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FAQ

How hard to get security clearance?
You are not going to get any useful answers Gary E Gillam unless you prsome context. For example, the answer to your basic question in these different scenarios is wildly different:You are a 21-year old US citizen with a very clean background who has been hired by a defense contractor and put in for a US DOD Confidential clearance.You are a 47-year old US citizen who has traveled internationally extensively, worked overseas for a number of years, has many foreign friends and colleagues, has lived in 10 different place in recent years, has a poor credit rating with past bankruptcies, has multiple offenses on their criminal record, and wants to get a US DOD Secret clearance.You are a non-US citizen applying for an Intel Community Top Secret/SCI clearance.Person 1 can probably get a clearance easily.Person 2 is not likely to get any clearance.Person 3’s chances are slim to none.If you are asking generally how “hard” it is to get a clearance, then the answer is “it depends.” If you have a specific scenario that you can describe (in the comments section), you can probably get a much more useful answer.
How does one get invited to the Quora Partner Program? What criteria do they use, or is it completely random?
I live in Germany. I got an invite to the Quora partner program the day I landed in USA for a business trip. So from what I understand, irrespective of the number of views on your answers, there is some additional eligibility criteria for you to even get an email invite.If you read the terms of service, point 1 states:Eligibility. You must be located in the United States to participate in this Program. If you are a Quora employee, you are eligible to participate and earn up to a maximum of $200 USD a month. You also agree to be bound by the Platform Terms (https://www.quora.com/about/tos) as a condition of participation.Again, if you check the FAQ section:How can other people I know .participate?The program is invite-only at this time, but we intend to open it up to more people as time goes on.So my guess is that Quora is currently targeting people based out of USA, who are active on Quora, may or may not be answering questions frequently ( I have not answered questions frequently in the past year or so) and have a certain number of consistent answer views.Edit 1: Thanks to @Anita Scotch, I got to know that the Quora partner program is now available for other countries too. Copying Anuta’s comment here:If you reside in one of the Countries, The Quora Partner Program is active in, you are eligible to participate in the program.” ( I read more will be added, at some point, but here are the countries, currently eligible at this writing,) U.S., Japan, Germany, Spain, France, United Kingdom, Italy and Australia.11/14/2018Edit 2 : Here is the latest list of countries with 3 new additions eligible for the Quora Partner program:U.S., Japan, Germany, Spain, France, United Kingdom, Italy, Canada, Australia, Indonesia, India and Brazil.Thanks to Monoswita Rez for informing me about this update.
Why didn't Kushner have his attorney fill out his security clearance forms correctly the first time?
I think number one, was that Jared Kushner does not want to fill out the questionaire completely. He knew he had a, ahem, troubled past and that past would flag his application. Two, you have to fill it out, ultimately, yourself. You must certify, under penalty of perjury, it is true and correct. The lawyer could not know for sure what is “true and correct” except by taking Jared Kushner’s word for it. Third, I am not sure it requires a lawyer. The form is straight forward, you tell them what they want to know. There is no negotiation and there is no strategy (unlike tax forms, for instance, where what you do can reduce your taxes.) For a clearance, you tell them what they want to know. Obfuscation is not a legal option. I filled out one and it was a long time ago but it wasn’t that hard. Unless you have a problem!
What was the biggest lie you caught in an interview?
I was temping for a recruitment agency ironically to help screen my replacement who would start permanently. I had worked for this company before in different roles and they had been really happy with my work before, and I came with excellent references from previous employers, so they entrusted me to do all the required checks - call references, make sure everything on her CV was true, call a few of her listed references.Now, I didn’t interview the candidate myself, nor was I present when they did, but I did overhear a lot of talk and the managers were super impressed with this new candidate’s drive - she said all the right things, had all the right experience, and I did meet her to show her into the interview room and around the office and she seemed friendly and nice enough. She had the job, we were just waiting for her DBS checks and checking her references.However, as I began calling her references, it painted a confusing picture. She’d said she’d worked at a lot of places longer than she had ‡ sometimes years longer. A few I wasn’t able to get a hold of ‡ they had gone out of business years ago and no matter how I searched, I couldn’t find any way of contacting them to verify. Still, HR were happy to hire her since she seemed competent, but asked me to do more research and call *all* her references rather than cherry-pick a few.One of her big references had no idea who she was. The rest did and were fine. One previous employer gave an utterly glowing review, but the others were sub-par. Still, there were a few references to go.While I was waiting for the last references to get back to me, on a hunch, I looked her up on Facebook. Lo and behold, I saw her statuses on her public profile bitching about how incompetent we all were. She was itching to start because it was a high-paying job, and she had only planned to take it for a few months so she could save up to finally go travelling in a few months.In the interview she said she had wanted to stay for many years and progress and help build the company. No mention of wanting to travel at all.Additionally the employer who gave the glowing review was a friend of hers who owned her own business. Said friend also left a comment implying she had only said she worked there to help her case, so she may not have worked there at all, and even if she had, her one glowing reference was her best friend. Not all that reliable.Worse still, she had some choice things to say about each and every employee, including management. She said I was ditsy and dense and probably dragging this out so I could keep ‘her job‡ and called the area manager a ‘fat freak’, and claimed the other manager leered at her crudely and obviously wanted to grope her and the first thing she would do is slap him with a sexual harassment complaint to keep him away from her. The guy was gay, with a civil partner (gay marriage hadn’t been sorted out then so it was known as civil partnership). However, the worst was *still* yet to come. She had sneaked photos of us and posted them with nasty captions.See, this wasn’t just any employment agency. It specialised in filling roles which required security clearance. Cameras, and phones with cameras, had to be left at reception since we handled sensitive data. We were *not* allowed to take them in. In fact they often outright banned all mobile phones just in case (this was back in the days before every phone had a camera). We could collect them on our lunch break and use them in the cafeteria, but nowhere else.So, I had to show this to the hiring managers. The candidate was called in and told to take the photos down. She’s lucky she wasn’t arrested ‡ she easily could have been. She was made to do it while management looked on. Then she was escorted out and told her application had been rejected.The better part is I decided to check her Facebook profile after‡ and it was full of her pissing and moaning about how she was wrongfully terminated and she was going to sue. She said that I had obviously lied so I could take her job. Still on a public profile! However, the department manager replied to her comment telling her she was welcome to do so, but doing so might force them to slap her with criminal charges for the photos she took, so if she wanted to, that was fine, but to be aware that the odds were not in her favour.
How should I negotiate salary while switching jobs?
My friends often seek my advice on quiting job and negotiating salary. I have helped many! I have quit my job way too many times and my last change was with a 95% hike! So here’s how I go about it.When it comes to salary, most of the times, it’s that one HR recruiter who decides your pay. You have to rip her (almost always, her) confidence apart right in the interview room.How you project yourself :- Wear decent cloths, not superfluous. Business casual is perfect. I don’t wear full sleeves for interviews. Learn to project yourself as I-mean-business guy than I-need-a-job junkie. You said you have good language skills, use every sentence to impress your HR recruiter. Business idioms are best to grab her attention. Use your body language as well. If you are sitting across the table, lean forward, keep both your elbows on the table. Be mindful of your body language. Do these help you get a better salary? No, it’s just for an impression.Skills - most important thing :- If you are unskilled, nothing would save you, Period! You mentioned that you know some advanced technology. Fair enough! Do you have something to show off on your github? Have you created something of your own? Do you have a contribution to some popular tools? Do you have a technology blog? Have you won some tech challenges? Have you highlighted all this, whatever applicable, on the front page of your resume?Remember, only you will see your potential, ie, what you are capable of doing, everyone else judge you by what you’ve already done! Sad truth. So get some shit done! No excuses here.Don’t ask for a job, go sell yourself :- This might sound clichéd, but very important. The difference is, when you walk into the interview room, do you feel you desperately need that job? Failure! You should think why this company should be desperate to hire you. It must be so. To make this point clear - every HR interview begins with a bit of suffocation. And the plot is that the company is selling a job, you are there to buy it. You’ve gotta flip that! You’re selling something hot and the company would benefit from it. Funda of sales! So turn it around!But in the beginning, she is psychologically at a higher level and you’re at bottom - that’s how it’s staged. Rip off your HR interviewer’s confidence. There are many ways. For example, she would probably talk about the work-life balance at her company and how you could benefit from that! You might want to say ‘wonderful!‡ Don’t! Listen intently, patiently until she stops, then ask her - ‘Every other company has this to offer, tell me something that makes you outstanding? I’m curious!‡ Say that with wide-open eyes. Your goal is to bring her down! Be cautious to be polite! Research her company's competitors, and find out what, where they lack. Use them against her to put her under pressure. Listen so intently that you should find something to use against her. This will work in your favor.Speak, speak, speak :- HR recruiters follow 80–20 rule. She speaks 20%, you 80%! Use it wisely. Inflate your profile. First bring her down to your level (psychological), then go above her! Ask all sort of questions. You want to know everything about your prospectus employer! Watch her struggle to answer your genuine questions that you would like to know of her company and the opportunities once you join them. You should invoke a guilt in her that this qualified chap has other better options, better companies than the one she represents. The more you put her under pressure, the more you get out of the interview.After this, when she takes the conversation to your salary expectation, be bold and ask, like you’re worth it. Be clear about your expectations. If you're not bold, it’s easy for her to negotiate. You should ask the maximum her company can give the best candidate for the job you’re applying. If she refuses and asks if that’s negotiable, tell her you may consider that. This is only for not getting rejected right away, just in case what you asked for is impossible. But don’t ever settle for less. Your goal here is to get the offer, whatsoever.Negotiation :- If you get an offer letter with less than what you expected, reject it. Don’t give reasons. If you get what you asked for, reject anyway. Your goal here is, get her coming back to you. Tell her, while you were waiting for her offer, you got a better one. But you would still like to join her company (for all that work-life balance and shit), if she could reconsider your package! If she asks you to disclose the new offer, just remind her that all offer letters are confidential. Tell her that you’re still interested in her offer. Now you have turned the game upside down. You are selling yourself, she’s the buyer! Well done!Go shopping :- Once you have an offer, go shopping with it! You’re on the safer side. Ask for more, just walk in the interview room and demand. Be ready to walk away, too. Tell them, buy me for what I sell you for, I’m on my way to glory!I declined my Accenture job offer with one word in the reply email - ‘Rejected.‡ I got a call from HR in 10 minutes. Now, at this moment, she was asking me to reconsider, and I was to decide. This is how you flip it.However, I had my toughest negotiation with Accenture HR. We were struggling to conclude and I hang up the phone saying ‘You decide the best you can and let me know, you will have my final answer in 10 minutes.‡ I assumed I was out of the game, but I got an amended offer letter. We compromised - both of us, and I accepted that offer. After few days of my joining, using ‘thank a colleague‡ portal, I sent her a ‘thanks‡ to let her know she was impossible!Disclaimer :- Be extremely cautious to be polite and soft-spoken! You by no means offend the HR recruiter. Be curious with every question you ask. Also, this may not always work. If you’re applying a job at amazon and the likes, don’t play this! Be responsible for what you get in return. Reject some offer anyway! Feel awesome that way (like a boss)! She may ask you to leave the room, expect that as well! But try again! If you don’t risk it, you ain’t gonna win it.
In an interview with ABC, Ivanka Trump claims she and Jared Kushner had 'zero' special treatment from her father in regard to security clearance. How is clearance normally given and how did it differ here?
In an interview with ABC, Ivanka Trump claims she and Jared Kushner had 'zero' special treatment from her father in regard to security clearance. How is clearance normally given and how did it differ here?Normally, when someone in the White House needs security clearance, the process starts with filling out a ton of forms. These forms are reviewed by security officers within the FBI who then assign agents to verify information and to dig into your background using the information provided. Once the information is collected, a manager in the White House's Personnel Security Office reviews the information and makes a recommendation. This manager’s recommendation is then reviewed and approved or denied by their supervisor - who can only be over-ridden by the President or his Chief of Staff.In this case, the manager in the White House's Personnel Security Office was Tricia Newbold. She claims that she and her co-workers had 25 of her recommendations overridden by her manager and she filed an EEOC discrimination complaint against him (she has a physical disability) and then a whistle blower complaint. Prior to this, she was suspended for two weeks without pay less than a week after a leak to NBC from her office (since this is a personnel matter, the White House will comment on why she was suspended).The supervisor, Carl Kline, has accepted another position at the Defense Department and has been subpoenaed by Congress. What we don’t know is how unusual it is to override security recommendations 25 times. Other than anecdotal evidence, all we can say for certain is that it has happened in the Clinton, Bush, and Obama administrations, as well as in the Trump administration. Mr. Kline’s attorney has stated that the approvals were not done at the request of the President.So, while we have a general idea what happened, we don’t know much for sure. We know that standard protocols were followed, but do not know why the 25 clearance denials were over-ridden or even if this is unusual.White House whistleblower says she felt humiliated after retaliation from boss
How did you learn to fill out a job application?
First you must be truthful. Look at your assets, what do you do best, then look at what the future employer’s needs and fit the two together as best you can. On any job application or any correspondence try to master the King’s English to your very best ability. This is especially important if the new job requires communication interfacing with other people outside your company.
What is the security clearance process?
It depends on the country, the agency with authority, and the level of clearance needed.Generally, an applicant will be identified as needing a clearance for some reason.  (A standard rule of security, as applied to clearances is that of "need to know.")  The applicant will fill out one or more forms providing background information, biographical information, and so on.  Fingerprints and/or other biometrics may also be collected. In the US, this also usually includes a release form to allow sensitive information to be reviewed.The information in the forms is checked against databases -- usually criminal databases, military databases, etc.  Investigators may collect other information from medical sources, schools, financial institutions, etc.   Interviews may be conducted with current and former co-workers, neighbors, teachers, and family members.  The number of interviews probably depends on the level of clearance sought and any indications from background checks. The applicant will also be interviewed, and possibly subjected to a polygraph to verify information.The investigation is intended to find indications of past bad behavior that might suggest future rule-breaking, signs of instability (mental, financial, etc), associations with criminals or foreign nationals, drug or alcohol use, political extremism, or anything that might be used for blackmail.  Depending on the agency and level involved, other things may be checked for.After all of the information is collected, one or more trained individuals review the record, score the information that was collected, and make a decision.  This is called "adjudication."In the US, the candidate is then asked to read various documents about the process, sign agreements, and take an oath of office.  The applicant may also undergo counter-intelligence instruction about how to protect information and resist being tricked into revealing information.The process is likely different in different countries, and some steps may be left out or done in a different order depending on the type of clearance and background of the applicant. For instance, in the US, there are differences depending on whether the clearance is for Secret, Top Secret, or includes SI, and different if it is DOD, DOE, the FBI, or others.
Is what Trump Jr. did simply an example of ‘bad optics,‡ or was his meeting with that Russian lawyer unquestionably an illegal action?
Just to preface my answer so it is not perceived as partisan: To say that I am no fan of the Trump administration and its campaign tactics would be a severe understatement, even though I am in favor of some (precious few) of their initiatives.Frankly, the opposition (and especially the press) should be (or at least be starting to be) feeling embarrassed to make such a big deal out of DT Jr’s communications with the Russians (if this was indeed Russian Government sponsored, which is really not in evidence at all - the association is nothing but innuendo). This is beginning to sound as ridiculous as the Benghazi outcries at every right-wing-nut gathering did during the Obama administration.The implication of the current coverage and hand-wringing is that the validity of opposition-research information is dependent not on its veracity, but on the nature of its source. This concept is applicable to evidence within a court of law as a means to discourage prosecutors from using illegal evidence collection methods. In the political arena, it is a cynical conflation of issues.Political campaigns are and have always been more about showing the Public that your opponent is unfit than about showing them that you are the most fit for the office contested. None of us is happy with this, but this is just the way it is. Seeking existing information from ANY source is fair game. Engaging a questionable source to dig up or concoct such information, as in “yo Vlad! please get your hackers to comb through HRC’s e-mail records and give me something embarrassing or illegal” is NOT fair game, but that is not what is in play in the current discussion.Can anyone believe that the HRC campaign, were they to have received damning information about Trump from the devil himself would have refrained from using it? Can anyone believe they would not even have wanted to see what the information was?Let’s do a little thought experiment: let’s say Dennis Rodman (a buddy of Kim Jong Un) had approached Marc Mezvinsky (HRC’s son in-law) and dropped a hint that he had damning evidence that would severely tarnish DT, to the point that even his true believers would disown him. Would Chelsey Clinton have said “Oh no! we just can’t even explore the information, because whether it is true or not, the source might be associated with someone who is just too repulsive”? I would wager that anyone that is not as mindlessly committed to HRC as DT’s core supporters are to him will almost instantly conclude the answer is a resounding NO.Let’s grow up and develop at least a semblance of fairness in our views and actions. There is plenty that is objectionable about Trump and his band of kleptocrats. Raising holy hell about speculative, poorly supported non-issues only serves to erode the opposition’s credibility. It just feeds into the “Fake News” meme. Better to wait until the Special Counsel Robert Mueller finishes his investigation and publishes his report. Chances are there will be plenty of legitimate evidence of Trump’s venality (else DT would not be trying to discredit Mueller and the FBI in advance).As the old saying goes, “keep your powder dry and hold your fire until you see the whites of their eyes”. Ignore this and not only are you telegraphing weakness and lack of discipline, your musket will be empty at precisely the time when it would have been most useful. Chances are you will not have time to reload before the next news cycle.