US Department of State

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US Department of State Interview Questions

Updated 11 Dec, 2014
Updated 11 Dec, 2014
78 Interview Reviews

Interview Experience

Interview Experience

79%
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Getting an Interview

Getting an Interview

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Interview Difficulty

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Candidate Interview Reviews

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  1.  

    Foreign Service Officer Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    Interview Details

    Written test, essay, interview, medical and security clearances. Multi-step process took almost a year. Had to travel to DC for the interview on my own dime. Lots of competition. I was prepared for the interview and made it through to a job offer on my first try. Process was fair and now is a point of bonding among my colleagues.

    Interview Questions
    • Need to provide examples and back them up with details   Answer Question
    Negotiation Details
    Take it or leave it
    Accepted Offer
  2.  

    Passport Specialist Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    Application Details

    I applied through other source. The process took 12+ monthsinterviewed at US Department of State.

    Interview Details

    6+ months, no interview. Contingent offer based on passing security clearance. Started within a month of security clearance.

    Some colleagues that were interviewed had to go through two rounds with an interview panel.

    Negotiation Details
    No negotiation, federal. Except you can negotiate the starting grade. I didn't have to.
    Accepted Offer
    Easy Interview
  3.  

    Intern Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    Interview Details

    Three interviews. They were fairly easy asking basic questions about the department and my knowledge of international affairs. I found them to be very welcoming and it seemed they wanted to choose me but were being very formal.

    Negotiation Details
    Its an internship so....
    Accepted Offer
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  5.  

    Intern Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    Application Details

    I applied online – interviewed at US Department of State.

    Interview Details

    Apply via USAJobs; it's fairly specific, but beyond the brochure it isn't necessarily clear what the position will entail. I had a special website I was able to look at, which was a gigantic help, but that is far from true for other interns, especially in more obscure offices. The interview was fairly straightforward.

    Interview Questions
    Accepted Offer
  6. 2 people found this helpful  

    FSO Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    Application Details

    I applied through college or university – 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 Questions
    Negotiation Details
    none
    Accepted Offer
  7. 2 people found this helpful  

    Intern Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate in New York, NY (US)
    Anonymous Interview Candidate in New York, NY (US)
    Application Details

    I applied online – 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.

    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Easy Interview
  8.  

    Information Management Specialist Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Washington, DC (US)
    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Washington, DC (US)
    Application Details

    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 Questions
    • 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
    No Offer
    Negative Experience
    Difficult Interview
  9. 1 person found this helpful  

    Financial Analyst Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    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
    Accepted Offer
  10. 1 person found this helpful  

    Intern Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    Application Details

    I applied online. The process took 4+ weeksinterviewed 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 Questions
    • 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.
    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Average Interview
  11.  

    Intern Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    Application Details

    I applied online. The process took 4 weeksinterviewed at US Department of State.

    Interview Details

    I applied online in the autumn for a summer internship. The online application is extensive and time-consuming. A few weeks later I got an e-mail requesting a phone interview with the specific office that was interested in my application. It was a little bit difficult to schedule the interview, as I was in California and the Embassy was in Europe, so it was a little tough to find a time that fell within normal business hours in Europe and waking hours in California.

    When the actual interview came, the discussion focused primarily on my previous experience. I felt that confident answers and speaking well were two things that helped during my interview. My interviewer also liked to see writing experience, particularly with deadlines and concise style. Customer service and the ability to work well with others and as a team also seemed to be pluses. Leadership, communication, and social skills were points of emphasis.

    I didn't face too many tough questions-- mostly about why I wanted the position, why I chose my field of study, why I requested the particular office and position I selected, what my strengths are, etc. I was also asked things like if I would be comfortable finding my own housing in a foreign country if necessary and other such things related to accepting an overseas internship.

    Soon after, my interviewer requested another phone call. I was prepared for another round of interviews, but after a few short questions they offered me the position. I accepted and it was one of the most enriching and rewarding experiences of my life.

    Interview Questions
    • There were a lot of questions on self-evaluation-- How would you rate your language skills? How would you describe your communication style? How do you envision this internship contributing to your long-term goals?   Answer Question
    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Average Interview

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