Applying for Government of Canada jobs: What to expect

Overview of the process

Getting a federal public service job includes several steps. Here’s what you can expect (though not necessarily in this order):

  1. Apply to a job
  2. Check your GC Jobs account to see if you have been screened in
  3. Take a written test, or go to an interview if required
  4. Provide references to the manager and go through security screening
  5. Check your GC Jobs account/email to receive updates on the process

Testing, interviews and accommodation measures

After you’ve applied, if you’re screened in, you may be asked to write a test or series of tests. You may also be invited to an interview. Let the person inviting you to the test or interview know, as soon as possible, if you think assessment accommodation measures could make tests or interviews more accessible to you.

Learn more about testing and accommodation measures.

Types of work

There are several ways you can get hired into the federal public service:

Did you know?

  • Our hiring processes are unique, and so are our job postings
  • Follow the GC Jobs social media channels for job postings, updates and alerts:
  • All positions have official language requirements
    • For bilingual positions, you could be tested at any point in the hiring process
    • You can try out the self-assessment tests for written expression and reading comprehension in your second language before you take the official tests

Tips and tricks

Take it step by step!

  • The merit-based hiring process takes time
  • Each step can take 4 weeks to a few months (application, interviews, tests, and security screening)
  • Play the long game: in 2021, the median time to hire a new candidate was 227 days

Apply to multiple jobs

  • Managers can hire for more than one position in a job posting by using “pools” and inventories  (lists of candidates) that they can pull from over time
  • Read the “Intent of the Process” in the job posting to see if a “pool” is being created
  • Increase your chances by applying to multiple jobs, especially ones that create pools

Application tips

  • Set aside 1 to 3 hours to complete your application
  • Write and save your answers in a separate document so you can get feedback, use tools to check your grammar and spelling, and repurpose them for other applications
  • GC Jobs occasionally experiences periods of downtime, so:
    • apply ahead of the deadline
    • follow the GC Jobs social media channels for job postings, updates and alerts:

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