How to recruit a spook

Britain is to hire an extra 2,000 recruits at MI5, MI6 and GCHQ. Recruiting the right people is obviously key. The excerpts below, all from books published this year, reveal the roundabout ways spies were hired in the past and today’s more direct methods

The World Today Updated 26 November 2020 Published 9 December 2016 2 minute READ

A US magazine editor recalls his selection interview in 1957 with three CIA operatives, all graduates of Yale, his own alma mater

I had spent the days prior to the interview reading about Lenin’s train and Stalin’s prisons, the width of the Fulda Gap and the depth of the Black Sea … None of the study was called for. I was asked three questions on my social qualifications for admission into what the young men at the far end of the table clearly regarded as the best fraternity on the campus of the free world:

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