Celebrating 10 years! 2007-2017

National Clandestine Service reject, taking questions

So, I've been away from JDU for a while. Mainly because I d kickflipninja05/13/11
... Guest05/13/11
Precisely. And the one day where there was a large group kickflipninja05/13/11
You can also tell your friends it violates attorney ethical motionsickalkky05/13/11
Meh. Some friends think I stopped because of busted chicks. kickflipninja05/13/11
.... tkjdf4sbe05/13/11
Exactly. It's not a process I'll want to go through again a kickflipninja05/13/11
Describe the 8 stages of the process. Also, please describe BigD05/13/11
OK. There's about a month of wait time between each stage. kickflipninja05/13/11
kickflipninja -- were you rejected before or after the polyg spindizzy01/07/13
Before the poly. That's a separate multi-day stage that I d kickflipninja01/09/13
Were you really ACCEPTED, but are now lying to this board to phillybum05/13/11
That was exactly my question... you beat me by 5 min. Of cou wolfman05/13/11
Nope. If I was, I wouldn't post this in the first place. A kickflipninja05/13/11
Did they put you up in that crappy hotel in McLean? Me HueyLewis05/13/11
Out of towners were put up in hotels. I just rented cars. kickflipninja05/13/11
One thing I like about the National Security complex is its HueyLewis05/13/11
Describe these "days of adventure." BigD05/13/11
BigD, "days of adventure" was just some extended getting-to- kickflipninja05/14/11
was it all one lump? or where there potential CIA/NSA/DIA g thecharmingmresq05/13/11
All ncs apps. kickflipninja05/14/11
Aren't you supposed to tell your friends you're a greeting c lolcat05/13/11
If your friends would believe you're a greeting card salesma kickflipninja05/14/11
During the days of adventure, what is your overall recommend bmg368809/13/11
Antifreeze. Much better. johndoeee09/13/11
Do they hire a lot of "nerds" i.e. people who WILL NOT get s TheyCallMeMrTibbs09/13/11
Sounds pretty cool! What were the memoirs they recommended? thelongarmofthelaw09/14/11
Whoa, this got resurfaced? bmg, At the end of the day I kickflipninja09/14/11
I found The Craft of Intelligence to be very interesting. Ripjaw09/15/11
Cool, thanks for circling back to this topic. certainly sou bmg368809/15/11
I dug this up after a year. We have the occasional Foreign kickflipninja04/15/12
I have been in all three groups. I would encourage everyone cyph3r06/19/12
kickflip-- great post, although I wouldn't expect any curren andy04/16/12
In all reality, you are better off. While the resume may dra psudocreview04/16/12
Kickflipninja, Did you have overseas travel experience an prometheus06/15/12
It is possible, but there's a huge pain-in-the-ass factor. S smilinjackcasey06/17/12
In my prior job, I traveled to 20 different countries. And kickflipninja06/22/12
What is your DLPT score? Can you speak Mandarin without dudeingorillasuit04/24/13
I never took the DLPT, so I don't know my score. I don't ev kickflipninja04/24/13
真的吗? 0320;在说# dudeingorillasuit04/24/13
Totally serious. 我没有骗 0320;&# kickflipninja04/24/13
Actually everyone involved in the NIC knows that the Company cyph3r06/19/12
kickflipninja (and anyone else who has helpful insight), dt869409/24/12
That stuff's competitive and they get tons of apps, so they kickflipninja09/25/12
Yep, still an undergrad. I switched majors so I'm a little o dt869409/25/12
You do realize I was an NCS reject, right? I'm not part of kickflipninja09/25/12
Easiest way in to any of the sweet 16 is to join the Army as cyph3r10/01/12
What fantasy world do you live in? The military helps but t dudeingorillasuit04/24/13
kickflipninja, Can you shine some light on the interview lookingglass10/03/12
Interview questions weren't particularly rough. It's just l kickflipninja10/04/12
Admin, I'm sorry this thread forced you to have to moderate kickflipninja04/24/13
I'd like to get in contact with you and privately pick your n179fgl107/25/14
I gave this some thought. No. kickflipninja04/03/16
Lol unlearnedhand04/03/16
I'm going through a transition at work and that made me thin kickflipninja10/18/18
I realize it's an old thread, but re: "National Clandestine therewillbeblood10/18/18
I went through something similar when I applied to be a DEA porochi10/19/18

kickflipninja (May 13, 2011 - 1:41 pm)

So, I've been away from JDU for a while. Mainly because I dropped out of law school. I applied to many positions including a covert operations officer gig. I got quite far along in that process and passed through probably five of eight filtering checkpoints, then got dinged, disappointingly.

While I was in the running, I did a whole bunch of recommended (required) reading. And, when I got to a point in the process where it looked like this was actually going to happen and there was a chance I was going to go all the way through, I did as instructed and told my few friends who knew about my candidacy that--after going in for some days of interviews and indoctrination--I decided it wasn't for me.

The story I created essentially said that after attending a candidate group briefing session, I looked around and saw no hot chicks and this was a dealbreaker for me because they encourage dating within the agency to keep everything within the circle of trust. My friends believed that, which, I guess says something about me being shallow.

Anyhow, it was very frustrating to get a rejection after all the time and effort. And rental car fees because their facilities are in the middle of nowhere, NOT Metro accessible. And since I live within a certain radius, I didn't qualify for travel reimbursement. Ugh. So, what better way to console myself (and maybe educate and encourage future NCS aspirants?) than by taking Q's on JDU?

Shoot!

ps, please don't sell my identity to the Taliban. kthxbye.

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Guest (May 13, 2011 - 1:49 pm)

...

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kickflipninja (May 13, 2011 - 1:57 pm)

Precisely.

And the one day where there was a large group off-site session, we were in a conference room in a gov't contractor's building but our organization name was just some vague business group. That was sort of when my thinking started to shift and I thought there was a chance this could go all the way. And it wasn't just a curiosity for me anymore.

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motionsickalkky (May 13, 2011 - 2:42 pm)

You can also tell your friends it violates attorney ethical rules and you could not go forward. I did one of my law school writing requirements on this subject. The only bar that has a "secret agent exception" to making false representations to third parties is the Washington D.C. Bar.

The rumor is they kill their own, so it is maybe for the best.

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kickflipninja (May 13, 2011 - 3:03 pm)

Meh. Some friends think I stopped because of busted chicks. Some think it's because life undercover and some other shit would just be a pain in the ass. Some think I'm way more excited about the Foreign Service. Some know I just got rejected. Doesn't matter all that much what they think. Not that many people know anyway, and I highly doubt I'll apply again.

I doubt they kill their own. There's a pretty heavy investment in education and training to just off them for sport. But I have no clue.

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tkjdf4sbe (May 13, 2011 - 3:36 pm)

....

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kickflipninja (May 13, 2011 - 3:48 pm)

Exactly. It's not a process I'll want to go through again any time soon especially since I would not feel it is worthwhile without several years of enhanced qualifications by which time I will likely age out or be well underway with a new career path.

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BigD (May 13, 2011 - 3:11 pm)

Describe the 8 stages of the process. Also, please describe why you did not get past number 5.

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kickflipninja (May 13, 2011 - 3:35 pm)

OK. There's about a month of wait time between each stage.

1. Apply online.
2. Phone interview, if they're interested
3. Fat packet, if you passed phone IV
4. Two Days of Adventure
5. Three Days of Adventure
-Rejected-
6. Conditional Offer of Employment/background investigation starts
7. Poly and medical exams.
8. Adjudication

No idea why I didn't get past step 5. No reason was given. Just a courteous letter of a few sentences.

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spindizzy (Jan 7, 2013 - 12:15 am)

kickflipninja -- were you rejected before or after the polygraph? it was my understanding that the poly and medical exams take place during the three-day.

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kickflipninja (Jan 9, 2013 - 1:12 am)

Before the poly. That's a separate multi-day stage that I didn't get to.

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phillybum (May 13, 2011 - 3:12 pm)

Were you really ACCEPTED, but are now lying to this board to cover up the last tracks?

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wolfman (May 13, 2011 - 3:20 pm)

That was exactly my question... you beat me by 5 min. Of course, he wouldn't answer thruthfully, if that were the case...

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kickflipninja (May 13, 2011 - 3:41 pm)

Nope. If I was, I wouldn't post this in the first place. As the months wore on, I sort of went into something of a radio silence with my friends who knew and I didn't share at all with friends who didn't know. Some of the stuff was cool as hell, but I didn't talk about it. I bought into the whole thing. Now, after getting rejected, I'm viewing it as just any other job. Because, really, it sort of is.

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HueyLewis (May 13, 2011 - 3:59 pm)

Did they put you up in that crappy hotel in McLean?

Me and a couple other candidates trudged across to some massive shopping mall and had dinner at PF Changs. We weren't supposed to discuss anything that happened, so of course we did. Turns out they had been accused of being international drug smugglers by their fundie interrogators as well. So I didn't feel so bad after that.

I did notice several attractive women at the facility. Not too friendly though.

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kickflipninja (May 13, 2011 - 4:07 pm)

Out of towners were put up in hotels. I just rented cars.

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HueyLewis (May 13, 2011 - 4:13 pm)

One thing I like about the National Security complex is its propensity for using arcane technical-sounding labels like "countermeasures" when they really mean "cheating." Maybe that's why they are one of the few industries willing to hire JDs.

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BigD (May 13, 2011 - 5:23 pm)

Describe these "days of adventure."

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kickflipninja (May 14, 2011 - 1:46 am)

BigD, "days of adventure" was just some extended getting-to-know-you time. More dancing around with each other.

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thecharmingmresq (May 13, 2011 - 6:37 pm)

was it all one lump? or where there potential CIA/NSA/DIA guys all lumped together to get sorted out at a later phase?

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kickflipninja (May 14, 2011 - 1:47 am)

All ncs apps.

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lolcat (May 13, 2011 - 11:22 pm)

Aren't you supposed to tell your friends you're a greeting card salesman?

Anyhow, having been dinged from a number of three-letter organizations, I feel your pain.

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kickflipninja (May 14, 2011 - 1:49 am)

If your friends would believe you're a greeting card salesman, then by all means.

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bmg3688 (Sep 13, 2011 - 2:01 pm)

During the days of adventure, what is your overall recommendation during the elbow rubbing and personality-vetting process? Is there anything that you picked up on that candidates exhibited that recruiters seemed to be attracted to?

It seems to me like those interviews and group-get-togethers are largely to 'feel out' the interpersonal skills that those candidates possess.

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johndoeee (Sep 13, 2011 - 5:47 pm)

Antifreeze. Much better.

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TheyCallMeMrTibbs (Sep 13, 2011 - 6:04 pm)

Do they hire a lot of "nerds" i.e. people who WILL NOT get shot at or travel to Islamic nations?

What type of of personality traits do they look for? Or do they tell you?

Is the pay good? Opportunities to work somewhere OTHER than D.C. in the U.S. ???

This is kind of interesting.

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thelongarmofthelaw (Sep 14, 2011 - 10:05 pm)

Sounds pretty cool! What were the memoirs they recommended?

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kickflipninja (Sep 14, 2011 - 11:38 pm)

Whoa, this got resurfaced?

bmg, At the end of the day I don't really know what they're looking for. I think you can just do your best and hope for the best. Although, one day out of a group of five guys, I was the only one who didn't have military service. One was Special Ops. I can't compete with that. Then, on the same day, the girl who was in our group worked a couple years in the mid east. And I thought again, I can't compete with that. But if you think like that, you just psych yourself out.

Tibbs, I think they probably do hire a lot of nerds. A college buddy who made it all the way through would fit the definition. As for personality traits, they don't clearly list the "13 Dimensions" like the Foreign Service, but they want brainy, worldly folks who can think on their feet and a lot more. Go to their website. The pay's good. I was told in my final interview what my pay would be if I were to receive a conditional offer of employment. It was about 40% higher than my last job. Obviously, if I was making six figs, I prob would've taken a pay cut. Other than DC in the US, apparently Miami is a bumpin'.

longarm, off the top of my head one memoir was: "The American Agent" by Richard Holm. Another was "A Look Over My Shoulder" by Richard Helm. Andrew Dulles wrote "The Craft of Intelligence" but that wasn't really a memoir.

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Ripjaw (Sep 15, 2011 - 8:03 am)

I found The Craft of Intelligence to be very interesting.

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bmg3688 (Sep 15, 2011 - 11:36 am)

Cool, thanks for circling back to this topic. certainly sounds like it was in interesting process to say the least.

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kickflipninja (Apr 15, 2012 - 12:55 am)

I dug this up after a year. We have the occasional Foreign Service thread and the occasional JAG thread, but NCS gets no love. I'm never applying again, but I'd encourage some younger underemployed folks to give it a go. Operations officer perks are better than those of policemen and garbagemen.

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cyph3r (Jun 19, 2012 - 11:54 pm)

I have been in all three groups. I would encourage everyone to do any of them, if they can get in....

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andy (Apr 16, 2012 - 4:06 pm)

kickflip-- great post, although I wouldn't expect any current or prospective applicants to respond due to the following message found on the CIA career website that I just browsed:

"Important Notice: Friends, family, individuals, or organizations may be interested to learn that you are an applicant for or an employee of the CIA. Their interest, however, may not be benign or in your best interest. You cannot control whom they would tell. We therefore ask you to exercise discretion and good judgment in disclosing your interest in a position with the Agency. You will receive further guidance on this topic as you proceed through your CIA employment processing."

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psudocreview (Apr 16, 2012 - 9:25 pm)

In all reality, you are better off. While the resume may draw a lot of interest and certainly why im likely moving to NYC, tge three years I was there was the Worst of my life. If you thought lying to friends family and loved ones was bad, try dating and making up stuff in the NOVA area.

Ps. For those that care, I passed my CFE exam.

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prometheus (Jun 15, 2012 - 10:56 pm)

Kickflipninja,

Did you have overseas travel experience and/or proficiency in a foreign language? Curious if you have a sense of which aspects of your resume and interview(s) turned them on to you that you went more than half way through.

psudocreview or kickflip,

Any idea if it is possible for someone selected for a different field in the CIA, say an analyst or researcher, to request a move into the NCS some time down the road? If so, would this be easier than applying directly to the NCS from the outside?

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smilinjackcasey (Jun 17, 2012 - 8:23 pm)

It is possible, but there's a huge pain-in-the-ass factor. Since you pick up polo shirts with the CIA crest from your Chinese cleaners on Chain Bridge Rd for a few years, it's hard to erase enough of your past to make a clandestine career likely.

Easy way to do it? Marry an NCS type and go overseas with them. You'll have a little more leverage that way. Otherwise there are too many clean applicants for HQ to fuck with all the hassle because you didn't get what you wanted.

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kickflipninja (Jun 22, 2012 - 12:32 pm)

In my prior job, I traveled to 20 different countries. And i had Mandarin proficiency.

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dudeingorillasuit (Apr 24, 2013 - 2:48 pm)

What is your DLPT score?

Can you speak Mandarin without a terrible American accent?

Are you able to have a decent conversation with a Chinese person in Mandarin without having always to ask them to repeat themselves?

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kickflipninja (Apr 24, 2013 - 2:55 pm)

I never took the DLPT, so I don't know my score. I don't even know the grading scale for it as I've never had to look into it.

I *think* I can speak Mandarin without a terrible American accent. I'm obviously accented, but it's not terrible. There are some folks with such a horrible American accent that it's just grating to my ears to hear. This leads me to believe that mine is not so bad.

I can have long convos in Mandarin with Chinese people and only occasionally have to ask for repetition or clarification on a word or phrase here and there. Pretty detailed and fairly in-depth conversations, yeah. Certainly, this isn't possible with some highly technical topics where I just almost completely lack the niche vocab.

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dudeingorillasuit (Apr 24, 2013 - 3:13 pm)

真的吗?你在说谎话吗?

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kickflipninja (Apr 24, 2013 - 3:48 pm)

Totally serious. 我没有骗你啊。

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cyph3r (Jun 19, 2012 - 11:51 pm)

Actually everyone involved in the NIC knows that the Company is filled with fairly good-looking young (25-30) women. So you can't say that there are no hot chicks and be taken seriously. It's not true.

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dt8694 (Sep 24, 2012 - 10:35 pm)

kickflipninja (and anyone else who has helpful insight),

I have a million questions I'd like to ask, but I'll try to narrow it down,

I applied for the NCS undergrad internship program in May and haven't heard back. I'm no outstanding student but I did meet the minimum requirements and have Spanish proficiency and know a bit a French. I also thought since my major is Information Systems, that may help too. Figured I'd give it a shot. They said when I applied they would respond within 45 days, but not sure if that means from the time I applied, or the time they stopped taking applicants which was a week ago... Anyways, interested in being a covert operations officer one day and was wondering if there were any other agencies that offer basically the same position. Also, given my lack of experience (i.e: no travel experience, no Armed Forces experience), was wondering if that really makes a difference? (if so, I'll have to start traveling).

cheers.

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kickflipninja (Sep 25, 2012 - 1:30 am)

That stuff's competitive and they get tons of apps, so they don't reply to every applicant. Consider the 45 day thing to be from the date that you apply, so just assume you didn't advance to the next level of selection process for the internship.

You're interested in covert ops work and want to know of other agencies that "offer basically the same position"? You mean positions similar to COO or do you mean similar internships to the one to which you recently applied? Anyway, if you mean the former, yes, there are other agencies. The US intelligence community consists of 16 different agencies, some of which employ officers who work covertly abroad. The NSA, I believe, does as does the Defense Intelligence Agency if I'm not mistaken. The DEA has some special unit that's undercover. But you're not going to quite find "basically the same position" as a COO in other agencies because as a COO, a big part of the job is to get people with special access to privileged information to sell their country's secrets to you on a contracted and continued basis. In other agencies, the main form of intelligence gathering may be different. Anyhow, some skill sets and job demands do overlap and you should keep looking at the possibilities both with NCS and other agencies.

If you majored in Information Systems and you're techy and all, look into the NRO, the National Reconaissance Office. They control all of our spy satellites. Pretty cool. I know nothing about their hiring, though. And that might not be your thing if you really just want to be some kind of "field" officer.

COOs spend about 70% of their careers abroad. That being said, I think travel really does make a difference in their hiring. If you haven't been abroad and you want that job, then you should find a way to somehow get abroad in some meaningful capacity.

So, you're still in undergrad?

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dt8694 (Sep 25, 2012 - 11:59 am)

Yep, still an undergrad. I switched majors so I'm a little older, this would be my 5th consecutive year in school and still have a year to go. And yes, I am definitely looking for field work. However, I do know that the CIA has data analyst jobs and all sorts of IT related positions, but I'd really like to be in the action rather than in the office, although I guess I'd settle for both. I understand getting more international travel experience is something I really need to work on, and I am always looking for internships abroad. If I could get a couple before I graduate, would I stand a fighting chance with the NCS? I understand that's a pretty vague area, but worth asking.

Don't be afraid to hurt my feelings, I know I'm an amateur haha.

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kickflipninja (Sep 25, 2012 - 2:09 pm)

You do realize I was an NCS reject, right? I'm not part of their hiring, I know nothing about who they ultimately want to bring in at the end of the day, I didn't even get in. So, asking me what your chances of making it all the way with them is basically useless. Whatever I have to say has minimal merit.

Anyway, an internship abroad can't hurt. And you'll open your eyes to other possibilities and opportunities, which you definitely should. While the job can be your main goal, or even Plan A, you can't count on it. It's like counting on admission to YLS. So, try to set yourself up for a suitable career apart from this one all the while aiming toward this goal that you have.

Also, try not to take on a ton of debt for an international internship. Be careful with such opportunities abroad. Some are almost scams with how much of a waste of time they are or how little substance they provide.

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cyph3r (Oct 1, 2012 - 3:45 am)

Easiest way in to any of the sweet 16 is to join the Army as an intelligence analyst. You will get training and experience in the subject area, including overseas, a Top Secret security clearance with SCI designation, and you will get either loan repayment or the new G.I. bill, and you will have vet status for life--meaning medical, dental and prescription drug care at the VA in any state. You can stay on and work for DIA overseas, or leave after 4 years of service and join any of the remaining agencies....then, if you don't like that, you can join the foreign service....all before reaching 34-35....the Top Secret alone is worth it's weight in gold, and once you're in a national security agency, you're in a rare group indeed....by the way, it's true--you can also get married to an intel officer--but that's not as easy as it appears....all relationships are difficult--add lying to the mix, ad stress and pressure, and you have a dangerous recipe for keeping a marriage intact. The military is the easiest way. It leads to many many other unexpected yet fruitful paths.

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dudeingorillasuit (Apr 24, 2013 - 2:54 pm)

What fantasy world do you live in? The military helps but that's not all they are looking for. They want people who are PROFICIENT in a critical language. Spanish or French is not a critical language. Chinese and Arabic is. You have to know these languages well. It's not enough to take college classes and say you know these critical languages.

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lookingglass (Oct 3, 2012 - 12:36 am)

kickflipninja,

Can you shine some light on the interview questions?

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kickflipninja (Oct 4, 2012 - 10:49 am)

Interview questions weren't particularly rough. It's just long one-on-one interview/role-play sessions--four or five hours with a ten minute break or something crazy like that, can't remember. So, it almost turns into a test of endurance.

What's difficult questions-wise is the scenarios role-playing part of the interview. Those are challenging but kind of exciting, too. The interviewer takes on a role and stays in character after giving you the background and you have to work your way through a difficult predicament.

admin, what happened to the posts here about sphincter-clinching and anally-applied alligator clips. Were those censored out to protect our young readers at home?

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kickflipninja (Apr 24, 2013 - 12:41 pm)

Admin, I'm sorry this thread forced you to have to moderate out some content. Sorry if any trouble came your way.

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n179fgl1 (Jul 25, 2014 - 12:11 am)

I'd like to get in contact with you and privately pick your brain regarding the whole process. Would I be able to email you somewhere or give you an email address to pop a message over to?

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kickflipninja (Apr 3, 2016 - 4:50 am)

I gave this some thought. No.

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unlearnedhand (Apr 3, 2016 - 5:09 am)

Lol

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kickflipninja (Oct 18, 2018 - 9:06 am)

I'm going through a transition at work and that made me think of this post and wonder "What If?".

I'd be several more years on my way toward federal retirement.

I'd probably also do worse in the marriage department, so it all evens out.

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therewillbeblood (Oct 18, 2018 - 11:53 am)

I realize it's an old thread, but re:
"National Clandestine Service reject," can be explained by the "taking questions" part.

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porochi (Oct 19, 2018 - 11:56 pm)

I went through something similar when I applied to be a DEA Special Agent. Went through interviews, tests, psych eval, polygraph, medical, PT, during one they gave me an unloaded revolver and had me pull the trigger as fast as I could, and did that with each hand, 30 sec. each while they counted.

I passed all stages and made it on a qualified list waiting for a slot at recruit training at Quantico, yes Quantico, same base where FBI trains, or did in the 90's when I went through this.

The ploygraph lasted 5 hours. Seriously. A total mind FK. And psych exam was weird, shrink accused me of being a loser lawyer who just wanted a career change to something more exciting. One test had me watch a video of a drug raid gone bad with lots of people getting shot then I was given 5 minutes to write down all I could remember. And they interviewed neighbors and friends.

I thought I was in after going through all that bs, but never got the call for a seat at Quantico, despite my recruiter saying be patient, your number will be called. 2 years went by. Tired of waiting I FOIA'd my applicant file. I got all except psych eval. But I was told I passed all phases. Then my recruiter calls and asks why did I FOIA my applicant file? I said because I wanted to know why DEA was dragging its feet sending me to Quantico. Recruiter said do you still want to remain a candidate or what? At that point, I was ticked off, not getting any straight answers to my repeated inquiries about my status, just got the run around, so I said no. And that was that. I was out. No DEA for me.

Lesson here is that even after jumping through all the hoops, getting told you've passed and just wait for a seat in the next class, do not assume you'll actually get to go. Only assume it's for real when you take a seat in your first recruit course.

Expect this to be the case regardless if CIA, FBI, Secret Service, etc.

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