ClearanceJobs was joined by Sean Bigley, a security clearance attorney who represents clients worldwide who are facing security clearance denials. He assists service members, federal employees, and contractors in all stages of the security clearance process including upcoming investigations or representation at formal hearings. He is a former investigator for the United States Office of Personnel Management (OPM). He chatted with us and shared a few of his security clearance horror stories with us.

If you haven’t visited the ClearanceJobsBlog, there are both scary and entertaining security clearance stories from candidates and investigators fro you to check out. One commenter shared a story from an interview in the field:

“So I was interviewing a neighbor and his gaggle of children were running and screaming and dancing around us. I was concentrating on the interview, yelling my questions over the frey. Out of the corner of my eye, I see one of the little bastards running at me, before I know what’s going on, the brat screams ‘candy’ and shoves something into my mouth. I spit it on the floor and glared at the father, who was mortified and speechless.”

Bigley has plenty of stories when it comes  to the security clearance process: everything from being attacked by wild chickens to being cursed at to being threatened, but it was kind of just a part of the job.

A recent horror story Bigley wrote about on the news site is actually a part of the process of filling out an sf-86. The financial history section of the SF-86 form  trips a lot of candidates up who are initially applying for a security clearance. In fact, it is the biggest reason why people are denied a security clearance. Bigley’s law firm has recently seen applicants check “YES” and then document a history of non-compliance with their tax filings that result in their security clearance being revoked.

If you’d like to avoid experiencing some of these horror stories, individuals can do things like be truthful on any government documents, avoid certain crowds with illegal tendencies, and avoid misconduct at work.

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Katie Helbling is a marketing fanatic that enjoys anything digital, communications, promotions & events. She has 10+ years in the DoD supporting multiple contractors with recruitment strategy, staffing augmentation, marketing, & communications. Favorite type of beer: IPA. Fave hike: the Grouse Grind, Vancouver, BC. Fave social platform: ClearanceJobs! 🇺🇸