Could You Be a Spy?

By: Zoe Samuel
Estimated Completion Time
5 min
Could You Be a Spy?
Image: PeopleImages/DigitalVision/GettyImages

About This Quiz

Spies have been a feature of statecraft since the dawn of civilization. Some spies are little more than scouts, while other spies infiltrate the highest levels of an enemy's state, private, and military apparatus, subverting systems to obtain information that will help the state that employs them.

Strictly speaking, we'll be using the popular definition of "spy" rather than the literal one. The popular definition is that of a secret agent like James Bond, working for their home state, cultivating contacts and obtaining intelligence. The actual definition of the term "spy" is not Bond per se, but the people Bond gets to betray their own nations. For our purposes, however, a spy is more the Bond or Bourne model of secret agent working directly for a state entity.

In the United States, spies come in many flavors. There are the traditional CIA spies who look outside of the U.S. to our enemies and rivals abroad, spying on Russia, the Taliban, etc. There is the FBI, who conduct spy operations on criminal organizations like the mafia, within the USA. Then there are intelligence officers who work for the Department of Defense, who may work directly with sources in the field, allies, or enemies, to obtain intelligence. Aside from these, there are industrial spies, who work for corporations, stealing the secrets of their competitors.

Do you have the skills needed for one of these careers? Take this quiz to find out!

Are you a quick study?
As fast as they come
Sometimes I need my time to get up to speed.
Not really. Give me a few months, or years.
When needed

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Are you willing to upend your life for your career?
To a point
Not too much
Not at all
Of course

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Are you willing to do unsavory things in the name of a higher cause?
I'll do anything.
Not really
Only if I can look really cool doing it
If that's what's required of me

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How important is money to you?
It's my main motivator.
I just need enough to get by.
It's fairly important.
It's not important.

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How do you feel about lying?
I'd be lying if I said I had a problem with it.
I can probably do big lies, and that's all.
I prefer to think of it as acting.
I will do it if I have to.

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How empathetic are you?
I'm a bit sociopathic.
About average, I guess
I'm very good at getting into the head of a character.
I'm pretty good with people.

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What is your drug use history?
I've messed around with a couple of things, but nothing serious.
I'm clean.
I love me some horse.
I tried some stuff in college, but I don't use anything you could call recreational anymore.

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What is the worst harm you've done to another human being?
I killed a guy. Just kidding, whoever is listening!
I lied to a dear friend once.
I stole some money from my parents.
I stranded someone because a bigger responsibility came up.

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How were your grades in college?
I got straight A's. I broke into the program office's computer and changed them myself.
I was at the top of my class.
College? Ha! I went to UCB.
Above average, but nothing spectacular.

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How are you with DIY?
OK, but not great
Not good at all
I don't even know what that is.
I can build a lot of things out of spare parts, if that's what you mean.

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How many languages do you speak?
Three
10
One
Five

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Do you have any hand-to-hand training?
Just knives
God, no
Capoeira baby!
Jujutsu, escrima, kali, yeah.

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What weapon do you know how to use?
Butterfly knives
My mind!
Magic hammers!
Plenty. I maxed out my time in grade and had to retire from being a Navy SEAL.

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How hip to foreign cultures are you?
I know a lot about China.
I've studied the languages and cultures of several foreign countries.
I've been to Mexico twice.
I've lived all over the world, blending in as a local as much as I could.

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Do you have any history of insubordination?
Occasionally... heh, heh
Nothing worth worrying about
I clocked my high school English teacher for making fun of me.
Only enough to show I can think for myself

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Would you die for your country?
No way. Sorry.
I suppose I would.
If I could do it in a glorious way, like piloting a nuke into the sun
Absolutely

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Would you betray your country in a small way for say, thirty million dollars?
Yes. Done. Where do I sign?
No. That's an abomination.
Betray? How exactly?
No. I'd sooner die.

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Have you ever talked your way out of a traffic ticket?
Many times
No, since I've never gotten one.
No, but not for lack of trying.
Yes, but only one time, since I rarely get ticketed.

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What is it about espionage that you look forward to the most?
The perks
Learning cool facts
The babes, the toys, the cool cars! Take your pick.
Being told I made the world a better place for America

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What were you doing for a living before considering a career in intelligence?
I worked for a major consultancy.
I worked as a data scientist.
I'm a recording artist with a Patreon account.
I was a soldier.

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How up to date are you on global events?
I keep up on the business section.
I have a carefully set up RSS feed.
Who cares about that stuff?
I read three newspapers over the course of the morning.

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How conversant are you on the subject of business?
Very. I know all the major players, their goals, their weaknesses, and their current projects.
I know the broad strokes of it.
It's none of my business.
I know a bit about what's going on, and what I need to know for my job.

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How sensitive are you to matters of the heart?
I can play people like a balalaika.
I'm a bit stiff.
Everyone wants me. I know. I know.
I'm pretty sensitive to that, but I would only use it to my advantage if there were no other option.

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Do you work well as part of a team?
Not unless I'm in charge
Yes, absolutely
I prefer to think of us as a "company."
Yes, but I also work well alone.

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How skilled are you at the use of carrots?
I'm pretty good.
Only to make a stew
Sorry, I'm Paleo.
It's my preferred method.

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How are you at using the stick?
I'm OK with that, but only in specific ways.
I can imagine some things, but I have no idea if they would work.
I prefer guns to sticks.
If needed, I can bully with the best of them.

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Are you capable of betraying someone who deeply trusts you?
Of course! Just ask any of my exes, or parents.‚Äč
No, not really
I don't think I could do that for real.
Only if the stakes were high enough

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How easily can you "leave it all on the field" when you go home at the end of the day?
At the drop of a hat!
It's hard.
Why would I want to do that?
With some difficulty

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Would you be willing to take on a really boring job if it were the best use of your skills?
Only if it were really, really well paid
Sure. It's no problem.
No thanks! I'm in this for the glory!
Yes, if that's what my nation requires

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If not espionage, which career would you consider?
Hollywood agent
Financial forecaster
Politician
Postman

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You Got:

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