If you’ve ever wondered just how great a secret agent James Bond actually is as he traipses across the globe spouting his catchphrase, "Bond, James Bond," at every available opportunity, you’re not alone. And as it turns out, according to real life secret agents, he wouldn’t be particularly good at his job. Maybe being the most famous spy in the world is a bit of a detriment to your trade, but that’s not why he wouldn’t even make it through the interview process today.
Bond has always been a lone wolf when it comes to foiling evil plots and saving the world, but apparently that attitude won’t fly in today’s MI6. A source in the intelligence community told Buzzfeed that’s not what the agency is looking for, saying:
James Bond would probably not be successful in joining SIS, if he were to apply. The service he represents is not the modern reality. Teamwork is central to SIS’s ability to deliver intelligence, and heroes working alone rarely achieve much.
A note, SIS, or the Secret Intelligence Service, is apparently what they call MI6 in Britain.
Coinciding with the release of James Bond’s Spectre (the 24th Bond film is already in U.K. theaters and mauling the competition), MI6 has launched a new recruitment campaign, and the general gist of their push is that they’re looking for agents who are very much not like James Bond. What we see on screen is apparently not particularly representative of today’s modern intelligence officer. (For his part, Daniel Craig seems aware of this fact.)
Instead of recruiting maverick agents who play by their own rules, drink loads of martinis, bang every woman within a five-mile radius, but still manage to get results, they’re focusing more on the "human side" of the job. They are interested in the ability to interact with other people, to empathize with individuals from any background, nation, or walk of life. They’re also looking for people from diverse upbringings with interests in world travel and the current state of geopolitics, as they’ll likely be moving around the world and working with a variety of international governments and agencies.
Buzzfeed’s source goes on to add:
They want people with a real passion for human interaction, understanding others, and dealing with the sometimes complex nature of human relationships.
Again, that definitely sounds very un-James Bond like. Apparently there’s way more to being a well-functioning international intelligence operator than looking good in a suit, being able to handle your booze, and having a pocket full of neat gadgets and gizmos. Who knew?
Spectre is currently in U.K. theaters and is slated to hit U.S. shores a week from tomorrow on November 6.