MI5 keeps the community safe by watching for and disrupting threats to our national security. Part of our work involves listening to legally intercepted telephone calls. That’s where you can play your part – using your language skills to listen for vital clues in what seem like everyday conversations.
You’ll spend your time listening to phone calls made by people under investigation to help identify threats to national security, including terrorism and espionage. Some calls won’t be relevant but your judgement, language skills and cultural knowledge will help determine those that are.
You’ll be working as part of a close-knit team, piecing together intelligence to support ongoing investigations. It’s not a glamorous job, but it is important. In fact, putting your language skills to work could be the most interesting and worthwhile career choice you ever make.
If you can be discreet about your work, we have a range of permanent and fixed-term opportunities available. We are looking for candidates who understand Pakistani Pashto. It would be an advantage if you also understood Afghani Pashto and/or Dari.
Other than your language abilities, there are no special qualifications or experience needed to be able to do this job. You don't need to have previously worked with languages and the ability to read or write the language, or even speak it fluently, is not essential as long as you can understand the spoken word. Proficiency in reading, writing and speaking the language would be an advantage, however, and this will be explored during the application process.
During the application process we will explore where and how you picked up particular dialects – you may have spoken them at home, learned them formally or come to understand them through living or working in a particular part of the world. But whether it’s your mother tongue or you have studied the language, you must have an in-depth knowledge of its use and of the culture.
The work involves producing reports of your findings and discussing them with Intelligence Officers so you will need to be able to read, write and speak English and communicate effectively. If you’re a team-player who has a flexible approach to work, even better.
The recruitment process
Check your suitability for the role by trying one of the language tests in the ‘test your skills’ section. If you are able to understand the audio recording and answer the questions correctly you may be suitable for the Foreign Language Analyst role.
If you then wish to apply, the first thing we will ask you to do is complete our pre-screening questions to see if you meet our initial eligibility criteria. If you do, we’ll ask you to begin an application. You’ll need to create an online login. You can do this by providing your full name, email address and a memorable password. Once you have successfully created a personal account, you will be instructed to complete an online application form.
Successful applicants will be invited to participate in a telephone interview to check that they have the right skills and motivations to work for the Security Service. Assuming you pass this stage, you will then be asked to attend a two-part assessment day. The assessment day starts with a language testing session. Successful candidates will go on to a face-to-face interview and a role play exercise in the afternoon. If you pass the assessment day, you will have a security interview with a vetting officer at a later date. You will also need to complete a hearing test.
Applicants must be born or naturalised British citizens and 18 years old or over.
Discretion is vital. You should not discuss your application, other than with your partner or a close family member.
Your application may take around six months to process.
The Security Service is committed to reflecting both equal opportunities and the society we protect.
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