CIA Hiring and Recruitment Process

To get one step closer to becoming a CIA agent, it is crucial to become familiar with the hiring process. Firstly, understand that the CIA hiring process can take  up to a year or more. In addition, before applying, you must make sure you meet the CIA-specific requirements. 

  • You must be a US citizen. If you are in the process of becoming a US citizen, apply only after citizenship has been granted.
  • You must reside in the US or its territories.
  • You may not have used illegal drugs or abused prescriptions within 12 months of applying. Even though marijuana has been legalized, as a federal government worker, you may not use legalized drugs.
  • You must also go through a security clearance investigation, which includes a background investigation, a medical exam, and a polygraph exam.

Each specific position has its own requirements, so make sure to be aware of them. You will only be allowed to add up to four jobs to your job cart. After choosing your desired jobs, you must create an account on the CIA website.

Before creating an account, however, make sure to have the following ready, as you will only have three days to complete the entire application process:

  • Basic background information
  • Information on your area of expertise
  • Work history
  • Education
  • Certifications and licenses
  • Foreign area knowledge
  • Foreign language proficiency levels
  • Military experiences
  • Preferences
  • Other documents such as transcripts/writing sample

After you provide your information, you must complete a Personnel Evaluation Form. The Personnel Evaluation Form asks for information on your security clearance, polygraph exam, background investigation, military discharge and disciplinary proceedings, selective service enrollment, employment issues, drug use and activity, delinquent federal dept., and peace corps employment.

Once you have completed the Personnel Evaluation Form, you will be asked to answer questions for Equal Employment Opportunity. This is voluntary; you do not have to answer the questions.

After applying, you will be contacted within two days with a confirmation. If you do not receive a confirmation, your application was not successfully received and you will need to resubmit your application. After you receive confirmation, your account will be deleted. Do not submit multiple applications as this will make the process slower.

If the CIA is interested in you, you will be contacted within 45 days by phone, postal mail, or a .gov email (check your spam for this email). If you were not accepted, you can reapply after a year. If accepted, the next steps in the hiring process include assessment testing, events, phone screenings, and/or live interviews. If the position is competitive, you will be contacted for a live interview in a location where phones or electronics are not permitted. The online aptitude and personality assessment tests are provided by a CIA recruiter.


CIA Assessment Tests

Depending on the position you apply for with the CIA, you will encounter different requirements and tests. Some of the tests that you may come across during the hiring process are spatial reasoning, deductive reasoning, and pattern recognition. 


Benefits of Working for the CIA

CIA Contract Employees receive the following benefits:

  • Annual and sick leave
  • Life and disability insurance
  • Healthcare insurance
  • Thrift Savings Plan
  • 10 Federal holidays
  • Student Loan Repayment Assistance Program (SLRAP)
  • Early retirement options

Prepare for CIA Assessment Tests

Taking the time and making the effort to work on practice tests will help you become comfortable with the types of questions found on CIA assessment tests. Start preparing in advance to guarantee your success.