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Frequently Asked Questions


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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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