20 U.S. General Services Administration Interview Questions and Answers

Prepare for the types of questions you are likely to be asked when interviewing for a position at U.S. General Services Administration.

The U.S. General Services Administration is the government agency responsible for procurement and property management for the federal government. The GSA also provides a variety of support services to other government agencies, including IT, human resources, and training.

If you’re applying for a job with the GSA, you can expect to be asked a range of questions about your qualifications, work history, and availability. In this guide, we’ve assembled a list of GSA interview questions and answers to help you prepare for your interview.

U.S. General Services Administration Interview Process

The interview process at U.S. General Services Administration (GSA) is generally two rounds, with the first being a panel style interview with three managers posing scenario questions with specific examples. There is usually an allotted time to write down thoughts before answering. Some questions may be repetitive.

The second round is similar, but with a panel of interviewers. This round is often more focused on soft skills and industry knowledge. There may also be a less formal, more conversational opportunity to ask questions.

Overall, the interview process is positive, though it can be lengthy. It is important to be prepared to answer typical interview questions, as well as performance-based questions.

Common U.S. General Services Administration Interview Questions

1. What is your experience with the Federal Acquisition Regulations?

The Federal Acquisition Regulations (FAR) are a set of rules that govern how the U.S. government purchases goods and services from vendors. The interviewer may ask you this question to assess your experience with these regulations, as they can be an important part of working in GSA’s contracting department. In your answer, try to highlight any specific knowledge or skills related to FAR.

Example: “I have worked with the FAR for most of my career. I find them to be quite useful when it comes to understanding what types of contracts the government uses and how much money is available for certain projects. As a project manager, I’ve used the FAR to help me understand which type of contract would work best for our company.”

2. If you were a contracting officer, how would you handle an offeror who has been determined non-responsible but was adamant that they should be awarded the contract?

This question is designed to assess your conflict resolution skills and ability to make tough decisions. In your answer, demonstrate that you can be firm but fair when making a decision.

Example: “I would first explain the reasons why they were determined non-responsible and then give them an opportunity to respond. If I still felt they should not receive the contract, I would offer to meet with them in person or over the phone to discuss their concerns further. Ultimately, it’s my responsibility as a contracting officer to ensure that only responsible offerors are awarded contracts.”

3. Can you describe some of the challenges in the acquisition process and what steps could be taken to improve it?

The interviewer may ask you this question to assess your knowledge of the acquisition process and how it can be improved. Use examples from your experience to highlight your understanding of the process and how you could improve it.

Example: “The biggest challenge in the acquisition process is that there are many different vendors, each with their own unique processes for bidding on projects. This makes it difficult to standardize the way bids are submitted and evaluated. To improve this process, I would implement a single vendor system where all vendors bid on projects through one central website. This would make it easier to evaluate bids based on specific criteria and select the best option.”

4. How do you think the federal government can better use its resources?

This question can help the interviewer assess your knowledge of how government agencies work and whether you have any ideas for improvement. Your answer should show that you understand the challenges of working in a large organization and that you’re willing to offer solutions.

Example: “I think one way the federal government could better use its resources is by implementing more efficient technology. I’ve seen firsthand how new software and hardware can streamline processes, reduce costs and improve customer service. In my last position as an IT specialist, I helped implement several new systems that saved our department thousands of dollars each year.”

5. Tell us about a time when you had to deal with a difficult situation or conflict at work.

This question can help interviewers learn more about your problem-solving skills and how you react to challenges. When answering this question, it can be helpful to describe a situation where you were able to resolve the conflict or difficult situation in a positive way.

Example: “In my current role as an IT specialist, I often have to deal with employees who are having issues with their computers or other technology devices. One time, I had an employee come to me because they couldn’t access any of their files on their computer. After troubleshooting for a while, we determined that there was a virus on their computer. We then worked together to find a solution so that they could get back to work.”

6. What are your thoughts on the current state of the economy?

The interviewer may ask this question to learn more about your economic knowledge and how you feel about the current state of the economy. This can help them determine if you are a good fit for the position, as it shows that you have an understanding of what’s going on in the world around you. When answering this question, try to be honest while also showing optimism.

Example: “I think the current state of the economy is pretty positive. The unemployment rate has been steadily decreasing over the past few years, which is great news. I believe that with the right leadership, we can continue to make improvements to our economy.”

7. Why do you want to work for the General Services Administration?

This question can help the interviewer determine your level of interest in working for their organization. Your answer should include a few reasons why you want to work for this specific agency and how it fits into your career goals.

Example: “I’m interested in working for the General Services Administration because I believe in its mission to provide quality services at an affordable price. As someone who has worked in customer service for many years, I know that providing excellent customer service is key to maintaining happy customers. I also think that my skills as a project manager would be beneficial to the GSA’s projects.”

8. Do you feel comfortable working with different groups of people?

The U.S. General Services Administration is a large organization that works with many different groups of people, including other government agencies and private companies. The interviewer wants to make sure you can work well in this type of environment. Use your answer to show the interviewer that you are comfortable working with others from all backgrounds.

Example: “I have worked for several organizations throughout my career, and I’ve found that no matter what company I’m at, there will always be people who are different than me. I feel like it’s important to learn about these differences and find ways to collaborate with them. For example, when I was working as an accountant, I had a coworker who was very religious. At first, we didn’t get along because she thought I was going to go to hell. However, after talking more, we realized we could respect each other’s beliefs while still getting our work done.”

9. Describe a time when you successfully worked as part of a team.

The GSA is a large organization that relies on teamwork to accomplish its goals. Your interviewer will want to know how you function as part of a team and whether your past experiences have prepared you for this role.

Example: “In my current position, I work with a diverse group of people who all bring unique skills to the table. In my last job, I worked in a small office where we had to rely on each other to get our work done. I am comfortable working with others and enjoy collaborating to find solutions to problems. I believe these experiences have prepared me well for this opportunity.”

10. What are your short term and long term goals?

This question can help the interviewer determine if you have a plan for your career and how it aligns with their organization. Your answer should include what you hope to achieve in the next few years, as well as what you hope to accomplish over the course of your entire career.

Example: “My short-term goal is to become an expert on all things GSA. I want to know everything about the agency’s mission, its goals and its history. My long-term goal is to be promoted within two years. After that, my goal is to continue to advance through the ranks until I reach the position of chief administrator.”

11. Provide an example of a project that you have managed from start to finish.

This question is an opportunity to showcase your leadership skills and ability to complete a project from start to finish. When answering this question, it can be helpful to provide details about the steps you took to manage the project and how it helped improve your organization or company.

Example: “In my current role as a facilities manager for a large corporation, I am responsible for managing multiple projects at once. However, one of my favorite projects that I have managed was when we were looking to expand our office space. We started by creating a list of requirements for what we wanted in our new office space. From there, we created a budget and began searching for available spaces within our budget. After narrowing down our options, we visited each space and decided on the best option for our needs.”

12. U.S. General Services Administration values innovation and creativity. What innovative ideas do you have for our agency?

U.S. General Services Administration values innovation and creativity in its employees, so interviewers may ask this question to see if you have any innovative ideas for the agency. In your answer, explain how you would implement an idea that could benefit U.S. General Services Administration.

Example: “I believe that technology can help streamline many processes within government agencies. For example, I worked with a team of developers who created a mobile app that helped citizens report issues like potholes or broken streetlights. The app also allowed city officials to respond to these reports quickly and efficiently. If I were hired by U.S. General Services Administration, I would suggest creating a similar app to help track maintenance requests.”

13. What do you know about the General Services Administration?

This question is a great way to test your knowledge of the agency and its role in government. Interviewers ask this question to see if you have done any research on their organization before coming in for an interview. To answer this question, make sure you thoroughly read through the job description so that you can discuss what the agency does and how it helps the federal government function.

Example: “I know that the General Services Administration is responsible for managing all of the U.S. government’s real estate assets. I also know that they help agencies find new locations when they need to move or expand. This is important because it allows agencies to focus on their core functions instead of spending time looking for office space.”

14. Tell me about a time where you had to make decisions without consulting your direct manager.

This question can help the interviewer understand your ability to make independent decisions and how you used your own judgment. Use examples from your experience that highlight your critical thinking skills, problem-solving abilities and leadership qualities.

Example: “In my current role as a facilities manager, I often have to make decisions without consulting my direct supervisor. For example, when there is an issue with one of our buildings or equipment, I need to assess the situation and determine what repairs are needed. Then, I assign staff members to complete the necessary repairs. This helps me ensure that all issues are resolved in a timely manner.”

15. What are some things that you would like to see improved in the way we run our programs?

This question is a great way to see how you can contribute to the organization. It also shows that they are open to change and improvement. When answering this question, it’s important to be respectful of the current processes in place. Instead, focus on what you would do differently or how you would improve upon them.

Example: “I think one thing I would like to see improved is the process for requesting new furniture. Currently, there is a long waiting list for those who need new office furniture. If I were working here, I would implement an online system where employees could request new furniture and submit their budget. Then, someone from the finance department would review the request and approve it if it was within the company guidelines.”

16. We value employees who can take initiative and solve problems independently. Give me an example of a time when you did this.

This question is an opportunity to show your leadership skills and ability to work independently. When answering this question, it can be helpful to describe a time when you were faced with a problem or challenge that required independent thought and action.

Example: “When I was working as a facilities manager for the city of San Diego, we had a large event scheduled at one of our convention centers. The day before the event, there was a power outage in the building. This caused some damage to the electrical system, which needed to be repaired before the event could begin. I immediately called my team together and explained the situation. We then brainstormed solutions and decided on the best course of action.”

17. Have you ever had to work on a team whose members didn’t get along, how did you handle it?

This question can help the interviewer get a better sense of how you work with others and your ability to resolve conflicts. Your answer should show that you are able to collaborate with others, understand different perspectives and use conflict resolution skills to solve problems.

Example: “In my last position as an administrative assistant for a small business, I had a team leader who was very demanding and didn’t give us much time to complete tasks. This made some of my coworkers feel stressed and overwhelmed, which led to arguments between them. When I noticed this happening, I talked to each person individually about their concerns and helped them come up with solutions together. As a result, they were able to communicate more effectively and find ways to balance their workload.”

18. Tell me about a time when you had to provide feedback to someone who wasn’t performing well. How did you handle it?

The interviewer may ask this question to learn more about your leadership skills and how you handle conflict. Use examples from your experience where you had to provide feedback to a team member or employee who wasn’t performing well, and explain what steps you took to help them improve their performance.

Example: “In my current role as the director of operations for an event planning company, I have several employees who work on different aspects of our events, including catering, entertainment and decorating. When hiring these employees, I made sure they all had similar skill sets so that we could ensure each event was done well. However, if one person isn’t performing well, it can affect the entire event.

I recently had to fire one of my event planners because she didn’t meet her deadlines consistently. She also didn’t communicate with other members of the team when she needed help. After firing her, I met with the rest of the team to discuss how we would move forward without her. We decided to hire another event planner who has a similar skill set but is more reliable.”

19. In which areas of program management do you excel?

This question allows you to highlight your skills and abilities as they relate to the position. When answering, it can be helpful to refer to the job description or other materials that describe what the agency is looking for in a candidate.

Example: “I have extensive experience managing large projects with multiple stakeholders. I am also skilled at identifying areas of improvement within my team’s processes and implementing solutions. In my last role, I was responsible for overseeing the implementation of new software across all branches of our organization. This required me to work closely with each department to ensure everyone understood how to use the program effectively.”

20. What kind of skills do you think are important for

This is a behavioral question that allows you to show your knowledge of the position and how it relates to other positions. You can use this opportunity to explain why certain skills are important for the role, which will allow the interviewer to see if you have those skills yourself.

Example: “I think communication skills are very important in any kind of leadership role because they help you understand what others need from you and how you can best support them. I also think problem-solving skills are important because they allow you to find solutions to problems quickly so you can make quick decisions when necessary. Finally, I think time management skills are important because they allow you to prioritize tasks effectively.”


20 UCSF Medical Center and UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospitals Interview Questions and Answers

Back to Interview

20 U.S. Department of Transportation Interview Questions and Answers