NSA hiring process after accepting CJO

I was applying for NSA SWE position.
I’ve already accepted CJO and completed the security form in CESP 2 months ago.
I just received an email from CESP yesterday said that my Investigative Questionnaire was Approved.
What is the next step on my application process and how long should it takes?


Not sure what CESP is but once your forms are accepted they should start doing the investigation, which consists of investigators going out and talking to people as well as some online database checks.

NSA has a lot of info on their careers website, have you checked that out? It might be rolled into the general IC jobs site now.

CESP means Candidate Experience Security Portal.
I completed the SF 86 security form on the CESP.


Aha so they dont use the same eqip site…?

Pretty sure NSA goes through eQIP for SF86.

What is eQIP? I’ve already filled the SF86 through CESP. The recruiter didn’t mention anything about e-QIP.

They do, at least they did a year and a half ago.

Think of it as an online SF-86. Most people (at least DoD or agencies which use DCSA to do their investigations) go to a single eQIP site, but maybe NSA hosts their own site within this CESP portal.

Many years ago they started migrating to online systems as opposed to paper forms. But about 5-6 years ago there was a security breach at OPM (which used to do background investigations) and some agencies stopped using that online site and went back to hardcopy forms for a while.

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But do you know how long will it takes after my form SF86 was accepted? Will they call me for an interview or the people that I put their information in the SF86?

How long will it take? Who knows. But an investigator will certainly want to meet with you. As for references, sometimes the investigators develop their own leads and do not contact the people you listed on your forms.

I’m in the same boat. My SF86 was accepted after 3 weeks submitted. I also was asked for more information via email, and I also provided all documents that I was asked for.
It’s been 4 weeks since my SF86 was accepted but I didn’t receive any updates so far.
None of my references (including me) have been contacted, too. And I’m also still waiting for a polygraph or Psychological testing. No clue how much longer I need to wait.

You will wait for as long as they want you to. My SF86 for NSA was accepted at the beginning of June 2021. I’m pretty sure I’m a special case because I lived in the Middle East for three years but I think you should expect to wait nevertheless. I think it’s best to go on with your life as normal. I hope this isn’t discouraging. All their literature and webinars consistently say it takes one year to get hired. Best of luck.


What was your timeline after applying, interviewing and receiving your CJO?

Can’t speak to his timeline, but for me it wasn’t too long after I applied that I was asked to complete the HireVue interview. After that it took about 3-4 months to get my CJO, but the holidays were in the middle of that, which may have added some time.

My Equip(they do have their own site separate from the one that other agencies use for those of you asking about it before) was accepted not long after I submitted it, and I haven’t heard anything since, aside from a team member reaching out to ask if I had any questions.


Insightful. Thank you.

Applied in April 2022,
took a technical test on campus in early May 22,
interviewed via hireview June 22,
CJO in early Aug 22,
completed SF86 in Sep 22,
heard from BI in late Nov 22,
was asked to supply more info on foreign contact/financial form, and other stuff (total about 290 pages or so) in early March 23,
security interview and poly psych in late April 23.

While you are waiting, I suggest you gathering all necessary document for your BI and security interview:
Birth certificate, graduation transcripts, old expired passport and current passport, or foreign passports, employment history and things that can prove your unemployment (if it is applicable, such as unemployment benefit collection , because it will be a good supporting document to show you were not fired but was let go due to job cut or whatever…) find lease agreements of places you ever rented/lived throughout your life (yes, I mean throughout your life! Not just the past 7 years, if you don’t recall at least try to jog your member the best you can). Writing down unusual things you encountered during your foreign trips (again since you were born), make sure all of your friends/references know someone from DoD will contact them so they need to listen to their VM in case BI leaves a VM for them.

If you happened to see a psych before or current are seeing one, maybe you can bring the notes with you during your psych eval.

While we are waiting we can do a lot of prep work so help them help ourselves.

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Here is the final update: TS/SCI with FS poly.
9 months cleared from submitting SF86 to fully cleared.

April 2022 applied

May 22 technical test

June 22 virtual interview

Aug 22 CJO

Sep 22 submitted SF86

Late Nov 22 interviewed with BI

March 23 more forms to submit to the security team

April 23 security interview and poly plus psych

June 23 second poly

June received a SEAD exception letter

July FJO, EOD in August

I was TS/SCI Ci poly eligible a decade ago, naturalized citizen, family (parents and a sibling) in a friendly country (however that doesn’t matter as I was told per SEAD 4 I am still not qualified).

I have to say my prior clearance document was very helpful, especially this agency asked my travel experience in my entire life (not after 18, but whole life). Due to the prior clearance process, I actually have a lot of document ready for my security interview this time (transcript, prior unemployment benefit collection record, original birth certificate translated by court in the birth country, marriage certificate, etc.)

Additionally, I believe if the senior manager in the operation side in your element really wants you, they will find a way to get you on board, either to give you more opportunity to explain yourself or to agree to vouch for you (hence the SEAD 4 exception letter.)

Good luck to everyone. I am grateful for this board to help me shed some lights in the process.

Ps. I don’t have any red flag, no marijuana use in the past 15 years, nor DUI or any criminal charges, finance is doing pretty well (significant amount of net asset, showing I have more interests in the U.S. than my birth country), as well as for my employment history (longevity with the same employer.) I did travel often with my direct family( like at least every other year but there were years I traveled four times to across Asia, Latin America, and Europe.) However, before my interview I make sure I mark up my passport (with a pencil) so it was easier for me to go through my history with the security officer)


For the BI portion they will call. At one point I was actually picking up all of the strange phone numbers…:joy: (imagine all of the scam and telemarketing calls!) finally when I got a call from my investigator, I was like “ where have you been? I have been waiting for you! “

Other communication directly from NSA are all via either cryptic email or regular email route. I have tried to talk to my recruiter on the phone but he has never responded to that. I am wondering if that’s because they want to ensure everything is documented.


Congrats on the good news!!

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Thank you! I have been reading your posts too! Keep us posted!