So You Want to be an FBI Agent?
Do you have the right personality to be an FBI agent?
Historically, most people stay with the Bureau at least twenty years. That’s unusual in today’s revolving-door employment market, but it’s explained partly by five general characteristics the Bureau looks for:
1. Patriotism and love for the United States.
This is obvious: When tempted by other ideologies or money, an agent has to have a strong set of values to fall back upon.
2. Education and intelligence.
Another obvious one: It’s important to be as smart, if not smarter, than the people you’re investigating.
3. A connection to family or friends.
Agents must keep secrets, often with the security of the country at stake. As the years pass, this burden can lead to feelings of isolation. Psychological instability can set in. These dangers are significantly reduced if an agent has a supportive home and friends.
4. A strong sense of responsibility.
Most applicants are recent college graduates in their twenties. If they still blame their parents for problems in their current lives, they’re unlikely to be able to take full responsibility for Bureau assignments.
Anyone bothered by extreme temperatures, different accents, cultural choices out of the mainstream, sleeping in a different bed from one night to the next, or traveling on a moment’s notice isn’t good agent material.