Strange call with Investigator for Public Trust Suitability

I had a strange call with the investigator responsible for my suitability “interview” and I could use some advice. Investigator said they were calling for my clearance (when it’s public trust) and said it was because I had been fired in my job history. He requested an in person interview, but then stated I was not obligated to participate despite hounding me to chose and date and time and agree to a place to meet. I was really confused by the conversation. They said we’d be going through my entire SF86 application.

Is this normal? I’ve been contracting for a few years now and this is the first time I was asked to meet in person for public trust suitability. I also think it’s odd that I was told I was not obligated to meet with him. Does anyone know what that might mean?

Investigators don’t do adjudication. Public trust interviews are not uncommon. Telling you the reason why you need an interview is uncommon and also against policy. We always try to get you to meet in-person, but there are certain circumstances where you can request phone or virtual interviews instead. Sounds like you have a very confused investigator.


I agree with 721. I also think you were being argumentative with the investigator. This is a normal process you go through. The investigator should not have given you a reason for the interview. The interview is part of the process. The investigator is correct that this is a voluntary process, and he or she isn’t going to force you to cooperate with a process that benefits you. It sounds like the investigator used an odd pitch to you, and you argued.


Honestly, I wasn’t argumentative as much as I was confused. He used words like “initial clearance” when it was supposed to be public trust suitability, so I was asking questions about process and next steps (especially since I had not done an in person interview before). I even provided my availability first and agreed to the location when he specified that I didn’t have to participate, like it was elective. I also didn’t ask why the interview was necessary, the details were shared outright also causing confusion on my end because they wouldn’t specify what part of my employment history they were referring to.

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my argumentative comment was an assumption, but in retrospect too far of a reach, my apologies.

Sounds like a new and inexperienced investigator to me.


Perfectly normal. No major oddities here. Pretty standard. Sounds like partly misunderstanding and slight miscommunication.