Could You Be a Spy for the CIA?

By: Marie Hullett
Estimated Completion Time
6 min
Could You Be a Spy for the CIA?
Image: John M Lund Photography Inc / DigitalVision / Getty Images

About This Quiz

It's easy to romanticize being a spy for the Central Intelligence Agency. In movies like The Bourne Ultimatum, spies brandish a wide variety of flashy gadgets and weapons in their arsenal, partake in high-speed car chases, and entice awe from bystanders as they take down bad guys. They race across rural rooftops, don clever disguises in five-star hotels and fool foreign dignitaries with cunning charm. They wear slick suits and even fall in love. But in real life? A career in the CIA takes a lot of hard work and dedication - often, with little public recognition for your efforts. 

You don't need to be a superhero to be a spy for the CIA, but there is an extensive list of traits that the agency looks for to ensure top-notch candidates. They tend to look for strong-willed individuals, people who are proud to call themselves patriots, and those with street smarts and scholarly intelligence alike. 

Unfortunately, knowing every episode of Homeland by heart won't be enough to cut it at the national agency. So, do you have what it takes to be a spy for the CIA? 

You have to make a difficult, life-or-death decision - and fast. How do you react?
I'm calm, cool, and confident. My adrenaline kicks in, yet my brain remains sharp as ever. I got this.
I take a few deep breaths and consider my options carefully. If possible, I will seek outside counsel.
I'm a bit impulsive, so I just go with my gut.
I'm indecisive by nature, so I'm very stressed! I can hardly keep my composure.

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How many languages do you speak?
Five or more
Two or more
One
I can barely speak English.

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What is your level of formal education?
Graduate degree or higher
Bachelor's degree
Some college or technical school
High school diploma or below

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You just achieved a major, very impressive goal at work! However, you can't tell your friends and family. How do you feel?
That's fine; I don't need to tell others about my accomplishments to feel proud.
A little disappointed. But as long as I'm doing something positive, that's OK.
I would prefer to be recognized for my accomplishments.
I share everything with my friends and family! I don't think I could keep it a secret.

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What do you think about your country?
I love it. I'm a hardcore patriot and would do anything and everything to honor, support and defend it.
Go USA! I'm your everyday, patriotic American citizen.
It's OK, but I don't really consider myself a patriot.
I'm not a fan.

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Are you an American citizen?
Yes
I'm about to apply for U.S. citizenship.
No
I hope to become a U.S. citizen eventually.

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Your new job informs you that you must pack up and move right away. What do you think?
Awesome! I love an adventure.
Sure, why not?
No way. I can't leave my family.
I'd rather stay where I am, or at least receive more notice. I might look for a new job.

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How up-to-date are you on current events?
I subscribe to multiple newspapers, as I highly value trusted sources. I know what's going on and love to chat about global affairs.
I try to stay up-to-date.
Not so much. The news tends to get me down, so I avoid it.
I get most of my news from word-of-mouth and social media.

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Would you consider yourself a good actor?
Call me George Clooney or Fan Bingbing, because I am the best.
With a little practice, I could win an Oscar.
I'm OK. I find it difficult to keep from laughing.
I failed drama. Who fails drama?

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Are you an optimist, pessimist or a realist?
Realist
It depends entirely on the situation.
Optimist
Pessimist

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What matters most to you?
My career
My personal beliefs
My family & relationships
Public recognition

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It's time for gym class! Where do you stand?
Whether we're playing basketball or doing pushups, I'm always number one.
I'm a strong athlete, so you can find me near the front of the pack.
I'm not the most athletic, but not the least, either.
In the back - hiding.

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How comfortable are you with lying?
Not very comfortable - wait, that was a lie. OK, I lie all the time, and I'm quite good at it.
If the situation calls for it, I'll do it no problem.
I only tell little fibs now and then.
I hate to lie to anyone, especially to my loved ones.

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There are three people talking in a room, and you need to sneak by them without being noticed. Can you do it?
Absolutely, I'm quiet as a mouse and stealthy as a shadow in the dead of the night.
With a bit of strategizing, I think I can do it.
Maybe, but I'm a little bit clumsy on my feet.
No! My heart is racing too quickly.

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Are you a people person?
Yes, definitely. I love to be around others, and tend to charm every guest at the party.
Sometimes! It depends on my mood.
I prefer to be around close friends and family.
Not really; I'm more introverted.

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Do you like to be challenged at work?
Yes, I'm always ready for the next challenge.
Somewhat. I tend to get bored if I'm not fulfilling my potential.
Not really. I prefer to just go to work and collect my paycheck, so I can focus my energy on other things.
To some degree

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Can you shoot a gun?
Yes, and I'm an excellent shot--whether it's a target, deer, or a person.
I'm pretty handy with a pistol.
I have before, but I'm not a pro.
No, I've never used a gun and don't want to.

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Do you have a criminal history?
My record is 100% clear.
I have some minor infractions on my record.
I've been convicted of a felony.
I have at least one misdemeanor.

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Do you have any significant foreign ties to U.S. enemies?
Nope, not at all.
I'm distantly related to a Syrian official.
My romantic partner is a Russian citizen.
My father-in-law works for the Iranian government.

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Have you used illegal drugs?
Never
Only marijuana
Sometimes
I have before, but I don't anymore.

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How is your financial situation?
I have a sizable savings and excellent credit.
Somewhere in the middle: I have enough money to get by and an average credit score.
Admittedly, I have a lot of debt and a plummeting credit score.
My credit score isn't great, and I have a little debt to pay off.

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Would you agree to take a polygraph test for a job interview?
Sure, why not?
I guess, if I have to, I'll do it.
No, I would hate to take a polygraph test. I would choose a different job.
I would be nervous, but I would agree.

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How good are you at reading others?
I read everyone around me like a book. It doesn't matter what they say - it's all in their body language.
I'm pretty good at reading others emotions and intent.
Hit or miss
I tend to misread people.

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Do any of your family members have a criminal history?
No, no one.
Some relatives have minor infractions, but nothing too serious.
One of my immediate family members has a serious criminal history.
A distant relative has a minor criminal history.

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Have you ever fallen for a scam?
No, never.
A scammer contacted me, but I caught on pretty quickly.
Yes, I accidentally gave a scammer my credit card information.
Almost - it was a close call.

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Have you traveled out of the country much?
Yes, I've traveled outside the U.S. for several years of my life, and always try to immerse myself in the local culture.
I've traveled through a few different countries.
No, I don't even have a passport.
Only for tropical vacations.

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What did the doctor say at your last physical?
I'm in excellent health.
In general, I'm pretty healthy.
I should work on my high cholesterol and blood pressure.
I have a lot of health problems.

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How skilled are you in hand-to-hand combat?
Very: I'm ready to fight anyone, right now.
I'm somewhat skilled in hand-to-hand combat. I would feel confident taking on someone my size.
I've been in a few fights, but I'm not the strongest or quickest opponent ever.
Not at all: I don't even think I could lift a finger.

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Your friend's computer is broken. Can you fix it?
Yes, I'm extremely skilled at fixing technology of all kinds.
I'm pretty handy with computers, gadgets, and gizmos--I might be able to.
Definitely not
If I watch a YouTube video, maybe.

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Do people turn to you to help them solve their problems?
Yes, I'm the go-to problem solver at my work and in my social circle.
Sometimes
Rarely
Not really

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