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The United States Secret Service protects the president, vice president, ex-presidents, government officials, visiting dignitaries and their families. It also protects the integrity of U.S. currency and investigates crimes against the financial system. Because of the nature of its mission, the Secret Service is particularly thorough in its hiring process for special agents and uniformed division officers, and conducts two interviews, including a structured panel interview. These are the final steps in the hiring process, so a job offer depends upon their successful completion.
Tips from the Secret Service
Be specific when answering questions. Describe a situation, your actions and the result. When answering hypothetical questions, state what you would do as well as why you would do it. The interviewers are evaluating your entry-level knowledge, skills and abilities, so anticipate questions and have ready answers of specific experiences that have prepared you to be an asset to the Secret Service. If you are unable to answer a question when it is asked, you can request to come back to the question later in the interview.
Study Lists of Questions
Learn as much as you can about the history of the Secret Service and any recent news regarding the agency. This will help you deliver answers that are specific to the agency's current needs and demands. Be prepared for tough questions such as, "When was the last time you were in a crisis?" When answering these questions, provide specific examples of your problem-solving skills, how you have shown initiative and leadership, or given someone difficult feedback.
Nate Lee was senior editor of Chicago's "NewCity" newspaper and creative director in a global advertising agency. A playwright and published poet, Lee writes about the arts, culture and business innovation. He received his Bachelor of Arts in English from Tulane University.
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