How to Become a State Department Interpreter
Becoming a State Department interpreter for the U.S. federal government is a goal and dream of many language professionals.
While it isn't easy to find work as a government interpreter, especially for the State Department, many people find that it is a rewarding career and enjoy being part of the government process.
The most difficult part of any government job, however, is the process you have to go through to be hired. Usually there is a lot of paperwork to fill out, interviews to go to, and the process can sometimes take up to a year!
This page will help to outline the process for becoming a State Department interpreter and hopefully give you a little more confidence in applying.
A Little Background
Types of Interpreting Positions
Requirements for Becoming an Interpreter
First of all, the Language Services division obviously looks for interpreters that have a well-rounded knowledge of a variety of topics such as military affairs, current events, and financial and scientific domains. If you feel like you fit the bill, you'll next have to send in an application. If the reviewers like your application and would like to continue processing your information, you will then receive a phone call screening. Following the screening, you'll have an interview where you can complete any information that might have been missed on your application.
Following all this processing comes an interpreting test. According to Language Services, the interpreters test is made up of two passages where the interpreter has to interpret from an actual soundproof booth with all the equipment and devices that are used in the interpreting industry. Oh, yeah, and you can't use any type of dictionary either.
Hopefully this will give you some direction what you can expect when becoming a State Department interpreter. For more information, be sure to check out the Language Services website.
Back from becoming a State Department Interpreter.
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