The Security Clearance Personal Interview

If you are planning to apply for a national security position, a background investigation will be conducted to determine if you are reliable, trustworthy, loyal to the United States, and of good moral character. You will be asked to fill out the Questionnaire for National Security Positions and the information you provide on the form may need to be confirmed during the investigation into your background.

Some of the security clearance investigations conducted on you will involve a personal interview – this is a routine part of the investigative process. Usually, the investigator will have some questions and this gives him or her the opportunity to ask you to clarify or explain things.

If you are contacted by an investigator, it is very important that you schedule an interview right away; we do not recommend delaying. If you cancel, postpone or delay your personal interview for any reason, your investigation can be delayed or canceled, so it’s important to act quickly since time is of the essence.

What to Bring to Your Interview

For the interview, you want to come prepared in order to avoid any unnecessary delays. We advise bringing your driver license and Social Security card to the personal interview; however, the investigator may ask for other documentation, such as:

  1. Passport
  2. Birth certificate
  3. Alien registration
  4. Naturalization documents
  5. Delinquent loans or taxes
  6. Bankruptcy papers
  7. Proof of judgements or liens
  8. Documents regarding arrests, probation or parole
  9. Child custody, child support, spousal support or marital settlement agreements

The final determination for your eligibility for security clearance will be made by the applicable federal agency that requested the background investigation. If there are any questions or issues, you will have the opportunity to explain, clarify, or dispute any information before the applicable agency makes an official determination. If an adverse decision is made in your case and security clearance is denied, you’ll have the opportunity to appeal the decision.

Related: Security Clearance Denials: Are There Exceptions?

Need a security clearance attorney to help you with your personal interview or an appeal? Contact Claery & Hammond, LLP for professional legal assistance.