interview was a "performance" by me. I was asked to do a mock introduction to a training program that the department offered. I am highly effective over Skype. I also did a considerable amount of research about the department to be able to use real instructors names and therefore sounded already like an "insider" and that I already worked there.

    Interview Questions

    • They wanted to know if I could work with the foreign service community. This community is very elitist because of the rigid requirements of entering the service. They are mostly a highly intelligent but critical and cynical bunch.   1 Answer
    • They wanted to know if I had a hundred hours of counseling.   1 Answer

  6. Helpful (2)  

    Software Engineer Interview

    Anonymous Employee in Arlington, VA
    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Easy Interview

    Application

    I applied through a recruiter. The process took 5 days. I interviewed at US Department of State (Arlington, VA) in December 2008.

    Interview

    I was contacted by a recruiter for work as a Software Engineer on long term contract position. After a brief phone screen of what I was looking for, I heard back from the recruiter that the State Dept was interested in interviewing me that week. Interview was fairly laidback with two people (project managers). It lasted about an hour and I was told that I was accepted a few days later. Guess it was a short process since it was a Contract job.

    Interview Questions

    • Business Intelligence/Reporting skills were emphasized   1 Answer

    Negotiation

    Not sure how flexible they are. I had quoted a decent rate and took it.


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