MI6 | Intelligence Officer | SIS jobs as Intelligence Officers in 2019

Credit Default Swaps killed the Moody 10 years ago…how will the FSB and CIA fare in Round II?

The names of the instruments might change, and the names of the participants might change, but history shows us, the outcome is normally the same.  The outcome for the many is nearly always eventually determined by the will of the few.  The question is.  Who are the few?

Now what new instrument do we know of that is not on a regulated exchange and has no reporting requirements just like CDS's in 2008.  Hmm...let's think for a Bit.  Here are some of our predictions.

Thought recoginition and mapping research began a long time ago. However, recent developments connecting Neuroscience with technology, will literally change how we think in the not too distant future.

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MI6 Careers - Intelligence Officer

Department

Intelligence


Location(s)

London


Salary

From £33,800


Job description
Intelligence is at the heart of what MI6 does. It is the secret information that the British government requires to keep the country safe and prosperous. 

As an intelligence officer your focus will be gathering, delivering and utilising intelligence. These are fascinating and unique roles. Whether working with government departments to identify the intelligence requirements, overseeing a targeting effort to develop an operation to gather the intelligence, planning and managing that intelligence gathering operation, meeting the agents overseas with access to the intelligence, or reporting the intelligence back to senior government Ministers, you will be at the forefront of keeping this country safe and secure. 

Your career will likely encompass all of these roles but you will not be assigned to any one until you have been through the initial induction course which will allow us to assess where your skills best lie. In your career you will also have the opportunity to work overseas, receiving language training where appropriate. 

As your career develops, you will have ample opportunity to broaden your skills and to move into management and operational leadership positions. 

You will receive a competitive salary (variable dependent on relevant experience and performance during recruitment) and also benefit from additional allowances, including child care support during training. 

Contrary to some people’s pre-conceptions, there is not an MI6 ‘type’. The Service strives for diversity in the work place and is committed to the creation and maintenance of a climate in which all staff are treated fairly on the grounds of merit and ability. We judge you solely by the value that you can add to our work. 

The sort of qualities we are looking for are:

  • Exceptional interpersonal skills and emotional intelligence. The ability to understand, interact and connect with a diverse range of people is central to what we do and defines a good officer

  • An interest in foreign culture is essential. Ability with foreign languages and technology are both advantages

  • A sharp intellect with an ability to link disparate data in order to draw conclusions

  • Sound judgement and the capability to operate with high levels of autonomy

  • A drive to acquire knowledge and an ability to absorb new learning across a diverse range of subjects

  • Real evidence of achievement, ideally both in an academic setting and supplemented with work/life experience

The Service is also proud to be a member of the Stonewall Diversity Champions Programme in recognition of our commitment to equality of opportunity regardless of sexual orientation. 

Thinking of applying? 

Applicants must be British nationals, aged 21 or older and are required to have a minimum of a 2:2 degree or higher. Undergraduates must be in the last 6 months of their course before applying. 

You should only discuss your application with your partner or a close family member, as long as they are British. They should also be made aware of the need for discretion. 

Guidance for the Application process 

The following is a rough guide to the recruitment process. Some applications may proceed more quickly, others more slowly – especially when application levels are high. Please do not access your application from outside the UK. If you are living overseas, please wait until you are back in the UK before launching an application. 

Check the Nationality and Security Criteria before you begin the application process. Unfortunately, no matter how good your application, we won’t be able to accept it unless you meet these criteria – so do check. 

Advice for completing the application form 


The application form asks for details of your:

  • Academic record

  • Employment and life experience

  • International Travel, and

  • Language and IT skills

 

This information is vital for us to be able to evaluate your application and we would ask you ensure the details are as accurate as possible. This can be time consuming to provide in the format we ask for. However, these details are essential at this stage. 

The Recruitment Process 

Firstly, you will be asked to complete our pre-screening questions. If you meet these criteria we will then ask you to begin an application. The first step will require you to create a login or log in to an existing account. Once you have successfully started an application, you will be required to complete an initial application form which contains some initial eligibility questions. 

If you meet our initial eligibility criteria you will be sent an e-mail asking you to take two online tests, which form part of the formal assessment process. Please complete both tests within the next 48 hours. If you do not complete the test within this timeframe, we will assume that you no longer wish to proceed with your application. 

Verbal Reasoning Test 

This test is designed to assess the key skill of reasoning with verbal information, which is essential for the role of the Intelligence Officer in MI6. We encourage you to complete some practice questions. The practice questions are untimed, but please note that in the real test you will have 25 minutes to answer the 36 questions. 

Situational Judgement Test 

During the situational judgement test you will be presented with a set of hypothetical scenarios which have designed using situations relevant to our values and key behaviours needed to perform the Intelligence Officer role. The situational judgement test is set in the context of you taking on the role of an Intelligence Officer; however, you will not need any knowledge of the policies or procedures relating to MI6 in order to answer the questions in this test. You will just need to use your own judgement to rate the most and least effective options. This situational judgement test will present you with 22 different situations that you might have to deal with an Intelligence Officer. Though it is not timed, it should take you approximately 45 minutes to complete the test, but please be aware your session will time out automatically after 90 minutes. 

Next 

If you are successful at this stage, we will invite you to complete and submit our full application form. 

Full Application form 

Some of the questions are competency based which allow you to demonstrate the attributes and aptitudes that we consider essential to this role; your answers to these questions will determine whether we think you would be suitable for this unique role. Each of these answers has a word limit. 

We suggest that it is easier to draft responses in your computer’s word processing programme and then cut and paste into the application form itself. Please be aware that there is an automatic time out to this section so you might lose information if you do not save it for a long period. 

You should only refer to our organisation as ‘the organisation’ in any of your answers. 

When you have completed all the sections of the application form, please finish the process by using the ‘Submit’ button. We have no access to your form until you do so. We ask candidates to submit within 7 days of starting their application form (or by the closing date) as this will enable us to process it as quickly as possible. 

Testing session 

If your application is successful you will be invited to attend a testing session, in London, designed to assess whether you have the core skills and competencies essential for the role. This will involve an interview, group exercise and a computer based analysis test. The interview will allow you to demonstrate the attributes and aptitudes that we consider essential to this role. There will be some competency-based questions: if you are unfamiliar with competencies, you might find it helpful to prepare by familiarising yourself with the Civil Service competency framework guidance

www.gov.uk/government/publications/civil-service-competency-framework 

Two day assessment centre 

Candidates who are successful at the testing session will then be invited to attend a two-day assessment centre, in London, which is the final stage of our recruitment process. Successful candidates will receive a conditional job offer, dependent on passing security vetting. 

Please note that we do not provide feedback should you not succeed at any stage of the recruitment process. 

Thank you again for your interest in this role. Please do not discuss your answers with anyone else or leave information up on screens where you may be overlooked.

Q: Can we induce an event which leads to a material and significant change in a person’s ability or behaviour which would be useful to an organisation such as MI6?

Straps yourselves in for a little bit of a wild ride, so if extreme sports of the academic or indeed philosophical kind are not your thing, then please unbuckle now and leave the park. The four terms used in the title would appear at first glance to be connected, but for the purposes of this article, are not.  There is a distinct, and key difference in that they refer to a journey of sorts.  The journey of the mind and neural functionality that eventually leads to a change which has been caused by an ‘event’. Each term describes a condition.  A condition of the brain at a point in the journey. 

Where did my Taxi Driver and my money go?”

 

Whenever there is a radical and rapid development in Technology, the voices of those who fear the human effects of such developments sing loud.  Of course, debate is ultimately a healthy proposition when conducted in the correct manner i.e a respectful exchange of ideas, evidence and facts to determine the truth or at least the likelihood of why ‘something’ happens.  The problem is that as we venture further up the emotional curve and hit the raw nerve of public consciousness, a healthy debate, absent of extreme views, is less and less likely.   This is quite possibly the stage we are at now when it comes to the vast changes of technological development at exponential rates of growth.  If one then throws into the mix a subject such as Artificial Intelligence, which has been the subject of many a doomsday prophecy, especially in the fictional world, then the prediction of likely effects  becomes distorted.  There are a vast number of capillaceous issues branching out from each topic within AI and on a scale which precludes us from analysis in this article due to time.  However, there are rarely more topics as emotive as a person's job and their ability to generate income in order to survive...so will driverless cars render the taxi driver extinct and will money even be necessary in any form? Read More. 13.08.19

Dark Web

An Opportunity or Threat?

Perceived wisdom suggests the Dark Web is synonymous with illegal activities involving weapons, drugs and pedophiia.  The assumption has been that if you use it, then you have something sinister to hide.  To be fair, closure of drug giants like "Silk Road" did nothing to change those perceptions.  However, in the big brother world of surveillance, the search for privacy is demanded by the majority and will be found in some way or another.  Furthermore, in a society where people are being increasingly attracted to the fringes of life,  the shift to increasing usage of the Dark Web is a given.  That does not mean it is wrong however, and as we often witness, it is people from the 'fringes' who sometimes operate outside of social norms, who provide the greatest sources of innovation.  We firmly believe the dark web will undergo an upgrade of sorts and although usual, non-secured browser based sites will attract some attention, their days are numbered.  The really exciting proposition is to predict Dark Web 2.0, 3.0 and so on. Rather ironically, but understandably, it is the law enforcement and intelligence agencies who are spending more and more resources on hiding within the shadows of the Dark Web.  It has been the most effective way so far.  However, as it grows, it will it continue to be the safe haven of the criminal or will some form of regulation (such as was with the legalisation of drugs etc), prevent the extreme offenders?  Take the example of Silk Road. It is not only possible, it is probable.  Whether you are in favour of legalisation generally or not,  in many cases it is a safer option.  Many of the sites that offered Marijuana were ran as slick commercial organisations where consumer satisfaction was paramount.  The product was therefore of superior quality (apparently) and it was offered within the relative safety of the internet and not some dark street corner.  Maybe that one is for the liberals out there.  For our purposes however, it shows that the deep dark web does actually have a USP which can be monetized, namely privacy.  Looking further head therefore, the real drug that will sell well in our 'Orwellian' future, is anonymity.  That will undoubtedly be the most precious of commodities.

 

As it stands now however, people and the societies they live in tend to display tendencies to self-regulate and yes, whilst there is always potential for abuse, the masses will (or should) drive the market to some degree of parity.  There are certainly huge opportunities around the corner.  A secured 'blockchain'esque' physical depository for parcel delivery is bound to happen on a large scale and accompany the growth of the Dark Web.  That is because the only chink in its armour at the moment is complete anonymity with delivery of items. Imagine a secure facility where parcels (aka Data) entering from one side, is subjected to 'scrambling' (aka 'Encryption') and leave the other side to be collected by a seemingly unconnected party (aka 'You').  Now multiply that across every City in the UK.  You then have what one can REALLY call an encrypted, secure, supply chain that would be undetectable to all agencies and, most importantly, legal  Read More.

There are many ways to recruit a spy.  Certainly too many to cover in an article such as this. It really depends on who the particular intelligence agency is looking for, which organization, and what its objective is.  It will come as no surprise that some methods are more or less well publicized than others.  For SIS in particular, given that the organization did not officially exist until 1994, many of the methods used for recruitment are, for obvious reasons, still closely guarded secrets.  Graduate recruitment is one thing, but developing a potential (currently operational) agent is another, especially if they are already in full time professional employment or indeed, working for another intelligence agency. 

 

The PR stance at the moment may well be to promote a progressive, modern image, and in many ways it most definitely is.  However, the traditional ‘tap on the shoulder’ approach was really symptomatic of a desire to retain control of the recruitment process.  To that end, things have not really changed.  SIS has, and always will be, more cautious about the ‘walk in’ candidate and will have entirely different, and more complex, processes in place to evaluate such a person.  Furthermore, the complex recruitment cycle is now refined to the point where SIS can recruit individuals without them even knowing.  Now that’s surely the recruiters’ holy grail.  As with all things ‘intelligence’ orientated, there is a constant focus on resources and purchasing power.  SIS needs to maximise the value of each pound spent and therefore, long and complex targeting of individuals used to gain information, has to be considered against the costs of recruiting those intelligence officers charged with interpreting that information.  So, in essence, a balancing act in the same way as any other modern-day commercial organisation.  Let’s not forget however, that despite the budget allocated by the Intelligence Committee and oversight of section 5, 6 and GCHQ, there are still relatively few intelligence officers out there. Especially in the ever-changing competitive world of private intelligence agencies and their corporate counterparts which compounds the problems caused by the brain drain and external temptations.

 

SIS Chief Alex Younger said in his speech at St Andrews that “If you think you can spot an MI6 officer, you are mistaken. It doesn’t matter where you are from. If you want to make a difference and you think you might have what it takes, then the chances are that you do have what it takes, and we hope you will step forward.”  Clearly this is a nod to the future and the recognition that with Espionage 4.0 around the corner, intelligence agencies need to invest now and allow time for the training and development of new individuals.  Individuals that could take two or more years to develop before assuming roles of increased responsibility and clout.  This is the likely reason and not, as some cynics have suggested, merely PR propaganda developed for the benefit of our adversaries to suggest that UK intelligence is growing.  The argument here being that even if the funds are not available, and even if the organisation is cutting costs, creating the illusion that the funds are there is just as effective.

 

So far the common denominator is money.  Whether it is the level of funding, or the maximisation of value for each pound spent.  Mr Younger’s comments clearly pushes ideology as a motivator and driver for potential candidates, and one can hardly blame him.  Let’s face it, it would be hard for SIS to push the financial incentive when faced with free market competition.  So, it is a given that the organisation has to, regardless of whether it is true or not, sell the notion of ‘making a difference’ as the key driver.  So, enter the ‘buddhist spy’ i.e. someone who has forsaken all desires of financial or materialistic rewards in favour of….that little bit more.  Here, the idea that freedom is power is never more true, but by god it’s a tough one to find, especially in the younger recruits.  Money can never be the sole motivator in this profession, but the complexities of life, youth, character and practical issues, means it simply is important.  One cannot really attribute this simply to youth either.  Yes, the younger recruits may well be ambitious and dazzled at the prospect of financial reward, but then again so is the 42 year old married man with three children.  So its not that.  Indeed, the tap on the shoulder system which focussed on the Oxbridge folk probably worked largely because they were the elite and on the whole from upper middle class affluent backgrounds where they always has the family vault to nudge open in times of desperation.  Ironically, this student and the buddhist spy are similar in that they are both free from financial pressures thereby making them more effective. 

 

So, they key thread to pull from the above is that there is power to be had from the freedom of external influences.  Without wanting to drift down the spiritual or philosophical road too much, a successful spy in todays world could be the one who can happily remove any influence, both positive or negative.  In the case of the honey trap, it would be rendered useless if the person did not attribute so much influence to sex.  In the case of financial reward, bribery or extortion, if one truly has zero desire for money then it is powerless.  In the case of power itself, if one is sufficiently self confident to the point where the affirmation from power is not needed, then that too is rendered useless.  So the buddhist spy almost becomes machine like.  Perhaps this is another case for the advancement of the neurodiverse, or those people less emotionally driven to some extent, in favour of the ‘safety’ of the binary world.  In essence, the buddhist spy is simply a person who cannot be bought, and therefore cannot be compromised.  Could you be that person?

 

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