When I was a kid my dad worked for a small airplane company that had some big government contracts. He spent a lot of time traveling to foreign countries delivering planes and teaching air force pilots there about them. A lot of those countries experienced regime changes soon after his departure. It was so obvious that we teased him about showing up for work to find a 60 Minutes crew waiting outside. That never happened, but it did fuel my fascination with clandestine operations. That was re-awoken recently by radio ads that the CIA is hiring. I’m not changing jobs at this point, but I was curious what to expect if I applied.
To be clear, I have NOT applied. I am only looking at it from afar. The radio ad mentions security clearance checks, background checks, and polygraph tests. What does all of this entail and how do you know if you should even bother trying?
Every aspiring geek probably wanted to be James Bond at some point. OK, Bond wasn’t CIA, but Jason Bourne just doesn’t have the same appeal. Of course reality is a whole lot less exciting than Hollywood. Like anywhere, the CIA consists of cubicles and lots of paperwork. Currently they are hiring for a broad range of positions including IT and Security, as well as the cryptic “clandestine services”.
The application process involves medical and drug screening, personal integrity testing, security clearance check, and passing a polygraph test. The last seems to be a favorite of government agencies, despite the compendium of evidence showing that it’s completely unreliable. It’s a long application, interview, and testing process.
Think you have what it takes? If you have applied, or are planning to, let us know in the comments. Fill us in about what you can let be known. It’s a fascinating process and career.