MI5 Assessment Centre
There was a time when MI5 only recruited agents through a tap on the shoulder. However, they are now keen to recruit initiative taking talent with various intelligences from a wide range of social and ethnic backgrounds in order to match the diversity of threats faced. Here at JobTestPrep we are experts at helping people obtain employment, find out more about the MI5 Assessment Centre and how JobTestPrep can help you.
Given the nature of the work, it is not surprising that the recruitment process at MI5 is challenging, competitive and long (it can take up to six months). MI5 (Military Intelligence, Section 5) is the UKs counter-intelligence and security service; it comes under the direction of the Joint Intelligence Committee. Its purpose is to protect national security as well as the economic security of the UK by preventing acts of terror or serious crime. MI5 attracts much attention from graduates seeking stimulating, rewarding and demanding careers – each year there are approximately 10,000 applications for 60 graduate places. As such, the graduate recruitment process is rigorous. Graduates can join MI5 as Intelligence Officers, Intelligence Analysts, Computer and Network Forensic Specialists IT Security Exploitation Officers or Foreign Language Analysts. Each role has a specific skill-set requirement, but the following traits are required in all roles: apart from discretion, integrity and common-sense, the Security Service looks for candidates who make balanced decision, who are resilient, highly organised and incisive communicators.
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The Recruitment ProcessBelow is a description of the form the recruitment process generally takes (although it varies dependant on the role applied for), along with some useful links and tips:
- Paper application – basic paper application.
- Security questionnaire – questions about previous drink and drug use, criminal record and time spent abroad.
- Online psychometric testing – this involves a Situational Judgement Test (untimed) and a Verbal Reasoning Test (25 minutes). Skills they are looking for in the SJT are Analysis and problem solving, Planning and organising, Communication and Teamwork. A large number of applicants fall at the Verbal Reasoning stage. Generally, this is not because they don’t have the necessary skills to pass the test, but rather because they are not used to the fast pace of the questions and don’t get far enough into the test to make the passing grade. Read more about what is a psychometric test.
- Assessment centre/ qualifying test – you will be invited to an Assessment Centre in London to take a paper based qualifying test. You will be given a large amount of information to process, similar to what you will face on the job, in a short period of time. You will be tested on your ability to pull out key pieces of information and make balanced decision.
- Telephone interview – the forms of those making it past the qualifying test are then sifted for the competency based interview. This involves using past experiences to demonstrate how you would be suitable for the role.
- Assessment centre – those that make it past the telephone interview will be invited to the MI5 Assessment Centre. Due to the secrecy around the role, there is little to be said about the specifics of the day. However, your analytic skills, communication skills as well as how quickly you process and relay information will all be tested. More about Assessment Centres. You will also face a vetting interview as part of the Assessment Day. Here you will be interviewed by a vetting officer and will be requested to give across personal details regarding your background, health, lifestyle and finances (including a credit reference check).
- Final interview – finally, you will be invited to an interview by a selection board. If you pass this you have made it! More about interview preparation including videos and tips.
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MI6 Verbal Reasoning Test
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