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Frequently Asked Questions


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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 be able to edit and/or update your data before the deadline of the publication therefore you can initially only complete the mandatory fields in your application.
All your data will be lost if:
  • You do not finish the application process. 
  • You switch between the language options - you should start and finish the application process in the same language. 
  • You cannot upload the required mandatory documents – please ensure to have an electronic copy available of your diploma(s), your CV, a cover letter and any other documents. 
  • You cannot provide your Skype address (except for NSPA staff members) – please ensure to create your Skype account beforehand.
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., are not accepted. Applications which do not fulfill the above mentioned prerequisites will not be processed.

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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 their appointments. Exceptionally, candidates may be appointed to junior positions in the B and C categories under the age of 21. Appointments of definite duration 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).

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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.

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Are there nationality restrictions?

Yes, only nationals of the 30 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.

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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.

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How often are new jobs posted on your career site?

New vacancies are posted as soon as they appear. We have new openings every week so do check our career site frequently.

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

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

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

The requirements are clearly defined in each vacancy, but this info may be helpful to guide you:

  • 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 (or equivalent education) 
    • For A-4 grades and above: You must be in possession of a Master's Degree 
  • Grade L 
    • You are an interpreter, a translator: All L positions cover 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. 
    • For B-4 and above: 
      • You must have experience as a technician on a specific field (IT, electronics, aircrafts, etc.). 
      • You must have at least 4 years or more of relevant experience in the area you are applying for. 
    • For B-2 & B-3 grades: 
      • You must have administrative experience and skills or 
      • You want to work as 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.

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What is Deployment?

Deployment is defined as the assignment of a NATO civilian staff member to a location other than the duty station 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. The decision to deploy will be based on several factors, including nature of the deployment, duration, conditions at the location(s) to be visited, and an overall risk assessment.

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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.

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What can I expect from the selection process at NSPA?

Our selection process has been designed to test your technical and behavioral competencies and will usually consist of a 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 planning 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 abilities.
Different jobs require different competencies. You will find all relevant job-specific skills in the job description, so you know what to expect.

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What can I expect from the written test?

Written tests are primarily designed to test your technical skills, written abilities and proficiency in the Microsoft Office software suit. Tests are on computer with Windows 10 environment (MS Office 2016) and typically take between 1.5 to 3 hours.

Examples include:

  • Multiple choice questions 
  • Writing an essay on a job related subject 
  • Preparing a short report or drafting general correspondence 
  • Preparing a presentation or briefing 
  • Answering practical tests 
  • The tests take place in a dedicated room and there is no need to bring your own equipment.

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What can I expect from the face-to-face interview?

Our face-to-face interviews are conducted by a Panel. Typically the Panel is made of 4 members (2 hiring managers, a Human Resources representative and a neutral member). These 4 members assess your performance during the interview. There may be a 5th person in case there is one or more internal applicants for the post. That 5th person is a representative of the Civilian Staff Association Committee.

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

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

This technique brings more structure to the interview and enables you to be better prepared in delivering your answers. Except for the documents provided by the NSPA Human Resources Division, please note that no other documents / personal written notes are allowed during the selection tests.

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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. We expect you to have an understanding of who we are, what we do and what you can do to enhance our Organization.

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Any specific tip for my interview?

  • Keep calm and positive 
  • Remember that the Panel is not there to trick or intimidate you. They want you to succeed. 
  • Be aware 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) 
  • Be consistent and keep to the point and structure your answers 
  • Do not be afraid to ask for clarification if a question is unclear 
  • Although the Panel has your application form, do not assume prior knowledge on their part. You still need to present yourself.

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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.

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Do I need a NSPA Security clearance to apply at NSPA

No, this is not a necessary 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 to one year, depending on various factors beyond NATO's control (the nationality and background of the candidate, employment history, etc.).

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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 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.

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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 3 years 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).

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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 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 NSPA we can unfortunately not respond to all individual queries.

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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

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