dea intelligence research specialist interview questions

What if you could anticipate the questions a hiring manager would ask you during your next job interview?

Unfortunately, we can’t read minds, but we can give you the next best thing: a list of 50 of the most frequently asked interview questions, along with suggestions for how to respond to each one.

While we don’t advise having a pre-prepared answer for every interview question (please don’t), we do advise spending some time getting familiar with what you might be asked, what hiring managers are really looking for in your responses, and what it takes to demonstrate that you’re the right candidate for the position.

Consider this list your interview question and answer study guide. (And don’t miss our bonus list at the end with links to resources on particular types of interview questions, such as those about emotional intelligence or diversity and inclusion, as well as interview questions by role, from accountant to project manager to teacher, ).

DEA Lecture Series: Who We Are and What We Do – Intelligence

Interviews for Top Jobs at DEA

Intelligence Research Specialist Interview


I applied online. I interviewed at DEA (Newark, NJ)


NOT a typical interview. Questions are based on logic, scenarios, and how you’d handle certain situations. I declined offer. The offer was an insult to my experience and years of school and research and federal experience and much more. I couldn’t possibly live on 50k a year living in New Jersey! With a mortgage and bills up my bums! The DEA should reconsider their salary. 50k is suitable for Utah and Wyoming or an affordable state but not the State of New Jersey!

Interview Questions

  • Can’t provide questions/confidentiality agreement signed.

Can you describe some research projects that you have collaborated on or designed?

Demonstrates candidates experience as well as analytical skills.

Interview Questions for Research Specialists:

Demonstrates candidates managerial, leadership, and interpersonal skills.

How would you resolve a conflict with a senior-level researcher?

Demonstrates candidates teamwork and interpersonal skills.

Since the Federal Controlled Substances Act is enforced by the DEA, all applicants must fully disclose any prior drug use during the application process. Candidates whose drug history falls outside of acceptable bounds won’t be given job consideration. Throughout their careers, all DEA employees are subject to sporadic urinalysis drug testing. Download our Drug Questionnaire.

One of the last steps in the application process, a background investigation (BI), aims to create a complete profile of you. Information about one’s background, education, work history, personal and professional references, and other necessary checks are provided by the investigation. The type and extent of the investigation determine the length of time needed to complete it.

DEA Special Agents are generally hired at the GS-07 or GS-09 level, depending on education and/or experience and Special Agents progress to the GS-13 grade within a few years after being hired. In addition, 25% Law Enforcement Availability Pay (LEAP) is added to your base and locality pay when hired. This 25% salary is additional, above your normal salary. Visit the latest Office of Personnel Management Law Enforcement Officer Salary Calculator and, for specific locality pay:Salaries & Wages (

*At the time of the appointment, you must be at least 21 years old and no older than 36. This position is subject to the law enforcement retirement provisions of Public Law 100-238, so you must be appointed before turning 37 unless you are a preference eligible veteran OR you are currently serving in or have previously held a Federal civilian law enforcement retirement-covered position (after deducting the years/months of prior Federal service worked in a primary law enforcement position, you must be under the age of 37). The Age Discrimination and Employment Act’s Section 15’s anti-age discrimination provisions allowed for the maximum entry age limit to be set.

A Basic Agent Trainee (BAT) will be prepared by the Basic Agent Training Program (BATP) to become an entry-level Special Agent after graduation. It is the responsibility of each and every BAT to ensure that they are familiar with the specifications, rules, and recommendations contained in this document. A BAT must demonstrate that they possess the required eight (8) crucial job-related traits and characteristics to be a Special Agent, pass nine (9) performance-based disciplines, and behave safely at all times throughout the BATP in order to graduate from the program.

DEA Intelligence Research Specialist Job Description

Working for the DEA as an intelligence research specialist requires the following skills:

  • Gather intelligence from documents, wiretaps, informants and other sources
  • Analyze a variety of intelligence reports for accuracy and reliability
  • Produce recommendations to agency directors and policy makers
  • Inform special agents about criminal activities
  • Present strategies to government leaders
  • 50+ most common job interview questions

    Many people don’t prepare for this question because it seems so straightforward, but it’s essential. The deal is that you shouldn’t disclose your entire employment (or personal) history. Instead, deliver a pitch that is succinct, compelling, and that explains why you are the ideal candidate for the position. Lily Zhang, a writer for Muse and MIT career advisor, suggests using the present, past, and future formula. Talk briefly about your current position (including its responsibilities and perhaps one noteworthy achievement), then provide some background on how you got there and any relevant experience you have. Finally, briefly discuss why you would be ideal for the position.

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