Obtaining Security Clearance

Most Embarrassing or Entertaining Security Clearance Interview Stories

Tradeshows are always a great opportunity for the team at ClearanceJobs.com to make new friends, and occasionally hear a few great stories. We were at the SPIE Defense, Security and Sensing Conference last week, where a young man came to our booth and said that while he didn’t personally have a security clearance, he had so many friends in the S&T community that he’d been asked to do more security clearance interviews than he could count (and for the record, his friends owe him a lot of rounds at the bar for doing so).

He specifically relayed the story about the interview he’d done for a college roommate, who he told the interviewer he didn’t see a lot of “because he spent a lot of time alone in his room with his girlfriend.”

The interviewer pressed him – “What were they doing in there?”

He replied, “Um, you know, they spent a lot of time in their room doing things young couples do.”

“What do you mean?” Asked the interviewer.

Still having some concern for his roommate and his girlfriend’s privacy, the man said he continued to respond in generalities, and insinuations, hoping he wasn’t going to have to put two and two together for this lady. But innuendo doesn’t read well in a security clearance investigation and the man said he was eventually forced to reveal that his college roommate and his girlfriend happened to spend the bulk of their time in his roomate’s bedroom, making love.

It was one of the funniest security clearance interview stories I’ve heard, but it puts me in the mood for others – what’s the most hilarious, embarrassing or interesting security clearance interview story you’ve heard or been a part of? Feel free to respond anonymously, and please keep the names of your love-making college roommates anonymous, as well.

Comment Archive

  1. Avatar

    The interviewer was asking a candidate about his use of illegal drugs.

    Interviewer: Have you ever done any illegal drugs?

    Candidate: Yes.

    Interviewer: When did you partake in these illegal drugs?

    Candidate: While I was in college.

    Interviewer: How many times did you partake in these illegal drugs?

    Candidate: Do you have a calculator?

    Candidate still got the clearance.

  2. Avatar

    I had a guy tell me with a straight face that he did not deal drugs. He simply held them for his friends and sometimes took money from other friends in trade for the drugs.

  3. Avatar

    A friend of mine’s polygraph examiner asked her out on a date at the end of her poly. Ahhh, professionalism.

  4. Avatar

    I had a guy refuse to provide or verify his social security number because he truly thought I was there to steal his identity,

  5. Avatar

    I don’t have any specific stories but it just amazes me as to how many people don’t know Alaska and Hawaii are part of the United States and that The Bahamas and Bermuda are not.

  6. Avatar

    Years ago I had a military officer who refused to schedule his personal interview appointment with me because there was no way for him to verify my identity over the telephone. He insisted that I could be the enemy just trying to access the base through him (as if I couldn’t access the base without him). I finally had to get the command security manager involved…the whole thing was very strange. Paranoia will destroy ya!

  7. Avatar

    I’ve only been in this line of work for a little over six months now, and I unfortunately (or fortunately?) do not have any “interesting” stories…yet… 😉

  8. Avatar

    Best interview was a guy who showed up in a skirt, wore make-up and wig……you can figure the rest. Dude looked like a Dude….hope his friends tell him the truth 🙂

  9. Avatar


    Don’t hate me cause I look great in women’s clothing.

  10. Avatar


    And here I was being careful not to out-you. Now the whole world knows.

  11. Avatar

    Now I cant be blackmailed.

  12. Avatar

    Investigator: Do you know of anything in Mr. X’s background that could be used against him for blackmail, influence, or coercion?

    Source: Well, I think I’m the only black male he knows….

  13. Avatar

    Investigator: Is he able to handle stress?

    Every Source Ever: OH YEAH, he works here.

    Investigator: Does he have any questionable associates?

    Every Source Ever: You mean besides me?

    Stop, stop, you’re all killing me.

  14. Avatar

    A colleague of mine just told me a SJ listed a previous job as Bovine Mammary Gland Extractor.

  15. Avatar

    Very Special Investigator,

    Absolutely! That’s exactly how employment source interviews go every time.

  16. Avatar

    Very Special Inv

    Funny, I did about 12 source interviews today alone and every single one of them said exactly what you said. I’m still laughing??????????

  17. Avatar


    So am I, but it wasn’t my job 🙂

  18. Avatar

    Well a formal protest has been made by my company to the GAO and the customer.

  19. Avatar

    Not to sober up the good time, but can somebody explain to me the reasoning behind asking Sub’s why they don’t know what they don’t know on the questionnaire?

  20. Avatar

    For fun, skittles, for fun.

  21. Avatar

    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.

  22. Avatar


    That beats the dog that humped me leg during an interview…although the owner just laughed and allowed it to continue. Sheesh.

  23. Avatar


    Now that is funny 🙂

  24. Avatar

    Having had my TS for over 35 years, my latest update last year was with a retiree that became a brand new investigator so I had to help him a bit.

    Inv: Have you ever been late with a payment over 30 days?

    Me: Less than the government. (he was holding the financial report so knew better than I did.)

    Inv: Have you ever used illegal drugs?

    Me: Marijuana is legal now so what drugs?

    Inv: Cocaine?

    Me: I don’t remember any nose or eye surgery but I did have some dental work so maybe.

    Inv: Narcotics?

    Me: Yes, I have perscriptions to some of the best and use them. (Had just had surgery and my migrane medicine has codeine in it)

    I think it was a learning experience for him.

  25. Avatar

    Security clearances are bizarre things. The form is huge, and it took a year and a half to get my full secret. That, though, is completely arbitrary; I think Kat got hers in 6 months. The problem with mine is that I had several moves, and you have to have a reference for each location. Be prepared to spend a few hours on the form.

  26. Avatar

    This may just fall under dumb stories – I know someone who has a TS clearance in the IC and has changed his cell phone number several times. One time he explained that he changed it because a foreign national had his cell phone number. As I have a TS myself, I find this explanation very hard to believe. Have you ever heard of such nonsense??

  27. Avatar

    What if I just refuse to do the interview part. I’m being made to apply for one and I dont want to apply because my family may have to move