Phone interviews are back!

Phone interviews are back! Good? Bad? Ugly? Discuss.

Anecdotal but was recently interviewed as a reference for another persons investigation. Was offered in-person or over the phone. Figured the phone would save us both a commute.

Felt so superficial and impersonal that they might as well just send email questionnaires instead. I’d personally and professionally feel more comfortable and secure if people being interviewed were having face to face contact either over zoom or in-person.

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The rule makers must be off their meds or the lawyers are at it again. First it’s ok to do phone interviews. Then they change it and make phone interviews so taboo you’re practically one step away from prison if you do a phone interview. Now phone is ok again. They are out of their ever loving minds.

Oh and then there’s the Privacy Act that’s as long as your arm and you read it right before you open up the case papers and rip through every part of a persons life practically down to their underwear… oh but you have privacy because I just read you a mile long statement telling you that you have privacy. Ding Dong Ding Dong Anybody Home?


I find it hilarious how much back and forth the policy makers have with phone interviews, a few months ago the source practically had to be dying in the hospital to do it over the phone….don’t get me wrong tho, it makes the job much easier.


In theory in person interviews make the most sense, these are issues of National security. In reality you drive 45 minutes to meet someone at a Starbucks who barely knows the subject, didnt really supervise them or live next door to them like they said, and it’s a giant waste of time and resources. Subject interviews should be in person but most sources should be via telephone unless issues are expected


45 minute drive? In my western metro area, that is a daily one way trip, several times.

Last Monday, I drove over six hours round trip to interview a former supervisor for a remote working Subject because of the silliness of no telephone interviews. While six hours is not daily, in my area, it is not unusual since we cover areas in three states and two time zones.Thursday was a 4.5 hour round trip with no other items in that area. We’re down a couple agents in my humble org. The real humdinger is that other areas think we need the work or send extensions “with their SAC’s permission”.

My area has not been low on work in over 21 years, even during covid.

The phone/VTC interviews were a great tool for the remote simple TESIs and source interviews.

Wow…you folks must have “super secret access” to information about this change. I have not seen anything from the 2 prime contractors - and only see a subtle wording change in one of the note-taking guides posted (with no explanation about any change).

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Yeah I haven’t seen any new guidance either.

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The “new” guidance is only new to Peraton because Peraton is always 18 to 24 mos behind the old guidance. However supposedly Monday DCSA is dropping new telephone guidance that will probably contain five or ten different points all contradicting each other and so convoluted that no matter what you do it’s wrong. Just another day in the life…

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No wonder they cancelled the town hall at PERATON today regarding telephone testimony.

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It did seem weird that Peraton scheduled a town hall on Wednesday and then cancelled it on Thursday. It’s always been a business run by juvenile monkey clowns with no concept of anyone else’s time. I"m not sure why I keep expecting things to change.


I hear stuff and then someone comments that it’s the contractors that can’t keep up with the contract they bid on. I don’t work for any of them and the one I work for has said nothing, nada, zip regarding it being OK to do phone interviews. However, I do call people and ask for an in-person and they say “well, the last investigator I spoke to offered to do it by phone.”

Our SL got ahead of the curve and told us what’s coming down the pike. Guidance hasn’t been released. But it’s coming. All FI’S with our co. will have Zoom licenses and be able to sit on their asses and do work like during the bs lockdowns. I’m looking to OCT surprise causing more. But then again, I’m not a fan of overreach. My opinion is that no ESI or TESI should be done other than in person except a 4/5R with zero issues or a 2/3 with THC use. Otherwise, in person. But they haven’t asked me. The fact were unable to add observations to these interviews makes what we do very lacking. If we’re truly investigating we should be giving what we observe.


What company do you work for? The company I work for also gave a teaser about upcoming telephone and said more details forthcoming. DCSA must be preparing for the 2024 election pandemic.


It appears because there is a backlog again with this DCSA work so DCSA will “conveniently” go back to the use of the telephone. Do you see the irony in all of this? Think about it for a second…

It never really was about quality like they always say. It’s about reducing the backlog. Meeting deadlines.

This whole thing in my opinion is a big charade because I’ve also heard that if they can reduce the backlog by telephone in six months, then they’ll go back to in person interviews.

This is terribly schizophrenic. And it’s not just DCSA. It’s DHS, Department of State, and many others. Think about how confused the general public is by our approaches to conduct interviews…

“The last five people I did this with did it by phone.” “Now you are telling me this needs to be done in person?” And vice versa.

How about this question? Are we conducting national security work or not?


Once interviews start being conducted by phone and video, we will never go back into the field. They will be too happy with the timeliness on the federal side, and on the contractor side, they will be rolling in revenue. Just my opinion.


I think a hybrid is more likely for the foreseeable future currently but I can see completely telephonic and electronic video interviews exclusively two years from now. I would tend to agree and lean in that direction.

The DOS is conducting their background investigations entirely by video, telephone, fax, and e-mail. They want primarily video interviews on Teams. Problem is it takes more effort to schedule a video teams interview than just to drive across town and interview the reference or conduct a telephone interview. You have to prep the source, advise them how Teams works, have them create a hotmail or outlook account to use Teams, etc. Imagine a 65-75 year old person or source we need to interview and trying to figure out how to use Teams video conferencing. It’s a joke. This whole entire industry has become schizophrenic and delusional. No reinvestigations. Let’s just rely upon the public to self report? :man_shrugging:t2::man_facepalming:t2::joy: Unreal!

And don’t get me started on the lack of issue resolution we get from video and telephone interviews to include Subject Interviews and record reviews.

We did phone interviews for nearly three years, cleared the backlog, got sent back into the field, the backlog grew, back to phone to clear it, then they’ll send us back into the field, then there will be a backlog……


If Subjects were asked their preference phone or in person interview what percentage would want each? I’m thinking 80 percent in person.

Disagree. In my area, nearly everyone would choose phone.