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CIA Interview Questions & Reviews

Updated Jun 16, 2014
All Interviews Received Offers

Getting an Interview  


Interview Experience  


Interview Difficulty  

Average Difficulty
8 candidate interviews Back to all interview questions
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1 person found this helpful

Accepted Offer

Neutral Experience

Intelligence Analyst Interview

Intelligence Analyst

I applied online and the process took 12 months - interviewed at CIA.

Interview Details – I applied online and luckily got picked up. They flew me out from CA for a 2 day interview process to include a formal interview, and other screening procedures. I don't recall if I got a conditional offer of employment prior to the screening, or if that's why I was sent to the DC area. But I do remember it took me 18 months after my interview to finally get my official offer and start date. Expect additional interviews during your background investigation. Also, if you know foreign nationals, your security clearance may take a long while.

Interview Question – I don't recall. It was one tense 2 hour in person interview.   Answer Question

Negotiation Details – No negotiation. They offered at a certain GS (General Salary) level.

Declined Offer

Neutral Experience

Very Easy Interview

Analyst Interview


I applied through college or university and the process took 2 months - interviewed at CIA in February 2014.

Interview Details – After meeting with the recruiter at a career fair, the next day I got an interview. The interview was easy and fun as long as you remained honest (and signed a do express detail clause). After the interview, I applied online for the position and was contacted to complete some tests. The problem with that is the test kept breaking (I could not get a prompt to come up-which was very frustrating) They sent a conditional offer and asked me to come up to DC for a week to do another interview session and testing. SInce I said no, I did not go past that point.

Interview Question – What is your most difficult situation in a team   View Answers (2)

Reason for Declining – I did not want to wait a year to start work.

Declined Offer

Positive Experience

Average Interview

Intelligence Analyst Interview

Intelligence Analyst

I applied through college or university and interviewed at CIA.

Interview Details – I attended a campus recruiting session and earned a campus interview for the next day. Heard back 2 months later with a call and a COE.

Interview Question – 5 or 6 standard behavioral questions   Answer Question

4 people found this helpful

Declined Offer

Neutral Experience

Technical Intelligence Officer Interview

Technical Intelligence Officer

Interviewed at CIA

Interview Details – Took 9 months between resume submittal and interview.

Interview Question – Very standard interview quesitons   Answer Question

14 people found this helpful

Accepted Offer

Negative Experience

Easy Interview

Open Source Officer Interview

Open Source Officer
Reston, VA

I applied online and the process took 10 months - interviewed at CIA in August 2010.

Interview Details – I applied online to the CIA the March before I graduated and was asked to take a test about two weeks later. The test was an open-dictionary timed translation for the 4 languages I spoke (Arabic, Farsi, Dari, and French), plus a fun analysis section in English. When the test was finished a message popped up saying I’d hear back in 6-8 weeks. I called my contact 9 weeks later who gave me the run around for a few calls before telling me I passed and a program manager would contact me in two weeks if they wanted an interview. I called back 3 weeks later and was told, “Oh yea. They want to interview you.”

The interview was pretty standard. They asked questions about times I displayed leadership, teamwork, creativity, diversity and a few other qualities. One of the interviewers had been tracking AQIM, a group I had written a research paper on, so we talked about that for a while. Two weeks later, about 5 months after I first applied, I received an offer. With signing and language bonuses, I would be tripling my salary.

A few months later, they scheduled a time for me to come down for an office visit, psych eval, polygraph, etc. They originally scheduled it for Dec 30-Jan 1, then called back a week later to let me know that was a holiday and rescheduled for a week earlier. They gave me the wrong address for the office visit so I was 30 minutes late. That didn’t matter, though, since the office was never informed I was visiting. Everyone there seemed nice enough and passionate about what they were doing. The next day was the polygraph. They freaked me out by saying I had failed a question, but I found out that out of 8 other people there, they told 7 they failed the same question. All came back the next day and “passed”.

About 3 weeks later, I received an offer from the Foreign Service. I called my would-be boss who I had met at the visit and told her. It was still about a year until I would get an assignment, so I said I wanted to work with her until then. She said that was great and she’d be happy to accommodate me. A week later, I received a letter saying I had been ruled “unsuitable” for the position and I should apply again in a year.

The process did little to instill in me faith in the competence of the organization (among other problems, they didn’t know where Philadelphia was, insisting I fly to DC, and spent about an hour grilling me on my high school drinking habits). I’m far from alone. Most of my classmates in Arabic and Farsi went to Google, Deloitte, or McKinsey and none have gone to the CIA. I was single-minded back then and badly undervalued myself. I can’t imagine tolerating what I did from a hiring process again.

Interview Question – They asked me to give examples of when I displayed a few characteristics. Each one was one of the State Department's 13 dimension.   Answer Question

3 people found this helpful

Accepted Offer

Neutral Experience

Difficult Interview

Political Analyst Interview

Political Analyst

I applied through college or university and the process took 4 months - interviewed at CIA.

Interview Details – Applied online after meeting a recruiter at my university. Heard back a month later and completed some basic intelligence and personality tests (LSAT and Meyers-Briggs type questions). Also sent in a more detailed explanation of my qualifications, particularly related to foreign travel. Phone interview was a month later, then after another month I had an in-person interview. Both were very straightforward and focused on my writing, research, analytical, and teamwork background in a lot of detail. My advice to candidates who get this far would be to stay on your toes, up to date on current events, and know your resume cold as you will be grilled on it. Overall impression of the interview was that it was extremely thorough but also exhausting. Heard back within a month with an offer and then began the security clearance process, which is a whole different saga. If you are fortunate enough to get an offer, make other plans because you won't start for a long time. Apply, then forget about it until the next step comes along.

Interview Question – What, in your opinion, are the three biggest intelligence challenges facing the United States?   View Answer

Negotiation Details – I was extremely happy with the initial offer. Not sure how negotiating would go as this career really isn't about the money, plus you're dealing with a government bureaucracy that has an endless supply of qualified candidates.

Declined Offer

Positive Experience

Easy Interview

Internship Interview


I applied through college or university and the process took a day - interviewed at CIA in September 2009.

Interview Details – Talked to recruiter at a job career fair and was offered an interview. Interview was less than an hour long and was not stressful. The common interview questions were asked (leadership roles, how you dealt with previous situations, team work experience, etc.) Was offered a research postion in the DC area.

Interview Question – Name a time when a project requirement was changed mid-project and how did you react/ change design to meet new requirement.   Answer Question

Reason for Declining – no housing allowance was awarded and price of living was too high for the salary that was offered.

Declined Offer

Positive Experience

Average Interview

Project Management Engineer Interview

Project Management Engineer

I applied through college or university and the process took 6 weeks - interviewed at CIA in October 2009.

Interview Details – Got an interview by attending college career fair. Was 2 on 1 with behavioral questions. Recieved offer in the mail about 6 weeks later.

Interview Question – Tell me about a time when you faced a challenge.   Answer Question

Reason for Declining – I wouldn't want to take the polygraph and wouldn't want to live on the east coast.

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