Since I am more familiar with Mossad rather than the CIA, I will answer from my own perspective and experience about intelligence agents.
Let’s get one thing straight first.
Agents DO NOT look like this:
If you have seen the kingsman, they show them with all the guns, suits and all that killing people in that noise, that too doesn’t happen.
They don’t have any more hand to hand combat skills than a trained soldier, they don’t drive around fancy cars wearing fancy clothes, they don’t try to look good and they are certainly not involving any affairs with cute women on their missions.
An agents greatest skill is being unnoticeable. Once he is invisible, he can do anything he wishes. To achieve this, an agent cannot look suspicious and cannot grab attention. He needs to blend in with the public as best as he can.
To do this, agencies hire agents who don’t look like they just left the military, like this guy for example:
You can easily tell this guy was military from the slouched back, tattoos, physical shape, facial emotions, placement of hands and choice of clothing.
He is not a good candidate for a secret agent.
I would assume a secret agent looks more like this guy:
Or they might look like these people…
These are regular people, that don’t look like supermodels, nor do they look like someone you would stare at. They are the exact type of person that would walk past you in the street, you would glance for a second, and continue on with your day.
They don’t look suspicious, they don’t grab attention, they can blend into the public perfectly, and become invisible without anyone even caring who they are.
They are everywhere and they are nowhere.
These are the true agents and mercenaries of the underground world of espionage.
This answer was written by Ben Kolber on Quora. He is a former