US Department of State
US Department of State Interview Questions & Reviews
Getting an Interview
- Popular Job Titles:
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Fulbright Interview (Positive Experience; Average Interview)
I applied online and the process took 5 months - interviewed at US Department of State in March 2013.
Interview Details One interview (via video Skype) with representatives from the State Dept and the US Embassy in the country I was applying for. It was only 30 minutes, most questions coming from the US Embassy officers. The interview was far less difficult and labor intensive than the application packet and essays required to reach that stage of the process.
Interview Question – Tell us about an instance where a cultural misunderstanding caused a problem and how you dealt with it. Answer Question
Negotiation Details – You do not negotiate.
Information Management Specialist Interview (Negative Experience; Difficult Interview)
I applied online - interviewed at US Department of State in June 2014.
Interview Details Lengthy interview and they dont get to tell you where you went wrong. Funny that they decide a pass or fail, and just hand you a letter....worst kind of interview.
Interview Question – They asked me why I wanted the job and why I feel suited for the position. I wouldn't want the job if I had not taken the time to avail myself for the interview!! View Answer
FSO Interview (Neutral Experience)
I applied through college or university and interviewed at US Department of State.
Interview Details The hiring process is ardous and long. The written exam is meritorious, but it seems the oral exams are completely arbitrary! Once you are hired, then the security clearance could take a while. Finally, you get your medical clearance check, and it may turn out that you are not qualified for the job due to medical reasons.
Interview Question – How do you get an American out of a foreign jail? Answer Question
Negotiation Details – none
Very Easy Interview
Intern Interview (Positive Experience; Very Easy Interview)
I applied online and interviewed at US Department of State.
Interview Details The application process is pretty rigorous, as are all security clearance positions. After you complete your initial application package, you will be contacted for a phone interview. My phone interview was actually pretty brief - they already knew they wanted me and just wanted to verify that I was still interested in the position. Of course, I said yes. The security clearance paperwork following the interview was the most tedious - you really need to know every place you've ever lived at and the dates, etc., as well as everywhere outside of the U.S. that you have travelled, the dates, whom you were with, etc.
Public Affairs Officer Intern Interview (Neutral Experience; Easy Interview)
I interviewed at US Department of State in December 2013.
Interview Details Applied online through USA Jobs website and was contacted via email by the post after about a month. The interview process was quite easy and mostly had questions regarding my availability and previous experience. I was able to ask many questions about what type of work I would be doing.
Interview Question – Why are you the best candidate for this position? Answer Question
Chief Engineer Interview (Positive Experience; Easy Interview)
I applied online and the process took 8 months - interviewed at US Department of State in October 2010.
Interview Details Must be a veteran! Otherwise you won't be considered for employment. The "cert" requires you to have been a veteran. Ten points guarantees you a job, having served in a war zone.
Interview Question – Why do you want to work here/ Answer Question
Financial Analyst Interview (Neutral Experience)
Interviewed at US Department of State
Interview Details In depth interview process. They will bring you through a tough process and compare you to other people. This is government so its a people organization. People skills are valued as much as professional viability.
Negotiation Details – swift
Passport Specialist Interview (Positive Experience; Average Interview)
I applied through another source and the process took 2 months - interviewed at US Department of State in April 2013.
Interview Details In person interview as first step
Interview Question – How would I deal with doing a redundant mind numbing task for hours at a time? Answer Question
Passport Specialist Interview (Positive Experience; Average Interview)
I applied online - interviewed at US Department of State in March 2012.
Interview Details Submitted application via usajobs.com. Was contacted by email a month later to set up a phone interview. The first interview was pretty standard. They wanted to see if I had the skills to adjudicate, make decisions and to be meticulous. A few weeks later I had a second interview that was more of the same. I was offered the job a week later. Once this was done I was sent a hireling package. This position requires a high risk public trust screening, this is similar to a security clearance. They went ten years back on law and conducted a credit check. The most important thing to this check is being completely honest. This number one thing that will cause you problems and takes the longest time. It took four months from accepting the position to getting to my start date.
Interview Question – I really can't remember. I do remember that they were not impressed with prior leadership positions since this is an entry level position. Answer Question
Negotiation Details – No. This is a GS position and you fall under that scale
Intern Interview (Positive Experience; Average Interview)
I applied online and the process took 4+ weeks - interviewed at US Department of State in April 2014.
Interview Details As everyone says, the online application is a little tedious, but not as bad as some of the other government agencies. However, make sure that when you do it, you set aside time and energy to make the online application as efficient/effective as possible. I was told that my "Statement of Purpose" answer was the reason I was selected for an interview. I used an introduction explaining (in a concise way) my desire to give back to my country and then gave 3 bullet points on my most marketable skills for the State Department. I then added a conclusion and finished by saying that I looked forward to being giving the opportunity to prove my worth.
I was contacted about 4 weeks after the job posting closed and asked to do a phone interview a few days later. The interview itself was only 15 minutes and very simple in structure. The interviewer spent the first 5 minutes telling me about the office and what I could possibly be doing. Next, she asked me to talk about myself. It's best to talk about your strengths and why you are interested in that exact office. Also, it doesn't hurt to reinforce that your aim is to work for government/give back to your country. The last 5 minutes was an open Q&A. I made sure to ask one or two questions directly related to what the interviewer explained in the first 5 minutes. The interview finished and she explained that I would be sent an email in about 3 days regarding the position. 3 days later I was offered the position by email. There was no face-to-face contact through this process.
Interview Question – Nothing difficult, but rehearse what you want to convey. Time is limited. Try to avoid any negative language/vocabulary. Answer Question
Negotiation Details – N/A. The position is unpaid.
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