An MI5 recruitment manager let us pose some questions to one of their intelligence officers. Ravi, 23, graduated in 2006 with a degree in sociology from Kingston University.
What is your background?
I grew up in London and know how important it is to be part of a community where people support each other. I love the teamwork and the fact that my colleagues come from a wide range of backgrounds.
How did you handle your job hunt?
I knew that I wanted to work in the public sector but wanted to find a career where I would make a difference and the work would be interesting and varied. In my last year at university I looked at some of the different options and found out more about working for MI5. Their website had more information than I expected it to. It looked really interesting so I decided to apply. I also applied to a couple of other public sector organisations
but I really wanted to join MI5. At each stage of the recruitment and vetting process, which took around six months, I kept thinking, ‘I can’t believe I’ve got through to the next stage.’ When I got my offer I was really pleased.
Did you face any barriers?
Before I applied I thought it might be hard not telling people about my job. Then I realised that at university I didn’t really talk much about my work and my father was really supportive. Being discreet, honest and having integrity is important for everyone who works for MI5. When I joined it was explained to me why, as part of the recruitment process, you are asked to limit the number of people that you tell. I was given advice on what to say about where I work.
Do you have any tips for fellow graduates?
Make sure that you do your research on the organisation and prepare for the interview.
Have a think about the skills you believe are relevant to the role and prepare examples of where you may have demonstrated them.
For more information please visit www.mi5careers.gov.uk.