How to join

Application process

Your step-by-step guide

Below is your step-by-step guide on what to expect at various stages of the application process, specifically for military roles. It's a little more thorough than applying for other jobs. All up, you should allow about 3-6 months for your application to be processed. This includes health and security checks, assessments and interviews.

Remember – a career with us is more rewarding than other jobs – so stick with it. And  you're not alone. You'll be assigned a Candidate Coordinator who will help you through the process and answer any questions as you go.

After a civilian role? Your application process is slightly different. Scroll down to the bottom of this page to read more.

 Want a printed copy of the application process? Download one now.

1. Gather documents

First things first – before you register make sure you have the following information ready:

  1. Full Name
  2. Date and place of birth
  3. Address and contact details
  4. NZ Driver Licence number (to support the initial Police check)

To complete the entire process, you'll need:

  1. Your next of kin's name and contact details
  2. Birth certificate
  3. Completed CV with previous employment details including dates, employer, locations and duties
  4. Record of learning showing school qualifications, including subjects, grades gained and year obtained, and NZQA number if you have one
  5. Any tertiary or trade qualifications you have achieved with grades gained and year obtained
  6. Your driver licence details (number, classes and any endorsements)
  7. Dates and outcomes of any criminal convictions
  8. Your current accurate height and weight
  9. Your Doctor's name and contact details i.e. telephone and address
  10. Dates, details and outcomes of any past or current medical conditions, (eg operations, broken bones, asthma history, any medications)
  11. Your vaccination/immunisation history (this can be obtained from your Doctor)
  12. A list of your preferred trades and service(s)
  13. If you have served previously, you will need to supply some previous service details e.g. your service number.

It's important to take your time and get this stage right, as it will save a lot of time and effort later on. 

Basically, the sooner you get the right information together, or respond to requests for new information, the faster your application will go through.

2. Register and apply online

Once your documents are in order you can register to create your profile. Just click the link below this step-by-step guide.

Registration takes about 20 minutes. Once you've created your profile you can then being your application.

Completing your application should take about 1 hour.

We'll review your application and get back to you within three days. If you don't meet the minimum entry requirements, we'll let you know.

At this stage you'll be assigned your Candidate Co-ordinator who will keep in touch and is there to answer any questions you might have.

3. Complete application

Once you've registered you can sign in to your account and complete your application.

This will involve a medical and Police check.

Once you've completed and submitted this form – congratulations – you've now formally applied! Your application will now be reviewed by a candidate co-ordinator.

If everything is in order you'll be sent an email asking you to return to your secure candidate portal to fill out a medical questionnaire and an initial background security check.

 

 

4. Attend Assessment Day (A-Day)

Good work so far!

Next you'll be invited to A-Day (your Assessment Day), where we'll test out your mental aptitude and physical fitness to make sure you're up to scratch.

Don't stress – you've got this. You can get ready, and make sure you pass with flying colours, by completing our sample Aptitude Tests and using the Force Fit App in advance (you can find those on this website). 

If for any reason you're unsuccessful at this stage, we'll discuss further options with you.

5. Attend interview

At this point, interviews take place. Successful applicants to sailor, soldier, airmen and airwomen roles will either join the candidate pool or attend a selection board. The selection board process is required for certain roles only. 

Successful applicants to officer roles will attend an officer selection board.

If for any reason you're unsuccessful at this stage, we'll discuss further options with you.​

6. Enter candidate pool

The time taken to be selected for a role depends on your individual strengths, the requirements of your role and how often your role is recruited for. Please note some roles are only taken on annually, and we reserve the right to close-off applications for a specific trade when necessary, or to make alternative trade suggestions.

It will also depend on your motivation and readiness for the various stages of the recruitment process and assessments.

To help with processing time ensure you respond to requests for information as efficiently as possible.

If for any reason you are unsuccessful at this stage, we will discuss further options with you.​

7. Offer of service

This is where we make a formal job offer, which is ubject to full security and medical clearance.

8. Full medical

A full medical now happens to make sure you meet our health standards for service. If for any reason you're unsuccessful at this stage, we'll discuss further options with you.​

9. Attend induction day

Almost there! Our induction day is an opportunity for us to meet you one last time before you join. Here there is further fitness testing, we'll start preparing you for joining.

again, if for any reason you're unsuccessful at this stage, we'll discuss further options with you.​

10. Join intake - training begins

You made it! Congratulations – you now join your intake, and basic training begins. 

Service full width 01 v2

Documents ready? Apply now.

If you've read the step-by-step guide and have your documents ready, then it's time to register.

Aptitude tests

Like many employers, the NZDF uses tests as part of their selection process. The tests provide us with information about how you might perform in a particular job. This helps us place you into jobs that match your abilities. Most people are naturally nervous about tests, so here we've created some practice aptitude tests that you can do before A-Day to get yourself ready.

 

Download a zip file of our practice aptitude tests

Applying for civilian roles

Shortlisting and privacy
Interviews
Security and residency
Health
Application checklist

Applications for civilian roles are handled slightly differently to military roles in the Defence Force.

They generally work more like standard civilian roles, in that you'll be considered against the knowledge, skills, experience, competencies and other requirements contained in the job description.

After that, a short list of candidates are selected, and contacted to arrange an interview. 

All non-shortlisted applicants will be advised in writing that their application has been unsuccessful.

If you are shortlisted, please ensure that you let us know of anything else we need to be aware of that may affect your employment within Defence Force. Please note that if you are appointed you may be required to produce your academic records, and your driving record if driving is required for the job.

PRIVACY PROVISIONS

Under the Privacy Act 1993, all information given will be treated as confidential and will be made available only to those involved in managing the recruitment process.

 

A typical interview panel is made up of approximately three people. Interviews will be structured around the requirements in the position description.

If you're the preferred applicant, you'll be offered the position as soon as possible after the completion of all interviews, by telephone.  After discussion, a formal offer will be made in writing.  If your application is not successful, you'll be informed in writing.

Many appointments in the Defence Force require the incumbent to have access to classified information from time to time. An offer of appointment to the New Defence Force will therefore be subject to the approval of a security clearance to the level appropriate to the position.

Applicants must hold a minimum of a New Zealand (NZ) Residence class visa and be able to obtain and maintain the required level of NZ Government security clearance for the position applied for.  The minimum citizenship and residency criteria for security clearances to be granted by the NZ Defence Force are:

LOW LEVEL SECURITY CLEARANCE

Applicant is:

  • a NZ citizen or NZ Residence class visa holder who has resided continuously in this country for the last 5 years, OR
  • a NZ Residence class visa holder, and has resided continuously in one or more of the following countries for the last 5 years: either Australia, Canada, NZ, UK or the USA; and has a background history that is verifiable and can be assessed as appropriate by the NZSIS towards a recommendation of suitability for a security clearance at a higher level.

If you don't meet these minimum criteria, we may not be able to accept your application.

HIGHER LEVEL SECURITY CLEARANCE

Applicant is:

  • a NZ citizen or NZ Residence class visa holder who has resided continuously in this country for the last 10 years, OR
  • a NZ Residence class visa holder and has resided continuously in one or more of the following countries for the last 10 years: either Australia, Canada, NZ, UK or the USA; and has a background history that is verifiable and can be assessed as appropriate by the NZSIS towards a recommendation of suitability for a security clearance at a higher level.

If you don't meet these minimum criteria, we may not be able to accept your application.

CRIMINAL CONVICTIONS

Criminal convictions are checked as part of the security clearance.

Please note that the Criminal Records (Clean Slate) Act 2004, does not apply to employees who are involved in the national security of New Zealand (ie where a security clearance is required, convictions will not be hidden). However, having a criminal conviction will not necessarily exclude you from obtaining a security clearance.

If you're shortlisted you will be asked to complete a Health Declaration Form. This is to let us know of any health issues or disability that you have that could affect your ability to carry out the duties of the position. Letting us know that you have a medical condition or disability will not exclude you from being considered for the position. If you require special services or facilities then we'll do what we can to accommodate you. 

TO COMPLETE THE APPLICATION, YOU WILL NEED: 

  1. Your Next of Kin's name and contact details
  2. NZQA Number if you have one
  3. School qualifications including subjects, grades gained and year obtained
  4. Any tertiary or trade qualifications you have achieved with grades gained and year obtained
  5. If relevant, any previous employment details including dates, employer, locations and duties
  6. Your driver licence details (number, classes and any endorsements)
  7. Dates and outcomes of any criminal convictions
  8. Your current accurate height and weight
  9. Your Doctor's name and contact details i.e. telephone and address
  10. Dates, details and outcomes of any past or current medical conditions, (e.g. operations, broken bones, asthma history, any medications)
  11. Your vaccination/immunisation history (this can be obtained from your Doctor)
  12. A list of your preferred trades and Service(s)
  13. If you have served previously, you will need to supply some previous service details e.g. your Service Number

Once you've completed the application form, you've formally applied, and your application will be reviewed by a candidate coordinator. If everything appears in order, you'll receive an email requesting you to return to your secure candidate portal in order to fill out a medical questionnaire and an initial background security check.

Review of appointment

In accordance with Section 67 of the Defence Act 1990, the Defence force has a Review of Appointment process that enables current employees to request a review of an appointment. This means that appointments are provisional for a period of 7 days from the date the appointment is notified in the Defence Force to allow employees who wish to seek a review to do so.

If you are the preferred applicant and a review is lodged, you will be informed and your appointment will remain provisional.

Please note: Any information relating to the appointment that is collected from the successful applicant may be disclosed to an employee seeking, or considering seeking, a review of an appointment.

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