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Frequently Asked Questions

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Is a COVID vaccination mandatory to be employed by NSPA?

All vacancy announcements include the requirement to be fully vaccinated at the time of receiving the offer of employment. No offer of employment shall be made to candidates who refuse, without a valid reason, to be vaccinated. No such requirements will be imposed on serving staff members (except for deployable positions).


I have a medical condition and I have exemption from the COVID vaccination can I still work at NSPA?

Yes. Members of personnel who are required to be fully vaccinated, but cannot be vaccinated for medical reasons shall submit to the Agency's Medical Advisor a medical certificate. The NSPA Medical Advisor shall have the authority to determine whether the request for an exemption is medically justified and to recommend to the General Manager appropriate measures.


How to apply? Important information

Please be aware that you need time to complete the first application process however: 

  • Your personal details will be kept for your future applications(s) 
  • You will not be able to edit and/or update your data, once your application has been completed and validate
All your data will be lost if:
  • You do not complete the application process. 
  • You switch between the language options - you should fill in the application process in the same language. 
  • You do not upload the required mandatory documents – please ensure to have an electronic copy available of your diploma(s), your CV, a motivation letter and any other supportive documents. 
When answering the job related questions, please note that expressions such as: "please see attachment", "annex", "enclosed document", "CV", or short answers as "yes", "no" etc., will not been taken into consideration. Applications which do not fulfill the above mentioned criterias will not be processed.


Who can apply to NSPA positions?

If you are interested to apply to one of our established positions at NSPA, please make sure you fulfill the following criteria:

  • Nationality: NSPA seeks talented professionals from the 30 NATO member countries in a variety of technical, managerial and administrative roles. 
  • Age restrictions: you must be over 21 and under 60 years of age at the time of taking up duties. Exceptionally, candidates may be appointed to junior positions in the B and C grades under the age of 21. Appointments of definite duration contracts may be offered to candidates of 60 years of age or more provided that the expiry date of the contract is not later than the date at which the candidate attains the age of 65. 
  • For internal vacancies: only NATO civilians, i.e. international civilian personnel from NSPA or any other NATO body are eligible to apply. 
  • Medical status: you must fulfill the physical standards demanded by the exercise of the functions and you are recognized as being free from or definitely cured of any disease which might constitute a risk to others. 
  • Language: you must be fluent in at least one of the two official NATO languages (English and French).


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. Numerous languages are spoken, and proficiency in other languages of NATO member states is often an asset.


Are there nationality restrictions?

Yes, only nationals of the 30 NATO member states may apply to vacancies. Additionally candidates must have completed national military service, if required in their home country, before applying for a post at the Headquarters. 


I have dual nationality, and one of my countries is not a NATO member state

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


How often are new jobs advertised on your career site?

New vacancies are frequently advertised based on the organisational needs. Please refer to our career website regularly.


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

Yes, but first ensure that you meet the specific requirements for each post.


What are the main requirements to apply for the different grades?

The requirements are defined in each vacancy. Please consult the information below, to provide you with some further insigths:

  • Grade A:
    • You must have several years of Senior relevant professional experience 
    • You must be fluent in one of the NATO official languages and possess a working language of the other (English and French) – This   requirement may vary depending on the position 
    • For A-2 & A-3 grades: You must be in possession of at least a University Degree (Bachelor) or equivalent education or equivalent professional experience.
    • For A-4 grades and above: You must be in possession of a Master's Degree or equivalent professional experience.
  • Grade L:
    • You are an interpreter or a translator: All L positions are covered by the linguistic services. 
  • Grade B: 
    • You must be fluent in one of the two official languages and have a working language of the other (some positions may require fluency in both, French & English language). 
    • You must possess the right educational qualifications or equivalent professional experience.
    • For B-4 and above: 
      • For technical positions you must have expertise in a specific field (example: IT, electronics, aircrafts, etc.). 
      • You must have at least 4 years or more of relevant professional experience in the area to which you are applying for. 
    • For B-2 & B-3 grades: 
      • You must have relevant administrative experience and skills 
      • You want to work as an executive assistant or secretary; or 
      • You are looking for a clerical job position; or 
      • You are a recent graduate with experience and willingness to grow professionally. 
      • You have some experience but want to develop your career in the logistics or procurement field. 
  • Grade C:
    • These positions cover the positions held by ancillary, operative, mechanical, manual or custodial personnel.


What is Deployment?

Deployment is defined as the assignment of a NATO civilian staff member to a location other than the duty station in order to perform duties in direct support of a North Atlantic Council (NAC) approved operation or in support of NSPO state(s) operations endorsed by the Agency Supervisory Board (ASB) in conformity with the NSPO Charter.  Deployments are either long-term or temporary short-term assignments. The decision to deploy will be based on several factors, including the nature of the deployment, the duration, the conditions at the location(s) to be visited, and an overall the risk assessment.


What is the NSPA Deployment Policy?

Certain NSPA positions have been created and funded by customers to cover missions requiring compulsory deployment. In these cases, the contracts for deployable civilians include a compulsory deployability clause. This deployability clause states that the position in question is earmarked for mandatory deployment in support of NAC-approved operations and missions. This means that the incumbent of the post may be required to deploy for 6 months out of every 18 months throughout the contract period.

Note: Consultants may be hired in support of operations. In this case, the place of duty for the operational phase of their assignment will be specified in the contract.


What can I expect from the selection process at NSPA?

Our selection process has been designed to assess your technical and behavioral competencies and will usually consist of a remote written and oral part.

  • Technical competencies also known as hard skills, describe the application of knowledge and skills needed to perform specific tasks in a specific job. Those can be taught in a classroom, and can be defined, evaluated, and measured. In other words, this is the "know-how" needed for successful performance. Examples include project management or knowledge of a specific weapon system or software. 
  • Behavioral competencies, also known as soft skills, describe the combination of abilities, motivations and personality traits required to perform effectively in a role. Examples include interpersonal skills, decision making, communication and leadership skills.
Different jobs require different competencies. You will find all relevant job-specific skills in the job description.


What can I expect from the remote written test?

Written tests are primarily designed to assess your technical skills, written abilities and proficiency in the Microsoft Office software suit. 

Remote written tests documents are being provided via e-mail and have a set duration.

Examples include:

  • Multiple choice questions 
  • Writing an essay on a job related subject / Preparing a business case
  • Preparing a short report or drafting general correspondence 
  • Preparing a presentation or briefing 
  • Answering practical tests 


What can I expect from the remote final interview?

Remote final interviews are conducted by a Panel via Webex. Typically the Panel is made of 4 members (2 hiring managers, a Human Resources representative, a neutral member and a staff association member). These 5 members assess your performance during the interview. 

The interview takes between 35 minutes (for B grade posts) to 50 minutes (for A grade posts).

During the remote final interview, NSPA frequently applies the Situation, Task, Action, Result (STAR) technique. This means that in order to expose your competencies you may be required to describe a situation you have faced, display the task needed to be performed, how you acted in that situation and what was the final result.

This technique will enable you to provide concrete and structured responses. Please note that personal documents / notes are allowed during the selection process.


How can I prepare for my interview?

  • Refer to the job description (duties and requirements) and base your answers on concrete examples. 
  • Structure your answers and rehearse 
  • Align your skills, competencies and experiences with those requested in the job description 
  • We would like you to have some knowledge of NATO and NSPA activities. We expect you to have an understanding of who we are, what we do and what you can do to enhance our Organization.


Any specific tip for my interview?

  • Keep calm and positive 
  • The Panel intention is to set you up for success.
  • Be mindful of your body language, be natural and maintain eye contact with the Panel members 
  • Listen carefully to all the questions being asked (take notes if needed) and do not hesitate to ask for any clarification.
  • Remember to apply the STAR technique (Situation, Task, Action, Result), in order to provide concrete and structured responses.


What are the selection criterias?

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


Do I need a NATO Security clearance to apply at NSPA

No, this is not a mandatory requirement. If selected for a civilian position at NSPA, our Security Office will request it from the candidate's national authorities. The clearance process can take from several months up to one year, depending on various factors beyond NATO's control.


What happens if I am selected for a post at NSPA?

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 NSPA's Office of Security from the candidate's national authorities. The clearance process can take from several months up to one year, depending on various factors beyond NATO's control.
  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.


Internal mobility

Applications (for a promotion and/or a transfer) from new staff members for NSPA will only be considered after they have served a minimum of 1 year in their current position (deviation from this rule can occur if in the interest of the Agency or in case of difficulties to recruit qualified and suitable staff).


The questions I have are not among these FAQs. What should I do?

Please email your questions to recruitment@nspa.nato.int and we will ensure to treat your request within the most brief delays or we will update the FAQs if the answers may be of interest to other candidates.


Before sending us an email please review the FAQ and note the following

We are not in the position to change your interview date or time.

  1. For questions related to your Travel, Hotels, and flight booking please contact travel.capellen@nspa.nato.int
  2. For questions related to the medical questionnaire please contact medical@nspa.nato.int
  3. In case you want to contact your National Authority, please click here


General rules applicable when participating the oral interview

Except for the documents provided by the NSPA Talent Acquisition and Development Office, please note that no other documents / personal written notes are allowed during the oral interview.


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