MI5 | Jobs and Recruitment Programme

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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Is there another side to you?

MI6 Free Onlien Tests

MI5 Online Situational Judgement & Verbal Reasoning Tests

MI5 uses a range of psychometric, verbal reasoning and aptitude tests to filter candidates through stage two of the recruitment process.  Learn how occupational psychologists and consultants at Oleeo and Cubiks Online have developed these tests.  Learn about the recruitment process and how to pass the tests.

The aim of the recruitment process is to accurately and efficiently isolate the best and most ideal candidates for selection and progression through to each stage of the online recruitment process.  'Standing still' is not an option and as such MI5 keeps abreast of the latest developments in recruitment processes from highly qualified and experienced occupational psychologists and consultants at firms such as Oleeo (formerly WCN) and Cubiks Online.  As recruitment advisors throughout the UK develop more and more advanced methods of educating potential candidates as to the best methods to pass the MI5 tests, MI5 has to remain one step ahead.

What we provide in this section is access to current sample multiple choice verbal reasoning tests and psychometric tests.  As with all tests, practise is a fundamental element in being successful.

We have been made aware of various opportunistic methods to by pass the current system.  One method used by some candidates is to create multiple registrations ie. apply under different names several times, hidden using VPNs or equivalent.  Each ID is then used solely to gather a greater selection of actual, current sample questions which are then listed and carefully answered in the candidates own time.  As one of the tests is timed, namely the multiple choice verbal reasoning test, candidates can create an elaborate system to quickly match actual timed questions to those previously stored.

For example.  One paragraph will contain details about a subject, often a subject not of particular interest.  The only common thread is that cumulatively the subjects as a whole tap into a broad range of topics such as particle physics or world fuel questions.  Purposely varied to test the 'boredom' factor to see how candidates can assimilate information in subjects that would normally be of no interest.  It's all part of the process to ensure the candidate has a mind like a sponge, that can soak up information and can be applied regardless.

So, for example, the subject of the piece might be ANT COLONIES and the behaviour of ants with different tasks..  The candidate would already have printed out the question and four possible answers, possibly four times and with four different set of answers (all adding to the information database of course). 


The paragraph itself will tend to be made up of three or four sentences.  In normal circumstances, candidates will try to 'skim' quickly across the answers which might contain keywords such as 'ants multi tasking' and then flick back to the paragraph to find the relevant word.  This tends not to be consistently successful.  Instead, it is recommended you spend more time on thoroughly reading the paragraph two or three times and 'pretend' that it is the most interesting topic you could hope for.  Then, generally speaking, it will be easier to answer the questions by utilising two key psychological cues namely, an interest in the subject matter (finding something interesting is always likely to result in longer retention in short term memory), and the 'skim' or 'scanning' approach.  In other words it is a 'two pronged' psychological attack.  There is therefore an increased likelihood that you will more quickly see the answer to eliminate.  It's subtle but every second counts.  That said using the 'cheats way' make such hardship redundant.  What some candidates have done, is to notice that although the subject and paragraph might be the same across differently dated tests, sometimes MI5 will throw you a curved ball and two of the four answers will be different each time. 


The key in this situation is GOOD PREP & ORGANISATION.  That's right, even cheats have to have a system.  They will rely on two things.  A good size, quality database of relevant information, (intelligence) and, a method of quickly matching questions to the right answers whilst taking into account the' curved balls' (efficient application of 'intelligence').

To speed up the process in such a scenario, one option is to write down a key word associated with each answer.  For example, this might be written in a book ahead of taking the 'for real' test:

Question 1:

Topic - Ant Colonies..........

Which one of the answers below highlights the best method for increased performance in an Ant Colony?

Answers: (making note of the keywords)

A) .........worker ants go.....

B) ...multi tasking yields.....

C) ..........specialisation......

D) ...most efficient tasks....

After spending time at their leisure, the candidate might be certain the answer is C.  So, in the real test, when the question with the subject 'ant colonies' comes up, the candidate can immediately flick to section 'A'  in their alphabetical list of topics, in their pad, and have the answers to questions 1, 2 and 3 all ready and prepared.  Simple?  MI5 don't make it that easy.  Just when the candidate thinks they cracked it, when its time to do the real test and 'ant colonies' comes up, the candidate might instead see:

A) .........brown ones.....

B) ...orange ones.....

C) ..........big ones......

D) ...small ants....

Basically, completely different.  What MI5 (or should we say Oleeo and Cubiks) actually do is to mix up the answers.  The only chance of success is to do two things in this situation.  The candidate will either not have the answers at all, in which case leave and move on and then guess at the end, or, be prepared with several answers for each set of three questions.  To do the latter, that means registering four times within the same week to get a good chance.

In any event, what candidates will find by doing this is that at the very least the odds of success will dramatically increase.  Even with multiple answers, there is still approximately 20%-25% of the answers where answers are not pre-prepared.  However, in reality, because over 75% are, it means that within the 20 or 25 minute time, nearly all the questions can be answered correctly within a fraction of the time, leaving the candidate with time, relaxed, to answer the 25% legitimately.

This method sounds complicated which is probably why most people simply try to pass the tests in the legitimate way.  In point of fact however, the 'illegitimate' method increases your chance of success to over 75% at the very least. 


"Put very simply, the candidate registers several times with the sole purpose of building up a data bank of answers.  That is because the questions remain broadly the same whereas in a small percentage of cases, the answers will not always be the same 4 options.  So, armed with good quality information and a well thought out and efficiently executed method of matching questions to the answers you have stored, the tests are frankly, easy to pass 8 times out of 10."


There are a few other methods candidates have used to circumvent the process, but something has to be left to the imagination.  We, of course, do not condone or support using the above methods.  As you will have read, MI5 is focussed on recruiting high calibre people with integrity and who are honest.  Of course some of you reading this may say, well surely the purpose is to 'get the job done' and if it means bending the rules, then so be it.  It is after all a secret organisation where lying and deception is a necessary skill.  it is perfectly normal to ask the question, especially as our enemies have very little regard to sticking to the rules.  It's difficult to know exactly how this argument is actually perceived.  The likelihood is that Section 5 will stand by the 'milk round' occupational psychologist route, whereas Section 6 may lean slightly towards less conventional means.  Who knows?  Both however, have the same goal.

The other method to pass this sort of test, and done so legitimately, is to practise on test papers provided by various recruitment and testing firms. Beware of some however, as there are some hideously expensive options and in practise they do not have actual real, used, questions.  Practice makes perfect though.

The aforementioned candidate who has chosen the 'circumvention' route might have also applied a similar method to the situational judgement tests.  These are not time limited and provide scenarios based on real situations that can occur in the working environment.  The candidate is provided with five answers and they must grade each answer according to likely relevance.  Here, the candidate will have accumulated a bank of answers from the four bogus registrations.  As there is no time issue here, the process is much simpler.  That said, sometimes too much time can be the candidates enemy as human nature is such that as we are gifted more time, our minds tend to wander and second guess. Normally your first decision and gut instinct is correct, so go with it.  Either way, the candidate who chose this less that honest method of passing, does have a markedly increased success rate.  

Also, one thing to consider is this.  MI5 and the outsourced recruitment teams should have almost certainly foreseen that candidates could and have adopted such methods to by pass the legitimate methods.  They will almost certainly have the ability if necessary to monitor key stokes, IP location, delays between registration etc and are therefore very likely to know if a candidate has chosen these clandestine methods.  If for some bizarre reason they have not, then maybe, once you get the job, you might want to 'have a word'.  After all when, in 1982, Michael Fagan broke into Buckingham Palace to sit with the Her Majesty, the upshot was significantly more robust security after he exposed a weakness in the system. In essence therefore, he helped.  Although some might say a somewhat narcissistic and tenuous argument, it is nonetheless, true. That said, justifying a breach of law because you want to 'stress test it', might not wash in Court and might be pushing the boundaries a tad.

In summary, practise all you can and remember cheats never prosper. Well not all the time. Ok sometimes.  If it's for a good cause?  

Examples test papers will be available shortly. In the meantime we would recommend you use your time effectively to practise tests which can be obtained relatively easily online.  Keep a clear head, keep noise and distractions to a minimum and above all, stay relaxed when taking the tests. Control your breathing and view each test as a fun opportunity to get to where you want to be.  It sounds crazy, but it works. 


Finally, brush up on your thoughts on exponential technological digitized growth.  By definition, when you read this, things will already have moved quickly.  Five years is the new fifteen years, two years the new five and so on.  The six D's have a natural theoretical tendency to level the 'technological playing field' and regardless of how the exponential growth curve changes in shape, our intelligence agencies have to stay ahead of it.  Unlike their corporate counterparts, the potential consequences of not doing so go far beyond the loss of money. 

Visit Practise Tests HERE at Cubiks Online

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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