The SEC staff arrives bright and early in the morning. You need to find a conference room to park them in. They spent about an hour getting their computers hooked up (they tend to use their own web access to their own secure server). They then refresh their knowledge of your documents and likely talk internally about each other about how they want to proceed.

You should take the time to explain your expectations of the examination. You expect that they will coordinate all requests, of any kind, through the CCO. The CCO is their point of contact during the entire course of the exam. Provide them with the CCO name and contact details, including cell number. Request that they don’t wander around the offices unaccompanied. (This might be a good opportunity to get in front of this situation by giving them a guided tour of the office). Inform them of the hours of the Firm’s operations (which should correspond to the ADV disclosure).

If they need to come into the office at any time other than those normal operating hours, they should notify you in order to make proper arrangements. Give them instructions on how to use the phone system (Dial 9 for outgoing calls) Location of the rest rooms and give them some basic office supplies. Don’t go out of your way, just the usual materials already in the office, pens, sticky notes, pads, paper clips. Simple hospitality will go a long way. Inform them that additional document requests or follow up requests should be requested in writing and provide them with a form for such requests or an email account. This will make it easier for everyone to keep track of the follow on requests. We recommend that these helpful tips be documented in a “Welcome Kit” and left with the exam team in their conference room to avoid any confusion later on during the course of the exam.

Generally the SEC will conduct its initial interview with each person for between 30-60 minutes. It will consists of a series of questions from 2-4 examiners and there may or may not be direct involvement of the exam supervisor (who may be on site). There may also be direct involvement of an SEC subject matter expert on valuation modeling and structured credit. Occasionally but not necessarily a member of Enforcement is included – and regardless this is not reason to infer anything or panic.

Remind everyone – your firm’s people and anyone you share office space with – that they should be polite and friendly but NOT intimate. Do not engage the examiners in conversation. Or make jokes. Or let them roam your office without a member of your firm accompanying them. And no one should be discussing any firm business however benign in their presence or earshot for the duration of their visit. Firm personnel should be especially aware of conversations in common areas such as rest rooms and elevators.

The examination process is very time consuming and requires an inordinate amount of patience. Even though you have a day job or jobs, you must find the time to check in with the examiners at least once a day. Inquire if they have everything they need or whether you can respond to any questions. This establishes a good rapport and can also give you some additional insight into where the exam might be headed and when the exam might be winding down.

Saleemah Ahamed’s 15+ years of experience in the financial services industry includes Sterling Stamos Capital Management, a private investment management firm with approximately $7B billion AUM, where she was a Managing Director, supervising legal, compliance and operational matters; and American Express Bank, where she was General Counsel for the Global Investments Products group focusing on alternative investment products.

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Interviews for Top Jobs at SEC

  • Why did I want to work at the SEC?
  • How do you collaborate with others.
  • Why SEC? Why Enforcement? Why D.C.?
  • What’s the probability of getting n heads out of x coin tosses?
  • Why did you decide to go to law school?
  • Given 100 coins, one is unfair( two headed). You take a coin at randow and flip it 10 times. Every time it shows head. What is the probability that the coin is the unfair coin?
  • Why are all manholes round?
  • How many high fives would happen if 12 people in a room high-fived each other exactly once before and after a conference?
  • Describe a trapezoidal right sum and why it would be used?
  • Please describe how you overcame a challenge?
  • What type of law are you interested in practicing?
  • How much do you follow the stock market?
  • How do you work in team, how do you analyze data, tell me a situation when you deal with tough people..
  • Why are you interested in the Chicago office?
  • What is your experience, training, and how are your writing skills?
  • What is your experience, training, and how are your writing skills?
  • Discuss your relevant legal experiences?

#1: Proper Preparation is Paramount

Examiners frame their questions to learn about an individual’s experience and professional qualifications, as well as their roles and responsibilities at the firm. The SEC’s line of questioning relates to the examiners’ foremost purposes for being there – learning how an advisory firm handles its activities, workflow, and commitment to a culture of compliance to ensure that proper risk management is in place for the benefit of clients.

If you are worried about any specific issues or gray areas the SEC may find during an examination, seek counsel right away. Perhaps it’s not as big of a concern as you think, but specialized and experienced professionals can provide counsel on specific information relative to your firm the SEC will be seeking during the interview process. It’s important to gain clarity on those situations before the Staff shows up at your office door.

There is no better way to prepare than to go through a similar experience, such as a Mock SEC Examination. Clients find mock exams conducted ahead of time by experienced and knowledgeable experts to be very helpful, as it logistically, physically, and mentally prepares your team for SEC Staff. As part of our process, Jacko Law Group, PC (“JLG”) performs worst-case mock interviews where we ask clients about their potentially most troublesome areas and follow up with challenging related questions.

This examination “dry run” will familiarize clients with relevant questions before the exam and prepare them with adequate responses and references about their firm and their approach to compliance. It’s better to have designated employees field those questions from outside counsel before they’re asked by regulators. Also, in addition to the questions themselves, we ask clients what related documents they plan to provide the SEC.

Interview process at U.S. Securities and Exchange CommissionOverall experience

On a scale of 1-10 where 1 is Poor and 10 is Excellent, rating is 9.PoorExcellent

On a scale of 1-10 where 1 is Easy and 10 is Difficult, rating is 5.EasyDifficultInterview process lengthMore than one month31%About a day or two23%About a week15%About two weeks15%About a month15%Most reported stepsBackground check69%Phone call/screening62%On-site interview62%Group interview31%Written test8%Least reported stepsPresentation0%They have no interview0%Other0%

What was your interview with U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission like?Your insights will help other jobseekers.

  • Other online job site33 %
  • Employee referral27 %
  • Recruiter contacted me20 %
  • Other13 %
  • Through Indeed7 %


How long is the SEC hiring process?

The hiring process at SEC takes an average of 41 days when considering 159 user submitted interviews across all job titles. Candidates applying for Legal had the quickest hiring process (on average 11 days), whereas Internship roles had the slowest hiring process (on average 59 days).

What are the likely interview questions for a secretary?

Common Secretary Interview Questions & Answers
  • Question: Why did you apply for this secretarial/administrative position? …
  • Question: What do you think are the most important skills a secretary should have? …
  • Question: What are your main motivations to succeed at work? …
  • Question: What are your main strengths and weaknesses?

How do I pass a security officer interview?

Tips for a school secretary interview
  1. Practice interviewing. Reach out to a friend or family member to practice answering some common interview questions included in this article. …
  2. Wear a professional outfit. …
  3. Bring hard copies of your resume and cover letter. …
  4. Prepare thoughtful questions to ask the employer. …
  5. Follow up.

How do I prepare for a school secretary interview?

Tips for a school secretary interview
  1. Practice interviewing. Reach out to a friend or family member to practice answering some common interview questions included in this article. …
  2. Wear a professional outfit. …
  3. Bring hard copies of your resume and cover letter. …
  4. Prepare thoughtful questions to ask the employer. …
  5. Follow up.

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