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Frequently asked questions

Who can apply?

Positions at the European Central Bank (ECB) are open to nationals of European Union (EU) Member States or nationals of an “acceding country” to the European Union.

List of countries

Possession of a work permit for an EU Member State does not allow you to apply for positions at the ECB. If you are in the process of obtaining citizenship of a European Union Member State you may also be eligible to apply, providing that the process is completed before you begin working for the ECB.

In addition, all applicants must be between the ages of 18 and 65 to work at the ECB.

What is the official language of the ECB? In which language do I need to apply?

The official language of the ECB is English and any information provided in the context of an application must be in English.

In general, candidates should have an excellent knowledge of English, with a proven drafting ability. In addition, the ECB requires all candidates to have at least a working knowledge of one other EU language. For some positions, knowledge of other languages can be an advantage.

What expertise should I have in order to work at the ECB?

The ECB seeks to recruit talented individuals from different backgrounds, who want to grow as professionals in a dynamic, data-driven environment. We are looking for candidates with strong interpersonal and communication skills to work in a multinational, team-orientated and collaborative environment. ECB staff work in English and are expected to have an excellent command of that language, with proven drafting ability.

Further information on the required expertise for individual positions at the ECB can be found in the individual vacancy notices.

Vacancies

How can I apply?

To apply for a position at the ECB you first need to register and create your personal profile via our online recruitment portal, stating your experience, qualifications and languages. You will then need to answer a series of questions to complete your application. Once it is completed and submitted, you will receive a confirmation via email.

All vacancies are posted on the ECB’s website and applications may only be submitted through the online recruitment portal.

Vacancies

Please note that any other source or website asking for your application details is fraudulent.

Can I send an open application to the ECB?

The ECB does not accept unsolicited applications sent via e-mail or post. All applications to the ECB must be submitted via our online recruitment portal.

How can I be notified of your current vacancies?

To receive information on any employment opportunities, please register for job alerts via the online recruitment portal on the ECB website. Simply log into your account and go to your profile. Click on “Create job alert” and set your search criteria accordingly (or leave the fields blank to be notified of all employment opportunities). Set the frequency to daily or weekly and then click on “Submit”. You will then be informed by email whenever a new vacancy is opened that matches your search criteria.

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

The ECB does not restrict the number of applications per candidate. Before applying for any position, please carefully evaluate whether your professional experience and qualifications match the requirements outlined in the vacancy notice. Please also ensure that you create only one candidate profile in our online recruitment portal and use this profile to apply for any current and future vacancies at the ECB. Multiple applications received for the same position from different profiles will lead to the exclusion of your applications from the campaign.

When will I hear about my application?

Should you be invited for a pre-selection exercise or an interview you will be contacted by email or phone. Please ensure that the contact details in your profile are correct and current, as an inability to contact you may result in your exclusion from the recruitment campaign.

Feedback on the assessment of your application will be provided via email once the recruitment process is completed.

What are the main steps of the recruitment process?

After the application period comes to an end, the selection panel reviews the applications and invites shortlisted candidates to an interview, a written test and possibly a presentation, at the ECB premises in Frankfurt or remotely. In some recruitment campaigns, pre-selection exercises may be conducted, either remotely or at the premises of the ECB.

Interviewed candidates are informed of the status of their application once the selection process has been finalised.

Will tests be conducted in the context of the recruitment process?

For most positions, candidates should expect to take a written test if their application is retained.

Depending on the position applied for, tests generally consist of case studies on relevant policy issues, briefing notes to senior officials, policy recommendations on specific topics, essays, or mathematical and econometrical exercises. The topic of your written exercise will be related to the advertised position. For reasons of confidentiality and equal treatment we cannot disclose the topic beforehand.

What is a panel interview and how can I prepare for it?

All interviews at the ECB are conducted by a selection panel, typically composed of the hiring manager and representatives from the hiring business area, human resources and another business area. The ECB aims to have gender and nationality diversity on each interview panel.

Generally, an interview lasts 45-60 minutes and is designed to ascertain whether your knowledge and competencies meet the level required for the position via a number of questions, often starting with an overview question on your background or a question regarding your motivation.

You may wish to consider the following points in preparation for your interview:

  • Try to link your qualifications to the requirements of the position: explain how your experience is relevant in the context of the ECB and the specific job you are applying for.
  • Use concrete terms and specific examples from your experience to illustrate your points, your role (in a project, a team...), your achievements, etc. This is especially important when answering behaviour-based questions.
  • You will normally be given some time at the end of the interview to ask questions. It is a good idea to have thought through one or two questions, demonstrating that you are prepared and motivated.
Further information on the interview process

For managerial positions, is there an assessment centre or a management test?

An external provider assesses the management skills of all candidates invited to interview for a managerial position at salary band “I” or above. This process includes an online personality assessment involving two questionnaires, a holistic interview and a business thinking exercise. A link to the online personality assessment questionnaires will be sent to applicants via email once an interview date has been confirmed, and the questionnaires must be completed by a specific deadline. Applicants must therefore be able to access the internet during this period.

Further information on the management assessment tools

Does the ECB carry out reference checks?

The ECB may carry out a reference check before a final recruitment decision is taken. We will contact you to ask for your referees if this is required.

When I submit my application, is the information in my application kept confidential?

The ECB takes care to ensure complete confidentiality and data protection during the whole recruitment process.

I need to speak to someone in the Human Resources Department about applying for positions at the ECB. The questions I have are not answered in this FAQ. What should I do?

You can find a wealth of information about applying to work at the ECB, our conditions of employment and types of contract on the ECB’s website under “Careers”

Careers

Should the information provided there not answer your question, please contact: Recruitment team.

I am a high school/ secondary school student and am looking for a traineeship. What possibilities are there at the ECB?

The ECB only offers traineeships to students at university level.

How can I become an ECB trainee and what are the criteria for traineeships?

The ECB regularly offers traineeship opportunities for graduate and post-graduate students and recent graduates for a minimum duration of three months.

More information on traineeships

Traineeship vacancies are also advertised via the ECB’s career pages and the specific criteria for each position are listed in the relevant job description.

Vacancies

I need to speak to someone in the ECB’s Human Resources Department about traineeships opportunities. The questions I have are not answered in this FAQ. What should I do?

You can find a wealth of information about applying to work at the ECB, our conditions of employment and types of contract on the ECB’s website under “Careers”.

Careers

Should the information provided there not answer your question, please contact: Recruitment team.

I have a technical problem, can I send my application via e-mail or post?

The ECB cannot accept applications submitted outside of its online recruitment portal, for instance via email or post. If you are experiencing technical issues, please send an email to the recruitment team explaining the situation and, if possible, provide a screen shot.

My password does not work

You can retrieve your password easily via the logon screen of the online recruitment portal. Click on “Forgot your password?” and enter the email address you used to register. If the system recognises this address you will be sent an email with a link enabling you to reset your password.

Online recruitment portal

I requested a new password but have not received an e-mail

Please check your spam/junk folder. If there is no email there, check that the email address submitted is correct. If it is, please contact the recruitment team for further assistance.

Why haven’t I received a confirmation of my application?

If you haven’t received an email, please check whether you have exceeded the size limit of your mailbox and look in your spam folder. You can also check the status of your application via the “Positions I have applied to” section of your profile. If the application is still marked “Draft” it has not yet been submitted. You will need to finalise and submit it in order to be considered for the position. If the application is marked “Submitted” but you have not received an email, please contact the recruitment team.

I have withdrawn my application by mistake; can I apply for the same position again?

You can submit another application for the same position before the closing date. Please be informed that we will not consider any application submitted after the closing date of the vacancy notice.

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