Are you looking for a finance position that enables you to makes a difference?

As a Financial Resource Officer at the CIA, you will serve the agency, your colleagues, and the country as a formally appointed Certifying Officer.

In addition to your application, you’ll need to submit to thorough background checks and several interviews.

Have you been selected for a CIA interview? Here’s what CIA interview questions to expect when you apply for the role of Finance Resource Officer.

CIA Agent Job Description: Financial Resource Officer

The Financial Resource Officer role primarily works from the Washington, DC metropolitan office. You’ll work in entry-level offices within the department that includes:

  • Accounts and Liasion
  • Central Travel Services
  • Budget and Execution
  • Contract Audit And Payment
  • Compensation Group

After four to six years experience and the equivalent skills, you may then apply for progressive leadership roles within the agency. You can even ask to work in global offices once you prove your skills in the initial developmental program.

What Will I Do As a Financial Resource Officer?

As a Financial Resource Officer, you’ll utilize the accounting principles found in the General Services Administration and the Generally Accepted Accounting Principles.

During your time at the agency, you’ll work on projects like:

  • Financial calculations related to regulations
  • Financial calculations related to unique operational activities
  • Financial analysis fo budgets and programs
  • Tasks related to payments and cash flow

You’ll work with people in the agency and directly with customers with the goal of solving problems and aiding the global mission of the Central Intelligence Agency.

Minimum Qualifications

Think you’d make a difference in the role?

At a minimum, you’ll need a four-year undergraduate degree in an area like:

  • Accounting
  • Finance
  • Business Administration
  • Business Management

If you don’t choose the accounting degree, you’ll need at least six semester credit hours of accounting courses.

Upon graduation, the CIA looks for a GPA of 3.0 and a B grade or better in accounting courses.

In addition to these educational requirements, you’ll also need to demonstrate an understanding of and excellence in:

  • Analytic and problem-solving abilities
  • Customer service
  • Interpersonal skills
  • Independent work ethic
  • Teamwork
  • Verbal and written communication

Take your application further with professional experience in business or accounting, a graduate degree, or a CPA license.

Applying for the Finance Resource Officer Role

Becoming a Finance Resource Officer at the CIA requires more than an application. You also need to submit to a:

  • Comprehensive background investigation
  • Medical exam
  • Polygraph interview
  • Psychological exam

You may also complete a timed IQ test and a 200 question behavioral test.

You’ll also attend an in-person interview.

CIA interview questions tend to focus on behavioral issues related to you and the way you work with others. It’s unlikely they will ask you technical questions even in a finance role.

Expect them to ask you questions like:

  • What skills do you offer the role?
  • Why do you think you’re well-suited for the role?
  • What was a constructive piece of criticism you received? How did you handle it?
  • Have you ever influenced someone to do something positive?
  • What misconceptions do others have about you?

Your interviewers will also want to learn your motivations for applying to the CIA. After all, accounting or finance degree could take you anywhere. Expect your interviewers to ask you:

  • Why do you want to work for the Central Intelligence Agency?
  • Describe what you think will be asked of you working at the CIA.
  • Share an example of a time you navigated an ambiguous situation.
  • How do you serve others? Give a recent or current example.
  • Describe a time you served as a leader and failed. What did you learn? What did you change?

There’s one final question that doesn’t fall under the behavioral category.

The CIA won’t hire anyone who admits to using illegal substances in the last year. It doesn’t matter if you used marijuana in a state where it is recreationally legal. Your interviewer will ask, and if you answer yes, you will either be rejected or told to apply again once the year threshold passes.

These are just examples of questions interviews ask based on the style of CIA interviews and reports from those who went through the process. You may or may not answer any or all of the questions listed here.

How to Prepare for Your CIA Interview

Ironically, there’s no shortage of information floating around the internet about what it’s like to interview at the CIA. Learning about the types of questions asked to help you think about your answers.

We don’t recommend relying on other people’s answers, particularly if they didn’t receive an officer. Applicants who want to make it through the process should think carefully about their unique responses to the questions asked of them.

Your goal should be to be transparent about your background and honest about who you are as a person. If the interviewer gets a hint of deception, they’ll jump on it.

The CIA is more than a job; it’s also a mindset and lifestyle. Interviewers look for people who will fit naturally into the organization regardless of what your hard skills are. They look for people who:

  • Dedicate themselves to service
  • Successfully navigate situations that fall in grey or ambiguous areas
  • Don’t worry about receiving public accolades for a job well done
  • Want a fulfilling career

If you’re just looking for a job or you have dubious motivations, you may not make the cut even if you’re the best accountant in your class.

Where Will Your Finance Career Take You?

The CIA offers applicants a change a long career in public service. Getting in takes months of waiting and includes tests, interviews, background checks, and exams.

Don’t worry if you feel you don’t interview well. A CIA interview involves behavioral questions that are more concerned with your personality than your skills. Plus, recruiters don’t rely heavily on interview results: they use all their tools to look at your candidacy holistically.

Ready to apply? Visit our financial career job board to find your next opportunity.