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Recruitment for MI5/MI6 - AIBU to think that they find you, you can't apply?

(321 Posts)
DoTheHop Wed 11-Dec-19 16:49:46

Does anyone know how this happens?
They appear to have an application process, but I'm not sure what they're looking for.
An ex of mine was contacted by them after his degree, in Computers and Maths I think, but according to him (not sure if true or bullshit) he'd have had to meet them in a field and never bothered.
I've a ds who is interested in this field. It's not really something you see discussed. I'm not sure what area of it he is interested in - he just finds it fascinating really.
Do they really take applications or is it a case of them hunting you down lol?

ConkerGame Wed 11-Dec-19 16:52:24

I saw an advert for applications for MI6 in a newspaper once. I can’t remember which one, probably the Times. I guess they probably do a mixture of targeted recruitment like with your ex and then broader recruitment drives as needed?

I would guess computer science and unusual languages in the West like Arabic or Mandarin would be the best degrees to do.

Witchend Wed 11-Dec-19 16:53:57

I know of someone who was asked at university if he was interested. I think he went to a meeting in London (not a field-think how obvious you'd be in a field grin, much easier to blend in as a "normal" business meeting in London) and decided it wasn't for him.
His degree was Classics.

TeenPlusTwenties Wed 11-Dec-19 16:53:58

No idea, but has your DS considered applying to GCHQ at Cheltenham?

Wasrelaxing Wed 11-Dec-19 16:54:01

Singlemumscum Wed 11-Dec-19 16:54:31

The days of the tap on the shoulder are largely gone and most people will apply now rather than be recruited.

OlaEliza Wed 11-Dec-19 16:56:00

I saw an advert for them once for administrators. I didn't bother applying due to the checks. They investigate everyone you know or are aquaintences with so being from where I grew up I didn't bother.

VenusOfWillendorf Wed 11-Dec-19 16:56:52

I don't know about MI 5/6, but friend of mine applied, did the aptitude tests and was interviewed for GCHQ - in a normal way, no fields involved! I'm sure the process is on their website - she had a 1st in Statistics.

BettysLeftTentacle Wed 11-Dec-19 16:56:57

You can apply, they advertise for some of their posts.

DoTheHop Wed 11-Dec-19 16:57:04

Ds is a computer nerd and I think he would like to work in the back end of it rather than on the ground/frontline.
I have to say it's interesting, though not necessarily attractive salaries.
He went through the application online and he said a lot of questions were about family/nationality. Questions like 'How close are you to your family?' on a scale of 1-5.
He's close to us (still a teen), but I could see him ditching us for a career lol. ungrateful brat

feesh Wed 11-Dec-19 16:57:15

I know someone who was approached by them. Psychology graduate with exceptional grades. Turned it down.

Apolloanddaphne Wed 11-Dec-19 16:58:04

My DD1 applied for MI5 but only got so far in the process. It was advertised somewhere.

TopBitchoftheWitches Wed 11-Dec-19 16:58:15

They have advertised on MN before.

CAG12 Wed 11-Dec-19 16:58:32

A field! How ridiculous. My OH works in a similar (but not the same) industry. All the interviews etc that take place would be in a rented space/office block. Candidates wouldnt go near the actual MI5/6 building until the very end of the recruitment process.

Also, those going through the application process arent supposed to tell anyone

lovegivelive Wed 11-Dec-19 16:58:54

They came to our uni when I was a student recruiting. I was really interested but I said you probably wouldn't be interested in me in a jokey way, they replied we take all sorts of people from all sorts of backgrounds. Nothing about a field though! I still regret not pursuing it.

managedmis Wed 11-Dec-19 16:59:25

So they want you to say you aren't close to your family, right?

Mayvis Wed 11-Dec-19 16:59:54

I was invited to apply whilst at university back in early 2000's. I wasn't interested as I'm useless at keeping secrets. I was doing a linguistics degree with good foreign language gcses previously.

DoTheHop Wed 11-Dec-19 17:00:47

I guess people who work for them don't really say they do, maybe that they work for the MOD or something.
Also once dated a guy whose job was booking flights for the MOD. He wasn't supposed to tell anyone either in case they tried to get information out of him, but I guess he wasn't too bright. His salary was much lower than mine at the time (I was a PA).

Notes - I'm sensing a dating pattern here......

DoTheHop Wed 11-Dec-19 17:02:29

Yes, I'm thinking the meeting in a field was added over the years of recounting his tale to add mystique.

DoTheHop Wed 11-Dec-19 17:04:50

@TeenPlusTwenties Thanks I'll tell him to look it up

TinklyLittleLaugh Wed 11-Dec-19 17:05:59

One of DD’s exes got quite a long way in the recruitment process before they turned him down.

We joke that actually he got taken on and his current life of sitting in his mums living room, in his PJs, playing x box, is just very deep cover.

PaneerOfEvil Wed 11-Dec-19 17:08:52

A friend of a friend said he had an interview like in the street, or maybe an alley somewhere. I think he might have done languages. I don’t think he got through. Or maybe he just said that to throw us off... <taps nose>

DoTheHop Wed 11-Dec-19 17:10:09

Oh so the field story might not be bollocks after all! I believed him to be honest, as he had no reason to lie.

PegasusReturns Wed 11-Dec-19 17:11:29

I got a relatively long way through the recruitment process but was eventually unsuccessful when I pointed out I was 8mths pregnant and wouldn't be able to participate in the next stage. They hadn't noticed!!

I applied through an advert in The Times but I had a connection.

DoTheHop Wed 11-Dec-19 17:12:52

I used to work for a real estate agent and we had a mortgage broker in the same office. She got an application from a guy who worked for MI5 and when she described him, he definitely looked like he worked in the postroom rather than as a spy lol. He was about my height and totally nondescript. She (clearly not a good option for a spy herself) told me that his application was going to go through without blip.

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