CIA Interview Questions

Updated Jul 24, 2015
30 Interview Reviews

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  1. Helpful (1)  

    No Offer
    Neutral Experience
    Difficult Interview

    Application

    I applied online. The process took 2 daysinterviewed at CIA in April 2009.

    Interview

    Interviewed for the Stokes program. After a long screening process, they fly you in, give you a number of presentations and tours, making you all excited to work for them. Then you spend a day interviewing, the questions in general are pretty tough but its all just a test. A scenario interview question was asked.

    Interview Questions

  2. Helpful (10)  

    Political Analyst Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    Accepted Offer
    Difficult Interview

    Application

    I applied through college or university. The process took 4+ monthsinterviewed at CIA.

    Interview

    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 Questions

    • What, in your opinion, are the three biggest intelligence challenges facing the United States?   1 Answer

    Negotiation

    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.

  3. Helpful (3)  

    Analyst Interview

    Anonymous Employee in Washington, DC
    No Offer
    Positive Experience
    Difficult Interview

    Application

    I applied online. The process took 1 dayinterviewed at CIA (Washington, DC) in January 2008.

    Interview

    The interview lasted for about 1 hour. The questions were both about my professional qualifications, along with my personal situation. At one point the interviewer had me explain to him my understanding of the political situation in a region outside the US. I could choose the region I told him about. The interviewer was very interested to know my language skills.

    Interview Questions

    • Tell me, in detail, your understanding of a political situation of a country outside your area of expertise.   Answer Question
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  5. Helpful (8)  

    No Offer
    Positive Experience
    Difficult Interview

    Application

    I applied online. The process took 10+ monthsinterviewed at CIA in March 2012.

    Interview

    Begins with the online application. From there, there is a telephone interview with a recruiter, basic behavioral interview questions. They will also go over your resume with you. After that, you will be invited to an information session, where they will explain in detail the particulars of working for the agency; immediately following that, there will be a one-on-one interview with an agent or former agent. In addition to standard interview questions, there are also things such as current event knowledge questions and role playing scenarios. Assuming you get past this stage, you are then flown out to DC for at least three day There will be a another 1:1 interview, this time even more detailed and with more role-playing scenarios. Finally, there is an interview with a psychologist, which is very much so like a behavioral interview, just way more intrusive and detailed. From there there are two options: you receive a rejection letter (which I did); or you receive a condition offer of employment, which is conditional upon the completion of a deep background investigation that normally takes another 6 months to a year to complete, in addition to medical testing and a polygraph test. The main bad thing about the interview process was that it was SO LONG. From the date of my initial application to my final rejection just before the COE, it was a total of 10 months. If I had made it further, it would have been as much as another 12 months before I could enter on duty. Which can make rejection that much more painful. Other than that, though, it was a pleasant interview process. Anyone who applies and makes it even to the info session should consider themselves lucky: the Agency gets tens of thousands of applications for each position it opens--just making the cut is an achievement. If you are lucky enough to make it to the second round of interviews, they fly you out and reimburse you--and usually you do have enough free time to enjoy the area a bit.

    Interview Questions

    • Describe in detail an international current event, and how is it important to American interests?   Answer Question
  6. Helpful (2)  

    No Offer
    Neutral Experience
    Difficult Interview

    Application

    I applied online. The process took 12+ monthsinterviewed at CIA.

    Interview

    Applied online for an internship, was contacted several months later to set up a phone interview. Phone interview was very basic "get to know you" questions. Once I passed that, I was contacted once again to set up an in-person interview. The interview was conducted at a hotel in Los Angeles. The interview was a one-on-one which lasted several hours with the interviewer asking really in-depth questions. Was contacted several months later and flown out to VA for yet another interview and screening. This consisted of an online series of questions and essays, as well as a mental health screening. I was told if I passed that I would be brought in for a polygraph and further screening.

    Interview Questions

  7. Helpful (2)  

    No Offer
    Positive Experience
    Difficult Interview

    Application

    I applied online. The process took 6 weeksinterviewed at CIA in August 2014.

    Interview

    I applied for the Intelligence Analysis internship on the CIA's website. I wrote a few essays, submitted my resume and cover letter, which was easy. I was notified after 3 weeks (?) via e-mail that I would have to take some tests. One of the tests was a timed skills-based test which has SAT-style questions. They focused mostly on logic and basic algebra. There was a personality test which was multiple choice and offered the same questions that would be on a Myers-Briggs exam. There was also a timed writing exam in which I would have to write a brief for the intelligence community on a fake terrorist group. These tasks were a little difficult, but completely manageable. I was contacted a week after taking the tests for a phone interview. I was interviewed by two people, a man and a woman, who seemed like they were trying to play a little good cop/ bad cop kind of thing. The interview focused mostly on my soft skills and really went through my resume. They also asked some more political questions. I really enjoyed answering the question, "What do you think the greatest problem today is in America?". I received a notice of rejection a week and a half later. I feel confident that I would have gotten the job, however, I am studying abroad this semester so they would not be able to conduct a proper background check on time.

    Interview Questions

    • Can you explain to us the process you use when conducting research on a subject?   Answer Question
  8. Helpful (4)  

    No Offer
    Negative Experience
    Average Interview

    Interview

    Visited the website, fill out the online application, wait 5 months for a real reply, request you do a online test (which is stupid for someone currently working in intelligence community at the time with over 30+ years - looking to transfer from Agency to Agency), not told of the results, the application have major flaws and problems that would cause issues for you fill in correctly.

    Interview Questions

    • The questions on the test are general, ever travel outside the US? Where and why? Have you ever taken drugs? If so, what kind? etc.....   Answer Question
    • Technical interview questions are, at least for my career field; explain how you would do this or that and why, If you were a leader, how would you handle personnel issues, etc.   Answer Question
  9. Helpful (1)  

    No Offer
    Neutral Experience
    Average Interview

    Application

    I applied online. The process took 2+ monthsinterviewed at CIA in April 2013.

    Interview

    I was contacted after applying online for an internship and asked to complete a timed intelligence test. A week or so after that, I was asked to go for an on-site interview. The interview was mostly behavioral questions and was one on one. There was also an information session with everyone that was interviewing that day. The interview was about an hour long and not overly difficult but very one-sided. The woman that I interviewed with was not overly friendly and did not provide much emotion about her experiences at the agency. It would have been a cool job but the stress level and overall vibe I got was not very friendly. I never heard a thing from them after the interview and was honestly not that upset about it.

    Interview Questions

    • "Please tell me about a time when you were asked to do something that you did not have the required experience or knowledge for"   Answer Question
  10. Helpful (11)  

    No Offer
    Average Interview

    Application

    I applied online – interviewed at CIA.

    Interview

    Applied online and was sent a questionnaire about a week later. After submitting that, I was asked to take a series of online assessments, including a writing test and an aptitude test. They then gave me a phone interview, which seemed pretty standard. Most of the questions asked about my previous work experience.

    Interview Questions

  11. Helpful (2)  

    Declined Offer
    Positive Experience
    Average Interview

    Application

    I applied through college or university – interviewed at CIA.

    Interview

    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 Questions

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