Tuesday, 27 November 2012

Do you have what it takes to be James Bond?

How to be James Bond

The latest release of Skyfall marked the 50th anniversary of the James Bond 007 film franchise.  Currently Daniel Craig is starring as the legendary 007 British Spy.  Adventure, intrigue, cars, women/men, futuristic gadgets, “saving the world” are all part of the James Bond "cloak and dagger lifestyle".
How to be a spy like Daniel Craig 007

This week I started to wonder what it takes to be a real spy.  So in the tradition of James Bond I based this Celebrity English feature on a mixture of MI5 and MI6 security services.   
Here are some of the highlights I found.

Need to be a British citizen of the home country; however there are some exceptions.
21 years old (+).
Able to pass a high Security Clearance.
Pass the medical test; physical and mental.

Personal Attributes
Personal Integrity
Working with Others / Teamwork
Planning and Organizing
Analysis and Problem Solving
Leading and Decision-Making
Strong Desire to make a difference in the world!

Recruiting Areas
“The roles for which we recruit fall into the following areas:
Degrees ranging from Architecture to Zoology from 36 different universities have joined us as Intelligence Officers over the last two years. We also have opportunities for people with a range of technical, vocational or professional qualifications, from IT or Electronics to Carpentry or Accountancy.”

Common Jobs in the Secret Service
Intelligence Delivery Officers - Collecting, analyzing and reporting global secret intelligence.

Administrators - Assisting with the essential daily running of the organization, through a broad range of administrative tasks.

Technology - ensuring we have secure, innovative IT systems to communicate internationally.

Corporate Services - Working with a range of departments such as HR and Finance.

Language Specialists - Translating raw intelligence in many different languages and dialects from both written and spoken sources.

Continued training in your field.
Salary similar to many other organizations. Depends on skill, experience, and performance. 
Pension scheme comparable with the Civil Service.
Maternity and paternity leave.
25 days’ annual leave rising to 30 days after five years service (even a spy needs a few days off!)

Current Employment Vacancies

    Business Analysts
    Business Relationship Managers
    Data and Information Professionals
    Forensic Speech & Language Specialist
    Internet Investigation, Exploitation and Cyber Security
    Portfolio Managers
    Speech Technician
    Strategy, Architecture, IT Security and Testing Specialists
    IT Technical Operations roles
    IT Service Management roles
    Intelligence Officer
    Project Managers
    Service Desk Analyst
    Information Specialist
    Application Support Analysts
    Network Systems Engineers
    Language Specialist
    Transport Supervisors
    Facilities Assistants

So now can you pass the test to become like James Bond?
Here are a few to try out:

(1)Try our Intelligence Officer challenge, which will test your ability to maintain a simple cover story.

(2)Investigative Challenge - Intelligence Officers and Intelligence Analysts

(3)Listening Challenge - English Language Analysts

(4)Digital Intelligence Challenge - Internet Investigation, Exploitation and Cyber Security Specialists

Language Learning Section
Here are some common words you will hear in Spy Movies. Test Yourself for Fun!  What do the following words mean?  Just put a few notes or ideas beside each word. 




A spy

A terrorist

To do/conduct surveillance

A bug

Cloak and dagger

Answers and More Espionage Vocabulary!

to be classified: something that is considered confidential or secret information; need a high level security clearance to view the information.

to do/conduct surveillance: the act of carefully watching someone or something especially in order to prevent or detect a crime.

to stake out: to do surveillance. 

to spy : to watch secretly usually for hostile purposes.

to have one's cover blown: you have been exposed as being a spy.

to keep/maintain a low profile:  to behave in a way that does not attract attention.

to sabotage: something: the act of destroying or damaging something deliberately so that it does.
to destroy something : to cause (something) to end or no longer exist : to cause the destruction of.

undercover: acting or executed in secret; specifically : employed or engaged in spying or secret investigation <an undercover agent/police officer>.

clandestine: done in a private place or way : done secretly. <clandestine activities/organization>.

Espionage: ,or spying, involves a government or individual obtaining information that is
considered secret or confidential without the permission of the holder of the information.

a spy:  (1)one who keeps secret watch on a person or thing to obtain information (2) a person employed by one nation to secretly convey classified information of strategic importance to another nation; also : a person who conveys the trade secrets of one company to another.

an operative: a secret agent; a person who works toward achieving the objectives of a larger interest <political operatives>.

a bug: a small hidden microphone (listening device) that is used to secretly listen to and record people.

a conspiracy: an agreement by 2 or more people to commit a crime.

a covert operation : a plan made in a way that is not easily seen or noticed : secret or hidden.

a threat: an expression of intention to inflict evil, injury, or damage.

a bomb: a device that is designed to explode in order to injure or kill people or to damage or something.

terrorism: the use of violent acts to frighten the people in an area as a way of trying to achieve a political goal.

a terrorist: a person who uses or supports the use of terrorism <terrorist activities/attacks/bombings/threats> <a terrorist organization/group/network>.

a sleeper (agent): A sleeper agent is a person who is recruited to an intelligence service to wake up and perform a specific set of tasks or functions while living under cover in an area of interest.

a double agent: a spy pretending to serve one government while actually serving another.

MI5: Military Intelligence, Section 5 - the United Kingdom's internal counter-intelligence.

MI6: Military Intelligence, Section 6 - the agency which supplies Her Majesty's Government with foreign intelligence.

FBI: The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) is a governmental agency belonging to the United States Department of Justice that serves as both a federal criminal investigative body and an internal intelligence agency (counterintelligence).

CIA: The Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) is an independent civilian intelligence agency of the United States government. It is an executive agency and reports directly to the Director of National Intelligence.

Military: of or relating to soldiers or the armed forces (such as the army, navy, marines, and air force) 

behind closed doors:   in private; only the people in the meeting know the information.

cloak and dagger: dealing in or suggestive of melodramatic intrigue and action usually involving secret agents and espionage <a cloak–and–dagger novel>.

Until next week!  Enjoy the Skyfall trailer and the original Dr No.

More James Bond!

Skyfall a Big Hit at the Oscars!

Connect with ALEX here or at
 Celebrity English -  Alex Blogspot


  1. Your article is as usually brilliant! I like your lessons with vocabulary exercises and often use them in my lessons. And thank you for the link to my blog!

    1. Thank you! I am more than happy to support your English language learning blog 'English for Alya и не только'. It is always fresh, interesting, and detailed. It is also wonderful that you are creating international bridges between countries!
      Best Regards,