MI6 Careers - Intelligence Officer






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. 


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


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.

Please note:

This information has been taken directly from the SIS careers website which details the application requirements for an Intelligence Officer.  Therefore any use of the words "our", "us" ours" refers to the Secret Intelligence Service (www.sis.gov.uk)

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Wuhan conspiracy theories aside, diplomatic traction is the reward.


A week or two ago we wrote an article "Conspiracies & Ripples" which focused primarily on conspiracy theories and kicked off with the rather obvious statement that a conspiracy theory is simply a theory without the facts i.e. just a theory.  Within that we highlighted that ‘flavour of the month’ theorist’s delight, the origins of the Coronavirus and its links to Wuhan.  This echoed our views published in February which, as many did, ponder the chances of this remote coincidence maybe actually being true.  Since then there have been swathes of articles on the topic citing all sort of sources and from numerous ‘renowned’ scientists.  We have also recently had the opinions offered by those whose opinions really count, that this virus originating from the labs in Wuhan may not actually be so far-fetched after all.

We do tend to agree, or at least we did.  That was then and this is now and in the world of Politics things move quickly and one does have to look at the reality of the situation.  If there is enough fog between you and your destination, then sometimes the route you take can change, leaving you all sorts of options.  If the objective was originally to circumnavigate through uncertain waters to establish who, what, why and when the virus came about – then that is now lost in the fog.  It is arbitrary.  Now we have something that is far more concrete and tangible to use to our advantage – we have uncertainty.  We now have enough debate and conspiracy to render the findings of the scientists open to interpretation.  And that… is a diplomat’s dream come true.   This particular carcass will feed many and although the WHO will go in, on the ground, and no doubt find yet more uncertainty…it really is irrelevant.  You will certainly not find individual government’s chomping at the bit to send their representatives into Wuhan anytime soon, and even if they did, why?  Wuhan is not some sleepy suburb in leafy Northamptonshire… it is in China.  Whatever was there has long gone, if indeed it was ever even there.  So perhaps it would be wise to assume that at least for the next few decades this is a conspiracy that will never find out those salient facts. 

Now, listening to the scientists, there is an overwhelming urge to say, “shush now”.  Step back ladies and gentlemen and look at the bigger picture at play.  Nobody is actually interested whether or not the virus started in Wuhan, intentionally or not.  As long as it is open to debate, it is far more valuable.  The scientists have debated at length and argued, but there is still no unequivocal proof either way that satisfies all parties…and why could that be?  Scientific fact is not open to debate or questioning, that is a given.  However, to say Science is correct, is not true.  That is because Science has Scientists, and Scientists are human beings who in turn are fallible and motivated by many many other factors.  In China for example, one might say that scientific fact is exactly what they want it to be.  Indeed, who is to say it ends in China.


So why is uncertainty such a blessing in this case?  It provides an additional bargaining chip and a weapon in the armoury for all Governments to now use against the Chinese.  Maybe on the other side of the fence their own initial conspiracy theory that a foreign Government (the US) planted the virus in their midst, is being written about in their own press.  Or maybe not. The fact is it is a safe bet to assume that no body will ever know.  There will be no compensations or admissions of guilt in this case sadly…however the capillaceous network that is politics, diplomacy and economic negotiations will be the real beneficiaries.


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