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FBI Interview
Questions

25 Questions and Answers by
| Rachelle is a job search expert, career coach, and headhunter
who helps everyone from students to fortune executives find success in their career.

Question 1 of 25

Tell me about your leadership qualities.

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FBI Interview Questions

  1. 1.

    Tell me about your leadership qualities.

      The FBI looks for natural leaders who they can invest in, and promote, as the years go on. The interviewer would like to know what you consider to be strong leadership qualities. When describing leadership qualities, try to avoid general terms and give some unique ideas.

      A great leader is someone who people naturally want to follow. They have exceptional interpersonal skills and the ability to build relationships with nearly any personality type. A respected leader will take ownership of their mistakes and will always lead their team by example. True leaders see the importance of motivating others and recognizing even the smallest achievements.

      To which of these qualities do you most identify?

      - Confident
      - Optimistic
      - Encouraging
      - Accountable
      - Engaged
      - Passionate
      - Integrous
      - Loyal
      - Charismatic

      Rachelle's Answer

      "As a leader, I am knowledgeable, adaptable, and open. My desire to nurture others to their fullest potential is strong. I strive to be an example to follow and enjoy helping guide others to bettering themselves and their careers."

      Rachelle's Answer

      "Although I have not been in an official leadership role in my law enforcement career, I have been a leader in other ways such as volunteer opportunities, sports teams, and church activities. When I take the lead, I am loyal to those I am guiding, and also show full engagement in our cause. I look forward to taking further leadership training in the future."

      Anonymous Answer

      "I am a "quiet leader," allowing the quality of my work to speak for itself and giving objective feedback to work colleagues. Colleagues have sought me out for my advice on work matters because they know I will provide an honest, but tactful answer. My leadership style is proactive. If I need something from a team, I will be specific in what I need to minimize the number of questions they may have so they have a clear objective. If I have to delegate to a team, I will utilize their strengths for the benefit of the whole team and task. I like to follow up on the status of a project and see where the weak points are so that they can be addressed."

      Rachelle's Answer

      You sound like a very thorough and fair leader. You mention many strong qualities appreciated by the FBI in this response.

      Was this answer helpful? Yes or No
      Anonymous Answer

      "I strongly believe in leading by example. I am able to remain optimistic, no matter what difficulties we are working through, which helps to motivate and improve the overall morale of the team. I recognize the strengths of other people and use that knowledge to delegate tasks in a way that will benefit the team. My friendly personality and ability to empathize allows me to connect with all types of people. I love to assist in improving someone’s skills or knowledge in their position while providing positive feedback and helpful, constructive criticism. If you regularly acknowledge your team’s achievements, they are more likely to enjoy their job, which improves morale and productivity."

      Rachelle's Answer

      This is a good start! Just a few minor tweaks: (1) avoid 'you' language and replace it with 'I' language to make your reply more personal. (2) Try offering some story-based examples of how times when you have deployed these leadership qualities. This way, your answer is more action-based, which will help the interviewer picture you in action :) I have provided an example below.

      "I strongly believe in leading by example. I can remain optimistic, no matter what difficulties I am working through, which helps to motivate and improve my team's overall morale. For example, I...(give a brief story of a 'time when.'). I recognize the strengths of other people and use that knowledge to delegate tasks to benefit the team. My friendly personality and ability to empathize allows me to connect with all types of people. I love to assist in improving someone’s skills or knowledge while providing positive feedback and helpful, constructive criticism. For instance, I...(give a brief story of a 'time when.'). When I regularly acknowledge my team’s achievements, the members are more likely to enjoy their job, improving morale and productivity."

      Was this answer helpful? Yes or No
  2. 2.

    What do you know of FBI history?

      It is always important to understand the history of the organization for which you are interviewing. The FBI has an impressive background and history which you can find more on from their website.

      In 1906, Roosevelt appointed Charles Bonaparte as his second Attorney General. Bonaparte quickly learned of the complications associated with rising levels of organized crime. At the time Bonaparte had a couple of special agents who would investigate specific situations, on his behalf, such as the financial transactions of the federal courts.

      At times, Bonaparte would need to borrow Secret Service operatives offering him very little control over his investigations. After Congress banned Bonaparte's use of agents from the Secret Service, he decided to create his own force of investigators.

      Taking nine agents from the Secret Service, and another 25 he hired on his own, Bonaparte created a team of 34 agents, with a sole mission to conduct investigations for the Department of Justice. July 26, 1908, is the official founding date of the FBI.

      Show the interviewer that you have researched the history of the FBI.

      Rachelle's Answer

      "I know that the FBI was officially founded on July 26, 1908, after Charles Bonaparte saw the need for investigators dedicated solely to the Department of Justice. The FBI formed after the blessing from Rosevelt, despite the Secret Service and Congress not agreeing on a few matters surrounding the forming of this particular agent troop. I have researched a great deal around the forming of the FBI. It's a fascinating history."

      Rachelle's Answer

      "I recently read 'A Brief History' on the FBI website and now know quite a great deal around the forming of the FBI. I know that the FBI was founded in 1908, and began with 34 specially trained agents. I look forward to dedicating my career to an organization so focused on protecting and defending our country against crime and corruption."

      Anonymous Answer

      "The FBI was founded in 1908 when Pres. Roosevelt wanted to establish an elite force of detectives to investigate high-level crimes plaguing the US at the time. He charged Charles Bonaparte with heading up this task force, and thus the FBI was born."

      Rachelle's Answer

      It's evident that you understand the FBI's history and foundation - to the point and clear.

      Was this answer helpful? Yes or No
      Anonymous Answer

      "The Bureau of Investigation (BOI) was created on July 26, 1908, after Congress had adjourned for the summer. Attorney General Bonaparte, using Department of Justice expense funds, hired thirty-four people, including some veterans of the Secret Service, to work for a new investigative agency. Its first "Chief" (the title is now known as "Director") was Stanley Finch. Bonaparte notified the Congress of these actions in December 1908."

      Rachelle's Answer

      This is a good history lesson!

      Was this answer helpful? Yes or No
  3. 3.

    Have you ever stolen anything?

      If you have managed to steal hundreds or thousands of dollars, and somehow landed an interview with the FBI, we would be surprised! This question is testing your integrity, and you have to be 100% honest. If you have ever stolen something, your actions cannot be justified, but explaining the situation might help. The FBI can only hire people they can trust. You want to prove that you are someone trustworthy with money or anything else of value.

      Rachelle's Answer

      "Besides the pack of gum I stole from the neighborhood convenience store when I was a kid, I have not stolen anything in my life. I was just four years old and felt so guilty that I went back the next day and told the owner what I did, and gave them money for the gum. I was raised in a strict environment and, as an adult, have never wavered from the values taught to me."

      Rachelle's Answer

      "I do not steal, and I am not dishonest. Since I was about 12 years old, my dream was to be an agent in the FBI. Because of this, I have always been mindful of making decisions that would support my application down the road."

      Anonymous Answer

      "No, I never compromise my integrity. Since my childhood, with anything I needed, I either earned it or I asked for it. If my parent couldn't manage to give me something, they provided me some alternative."

      Rachelle's Answer

      Great! Providing some detail on your family is a nice touch as it allows the interviewer to get to know you on a deeper level. I've offered a slight change below to help you strengthen the response and improve the flow.

      "No, I would never steal as that would compromise my integrity. As a child, anything I needed, I either earned or asked for it. If my parents couldn't manage to provide me with what I asked for, they would provide an alternative. My parents' approach taught me that I do not always get what I want right away and that it's important to work and plan for my needs and wants."

      Was this answer helpful? Yes or No
      Anonymous Answer

      "No, I would never compromise my integrity."

      Rachelle's Answer

      To the point, good!

      Was this answer helpful? Yes or No
  4. 4.

    The FBI hires less than 5% of our applicants. Why should we choose you?

      Competition is incredibly tight when it comes to gaining a coveted spot in the FBI. Once you finish your law enforcement related degree, you will need to complete at least three years of relevant work experience.

      From there, your FBI application process will include extensive background checks with a polygraph, drug test, credit check, and interviews with family and friends, as well as former employers. After acceptance, you can then enter the FBI training academy which provides you with 20 + weeks of training.

      Considering the significant leaps that you passed to get here; you must have a very compelling answer prepared for this question. If possible, pull from your personnel file, your volunteer work, and your education history, to create an excellent and well-rounded response.

      Rachelle's Answer

      "You will see from my files that I have held exemplary status through my entire training, as well as during the work experience before applying to the FBI. I have a consistent history of doing the right thing, being tenacious through the toughest situations, and remaining loyal under all circumstances. I graduated with a Bachelors' Degree in Law, with honors, while also working part-time and giving back to a variety of community initiatives including the homeless shelter, and food bank. With me, you are receiving a high achiever who understands the importance of delivering the best in everything that I do."

      Rachelle's Answer

      "I believe the FBI should choose me because I have a record which shows consistency, excellence, and a passion for this career path. From my top-of-the-class grades to passing my background checks with flying colors, it is clear that I am a candidate you can take a chance on."

      Anonymous Answer

      "I am not looking for just a paycheck; I am passionate about wanting to make a difference. I have many years in law enforcement, which gives me a great foundation towards being an agent. I also have experience and education in cybersecurity, specifically digital forensics investigations, which would make me be a great candidate for the Cyber Crime Unit. I am continually seeking opportunities to improve myself and my knowledge and skillsets. Moreover, I am great at managing and balancing my personal and work life events."

      Rachelle's Answer

      You make an airtight case for hiring you. This is a strong answer because it's diverse, factual, and based on specific ways you can benefit the FBI.

      Was this answer helpful? Yes or No
      Anonymous Answer

      "I have a strong sense of justice and doing what is right. I am very analytical and approach problems systematically and efficiently. My career background in the biological sciences is very different than probably most candidates. Still, I think that makes my application diverse and gives me a different perspective on potential problems."

      Rachelle's Answer

      Your background in biological sciences is a unique factor! Please dig into that further, being more descriptive in exactly how this would benefit you in this role with the FBI.

      Was this answer helpful? Yes or No
  5. 5.

    With the ongoing changes in law enforcement, how do you keep your knowledge current?

      The FBI will expect you to always keep up to date on changes in law enforcement, and today's technology makes this reasonably easy! List several ways that you receive your industry knowledge and trending topics. Tell the interviewer about those daily update emails you receive from law enforcement organizations, conferences you attend, seminars you have taken, and professional organizations to which you belong.

      Did you know that the FBI currently has four podcasts?

      - FBI This Week
      - Wanted By The FBI
      - Inside the FBI
      - FBI Gotcha

      Bonus points if you mention that you listen to these! Lastly, it's a great idea to ask the interviewer what resources they refer to for industry trends. That question can start up a great conversation, and you may learn a thing or two as well.

      Rachelle's Answer

      "Every morning I listen to the FBI podcast, 'Gotcha' because I find it incredibly valuable to listen to stories of how the FBI has succeeded in catching a criminal. In addition to this podcast, I also subscribe to a couple of industry blogs. One is FBI Retired, and the other is LawBlog. I value the information shared among fellow agents. What resources do you prefer to stay on top of industry trends and changes?"

      Rachelle's Answer

      "I am pleased to say that I listen to all 4 of the FBI blogs on a regular basis. I also follow many accounts on Twitter, associated with law enforcement news. If you have any suggestions for me, I am open to suggestions."

      Anonymous Answer

      "I am always reading on the go. A considerable part of my daily activity is commuting, and I always have an article pulled up on my phone when I'm on the train or a podcast playing in my ears as I am walking throughout the city."

      Rachelle's Answer

      Aren't podcasts the best! Be sure to include some detail on what shows you tune into. You can even speak for a moment on something interesting and relevant that you learned recently.

      Was this answer helpful? Yes or No
      Anonymous Answer

      "I read a lot of news and am a big fan of the FBI's "Inside the FBI" podcast. I look forward to listening every time a new episode is released!"

      Rachelle's Answer

      This sounds like a great resource for you. If you'd like to make your answer even more compelling, consider including brief details of a recent episode and one of your biggest takeaways.

      Was this answer helpful? Yes or No
  6. 6.

    How do you plan to build relationships with your fellow agents and superiors?

      The interviewer would like to know how you plan to start relationships with your new co-workers. Due to a wide variety of personalities, coworker connections can take time to form. How do you ensure that you have a strong line of communication with your co-workers and superior officers, right from the start?

      Here are some ideas for getting started on the right foot:

      - Be willing to accept feedback and help
      - Offer to join a committee or volunteer assistance in some way
      - Do not have an air of entitlement or act as though you know the ins and outs immediately
      - Avoid all company gossip, at all cost
      - Be early on your first day (and every day after that!)

      Rachelle's Answer

      "I understand that some relationships come quickly and others take time to nurture. When starting a new job all that I can do is be my true self and let my personality, integrity, and reliability speak for itself."

      Rachelle's Answer

      "I understand that people like to talk about themselves. The best way that I can create new relationships with others is by asking them about themselves. Hopefully, we find common ground and make a quick connection!"

      Anonymous Answer

      "I believe the best way to build relationships with anyone is by showing up consistently. Whether it is with my fellow agents or a superior, I look to build great relationships by doing a great job consistently and always receiving feedback well."

      Rachelle's Answer

      Your approach is strong and likely very appreciated by your leaders, co-workers, and peers. When someone can rely on you, trust is built much faster. Good answer!

      Was this answer helpful? Yes or No
      Anonymous Answer

      "I understand every person comes from different and diverse backgrounds with various perspectives that they bring. I would be an open ear to take in what they want to give me, and so I can best get to know them. Then as always, I'll be my true self and ideally make connections and common ground quickly."

      Rachelle's Answer

      Being yourself is one great way to build trust and relationships. It sounds like you embrace diversity which is an excellent point to make when answering this question.

      "I understand that people come from diverse backgrounds with various perspectives. I would be an open ear, getting to know my fellow agents and superiors. Then, as always, I'll be my true self, making connections and finding a common ground quickly."

      Was this answer helpful? Yes or No
  7. 7.

    How will you handle the inevitable stress and pressure that comes with working for the FBI?

      The FBI releases a report, every year, that directly addresses the toll that violence, physical, and psychological events have on their enforcement officers. This stress and trauma factor is so real that the FBI has begun to implement post-trauma treatment programs for their officers who need to cope with the circumstances they have faced on the job.

      Before your interview, ensure that you have read the most recent report, and be ready to address the ways that you plan to remain ahead of the inevitable stress that comes with working for the FBI. Some coping mechanisms recommended by current and former agents include:

      - Training themselves to reinterpret negative events and turn them into positive solutions
      - Remaining fit physically, and committing to personal health initiatives
      - Looking at more seasoned FBI agents as mentors and role models
      -Talking about events and stories that are bothering them, rather than dwelling on them or bottling them up

      Rachelle's Answer

      "I am quite resilient to stress and believe this is because of my eight-plus years' experience being in an enforcement officer role. Under times of extreme stress, I make sure to share my experience with a colleague, asking for their input on how to move forward, or see the positive in the situation. In extreme circumstances, I am not afraid to book a therapy session to work through my thoughts."

      Rachelle's Answer

      "I plan to handle the stress and pressure of this job by looking to more seasoned agents, and taking their advice when it comes to getting through especially tough situations. I am lucky to have a solid network of supportive family and friends who I can lean on. Also, I keep my mind clear by starting every day with a one-hour meditation and workout session."

      Anonymous Answer

      "Nobody can prepare for or say how they will handle a situation of which they have not yet experienced first hand; so it is hard to say at this point, however through patience, self-reflection and the support of others as constant positive aspects of your life, any reliable and successful professional is able to work through it in their ways, whichever those may be, while keeping in mind and being open to continuous growth and new lessons learned/new insights and constructive criticism."

      Rachelle's Answer

      This answer is not really personal or targeted to you. It reads as more of a lesson, and less of a direct response. Remember, with the FBI, if you answer anything indirectly they will pick up on it immediately. I have reworded, below.

      "I plan to handle the stress and pressure by exercising patience with myself and others, taking time for self-reflection, and leaning on the support of my family. I have many positives in my life that I can focus on when times get tough."

      Was this answer helpful? Yes (3) or No (0)
      Anonymous Answer

      "I will not be intimidated to look up to my senior agents for guidance and to seek advice on how they manage their stress. Also, I would not be afraid to seek assistance when necessary if I feel like the caseload requires additional support. Furthermore, I would make sure that I am eating properly, exercising, and try to get sufficient rest; being physically and mentally fit is important for this position."

      Rachelle's Answer

      Your answer shows an excellent, well-rounded approach. It's great that you will ask for help when needed, refer to your senior agents, and also take care of yourself physically and mentally.

      Was this answer helpful? Yes or No
  8. 8.

    Why do you want a career in the FBI?

      Many FBI agents say they knew from a very young age that they wanted to be an FBI agent. Some others decide they want to work in the FBI after spending time as a municipal police officer, or being in another type of law enforcement role. No matter what got you here, the interviewer would like to know that you have an innate sense of justice and a passion for supporting the greater good.

      Rachelle's Answer

      "After spending seven years as a police officer, I started seeking something bigger, with more robust challenges, and various cases. I was approached by a friend who has been an FBI agent for many years now and, what he described as his career, was precisely what I had been seeking. I want to make a bigger difference for my country by serving a broader range of cases and people."

      Rachelle's Answer

      "I have known since I was a child that I wanted a career in the FBI. My grandfather was an FBI agent, as was my father, making me a third generation law enforcement officer. My passion for helping others to find justice, while serving my country, is what drives my application to the bureau."

      Anonymous Answer

      "I was introduced to cybersecurity at a conference a few years ago. I pursued an education in that field and continued to attend training and conferences. There were always FBI agents that sat on the panel and spoke on their roles as agents, particularly their role in regards to cybercrime. That solidified my decision to apply for the FBI. They spoke of the position as being a culture, and not just a job; I want to be apart of that culture."

      Rachelle's Answer

      This response is excellent! You are showing your interest and dedication in joining the FBI. The fact that you have already taken steps (further education) to be a prime candidate is impressive.

      Was this answer helpful? Yes or No
      Anonymous Answer

      "Since I was young, I knew I wanted to be apart of something bigger than myself. After 20 years in the military, the FBI gives me a chance to continue the mission of serving and protecting the United States."

      Rachelle's Answer

      To the point - I like it! If possible, try expanding a bit on your military focus over the past 20 years.

      Was this answer helpful? Yes or No
  9. 9.

    How do you deal with conflict on your team?

      In the FBI, emotions can run high since the stakes are often high. The interviewer is looking to hear about your ability to communicate with your team and professionally handle issues or conflict when they arise. Think of an example where you worked closely with your team to resolve a dispute. You could also offer a scenario where you mediated an issue between two coworkers. Show that you keep your head on your shoulders when dealing with conflict.

      Rachelle's Answer

      "I have strong conflict management skills and in my current position, have had to exercise those skills from time to time. We are in a high-stress, high stakes work environment which can trigger conflict among the team. When a conflict arises, I like to deal with it swiftly, openly, and with poise. Transparency and openness are important to me in the workplace."

      Rachelle's Answer

      "I think a bit of conflict is good for a team. As we disagree, we find new spaces for growth and new directions to take because of those uncomfortable conversations. As long as it remains in check and everyone treats one another, and our differing opinions with respect, conflict can be very beneficial."

      Anonymous Answer

      "In business, conflict arises all the time. All business is relationships. My most memorable instance of resolving conflict was when a former landlord to the property we were working out of had accused one of my employees of stealing from him, as it was a shared space. I was able to talk with both of them individually to hear their accounts, and eventually bring them both to the table where I could mediate a healthy outcome. We were able to resolve the situation by determining that it was a misunderstanding."

      Rachelle's Answer

      This is a solid example of approaching conflict and facilitating a resolution. It seems you are very confident in the areas of conflict resolution and leadership.

      Was this answer helpful? Yes or No
      Anonymous Answer

      "Before a conflict escalates too far, I discuss the situation with all parties involved, individually, to give each person my full undivided attention so I can listen to their uninterrupted side of the story. I would also ask what their ideal resolution would be. Once I understood the problem fully, I would mediate a discussion with everyone involved to calmly talk through the problem and develop a solution. If someone is combative, they would be verbally warned of the consequences and receive written counselling, if warranted. The most recent conflict I helped to resolve was done in this way. Once I explained to them that the conflict was started by misunderstanding and assumption, they have been working without conflict ever since."

      Rachelle's Answer

      Your reply is comprehensive and informative - this is great! It's clear that you have strong skills in listening, communicating, negotiating, and problem-solving. If you have a real-life example of when you took this approach with a team member or group, this is a good opportunity to give a brief story-based example.

      Was this answer helpful? Yes or No
  10. 10.

    Would you object to being relocated as a field agent in a remote area?

      Working in the FBI will require sacrifice on your part, which may come in the form of relocation, going undercover, or traveling for work. This need for relocation, of course, depends on the role to which you are applying. If you are open to relocation, keep your response short and enthusiastic. If you feel that it is impossible for you to relocate at the moment, express that you wish to be flexible but are unsure how that could work at this time.

      Rachelle's Answer

      "At this time, I care for my elderly parents and would be unable to relocate. I am flexible in many areas, including the hours which I work, and am open to short-term travel."

      Rachelle's Answer

      "I am open to relocation at any time. My personal life allows for change and flexibility."

      Anonymous Answer

      "I am more than willing to relocate anywhere that I am needed. While I will certainly miss my friends and family, my current personal life and a curiosity and desire to live somewhere new allow me to have all the flexibility necessary for a major lifestyle and career change."

      Rachelle's Answer

      Very well said! You sound enthusiastic and flexible in exploring the exciting opportunities ahead.

      Was this answer helpful? Yes or No
      Anonymous Answer

      "Absolutely not. I would relish the opportunity to go where the job needs to be done and be proud to represent the Bureau in that way. I have spent a great deal of time in new places and know I could thrive in a situation like this."

      Rachelle's Answer

      Awesome answer! Your enthusiasm and dedication shine. I like how you've further qualified your ability to move to locations new to you/thrive in new situations.

      Was this answer helpful? Yes or No
  11. 11.

    When we perform background checks on you and your family, what is the worst thing we are going to find?

      The FBI conducts incredibly thorough background checks, which include credit, criminal, and more. It's always important to be upfront about any infractions that might show up on your background check. If you don't admit to something dismissed or expunged, it could cost you this opportunity. You will want to be honest about whatever shows up.

      Rachelle's Answer

      "I have a clear background check now; however, you may find that I did not always have a good credit rating. I have since fixed my credit, and have kept a score of 780+ for the past eight years."

      Rachelle's Answer

      "If you dig into my background, you will see that I have a father with a criminal past. He is currently in prison for armed robbery. For the last nine years we have not spoken; however, it is important that I disclose this to you."

      Anonymous Answer

      "If you dig in my background, you will find me and my family clean. This is not going to be my first background check. I was already checked through Army National Guard, ROTC Program, and NYPD civilian hiring. Even in my naturalization, I was found clean every time."

      Rachelle's Answer

      Excellent answer! It's great that you have a clean background and have previous checks to further support your response.

      Was this answer helpful? Yes or No
      Anonymous Answer

      "I have a clean criminal record. The worst things you will find in my background are a few speeding tickets in high school and early college. While interviewing my family, you will also learn about some emotional and relational trauma we had experienced since my parent's divorce when I was 13 years old."

      Rachelle's Answer

      Your answer is honest and sincere, which is the best approach you can take when answering this question. Be prepared for follow-up questions or assessments depending on your interview stage (i.e., Has this emotional/relational trauma impacted your behavior in any way? or What action steps have you taken to prevent emotional/relational trauma from impacting your life and behavior?).

      Was this answer helpful? Yes or No
  12. 12.

    Do you consider yourself a persuasive person?

      We know that the FBI trains their agents in the psychology of persuasion. Part of being an excellent communicator means harnessing the power of persuasion when necessary. There is a difference between persuasion and debating - or even convincing. Persuasion is used when you want to influence someone rather than tell them that they are wrong, and you are right.

      The power of persuasion is essential in nearly every law enforcement related exchange. It is also a helpful skill when you want to gain momentum with your coworkers or have your boss better understand your approach on a case. Remember, it is not a negative thing to be a persuasive person.

      Rachelle's Answer

      "Persuasion is a key skill of an effective agent, in my opinion. Have you ever read the book, 'Pre-Suasion,' by Robert Cialdini? He speaks of the science in persuasion and that there are significant moves to be made before ever asking someone to do something on your behalf. This book has greatly influenced how I use persuasion both in work and in my personal life."

      Rachelle's Answer

      "Persuasion and enforcement officer methods go hand in hand so, yes, I believe that I am a persuasive person. My approach is not sly or combative in any way, however. I go about persuading others by displaying how my approach, or belief, could benefit the other party."

      Anonymous Answer

      "We like people who are like us. I think in a situation where you need to be persuasive, it's helpful to listen to the other person and see if a connection can be made to do the persuading. I think I'm capable of being persuasive when the situation arises. I approach these situations by trying to be anticipatory. Anticipating possible questions, so that I can have answers ready, or anticipate potential problems so that I can have possible action plans or ideas. This way, when it's necessary to be persuasive, I feel like I have a bird's eye view of everything and can be more prepared."

      Rachelle's Answer

      Your answer is very insightful and wise. Well said!

      Was this answer helpful? Yes or No
      Anonymous Answer

      "Yes, I do. In both my professional and my personal life, I have been known to persuade my colleagues or friends into certain scenarios or outcomes. An example in my professional life would be when I was interning at UN CTED, one of my primary roles was to accompany the ED on some of her media outings for UN TV. As we were walking to the UN, I gave her some tips that I thought would work best as she is answering questions versus how she usually handles her media interviews. She was not pleased at first that I was persuading her to conduct her interviews differently, but she winded up using my tips and thanked me after."

      Rachelle's Answer

      This is a fantastic example of taking the initiative and offering valuable advice. Good for you, as an intern, to have the confidence to persuade!

      Was this answer helpful? Yes or No
  13. 13.

    What is the FBI's policy on the use of deadly force by its special agents?

      The interviewer is checking to see if you have done your research on the FBI, and that you know a bit of what to expect in your training. Similar to other law enforcement departments, the FBI allows deadly force only when necessary. If someone is endangered or potentially faces physical injury or death, an FBI Agent is expected to offer the perpetrator forewarning before taking action, as explained on the FBI website. If you are unsure about policies like these, be sure to do your research before the interview, whether it be searching online or talking with current or previous members of the agency.

      Rachelle's Answer

      "I understand that the FBI exercises to right to use deadly force when necessary. There is a multitude of situations where this could be necessary, and I understand there are firm rules, regulations, and expectations surrounding the use of deadly force, as well."

      Rachelle's Answer

      "The FBI's policy on the use of deadly force is that deadly force is allowed; however only when deemed necessary such as if someone is in a life-threatening situation. The FBI agent must always offer the perpetrator warning before they take action."

      Anonymous Answer

      "The FBI is able to use deadly force when it is deemed reasonable and necessary. If there is a belief that someone is going to cause serious bodily harm or poses an imminent danger of threat, deadly force is acceptable."

      Rachelle's Answer

      It's apparent that you know your stuff, and that your background in law enforcement is a highly valuable bonus.

      Was this answer helpful? Yes or No
      Anonymous Answer

      "Only when necessary, life-threating situation."

      Rachelle's Answer

      Another straightforward response, which is good.

      Was this answer helpful? Yes or No
  14. 14.

    What are your top 3 strengths, and how will they benefit the FBI?

      The FBI reportedly receives over 10,000 Special Agent applications every year, but they hire only 500-750. The FBI indeed picks just the cream of the crop. Being the best includes having a record of excellence in your professional, and personal life. Extra-curricular and volunteer work is always a stand-out factor to bring to your application while showing a history of success and positivity is also favored. The FBI is also known for seeking out 'Type A' individuals who are characteristically ambitious, decisive, driven and highly competitive. A great response to this question will include a balance of all these factors.

      Rachelle's Answer

      "My greatest strengths include my tenacity, my generous nature, and the fact that I am decisive. I have a real passion for helping others, meaning I will provide the human empathy that is needed to be an incredible Special Agent. At the same time, I will never give up or stop, until the job is done."

      Rachelle's Answer

      "I recently asked my friends and family why they felt I would be successful in the FBI. They responded that my desire for justice, my competitive nature, as well as my ability to remain pragmatic are what make me a perfect choice for the FBI. I can find a great balance between helping others and keeping sound judgment based on facts, for instance."

      Anonymous Answer

      "I am passionate, ambitious, and dependable. I am always taking the initiative to go the extra length, whether it is expected/requested or not. My passion for the field provides me with a continuous daily motivation that I, in turn, apply to every aspect of each day and furthermore, the task at hand. Coworkers have said that I am very loyal, reliable, and dependable."

      Rachelle's Answer

      The FBI certainly looks for people with integrity, which it sounds like you have! Try to focus your answer more specifically on how these strengths will benefit the FBI. Successfully answering this question means ensuring that the interviewer can picture you in this role.

      "My top three strengths include my ambition, loyalty, and dependability. The FBI needs a team member they can count on to do the right thing and to show up 100% every day. My ambitious nature ensures that I will be quick to train, eager to learn, and ready for any challenge that comes my way."

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      Anonymous Answer

      "My greatest strengths include a strong desire for justice, integrity, dependability, and the ability to work with people from diverse backgrounds. The FBI needs team-oriented agents, who are trustworthy because the agency counts on them to do the right thing and show up 100% every day. My ambitious nature and eagerness to learn ensures that I will be coachable and quick to train, which will put me in a position to be ready to tackle the challenges that come with being an FBI Special Agent."

      Rachelle's Answer

      Excellent answer! Not only do you highlight your top strengths, but you also make a great case for how they will benefit the FBI, should you be hired.

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  15. 15.

    What is your greatest weakness?

      Preparing for this question requires self-awareness and strategy. Focus on a weakness that you could turn into a strength or share something you are taking action to improve. Pick weaknesses that are not a core skill for this position. You can be candid in your answer; recognizing that you aren't great at something and acknowledging your need to improve. Be sure to have an action plan in place for improving on this weakness.

      Perhaps you are watching TED talks to gain skills in a particular area, reading the latest-and-greatest book on the subject, or maybe you are taking a seminar. We are all human with our weaknesses, so don't be afraid to share yours!

      Rachelle's Answer

      "I believe I could improve on some technical skills including Excel and PowerPoint. Currently I am at a beginner to intermediate level; however, I would be more comfortable at an advanced level. I have enrolled myself in an evening workshop for the next six weeks. We will see how stellar my skills are after I complete that course."

      Rachelle's Answer

      "I know this will come off as cliche, but it's truthful. My weakness is not delegating. I know what needs doing and how I want it done, so it's often easier to do it myself. However, it can inhibit my ability to grow. I cannot take on every step of a project; I need to be able to give the task or a portion of it to another office, if possible. I've spoken with my commanding officer about it, and we've developed a system where he can call me out on the behavior since often I'm not aware of it. By bringing awareness to it at the moment, I find my propensity to hold onto control has decreased, so I'm certainly moving in the right direction."

      Anonymous Answer

      "At times I tend to take on too many tasks, especially if someone close to me asks for my assistance. I won't bite off more than I can chew, but I can stretch myself thin at times. I work on overcoming this by sometimes having to tell people I am not available to assist but will point them in the right direction."

      Rachelle's Answer

      It's a very difficult thing to learn to say no. Great that you recognize this in yourself and that you are working to improve. Have you used any resources to learn how to draw healthy boundaries? (i.e., podcasts, books) If so, you could include in your answer, also.

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      Anonymous Answer

      "When working on an individual project that doesn’t require collaboration with others, at times, I tend to be hesitant to ask for help when I need it. I have learned that it is much more beneficial both for me and the organization to reach out when I do not understand something or feel burned out with my workload. I now also understand that many experts around me have specific knowledge and skills that can make my work better. While I am still working on it, I have been able to produce more high-quality work as a result of getting help from those around me."

      Rachelle's Answer

      This is a tough lesson to learn for many of us, but it sounds like you are making stride, which is great! Good response.

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  16. 16.

    When have you gone above and beyond the call of duty for another individual?

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  17. 17.

    What is the mission of the FBI?

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  18. 18.

    Tell me about a time when you failed to solve a case. How did you overcome the perceived failure?

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  19. 19.

    How do you handle a situation where your superior does not properly communicate information to you?

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  20. 20.

    How do you prevent stress from your personal life entering your professional life?

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  21. 21.

    Discuss a time when your morals were questioned.

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  22. 22.

    Tell me about an achievement you are proud of. What skills did you use to achieve this goal?

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  23. 23.

    Would you lie to a friend? What if it was for their own benefit?

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  24. 24.

    In your earlier career, before becoming an officer, did you show great integrity at work?

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  25. 25.

    What advice would you give to a fellow FBI agent who was showing signs of PTSD?

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