NATO - North Atlantic Treaty Organization

General Information

Questions and Answers

About vacancies in general:

About restrictions on applying:

About the status of my application:

About the selection process:

About employment conditions, etc.:

About vacancies in general:

In what countries does NATO have employment opportunities for civilians?

Please find below a list of current international civilian staff vacancies in the various NATO locations world-wide.

How can I apply?

A NATO application form must be completed and returned to the Recruitment Service, clearly indicating the reference number of the post you are applying for. You may also submit your curriculum vitae or résumé, but you must send in an application form in all cases.

For category A posts, your application should be sent to Recruitment.A@hq.nato.int.
For category B, C or L posts, your application should be sent to Recruitment.LBC@hq.nato.int.

Alternatively, you may submit your application to the Recruitment Service through your national delegation or authorities. The following link provides a list of contact details for national delegations to NATO.

Can I attach letters of reference to my application?

Yes, you can send a résumé, supporting documents or letters of recommendation with your application. However, these do not replace the standard application form which must be completed for every vacancy you wish to apply for. For ease of processing, we request that any additional documents be grouped in one additional file when sent electronically.

Can I send my application via fax or mail?

We strongly recommend that you submit your application electronically. However, if you are not able to do so, you may send your completed application form to us by post or fax.

How often are new jobs posted on your website?

New vacancies are posted as soon as they appear, so do check our Employment website frequently.

May I apply for more than one vacancy at a time?

Yes, but first ensure that you meet the specific requirements for each post, and please submit a separate application form for each vacancy, indicating the associated reference number in each case.

Does NATO HQ hold large-scale competitions, similar to the EU's “concours”?

No, NATO HQ only recruits to fill specific posts. In other words, a competition is held for every vacancy, and NATO HQ does not organize open competitions for general recruitment. Occasionally, NATO HQ holds competitions to draw up reserve lists for specific posts, but this will be indicated in the vacancy notice.

May I submit an application even if there are no suitable vacancies?

No. Only applications for specific advertised vacancies are considered.

How can I learn about employment opportunities NATO-wide? Is there a central information portal?

More information about vacancies and employment in other NATO bodies (if not listed below) can be found from the list of NATO Agencies and Commands.

About restrictions on applying:

Are there nationality restrictions?

Yes, only nationals of the 28 NATO member states may apply for vacancies. Additionally candidates must have completed national military service, if it is required in their home country, before applying for a post at the Headquarters. Finally, fluency in one of the two official NATO languages (French and English) is essential.

I have dual nationality, and one of my countries is not a NATO member state – do I still qualify for employment at NATO?

Yes, as long as you are a citizen of at least one NATO member state you may apply for employment at NATO.

Are there national quotas?

No, NATO does not manage by quotas and seeks to hire the best-qualified applicant for each post. However, ensuring geographical balance among the member states is a consideration for an Alliance such as NATO.

In what language should I apply?

In either of the two official languages of NATO (French and English). As a general principle, the Organization requires fluency in one of these languages and a working knowledge of the other. However, the proficiency needed in the second language depends on the specific post. The vacancy notice stipulates the linguistic skills required. In practice, moreover, numerous languages are spoken, and proficiency in other languages of NATO member states is often an asset.

About the status of my application:

What happens after my application is submitted?

Following the deadline for the vacancy, all applications are reviewed. Candidates of interest are invited to continue with the selection process.

Will I receive feedback on my application?

Only candidates invited for a test or interview will hear from us. It is generally at least one month from the closing date for applications, or longer for certain posts, before short-listed candidates receive an invitation from NATO to attend a test or interview. However, you may track the stage reached in the selection process by going to Status of previous vacancies on the Employment website.

Is my application kept for future vacancies?

No, you must submit a separate application for each vacancy that interests you, and only candidates who have applied for a specific vacancy will be considered.

About the selection process:

How will I know if I am selected for interview?

In general, candidates invited for an interview will be notified by e-mail several weeks before the date of the test and/or interview.

How is the interview scheduled?

In your application you are asked to indicate any periods when you will not be available. We try to accommodate your dates, but unfortunately this is not always possible.

What will the selection process involve?

Selection for posts in the NATO International Staff generally involves some combination of the following:

Language Test
All candidates (for posts up to and including grade A.5) undergoing selection take a computer-based language test to evaluate their comprehension and writing skills in the second official language. French native speakers are tested in English, English native speakers in French. Non-native speakers of the two official languages are tested in their weaker official language. The results give the selection panel an objective assessment of a candidate’s comprehension and writing abilities. The candidate’s oral ability is assessed directly by the interview panel. Language test results are valid for two years; if a candidate applies for another position more than two years after the language test was taken, he/she will be required to sit it again to evaluate any improvement or regression in his/her knowledge of the language.

Assessment Centre
An Assessment Centre may be organized for posts of grade A.5 and above. It is usually a one-day event organized by an external provider in coordination with HR, and may either be selective (in which case only those candidates judged to possess the required competencies will be invited for subsequent interview) or non-selective (so that the results of the Assessment Centre provide additional information to help the selection panel weigh all candidates).

Written test/Group exercises
In most cases, a written test allows the selection panel to assess candidates’ technical or specialist job-related knowledge. In this test, candidates are required to demonstrate their knowledge of both official NATO languages (English and French). Sometimes the test is selective and only the candidates with the best results are invited to return for interview. On other occasions, the test is followed immediately (or on the following day) by an interview.

Secretarial tests
Candidates for administrative support posts are tested on their practical knowledge of the Microsoft suite as well as standard secretarial requirements.

Security Guards/Fire-fighters/Technical Staff
For certain posts (e.g. security guards, fire-fighters, technical staff) physical trials, psycho-technical and/or practical tests are held.

Interviews
Interviews are conducted by a panel usually made up of 5 members/observers. The interview lasts approximately one hour and due attention is given to the two official languages of the Organization (English and French). Questions relate to the job content and cover background, skills and competencies required for the post.

What are the selection criteria?

The selection criteria – in terms of qualifications, professional experience, technical skills and competencies required for the post – are clearly outlined in each vacancy notice.

Will I be informed if not selected for the post after the interview?

Yes, if you are interviewed you will be notified of the outcome of your application.

What happens if I am selected for a post at NATO HQ?

Once a candidate is officially selected for a post, certain administrative formalities must be completed before a final offer letter can be sent to a candidate. These include:

1) obtaining security clearance, which is requested by NATO’s Office of Security from the candidate’s national authorities. The clearance process can take from several months to one year, depending on various factors beyond NATO’s control (the nationality and background of the candidate, employment history, etc);

2) completion of a medical file. The successful candidate is required to fill in a medical questionnaire, and provide the results of routine medical checks and a doctor’s overall assessment of health to the NATO Medical Service. While a pre-existing medical condition is not in itself grounds for refusal of employment by NATO, it may lead to certain exclusions from the NATO medical insurance.

Candidates are strongly discouraged from taking any action to give notice or terminate their current employment until they have received a final offer letter confirming full completion of the NATO file (including the security and medical aspects). It is by this letter that the candidate is requested to indicate the earliest date when he/she can take up duties at NATO.

About employment conditions, etc.:

What benefits does NATO offer to its employees?

The numerous benefits are outlined in Working for NATO on the Employment website.

Are there opportunities for temporary work?

Yes, NATO HQ provides opportunities for temporary work. For further information please consult our Interim Staff website.

What is NATO’s policy on the employment of spouses?

The International Staff of NATO encourages the employment of spouses or other relatives. Although there are some restrictions on relatives working in the same organizational unit, they are welcome to hold short-term assignments or temporary contracts in the International Staff. For further information please consult our Interim Staff website.

Do you have an internship programme?

Yes. Please consult the NATO Internship Programme website for internships, fellowships or scholarships. However, please note that the NATO HQ Recruitment Service does not deal with internships, fellowships or scholarships, nor does it deal with vacancies from other NATO bodies or agencies. Applications must be sent directly to the NATO body concerned.

Where can I find information about Brussels?

The HR team of the NATO International Staff has put together some general information about life in Brussels.

I need to speak to someone in NATO’s Human Resources Department about jobs or training opportunities. The questions I have are not among these FAQs. What should I do?

Please email your questions to recruitment.a@hq.nato.int and we will try to respond or update the FAQs if the answers may be of interest to other candidates. However, please note that due to the high level of interest in working at NATO we can unfortunately not respond individually to all queries.