Careers at FBI
The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) is the intelligence and security service of the United States. It helps to protect the country and its communities, businesses, and institutions from domestic and international threats.
The FBI works across the fields of counterterrorism, counterintelligence, weapons of mass destruction, cybercrime, public corruption, civil rights, organized crime, white-collar crime, and violent crime, offering many diverse career opportunities.
The FBI hires frontline staff as special agents, intelligence analysts, surveillance officers, forensic accountants, and foreign language experts.
It also hires specialized professionals under the following banners: STEM, Arts & Communications, Business & Administration, Facilities & Logistics, Legal, Medical & Counseling, and Police & Security.
The FBI’s Collegiate Hiring Initiative recruits a new intake of graduates every year. The Bureau also runs a 10-week Honors Internship Program for undergraduate students in accounting, cyber, law, and STEM subjects.
FBI Application Process
Phase I Test
Meet & Greet
Phase II Test
Basic Field Training Course
Official Physical Fitness Test
Recruitment into the FBI is a long, challenging, multi-stage process that evaluates applicants across a number of different skills needed to be an effective agent, officer, or operative.
Although the exact recruitment process differs according to department and the particulars of the role, it is likely to encompass the stages detailed below.
If your initial application passes screening, you will be required to complete a number of written and practical assessments, to judge your suitability in terms of both intelligence, ability to deal with specific scenarios, and fitness level (if applicable).
Recruitment for special agents is handled through the Special Agent Selection System (SASS), and the stages can take a year to complete.
To log an application online, you’ll first need to register for an FBI Jobs account. The number of sections on the application form will differ according to the role being applied for.
You’ll be asked to upload a specifically tailored federal resume, and likely a number of required and optional supporting documents (such as proof of federal work experience or proof of veteran status).
One of the sections in the application will be a pre-application questionnaire.
FBI Phase I Aptitude Tests
If you pass the initial screening, you’ll be invited to attend an online assessment. This test must be sat in an invigilated environment at one of the FBI’s 56 Processing Field Offices (PFOs) and needs to be completed within 21 days of receiving an invitation.
The test consists of five sections and has a duration of three hours. It is designed to assess critical thinking and problem-solving skills, as well as give greater insight into a candidate’s behavioral preferences and suitability for their desired role.
The test sections include:
FBI logical reasoning test
Each question presents some information on a specific topic, which you’ll need to read through carefully. Accompanying this information will be a list of five statements.
You’ll need to make the required deductions and inferences from the text so you can identify which statement is true.
The logical reasoning section has 11 questions.
FBI figural reasoning test
The FBI figural reasoning section most closely resembles a diagrammatic reasoning test, as it assesses problem-solving ability using patterns and shapes. For each question, you’ll be presented with a grid featuring symbols and shapes within its boxes.
From the eight populated boxes, you’ll need to deduce the rules of the pattern. It may operate across columns, rows, or diagonals, and feature rotations, translations, transformations, or color changes of shapes and symbols.
You’ll then need to select the multiple-choice answer option that correctly completes the grid. This section has just 9 questions.
FBI personality assessment
Personality questionnaires are used to explore a candidate’s behaviors, personality traits, motivations, drives, and personal values.
The FBI test is adaptive, and you’ll need to indicate the degree to which you agree or disagree with a statement using a sliding mechanism. The section features 100 statements.
While there are no incorrect answers on a personality test, seek to display an alignment with the FBI’s organizational culture and core values through your responses.
Preferences and interests
This section carries on from the personality assessment, asking more specific questions about your ways of working and personal interests to explore your dispositional qualities.
It intends to gain a more rounded picture of each candidate, so informed decisions can be made about progressing in the recruitment process.
This section has 37 questions.
FBI situational judgment
A situational judgment test assesses your ability to deal appropriately and proportionately with a number of hypothetical workplace scenarios. You’ll be given the outline of a situation and asked to select which option, from a list of choices, most closely resembles the course of action you would take.
The situational judgment test is used to determine whether you are suited to the responsibilities and situational demands of the role. It also seeks to determine alignment with the FBI core values.
The section has 19 questions.