A few days ago, you signed Statutory Declaration to say that you are willing to be honest and not mislead the process. Now, that the day has arrived, imagine sitting in front of an Intelligence Officer for a few hours for a chat.

It turns out that the Intel Officer has been hired by the Recruitment Agency or the Company. Congratulations – you have been short-listed. It’s the dream job.

The Intel Officer assures you that your answers will never go back to the employer. There’s a preamble, then the questions start. Icebreaker: tell me about your life – where you grew up, your family structure and then on to different topics – jobs, travel, finances. The Intel Officer has heard it all before – nothing is a shock – and you don’t hold back. Some of the questions seem insignificant to you, other questions lead to deeper questions – needing more detail about the events, people, places. 

You finish the interview & leave. You’ve been open, full, frank, truthful – no regrets. You know that this is the new pre-employment reality — your life: activities, associations, motivations are all placed into a well-defined grid of community expectations.

More than 350,000 people have undergone this type of questioning before. Most pass. Some do not. Some can’t be trusted, some are dishonest and can’t or won’t change. Some are struggling with other issues in their life that leave them vulnerable to be coerced, or the temptation to do the wrong thing is too strong.

The Intel Officer, known in the industry as an Assessing Officer or a Vetting Officer provides a very high level recommendation about your suitability: For Sure, Think So, Doubt it, No Way.

You know that it forms only one part of the recruitment decision. You know that if you don’t get offered the job, it might just mean there was another person more suitable for the job, that’s all.

But you have come to realise that this process helps the Employer demonstrate legislative compliance and due diligence by using an independent third party professional. It helps them show the company owners, directors and others that they have done what they could to keep the company’s reputation, assets, resources and information safe from harm.

A note to any potential Candidate:
The questions will cover most areas of your personal and professional life and are used to build as complete a picture of you as possible. We need to establish whether you are suitable and whether you can be relied upon to safeguard the sensitive information/resources you will have access to.
The SAI is likely to take between two and four hours to complete. Please note that it is not uncommon for interviews to take longer than four hours, particularly in the CL3 service.
We assess your loyalty, honesty and reliability, and whether you could be particularly vulnerable to manipulation, blackmail or coercion. You will be asked questions on wide ranging topics such as your relationships, finances, substance use, overseas travel and connections, employment history or political views.
Some of the questions will be intrusive. If you have any doubts about the relevance of a question please ask the interviewing officer for clarification.
You should be completely honest. Sometimes people have aspects of their lives that they are ashamed of or embarrassed to tell us about. Usually these are of little or no suitability significance.
Our vetting officers are qualified, trained and experienced professionals and are unlikely to be shocked or surprised by anything you say. Please ensure your responses are truthful and do not seek to withhold information. The consequences are likely to be more significant if it is identified that you have been untruthful or withheld information. 

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More interesting reading:

  • Are you Vigilant in your Vetting? Read more here
  • 1 in 4 fail pre-employment integrity tests. Click here