How to become a spy

Becoming a Spy

The first thing you must realize if you are going to become a spy is that the things you see spies doing in films and on television or read about in novels are not even slightly realistic.

1. You will not kill people.
2. You will not drive fast cars.
3. You will not seduce attractive foreigners.
4. You will not defuse bombs with only seconds to spare.
5. For many intelligence roles you probably won’t even get a gun.

This is not what being a spy is about.

James Bond and Jason Bourne don’t exist.

The work of the agent in the Intelligence Department is on the whole extremely monotonous. A lot of it is uncommonly useless.

Intelligence agencies have lots of other roles besides being a spy (Intelligence officer). Translators, analysts, and IT work are less glamorous, but just as important.

Basic Requirements

Basic requirements to become a spy

• Don’t get in trouble with the law.
• Don’t do drugs.
• Go to university.
• Be ready to travel.
• Be a citizen of your country and so must the rest of your close family.

So those are the basic criteria. But getting a job in intelligence is very competitive. The CIA alone receives more than 10,000 applications a month.

Some things that might help

Learn a foreign language. Preferably, the language of your country’s enemies.

• Do some sports, it looks good on your CV.
• Don’t tell your friends you’re applying. If you can’t keep your friends unaware, then you aren’t going to make it.
• Show you can work long hours. Get a job that demonstrates your discipline and commitment. Being a spy is not a 9-5 job.
• Show leadership. Military service might be an advantage here or some other leadership position.
• Keep out of debt. Some debt is okay, but don’t show any sign of financial irresponsibility, you could be vulnerable to pressure or bribery.
• Don’t hide anything. If you dabbled with drugs once or have a minor conviction they will find out, and if you try to hide it they will think you’re unreliable and untrustworthy.

The Application Process

The application process for an intelligence officer position is much like that for any job, with rounds of interviews and tests. There is though one big difference: extensive checks into your character, reliability and judgement called the background check.

It builds a complete a picture of you to make sure you won’t be a security risk. This to make sure that nothing in your life will make you vulnerable to bribery or blackmail.

You will have to show and give evidence of your:

• Family background
• Drug use and any other addictions (e.g. gambling)
• Mental health
• Finances
• Political views
• Travel to foreign countries
• Identity Documents
• Marriage/partnership documents
• References for employment, education and character
• Bills
• Bank, savings, loans and other credit details accounts


Referees are people who have known you well for a major part of your life. Bear in mind that the intelligence agency will interview all of your referees, and the interviews are in-depth and interrogative. Make sure your referees know you well enough to answer the questions.



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