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Australian Security Intelligence Organisation (ASIO) Online Preparation – 2024

Job Aptitude Tests

What Is ASIO?

The Australian Security Intelligence Organisation (ASIO) is an Australian agency that protects the country against threats. In particular, the ASIO protects Australians from sabotage, espionage, foreign interference, and threats to border integrity. This organisation is similar to the FBI in the United States or MI5 in the UK.

Over 2000 employees are working mainly out of the ASIO’s Canberra offices. Although most of what the agents do is secretive, the values that they uphold are not. Job seekers looking to join the ASIO should study the following values and ensure they are showcased throughout the recruitment process:

  • Evolving: Those at ASIO are adaptive, innovative, courageous, and engage in risk.
  • Ethical: ASIO employees build trust and embody integrity.
  • Excelling: Agents deliver value, drive accountability, and are enterprise-minded.
  • Empowering: ASIO agents include, enable, and collaborate with others.


Working at the ASIO

ASIO has a history of employing individuals from all parts of their career path, from new graduates to seasoned professionals. They also hire people moving into a new sector later in their careers, such as previous athletes, teachers, and philosophers. No matter where you are in your career, ASIO has opportunities for you in several departments across the agency.


What Is the Recruitment Process at ASIO?

Online Application

The recruitment process at ASIO can take up to 12 months to complete. You must also be an Australian citizen living in Australia at the time of application and for all stages of the hiring process.

Once you have researched the available positions, you can complete an online application for the role you are most excited about. You must create an online login for the application to access the form. Be sure to store this information somewhere safe, as you won’t be able to reset your login information.

The application form will require detailed information such as your contact details, previous employment history, and educational background. Note that the online form will timeout after 15 minutes of inactivity. Therefore, preparing your responses in another word-processing program may be best.


Initial Screening

Applicants who meet the requirements for the position will complete an initial screening, which will be done via phone or video. This is done to further assess qualifications to ensure your suitability for the role. This is also an excellent opportunity to ask questions about ASIO or the recruitment process.

Remember that you have already been shortlisted at this point in the process, and other candidates have been weeded out. They already know you are qualified for the position; they are looking to see if you are more suitable than the other qualified candidates.


ASIO Psychometric Testing

Those who do well in the initial screening will graduate with the pre-employment assessments. These psychometric tests will assess your critical thinking skills and ability to perform the job’s essential functions. The tests you take may differ depending on the role you are applying for. However, all candidates should prepare to take the following exams:

  • Abstract Reasoning TestThis logical reasoning test will assess your ability to identify patterns and apply that knowledge to solve problems. The questions will present a series of images linked by an underlying rule that you must identify and use to select the next image in the series.
  • Spatial Reasoning TestThe spatial reasoning test will also examine your ability to identify patterns but will be in the 2-dimensional and 3-dimensional spaces. You will need to visualise and manipulate various shapes and figures, such as finding a mirror image of a shape or identifying a figure from a different vantage point.
  • Logical Reasoning TestThe logical reasoning assessment will require analysing the information to draw accurate conclusions. The question types may be verbal or image-based and may be multiple-choice or free-form. You’ll want to read through these questions and answer choices carefully, as the correct answer may not be obvious.
  • Numerical Reasoning TestThe numerical reasoning exam will assess your comprehension of mathematical concepts and your ability to perform basic calculations such as fractions and ratios. Some of these questions will include word problems or equations where you must perform basic algebra or geometry, while others will involve interpreting data sets in tables, charts, and graphs.
    You will not need an advanced understanding of mathematics to do well on this test. The purpose is to see how you interpret, analyse, and form conclusions based on the information and data.
  • Mechanical Reasoning TestThose in more technical and hands-on roles may also take a mechanical reasoning test. This exam will assess your understanding of physical and mechanical concepts such as forces, pressure, acceleration, etc.
    This test will be multiple-choice and is usually image-based. For example, a diagram may depict an event, and you must answer questions about a missing piece or what will happen next according to the laws of physics and other mechanical concepts.
  • Diagrammatic Reasoning TestSome candidates will also take a diagrammatic reasoning exam to examine specialised logical and abstract reasoning skills. This exam is image-based and similar to the abstract reasoning exam; you will receive a series of images and must determine the underlying rule or pattern to select the missing image.
    One aspect that makes this test challenging is that the questions often build on one another, so you may have to answer several puzzles correctly to reach an ultimate conclusion.
  • Skills Tests – In addition to the basic ability and psychometric testing, the ASIO may ask you to take a skills test based on the specific role that you are applying for. These are specialised to particular tasks in your position. For example, if you are working with computer programming or code, you may need to test in a specific programming language to show that you are proficient in that skill.
  • Personality TestASIO also requires their applicants to complete a personality test to examine their traits and behaviours. While this exam does not test role-specific knowledge, the questions on the exam relate to how you might behave in that role and the characteristics that would help you be successful. The test will give the hiring team insight into how you think and instinctively react.
  • Situational Judgment TestLastly, candidates must also complete a situational judgment test (SJT). This test will present simulated workplace scenarios similar to what you may encounter in the role. These questions are multiple-choice, and the scenarios will either be in a video format or written. Applicants must review the situation and choose the most and least likely action from the responses.
    Like the personality test, the SJT does not have outright correct answers. However, the agency will be looking for candidates who respond and behave in a way that aligns with their core values.


Final Interviews

The final active stage of the ASIO recruitment process is the final interview. The final interview will be behaviour and ability-based, and you will likely answer questions about your past accomplishments and how you typically act in the workplace. This conversation may be in a one-on-one interview, a panel interview, or an assessment centre. No matter the format, you will want to study your CV, prepare responses to standard interview questions, and practice formatting your responses in the STAR format: Situation, task, action, and result.


Security Assessment

Candidates who do well in the final interview will undergo a final security check before receiving an employment offer from ASIO. This check will investigate your background, employment history, criminal record, and social media presence. You should also expect that your close friends and family will be scrutinised.


How to Prepare for the ASIO Assessment?

The ASIO is highly selective on who they recruit to join the organisation. To prove to the hiring team that you are qualified for the position and the best candidate, you must do well on the assessments you take during the hiring process.

The personality and aptitude tests are designed to give the ASIO hiring team a complete picture of your skills and abilities. Any candidates who do not do well on these tests will be eliminated from the process. To ensure you are successful on these exams, you should give yourself enough time to prepare.

Online preparation tools such as practice tests are a great way to study for various exams. Full-length online practice tests will give several sample questions and solutions you can work through and provide a sense of managing your time during the exam. Many practice tests will also give you tips and full explanations to help you on the test.