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How to Join MI6

By: Thomas Muller - Updated: 21 Jul 2017 | comments*Discuss
 
Mi6 Sis Recruitment James Bond Job

Joining MI6 was until recently an operation as covert as the organisation’s official business, but now applying to become a spy is simply a matter of filling out the right application form.

Non-Convert Application

Traditionally you don’t choose to work for the Secret Intelligence Service (SIS), or MI6 as it’s more popularly known, the service chooses you. Potential spies were often identified from behind the cloisters of Oxford and Cambridge and then tapped up surreptitiously.

Alternatively job applicants might arrive for interviews without any idea who their potential employer might be and only ever find out if they pass through the various rounds of recruitment successfully.

Recent years have, however, seen a very significant change in the intelligence agency’s recruitment policy. Believing secrecy at the recruitment stage to be counter-productive and talent-spotting to be too labour intensive, MI6 now find their spies in a more straight-forward and transparent manner, much like their sister service across the Thames, MI5. Likewise they also now have their own website rather than just a mysterious PO box number.

Discretion

The application process may be more straightforward these days but that doesn’t mean MI6 have also curtailed their fine art of selection. They are no less particular about the type of candidates they are looking for and keen as ever to dissuade “thrill seekers and fantasists” looking to follow in the footsteps of James Bond.

Successful candidates still need to be very discrete - it’s one thing to have a hugely exciting and impressive job but then to have to keep any mention of it limited to your nearest and dearest is an enviable skill in itself. Show-offs are therefore as welcome as would-be 00-agents.

Besides being averse to the limelight, SIS employees are expected to be motivated problem-solvers who are good at building relationships, exhibit strong intelligence and have a healthy interest in international affairs.

Broader Recruitment

As well as keeping a particular eye out for specialists such as linguists – particularly in Arabic – and computer experts, the SIS is also looking wider in terms of the sex and ethnicity of its potential employees.

It is now accepted that the white males from privileged university backgrounds that have historically formed the backbone of the security services are not naturally suited to all foreign security threats, not least those posed by Islamic extremists.

The service is keen to recruit more staff from ethnic minority backgrounds not simply because public organisations should be reflective of the society they work on behalf but because of the valuable insight and understanding different ethnic minorities bring - and because they want people that look the part. MI6 have said they are keen to recruit from the Muslim community. Women are also in greater demand.

Recruitment Process

The SIS can’t afford to choose the wrong person and so recruitment process is a rigorous process that can take as long as nine months for successful applicants.

Up to 80 per cent of applicants fall at the first hurdle, the online application form, and often for trivial mistakes such as failing to answer the questions properly. Half of those selected for first interview don’t make it any further and then 50 per cent of the remainder don’t make it beyond the second.

Those that manage to make it so far still have to face an assessment course and then an intensive personal vetting process.

Before you even think about starting this journey you have to make sure you passport confirms you are a British citizen, that you have a 2:2 degree or above and haven’t indulged in any recreational drugs in the preceding 12 months.

Perks of the Job

If you would feel a great sense of purpose and pride in the idea of protecting the security and economic well-being of the United Kingdom from threats such as terrorism, drug trafficking and regional instability then it is certainly worth all the effort.

In being centred on foreign intelligence gathering it is not surprising that one of the perks of the job is the opportunity to travel. An SIS officer may be expected to spend months in a particular country soaking up its culture. The SIS is also noted for the warmth and friendliness of its working environment.

Weighing down the numerous attractions of a role within the SIS might be a concern for danger, a common presumption for which James Bond and his ‘licence to kill’ can share at least some of the blame.

The safety of MI6 staff reigns supreme and they are not asked to do anything they are not comfortable with. Even if they did fancy the idea of having a concealed weapon about their person it wouldn’t be their domain to do so. On occasions where action is required specially trained operatives would be contracted in, usually ex-special forces members.

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Share Your Story, Join the Discussion or Seek Advice..
[Add a Comment]
I'd love to be part of something like this, I've always had a passion to be a spy and serve my people great kindness and trust. I'm dedicated and love to learn knew things, I understand the consequences of this being a spy and what it could cause, if I was picked to be a spy or given a trial at least, I would appreciate it. Thanks
Sid - 21-Jul-17 @ 2:58 AM
Is My Dream To Be An Agent, I Am Fearless, With A High Degree Of Wise, My Service And Loyalty To The Kingdom 100 per cent
John Simon - 3-Jul-17 @ 9:40 AM
I am not saying I am good,but at least give me a trial to participate in the screening phases...I know as a foreigner I have no chances but something tells me to try...I look forwardto hearing from you
Ghost - 19-Jun-17 @ 4:57 PM
I am 11 but very efficient, reliable and incredibly good at fighting and undercover work.
J - 15-May-17 @ 7:52 PM
I really want Be secrect agent helping the country..be somebody in life
donato - 12-May-17 @ 9:09 PM
thought I would be able to join unfortunately im a 21 year old Zimbabwean so im damned... loved thisjob ever since.
urboe - 11-May-17 @ 11:45 AM
Recruit me, because i know what im doing AND CAN BE VERY SECRETIVE.
Izaak - 4-May-17 @ 2:43 PM
i am want so spy because this my ambition and so pleas help me for this
lans - 30-Apr-17 @ 4:05 AM
I am 18 years old.I am dedicated and loyal.Iwill become an UK citizen next year.if given a chance I will makes a good recruit.
daniel - 1-Apr-17 @ 9:09 AM
I would like to join the M16 in the fairly distant future. right now I am just 14, and I'm pretty sure I have to be at least the age of 18 to join. Personally I think I would make a fairly good agent. I know Urdu, English(obviously) and have most of the languages Arabic and French, i am in the process of learning Mandarin Chinese. After a few months of preparation I believe anyone can be prepared enough to work in the MI5 or MI6.
Anonymous - 1-Apr-17 @ 4:01 AM
living like a no mad day to day origins N.I. takin most drugs and able to control the highs and lows, also no ties or anything or anyone to stop me except the law! open to every religion, but i stick to my own religion, yes i was a criminal, i know the difference from right and wrong, but will do anything for my beliefs no matter what anyone else says, always be prepared.
Smith - 12-Mar-17 @ 8:22 PM
I would love to join mi6 but I have no qualifications or any think like that but I think I could be a great team member for my country so if there's a way I can join please help
R - 5-Mar-17 @ 10:55 AM
I'm Lee and I'm 24. I know MI6 probably won't be recruiting people from a comment page, but you never know, anything can happen. Not saying I'm brilliant at everything. But I love my country, patient, trustworthy and Above all a great leader and decision maker. But, being SIS, you probably already know that.
Lp10 - 3-Mar-17 @ 7:28 PM
Im 13, i know your not going to take me in. But however, i have always wanted to be a field agent working undercover. Im loyal. Patient. Dedicated. I know how to fight which will be great for the field work. I know im young but I KNOW im going to someday become the best spy ever.
Z - 3-Mar-17 @ 6:22 PM
i hate to break it to you but you are nowhere in front of the indian para commandos.....so sorry joining mi6 is the last thing i would do .
alex - 20-Feb-17 @ 12:40 PM
I want to join in mi6 as a secret agent.please give me chance to join it. Please. Yours obediently
Raj - 15-Feb-17 @ 10:50 AM
Is a degree absolutely essential? Have 10 years military experience currently working in Iraq and a good understanding of Arabic. But no degree. Yet
Matt - 3-Feb-17 @ 8:06 PM
I want to find the answers to the endless questions I have
Help - 30-Jan-17 @ 11:01 PM
I'm 14 15 in march and I would try my hardest to keep the united kingdom safe im studying at wales and I'm good at working In Groups
Tommo - 21-Jan-17 @ 7:52 PM
I am 15 years old,and studying in England.I want to be an agent in MI6 as my mother was, but not as a spy to betroyed another country...I have beentraining as a special agent in 4 years time.I am good at fight,to memory all the thing,philosophy,write poems,horse-riding,music,languages,phychology...... I would like to protect Britain and China.my uncle holds some secrets in China.What is important, I will fight with ISIS,and make this organization disspear from hurtiing the good people.
Ethelrine - 19-Jan-17 @ 3:14 PM
I haven't got a degree or any a levels but I know that I can be a good spy.
zak - 16-Jan-17 @ 9:15 AM
am twenty years of age and all my life all i ever wanted is to be a MI-6 agent please find me,, I'll be worth it
tito - 17-Nov-16 @ 4:34 PM
I was just asking like for me here in Somalia i would love to work for MI6 can somebody anybody tell me how its done Thank you
Abraham - 31-Oct-16 @ 9:53 PM
Simon - Your Question:
I'm 44, rubbish with money and the most unexpected person to be even considered… nothing ventured nothing gained. Oxfords or brogues, I'll wait for your call

Our Response:
:-):-)
DIYSpy - 5-Oct-16 @ 12:06 PM
I'm 44, rubbish with money and the most unexpected person to be even considered… nothing ventured nothing gained. Oxfords or brogues, I'll wait for your call
Simon - 4-Oct-16 @ 8:40 AM
iam really good in fightings , i invent gagets and i can keep any secrets quiet
nathan - 2-Oct-16 @ 10:59 AM
Indian , 18 years 5.10, (English,Hindi,Bengali,Nepali)-languages. I'm interested.
Teddy - 2-Sep-16 @ 7:10 AM
Hello the site to sign up for mi6 is sis.gov.uk btw I would like to be a spy at mi6 at the age of 16 but it is very rear seeing as you must have graduated at Oxford and Cambridge university with the highest grades possible you also need to be able to speak 3 fluent languages
Brooke - 24-Jul-16 @ 6:04 PM
Sophia - Your Question:
I am currently 13 years old and I know you have to be at least 16 years old. However, I have the feeling that I am up for the job though I am young I am organised and punctual. I have been wanting to do this since a young age and have studied hard for it as well. I hope you don't skip this and consider me, I have many secrets and have been living here for nearly all my life.I can speak 2 launguages and I can speak a bit of Japanese, Spanish and French.

Our Response:
We just offer advice on this website, we are not recruiters for MI6 but good luck!
DIYSpy - 27-May-16 @ 2:31 PM
I am currently 13 years old and I know you have to be at least 16 years old. However, I have the feeling that I am up for the job though I am young I am organised and punctual. I have been wanting to do this sincea young age and have studied hard for it as well. I hope you don't skip this and consider me, I have many secrets and have been living here for nearly all my life.I can speak 2 launguages and i can speak a bit of Japanese, Spanish and French.
Sophia - 25-May-16 @ 11:15 PM
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Latest Comments
  • Sid
    Re: How to Join MI6
    I'd love to be part of something like this, I've always had a passion to be a spy and serve my people great kindness and trust. I'm dedicated and…
    21 July 2017
  • John Simon
    Re: How to Join MI6
    Is My Dream To Be An Agent, I Am Fearless, With A High Degree Of Wise, My Service And Loyalty To The Kingdom 100 per cent
    3 July 2017
  • Ghost
    Re: How to Join MI6
    I am not saying I am good,but at least give me a trial to participate in the screening phases...I know as a foreigner I have no chances but…
    19 June 2017
  • donato
    Re: How to Join MI6
    I really want Be secrect agent helping the country..be somebody in life
    12 May 2017
  • urboe
    Re: How to Join MI6
    thought I would be able to join unfortunately im a 21 year old Zimbabwean so im damned... loved this job ever since.
    11 May 2017
  • Izaak
    Re: How to Join MI6
    Recruit me, because i know what im doing AND CAN BE VERY SECRETIVE.
    4 May 2017
  • lans
    Re: How to Join MI6
    i am want so spy because this my ambition and so pleas help me for this
    30 April 2017
  • daniel
    Re: How to Join MI6
    I am 18 years old.I am dedicated and loyal.I will become an UK citizen next year.if given a chance I will makes a good recruit.
    1 April 2017
  • Anonymous
    Re: How to Join MI6
    I would like to join the M16 in the fairly distant future. right now I am just 14, and I'm pretty sure I have to be at least the age of 18 to join.…
    1 April 2017
  • Smith
    Re: How to Join MI6
    living like a no mad day to day origins N.I. takin most drugs and able to control the highs and lows, also no ties or anything or anyone to stop me…
    12 March 2017
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