CIA
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CIA Interview Questions & Reviews

Updated Mar 24, 2014
All Interviews Received Offers

Getting the Interview 

58%
41%

Interview Experience 

58%
33%
8%

Interview Difficulty 

18 candidate interviews
Relevance Date Difficulty
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2 people found this helpful

Accepted Offer

Neutral Experience

Difficult Interview

Political Analyst Interview

Anonymous Employee

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.

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4 people found this helpful

No Offer

Positive Experience

Difficult Interview

Staff Operations Officer Interview

Anonymous Interview Candidate

I applied online and the process took 10 months - interviewed at CIA in March 2012.

Interview Details – 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 Question – Describe in detail an international current event, and how is it important to American interests?   Answer Question

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1 person found this helpful

No Offer

Positive Experience

Easy Interview

Intern Interview

Anonymous Interview Candidate

The process took a day - interviewed at CIA in September 2010.

Interview Details – Talked to a recruiter at a university career fair about an internship as a weapons analyst. Received a call that night for an on-campus interview the next morning.

Interviewer was nice and the interview was relatively relaxed. Asked a set of standard behavioral questions and also asked what in my opinion was the most important issue America was facing. Questions were mainly focused on leadership experience.

Interview went well but was unable to continue with application process because I was planning on some international travel between the interview and the internship period when the background check would be taking place.

Interview Questions

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No Offer

Neutral Experience

Very Difficult Interview

Intelligence Analyst Interview

Intelligence Analyst

I applied online and the process took 2 days - interviewed at CIA in April 2009.

Interview Details – 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

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No Offer

Neutral Experience

Average Interview

Analyst Interview

Anonymous Interview Candidate

I applied online and the process took a day - interviewed at CIA in February 2010.

Interview Details – Laid back interview, about a half hour, basic behavioral. Seemed a little unorganized, but the security at the place was intense. After an hour long presentation (nothing new, all mostly found on the website), I waited about two hours before the interview. This was about two months after a lengthy testing process. Open, welcoming.

Interview Question – Explain an experience in which you had to deal with time constraints and many commitments.   Answer Question

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Declined Offer

Positive Experience

Easy Interview

Internship Interview

Anonymous Interview Candidate

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.

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No Offer

Positive Experience

Average Interview

Analyst Interview

Anonymous Interview Candidate

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

Interview Details – It was a normal behavioral interview. One specific question she asked was to relate a current event to the CIA and give a briefing on it. Overall extremely friendly.

Interview Question – Please give a current event that relates to the CIA   Answer Question

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Declined Offer

Positive Experience

Average Interview

Project Management Engineer Interview

Anonymous Interview Candidate

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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