The Secret Service is Hiring

Intelligence

If you’re in the job market, you have well-more than half a day to burn, and you find access like nobody’s business exciting, then the Secret Service could be just right for you. The Secret Service is busier than ever, and they’re hiring.

secret serviceHIRING FAIRS

Yesterday, the Secret Service recruiting machine descended on Fort Meade, Md, cleared professional mecca, and reports indicate that more than 1,000 of the faithful got in in line and put themselves through the gauntlet. “The agency exams every aspect of the applicant’s life. It’s their way of making sure they can be trusted with protecting the President and country,” reports Amy Yensi. But the Secret Service is about more than the Presidential Protection Team. Agents are responsible for protection, indeed—of both America’s leaders and landmarks. Other agents may conduct investigations. Still others are part of the Service’s Administrative, Professional and Technical support.

PROCESS BEFORE THE PROCESS

Duty with the Secret Service is challenging. Getting in, maybe more so. The two-phased hiring process for entry-level applicants—Phase 1, Competency; Phase 2, Security—consists of 11 subordinate steps. Phase 1 is the Special Agent and Uniformed Division Pre-Employment Review (SUPER) Interview, an extensive process that provides candidates the opportunity to know what she or he has gotten into and self-select out. The SUPER process includes a resume review to establish basic qualifications and written exams—logic-based reasoning, experience inventory, language usage, and detail observation (study photo, answer questions about photo). There are physical fitness tests, interviews, and, if you make through all that, a conditional job offer.

THE PROCESS

Then they start digging. In Phase 2, expect another interview, this time focused on security-related topics, and a deep dive into your credit history. Then, there’s the polygraph, a medical and psychological exam, and a background investigation. Then, and only then, you sit before the “hiring panel.” Ominous. Psychologically grueling. Especially if you wonder if some skeleton in your closet might disqualify you.

That’s why the Service makes very clear its rules of the hiring game. Miss your interview? You’re done. Try to leave the interview once it’s started? Done. Refuse to sign their Job Requirements Briefing Acknowledgement form or the Applicant Non-Disclosure Agreement “stating that you will not discuss the content of the interview with others? Done. Give the interviewers the run-around answering any question? Done. Here’s how the Secret Service advises you to answer: “When asked an open-ended question, be specific when answering. For questions that ask about your past experiences, describe the situation, your specific actions or behaviors, and the resulting outcome. For questions that ask you about hypothetical situations, describe the actions you would take and provide an explanation for those actions.” Get it? Got it? Good.

Truly, the U.S. Secret Service’s Talent and Employee Acquisition Management Division is reminiscent of something out of Men in Black. But once you’re in, well, you can expect a pretty exciting profession and at least a little adventure.

Ed Ledford enjoys the most challenging, complex, and high stakes communications requirements. His portfolio includes everything from policy and strategy to poetry. A native of Asheville, N.C., and retired Army Aviator, Ed’s currently writing speeches in D.C. and working other writing projects from his office in Rockville, MD. He loves baseball and enjoys hiking, camping, and exploring anything. Follow Ed on Twitter @ECLedford.

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