US Department of State Interview Questions | Glassdoor

US Department of State Interview Questions

Updated Feb 13, 2017
146 Interview Reviews

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  1.  

    Diplomatic Courier Interview

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

    Application

    I applied online. I interviewed at US Department of State (Washington, DC) in March 2013.

    Interview

    Applied online and asked to come to DC for in person interview. I had two interviews and a writing sample. Passed everything and then not offered a job because overall score too low.

    Interview Questions

  2.  

    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
  3.  

    Senior Foreign Service National Security INvestigator Interview

    Anonymous Employee in Karāchi (Pakistan)
    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Difficult Interview

    Application

    I applied online. The process took 3+ months. I interviewed at US Department of State (Karāchi (Pakistan)).

    Interview

    Apply online, wait for shortlisting - which is about 2 weeks after the closing of vacancy announcement. If shortlisted then first call for Language proficiency and computer skills test... if successful then initial panel interview call. After initial interview, there was a final interview for further shortlisted candidates.

    Interview Questions

    • Job related aspects were asked. Assessment of dealing with crisis, scenario based questions. Questions regarding working in a diversified working environment.   1 Answer
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  5.  

    Program Manager Interview

    Anonymous Employee in Beirut (Lebanon)
    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Difficult Interview

    Application

    I applied online. The process took 3+ months. I interviewed at US Department of State (Beirut (Lebanon)) in November 2011.

    Interview

    Interview process is through a panel of 8 following a language and ability test. No tricky questions, however panelists test motivation, team work ability skills, personality, confidence, knowledge and attitude. Interview takes about an hour of discussion about the subject matter, it includes panelists from the section, Human Resources and other sections to ensure transparency and equal opportunity.

    Interview Questions

  6. 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.

  7. Helpful (2)  

    Foreign Service Officer Interview

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

    Application

    I applied through other source. The process took 1 day. I interviewed at US Department of State (Washington, DC) in December 2009.

    Interview

    The hiring process is driven by a series of tests. First is a written test (FSOT), which assesses candidates' general knowledge and communication skills. If successful, the candidate moves on to an Oral Assessment, which consists of a group exercise, a written case study, and a structured interview, Finally, the successful candidate is subjected to a suitability review, a health clearance, and a security clearance. Candidates are given offers of employment on a space-available basis, with those with the highest scores in the Oral Assessment reviving preference.

    Interview Questions

    • Hypothetical questions concerning difficult situations that might occur at a U.S. Embassy require candidates to express good judgement while thinking on their feet.   Answer Question
  8. Helpful (1)  

    Special Agent Interview

    Anonymous Employee
    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Difficult Interview

    Application

    I applied online. The process took a year or more. I interviewed at US Department of State.

    Interview

    a series of tests and interviews to assess skills, personality and suitability.

    Negotiation

    this is a govenrment job, no negotiation.

  9. Helpful (2)  

    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Difficult Interview

    Application

    I applied online. The process took 11+ months. I interviewed at US Department of State in June 2010.

    Interview

    Step one is the FSOT, step 2 is the QEP which is a series of essays about oneself, third is the oral exam. If you pass the oral exam you then have a background investigation done and have to get a medical clearance. Doing all this is no guarantee of job offer though as candidates are then rank ordered by their oral assessment score and called as needs arise.

    Overall a very long and intensive process. Approximately 3% of those who apply to take the FSOT will eventually matriculate as FSOs.

    Interview Questions

    Negotiation

    There is no salary negotiation. Compensation is based on the FS pay scale.

  10. Helpful (2)  

    Foreign Service Officer Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    No Offer
    Neutral Experience
    Difficult Interview

    Application

    I applied online. The process took 5+ months. I interviewed at US Department of State in November 2011.

    Interview

    After passing the initial computer assessment, I made it to the mysterious QNP section, which is relatively new. Submitting a number of essays on various subjects regarding my past experiences in school and work, I came to realize why the State Department values older, mid-career hires more than younger recruits.

    Interview Questions

    • Speak to a failure of yours in the workplace and how you overcame it   Answer Question
  11. Helpful (2)  

    Foreign Service Officer Interview

    Anonymous Employee in San Francisco, CA
    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Difficult Interview

    Application

    I applied online. The process took 9+ months. I interviewed at US Department of State (San Francisco, CA) in October 2009.

    Interview

    Started with written exam, followed by submission of 6 short essays. Once invited to the Oral Assessment portion of the interview, look forward to a structured group exercise, a one on one (or one on two) interview, and a case management exercise. It's a full day, and it's quite daunting.

    Interview Questions

    • Cannot answer this because of non disclosure agreement.   Answer Question
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