I have been working at FBI full-time (More than 10 years)
Outstanding people, great mission, meaningful work.
Ongoing challenges with information systems.
I applied through other source. I interviewed at FBI.
Of course there are countless NDA's in place. Therefore I legally cannot comment on specifics, unless I want to be tackled by a guy in a blue coat when I walk out of my door. Just kidding. :-)
There's nothing surprising, bizarre, or unique about the process. However I did wake up in a cold sweat and stomach cramps the night before the interview in my hotel room. Does that count? For some strange reason I felt like Denzel Washington in the film "Manchurian Candidate". :-)
It's just kept private in order to get the real side of applicants, rather than a "rehearsed version". This makes sense from a national security standpoint. I wish they would just tell people that and end the mystique and conspiracy theories. In my opinion they would get a lot more talented applicants with more transparency. Yet I understand their concerns.
So in other words the process is designed to reveal the real "you". There's no way around it so you might as well be yourself and let them accept or reject the real you. Being rejected or accepted for the next phase just means another 6+ months of waiting anyways. So you might as well just get it over with, just be you, and wait.
Everyone was very nice and respectful. There were no "Top Guns", "John Wayne's", "Last Action Heros", "Terminators", "Rambos", " John Shaft's", "Robocop, Part 2's", "La Femme Nikitas", "Judge Dred's", or other personalities...However, there was one guy in an olive suit with lots of hair gel.
In my own opinion I feel this process can use a nice update. It is very outdated, drawn out, and in ways is slanted towards a specific demographic ( and no, not talking about race or sex either). They end up loosing a lot of great talent because of these technical issues.
I chose not to pursue it further because of the sheer amount of time it takes to get hired there. It's just mind boggling for me and unrealistic in this day in age. For a college grad with no obligations, yes. For anyone else with roots or obligations, all depends. For me, after 7 months, not anymore. I've got children I need to raise and assign chores to. My floor has gone unbuffed for seven months now! No more slacking off. Sheriff Dad is back in town! :-)
In all it was a great experience. All jokes aside, they are actually a very nice and sincere group just with very strict criteria. It's the bureaucracy above that could only be blamed for issues today. Therefore I'm sure you can see why I didn't work for me.
... I was just sad I couldn't strike up a discussion about the posible reality of time travelers, shapeshifters, or the illuminati. I walked out depressed with my head hanging down low. ( just kidding...fbi)