SEC
4.1 of 5 47 reviews
www.sec.gov Washington, DC 1000 to 5000 Employees

SEC Interview Questions & Reviews

Updated Apr 3, 2014
All Interviews Received Offers

Getting the Interview 

86%
13%

Interview Experience 

70%
30%
0%

Interview Difficulty 

12 candidate interviews
Relevance Date Difficulty
in

Accepted Offer

Positive Experience

Easy Interview

Intern Interview

Anonymous Employee
Washington, DC

I applied online and the process took a day - interviewed at SEC in November 2012.

Interview Details – I applied through USAJobs. I got a call later from two people who wanted to talk to me. It was very casual. I didn't have a strong business background so I just talked about my experience doing previous ethical work. They talked about how sometimes the ethical procedures are a bit ridiculous.

Interview Question – It was amazingly casual.   Answer Question

Negotiation Details – I got a letter saying email HR if you wanted the internship.

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Accepted Offer

Positive Experience

Average Interview

Summer Honors Intern: Enforcement Interview

Anonymous Employee
Philadelphia, PA

I applied online and the process took 3 weeks - interviewed at SEC.

Interview Details – I applied online and was contacted for a phone interview several weeks later. The phone interview was a conference call with several employees. I was asked several finance related questions, and why I was interested in the program. They were very nice and the interview was pretty laid back. I received the offer the next week (4 days).

Interview Question – How would you price an alternative asset?   Answer Question

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No Offer

Positive Experience

Financial Economist Interview

Financial Economist

I applied online and the process took a day - interviewed at SEC.

Interview Details – Interviewed with them at AEAs in Philly. Very fast turnaround to get flyout invitation. Very friendly group of economists in DERA, with very little unpleasantness. Employees mostly seemed happy and collegial.

Interview Question – None really.   Answer Question

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1 person found this helpful

Accepted Offer

Neutral Experience

Analyst Interview

Analyst

Interviewed at SEC

Interview Details – It was alright. First round the interviewer was nice. The questions were mostly fit, but for the last part I was grilled on accounting. Second round met with someone higher up. Mostly technical questions about the markets and how companies choose their cost of capital structure.

Negotiation Details – It was chill

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Accepted Offer

Neutral Experience

Average Interview

Securities Compliance Examiner/Staff Accountant Interview

Anonymous Employee

I applied online and the process took 5+ months - interviewed at SEC.

Interview Details – Typically the interviews are with a panel that includes the hiring manager, a peer of the hiring manager and at least peer to the role being hired.

Interview Question – You will be asked about specific SEC rules. It's helpful to be up to speed on recent rules and the the regulatory framework for the program in which you are interviewing.   Answer Question

Negotiation Details – I was able to negotiate vacation time to match my vacation in the private sector. This must be done in advance of starting. There is a form that needs completion, including justification of your prior experience with either job descriptions or letters from former employers.

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2 people found this helpful

No Offer

Positive Experience

Average Interview

Summer Honors College Interview

Summer Honors College
New York, NY

I applied through college or university and the process took 2 weeks - interviewed at SEC in March 2011.

Interview Details – I applied for the position in January through my Career Center's site, and I got an email for the hiring manager in early March. The manager scheduled a phone interview, which consisted of mostly behavioral questions. After the interview was over, the manager recommended me to come in for an on-site interview. It took a week after the phone interview before I was contacted to come in.

Interview Questions

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1 person found this helpful

Accepted Offer

Positive Experience

Average Interview

Examiner Interview

Anonymous Employee
New York, NY

I applied through college or university and the process took 3 weeks - interviewed at SEC in April 2009.

Interview Details – Sat me in the conference room with the person who would be my supervisor and a person who currently holds the same job for which I was applying. Asked some general personality and interest questions to start. Then went through resume and asked me to elaborate on areas that were relevant to reviewing company financial information. The process was fairly painless but this was just a summer job so the stakes for them were relatively low.

Interview Question – Explain in detail a case or time you were reviewing a company's financial records.   Answer Question

Negotiation Details – There was no negotiation

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No Offer

Positive Experience

Average Interview

Financial Economist Interview

Financial Economist
Washington, DC

I applied online and the process took 3 months - interviewed at SEC in April 2010.

Interview Details – I applied for the position as an external candidate. The hiring process for the US government is long and involved. The first step is to provide a written application including answering a Knowledge & Skills Assessment. These are involved essay questions requiring you to highlight experience for specific relevant knowledge and skills of the position. These responses are scored by the hiring agency or department. Only the top 3 to 5 external candidates are recommended for the position.

Once recommended, it is up to the hiring manager to decide if you will be brought for in person interviews. I had a phone interview with the hiring manager to discuss my background and the specifics of the job. I had a good sense of my strengths and weaknesses for the position. I was brought into the SEC for a full day interview with others in the group and division heads. The experience was relaxed and informative of the culture.

Interview Question – How do you think about a problem?   Answer Question

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1 person found this helpful

Accepted Offer

Neutral Experience

Difficult Interview

Summer Honors Intern Interview

Anonymous Employee

I applied online and the process took a day - interviewed at SEC in May 2009.

Interview Details – I submitted my resume through the SEC website for a Summer Honors Internship Position. I submitted it to a number of locations since each location has a separate hiring committee. The process was simply and I only had the check the city name to ensure that a copy of my application materials were forwarded over.

I was asked to submit all transcripts from undergrad and grad. I am currently in an MBA program. Within a few months, I was contacted by two of the three locations, who conducted a brief initial phone interview. From that point, I was invited to a formal interview which took place over the phone with a panel (expect at least 2 Senior people who will be making the decision, to be on the call -- they all will ask questions).

While your GPA will get you in the door, the SEC looks for items on your resume and/or transcript that indicates you have an interest in the type of work you are doing.

I was asked detail questions about my resume, including what I did at each job, why I decided to leave, why I chose my major and what my future plans are. The best advice I can give is don't say what you think they want to here, be truthful. For example, "This is only a short-term position, why are you interested." If your goal is to work for them full-time, make sure you let them know that it's not a short-term position to you!

In addition, you also need to brush up on your knowledge of some of the new regulations and be able to articulate your opinion/knowledge of them. They will definitely ask. I left the interview feeling unsure about the whole process, because of some of the responses and follow-up questions I was given after each answer. But it all worked out!

After the interview, it took about 1 to 2 weeks to hear back, followed by a ton of paperwork that had to be filled out. You will need to get clearance before you can start, and if your credit report is not together, you will not be working for the SEC. So, if you have chargeoffs, collection items, etc. -- get them taken care of as soon as possible, or at least attempt to make payments on them and/or dispute them, if the dispute is valid.

Out of all the internship experiences I have had, the SEC was the best! The amount of experience and the level of involvement you gain from the SEC can not be easily matched!

Interview Questions

  • Where do you see the SEC going and do you think it is heading in the right direction?   View Answer
  • Since you are an Accounting student do you plan to sit for the CPA?   View Answer

Negotiation Details – It was a Summer Honors Program and since it is the federal government, it is set based on your educational background.

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No Offer

Neutral Experience

Average Interview

Examiner Interview

Anonymous Interview Candidate

I applied online and the process took 3 months - interviewed at SEC.

Interview Details – I submitted a resume through USA Jobs. Got a call about a month (or longer) later asking if I was interested in the position. No further info or specifics given. Went to regional office for interview. Very basic non specific interview questions. Just like "Why would you be good for this position." Made it to 2nd round of interviews. Again very basic but focused on my examination skills. Very friendly interviewers. Eventually passed over for the position though.

Interview Question – None. I expected pretty much everything I was asked.   Answer Question

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