Australia

Want to be a spy? Australia's intelligence agency launches recruitment drive

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The Australian Secret Intelligence Service says it is looking to diversify its candidate pool by recruiting people who are 'smart, perceptive and empathetic'.

Foreign Minister Julie Bishop said the skill set for "human intelligence" is special but not unique.

She said the skills required are the same used by those in the teaching and customer service professions.

"What we are looking for is people from diverse range of backgrounds. People who have got a curious outlook, who are obviously intelligent - it's an intelligence service," Ms Bishop said on Channel 7's Sunrise, spruiking the recruitment drive.

"People who are observant, bright, able to form relationships. Be prepared to be deployed overseas and act in Australia's national interest."

The ASIS is launching its recruitment drive by asking applicants to take part in an online game where they are tested on their abilities to notice small details, read faces and assess the reliability of information.

Pressed by host David Koch on how the reality matches with Hollywood's portrayal in the James Bond and Jason Bourne films, Ms Bishop admits it's "not quite James Bond and driving an Aston Martin".

She said not all details about the job can be revealed.

"Well, I can't go into details about particular operations because it is called a secret intelligence service for a good reason.

A still from the online game that is part of the job application process
A still from the online game that is part of the job application process
Supplied

"But what they do is they are deployed overseas. They gather intelligence information. It is an espionage agency, of course."

The job ad on the ASIS website uses the tagline "be part of more human, human intelligence."

The agency is looking for those who "are highly motivated, have an innate sense of curiosity and a love of travel" to "reach outcomes that have the potential to save Australian lives".

Social media users have lampooned the online game, with some people questioning the method for testing for "intelligence". 

The selection process takes roughly seven months.

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