Pompeo Lifts Hiring Freeze at State Department

More encouraging news from the State Department.  SecState Pompeo in a May 15 tweet announced that he has lifted the hiring freeze imposed by his predecessor, Rex Tillerson.

I’m pleased to announce that I’m lifting @StateDept hiring freeze on Foreign Service and Civil Service employees. We need our men and women on the ground executing American diplomacy and representing our great nation.

This likely means that the Department will offer the FSOT on the pre-Trump schedule of three times per year: June, October, and February. So it’s a good time to start preparing for the next FSOT!




  1. Brian Weaver says

    This Monday, Pre-test have so far resulted in scores of 54 to 59 per section for the English Knowledge and job sections. My Bio tends to be in the low 50’s as well

    • They’ve replaced the Bio section with a Situational Judgment portion, no? My initial reaction to Situational Judgment questions is that it’s unlikely that there’s a way to study ahead of time. I would recommend the following based on my experience in working and managing in the State Department:

      — “We” is better than “I.” In short, this idea that working together to solve a problem is paramount — creating teams, teamwork, etc — counts for so much in the Foreign Service. Remember this not only for the Situational Judgement part of the FSOT, but also in the essay portion, PNQ, and the Oral Assessment.

      — Praise in public; criticize in private. If your lucky in the FS, you’ll get a boss that will want to help you improve and get promoted. Feedback is generally not a priority, although it should be and good FS bosses do it. Bad bosses don’t, they criticize you in front of your staff (or worse in front of the Ambassador and DCM), and generally think any discussion of performance is during the annual Employee Evaluation Report (EER). There’s a suggested rule in the Foreign Service that supervisors should meet on a quarterly basis with their subordinates. When you get in the Foreign Service you should insist on frequent feedback, at the very least every quarter.

      — Finally, the Situational Judgment section seems to me to be a common-sense test. If you’re stumped, turn the question back on you; that is, put yourself in the shoes of the people in the situation. How would you want to be treated? What’s the easiest, best way to solve a problem?

      Frankly, the Bio section seemed a dubious part of the FSOT, and for all the weaknesses of the Situational Judgment section, it will show if you have a clue about managing.

      Good luck,


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