Interviewing for the FBI and Federal Agencies is NOT your everyday interview

Received from someone who DID NOT pass Phase II –


This is a very different interview. If you want to pass, you must be prepared to let them know

YOU the person – not the qualifications of the person.

The interviewers are BLIND – they know nothing about you.

It is your job to let them know you — THE PERSON.

The interviewers are not only looking for “qualified people” – they are looking for “special people” to be SPECIAL AGENTS.

I get calls from 2nd timers all the time – they didn’t pass the first time around. I ask them –


Not one person ever said YES!



This is from a Second-time around candidate who I coached.

I passed my second try at Phase 2, and I know it was your coaching that made the difference. I walked in my first time over a year ago with confidence that my prior job experience was more than enough and failed. I walked in this time, humble but ready to share more of myself and be genuine, and as you already knew, that made all the difference.

I gave them as much as I could in my first question to include my five points in case I didn’t have an opportunity later; as it turns out that was a very good move. I definitely had to morph almost all my answers. Only one question did I have to pull a story that I had not previously prepared.

Again thank you.


Hi Carole,

I hope all is well. I just wanted to let you know that I received the email today stating that I had passed Phase II. I want to thank you for all of your help as I would have had a difficult time getting through that panel interview without you.

It just goes to show it doesn’t matter what your background is ( me being just a sales guy).

Just some things to touch on for your next candidates that I took away from you.

Be yourself!!! do your best to let them know who you are was great advice, try and speak to them as if u were telling a story to your buddy…professionally obviously.

Use details which I actually think I lacked on when speaking.

Also its ok to be nervous just go slow and think about your responses.

I found myself rushing through and had to catch myself and slow down.

Morphing was a huge factor as well, I caught myself doing it at least twice and thinking in my head wow this is a morph haha. Overall just another step closer to my goal, still not there yet and still have some work to do but its a good step. Thanks again.


I got the green light today that I passed PH II! Thanks for the help over the past 2 weeks. I finished the interview in about 45 minutes which was way faster than I expected. I had a response for every question and morphed a few answers to fit them. Many of my stories were interchangeable between the competencies so I just picked the best one I felt was right. I also told a story that occurred just the day prior (on the flight) which helped show them truly the kind of person I am with strangers and my ability to draw from life experiences, big or small. 

I do feel that I could have spent more time telling them about myself but I had rushed through this part because I wanted to make sure I had enough time to answer all the questions. My advice, is take your time and make sure they have a good idea of your personal life and family. It wasn’t the perfect interview but I was able to get my humor in and got some consistent laughs and smiles out of them. This goes a long way and sets the tone for the rest of the interview so break the ice early. If you’re not naturally funny then don’t force it…I am at sparing moments so it worked well for the interview. They did seem genuinely interested in the stories I told. I had a few follow up questions after some stories which seemed to be more for their personal interest.

Overall, it was a pretty relaxed interview and I was able to show the type of person I am and what I have to offer through my stories and experiences. Thanks again and I’m one step closer to my dreams.


PHASE II – FBI Interview





Out of the 4 people that I know that applied and made it to this phase I was the only one who passed to the next. Thank you so much for working with me. I used most of my stories, there was only one question that I couldn’t figure out what factor they were looking for so I morphed the story a bit and actually ended up combining two factors. It was such a great experience. At the beginning of our session, you told me that you weren’t sure how the feel of the interview would go and you suspect that the person can encourage a different atmosphere. I completely agree with this. The other two applicants from Oklahoma said they were nervous and that the interviewers were very cold – no smiles, no eye contact, nothing. 

I went in and the first thing I did was made a casual joke about the hotel room we were interviewing in. I received immediate smiles and they talked to me like I was a colleague. Relaxing at the beginning of the interview set the cadence for the rest of the interview. I even had some time to ask them questions at the end of the interview such as where they were from, if there were as nervous as I was and the most rewarding thing about their positions. 

I think my strongest part was my “why” section. They were extremely engaging with me between taking notes. I got some head nods and even a solid smile.

Again, thank you for your help. I don’t think I would have passed if I wasn’t as prepared as I was. 


Listening to the audio of our sessions, incorporating your feedback into my stories, and rehearsing my stories were vital to my success.  Your framework of listening to the question, identifying the factor, and morphing a story worked flawlessly.  I learned how to open up and show “Kelly Ann” to the three agents a week ago.      

Once again, thank you so much for your guidance and support.  I highly recommend your coaching services and enjoyed your book, too.



So very happy. Thank you for your guidance. Preparation of stories is the key. Luckily I had a whole bank of them to pull from. Can’t stress enough how important it was to be yourself and be personable with the agents as well.




I would like to inform you that I PASSED!!! 

I couldn’t have done it without you! Your help in prepping me, explaining to me the process, and telling me to be myself was crucial in being prepared and confident! But you didn’t just tell me! You were able to remind me who I am and what I should tell them!

I made them laugh multiple times and they smiled and wrote down when I corrected myself when I said girls instead of women. They seemed pleased. 

Anyway, thank you again! I would recommend you to other candidates in a heartbeat!

I PASSED!!! The interview went really well. I kinda fudged my five points but eventually got everything out that I needed to. And then the question responses just came so naturally. I morphed some and some I had the perfect stories for (I think writing about 30 of them helped!). I topped it off with a variation of the moose story and I think that was icing on the cake. I just kept thinking “chill the eff out and be yourself”. And when I left the room, I thought, “I nailed that”. Anyway, I could not have done it without you and your guidance!! Thank you thank you!!! Second time’s the charm for sure 🙂


I just wanted to inform you that I passed my interview! I was very nervous but happy that I passed on my first try!

Thank you so much for all your help. It was very, very helpful! I learned so much from you and will use those tips for the future. 

I will most certainly recommend you to anyone applying to the FBI. Only I would recommend they don’t wait a few days before the interview date to get started =)

12/2018 FBI News Flash!

There is a change in the FBI interviewing process.

You will take the “written test” before you do the interview – through a testing site.

Some tips to help you through this part of the process.

As For The Written Test –


I agree that the best and only advice for the writing section is to read the directions carefully.


Learn from another’s mistake

“My written assessment was BAD. It wasn’t difficult, but I got so much into writing my stuff that I just forgot to give what was specifically asked for. I felt good about it when I was done, but then some of the other guys were talking about it and then I realized that I left out the most important thing. All I ended up doing was summarizing the case given to me. I felt very frustrated that I messed up something so simple. The written assessment was by far easier than the interview, but I got so caught on my line of thought I didn’t follow the proper instructions. I’m writing you this email and I am still angry thinking about that. It’s just embarrassing really.”


 “The writing portion was very easy but time consuming. I stuck to the facts and I wrote like my life depended on it. I didn’t waste any time reading everything I skimmed and then went to work. Just stick the facts and proofread as you write the report. I was able to write everything I needed to within an hour and half.”

A funny thing happened on the way to the FBI interview.

If you have your interview scheduled in a hotel –BEWARE – the Agents are staying in the same hotel!

Funny story and a piece of advice to your future candidates when going into Phase 2.  

On the day of my Phase 2, I got dressed and went down to the lobby to get some breakfast before the big day.  

On my way down, I ran into a woman in the elevator that was in a T-shirt, sweatpants, and looked like she just woke up 2 minutes ago.  She obviously was going down to get some breakfast and go right back to sleep.

I greeted her in the elevator and let her leave first when it was time to exit.  As I suspected she was going down to get breakfast as well.  We were both in line and she was indecisive on what you wanted to eat and almost ran into me with her food getting real close to spilling her food on my suit.  She apologized for almost running into me but instead of me getting mad at her or telling her to be more careful, I smiled at her and told her don’t worry about it she is totally fine.  

She thanked me and asked my name.  I told her and said it was great to meet her and we both went our separate ways.

As the seven of us Phase 2 candidates had just got done with our writing portion, we were asked to wait in the lobby while we were assigned our panel rooms in preparation for the interviews.   She asked us to line up and head to our panel rooms.  

I get to my panel room, knocked the door to be let in and sure enough I was greeted by the lady that I ran into in the elevator and at the breakfast line.  This time she was dressed up and I now found out she was the special agent that wanted to interview me.  

She smiled at me, told me I conducted myself this morning just like she would want an FBI agent to be with the public and we went about our interview.  

I would like to think that I passed my Phase 2 interview because of all the preparation I did and not how I acted before the interview but I’m sure it didn’t hurt either.  

Although my behavior wouldn’t have changed the way I normally treat people regardless of this situation or who is watching.


My advice to any candidates going into the interview, is to treat everybody kindly, respectfully and professionally from the minute you board your plane to when you get back home because you never know who you will run into throughout the Phase 2 process and how your behavior could affect the opportunity of a lifetime.


*Diversified (all other backgrounds or skills not specified above)

*What is meant by Diversified?

Besides needing agent candidates with the specialized skill sets, the FBI also seeks well-rounded applicants with unspecified degrees and diverse
backgrounds who have demonstrated experience in the Special Agent core competencies.Who is disqualified from an FBI interview?








** From an FBI Agent — “On a personal note, I served with an FBI Agent who was a former elementary school principal and another who was a full-time youth minister.”

**From Carole Martin, The Interview Coach—

“I have coached — a Middle School Band Director, a High School Teacher, and a Lancome Cosmetics Marketing Manager – who all passed Phase II.

My biggest achievement came last year when I coached a “chef” through the process – and he passed.

It’s not easy, but with some hard work, you can make it.”

Taken from the FBI website –

Below are specific elements that will automatically disqualify job candidates for employment with the FBI. These include:

•    Non-U.S. citizenship
•    Conviction of a felony (Special Agent candidates only: conviction of a domestic violence misdemeanor or more serious offense)
•    Violation of the FBI Employment Drug Policy (please see below for additional details)
•    Default on a student loan insured by the U.S. Government
•    Failure of an FBI-administered urinalysis drug test
•    Failure to register with the Selective Service System (for males only, exceptions apply – please click here to find out more)
•    Knowingly or willfully engaged in acts or activities designed to overthrow the U.S. government by force
•    Failure to pay court ordered child support
•    Failure to file federal, state, or local income tax returns

Please note that if you are disqualified by any of the above tests, you are not eligible for employment with the FBI. Please make sure you can meet FBI employment requirements and pass all disqualifiers before you apply for an FBI position.

Phase II can be taken a 2nd time – for the FBI Agent position. Here is some feedback from a female who didn’t pass the first time. She worked with me this time around.

“I even had one of the other applicants come up to me about 5 minutes after arrived in the waiting area and say, “You were radiating swagger when you walked in and that can’t be taught.

I thought you were one of the agents!  What is your secret?!”  He and I laughed and of course I replied “Well that’s a good sign.”

SHE PASSED this time around after working with me.

Learning to “morph” your stories will help you get out of a tough spot when you cannot think of a story to match the answer.

I am writing to inform you that I……passed! Thank you again for your coaching. I believed it gave me the extra edge necessary to pass Phase II. In regards to feedback: morphing morphing morphing and BEING YOURSELF was the key to victory here.

I was just goofy and honest, which I think they appreciated. I laid it all out on the table for them, which I believed not only made me more relaxed, but made them a lot more relaxed too.

Great working with you and I hope you continued success.

Q. How much time will I need? I’m, not sure how if I have enough time.

The answer, more often you will have two to three weeks notice for your FBI interview – sometimes more – sometimes less.

Ideally – and believe me most are not ideal

– you would begin to work with me after you have your date assigned. You would contact me 4 or so weeks – depending on your life’s schedule –  to get the materials to begin your preparation.

The greater majority of my clients have not been “ideal.” I have coached with as little as three or four days and still have helped people pass. This is not my preferred manner – but sometimes that’s what life deals.

I will support you through email – critiquing anything you want me to look at after our sessions. Some candidates like to send their written stories and have me comment on them. That is part of the deal and I am glad to do that.

My goal is to get you to pass the interview and I will do everything that I can to do just that. The rest will be up to you.  Get more information about how I coach, the successes of my clients and what to expect at

You helped me prepare for my 2016 panel interview for the Intelligence Analyst position with the FBI. I just wanted to let you know that I just graduated from Quantico, and am currently at my new field office. I just wanted to say THANK YOU so much again!!

I truly don’t think I would have passed without you.


I really appreciate all the effort you put into helping me prepare. I would use your service again and recommend you to others without a second thought.

Here’s a few of the highlights and a bit of advice for your own knowledge and for your future clients.

-Helping me convert my stories from technical, overly detailed logic/jargon into smooth stories (really just conversations) that highlighted the core competencies. Once I got one or two of them down, my preparation got much, much easier.

A bit of advice to any future clients would be to practice the stories out loud. Sometimes when writing the stories down I felt like I was getting a point across but when I spoke it out loud, I realized I wasn’t. This helped me a ton.

Overall, I’d say that my experience appears to fall in line with the majority of your clients that I’ve seen feedback from. The FBI Agents were very professional, and because I felt very prepared I wasn’t nervous, simply told my stories, morphed a few, and went with some off the top of my head.

Thank you again, DSS/BEX


I just wanted to write to let you know that I received an offer for the Diplomatic Security Special Agent Position after passing the oral examination this week. I am certain that the preparation and practice sessions from your program were instrumental in my success.

The advice given by former candidates is still accurate overall, even if the format changes every so often. Having plenty of stories available and being comfortable with walking the panel through your thought process during hypothetical scenarios is very important.

Many thanks for your guidance and coaching and I wish you continued success in your program. I’ll be sure to recommend your coaching services to others who seek to career paths in Federal law enforcement.



Thanks to your program and confidence in me I passed the Phase II portion SASP.  I have to admit after I heard about you from one of my former colleague, who is now an FBI special agent, I knew that I would enlist your services when the time came.  From our first conversation, you built my trust in you, which lead me to go for the full package. After our first session and listening to that painful recording, it was apparent that my money was spent well. I learned so mush about behavior interviewing techniques, the SAR response structure, and the importance of adding the human element when interviewing.

Successful FBI Phase II client – Practice stories out loud


I really appreciate all the effort you put into helping me prepare. I would use your service again and recommend you to others without a second thought.

Here’s a few of the highlights and a bit of advice for your own knowledge and for your future clients.

-The way you summarized my “why FBI” from our first session. This really helped me get a handle on how I wanted to present a combination of my personal feelings and skills, as well as the overall process I took to get myself in the interview room.

-Helping me convert my stories from technical, overly detailed logic/jargon into smooth stories (really just conversations) that highlighted the core competencies. Once I got one or two of them down, my preparation got much, much easier.

-One thing that I felt myself doing during the interview was trying to create images throughout my stories…a trick I took from you after you explained the importance of being able to “see” things. I got great feedback from this.

A bit of advice to any future clients would be to practice the stories out loud. Sometimes when writing the stories down I felt like I was getting a point across but when I spoke it out loud, I realized I wasn’t. This helped me a ton.

Overall, I’d say that my experience appears to fall in line with the majority of your clients that I’ve seen feedback from. The FBI Agents were very professional, and because I felt very prepared I wasn’t nervous, simply told my stories, morphed a few, and went with some off the top of my head.

Thank you again,


From one of my “female” clients on FBI interviewing

“One thing I would emphasize – especially to your male clients – is to smile, even when they’re not in the interview. We were all taken into a room with the applicant coordinator and I was the only one smiling and nodding at her. All the other male applicants were trying to “look like FBI agents,” but just looked kind of stiff. The applicant coordinator even pointed one out, said he looked like a “deer in the headlights,” and told him to loosen up – the guy looked even more uncomfortable after that, and I’m sure it didn’t help his confidence in the interview.”