After you apply

What happens to your job application?

Depending on the number of candidates, the number of job openings and the reasons for the process, each job application is reviewed to determine who can, or will, be assessed.

Only eligible candidates can be assessed. Candidates are eligible when they are in the area of selection (the “who can apply” section) stated on the job advertisement, when they submit a complete job application (e.g. have followed the instructions), and when they apply during the job application period stated on the advertisement. There is no standard approach for the next step. Decisions about who will be assessed are made for each process, and sometimes each appointment from a process. One process might start to assess each candidate’s qualifications using the information that was requested in the job application. Another process might invite the Veterans to be assessed ahead of other candidates. A third might focus on a specific employment equity group, or candidates who have a specific type of experience.

If you have questions about the status of your job application, you can use the contact information that was included in the job advertisement to ask for more information.


If your application is accepted, you may be contacted for assessment.

There are a number of different ways to assess candidates. Assessment methods or tools are chosen or developed to gather information about the qualification(s) being assessed. It may be important to understand and have knowledge about the mandate and structure of the department, the work to be performed, and the environment/context in which it is performed to prepare for an assessment. The following two sources may help you get started:

Assessment tools are designed to provide information about the extent to which candidates meet the merit criteria identified for the position. The following are some samples of some commonly used assessment tools:

Once all assessments are completed, a pool (i.e. group) of qualified candidates is established.

The Interview

Scheduling your Interview

If there is an option, request or choose an interview during the time of day when you are at your best.

If you have a personal accommodation need, such as a disability, a religious holiday, etc, identify this in your response to the interview invitation or by using the Contact Information on the job advertisement.

Preparing for the interview

As in the military, your appearance matters. Present a professional image, and dress in a way that feels appropriate for the position.

Interviews may begin with or include some version of these questions:

Preparing your responses to these three questions before you get there, may help you succeed in the interview.

Other questions are typically related to the qualifications identified in the job advertisement, so you can also prepare to give specific details about how your experience and skills are related to each of the qualifications.

Interviewers are typically looking for a clear explanation of a situation, your role, your action(s) taken, and the result(s). Whether the result was success, failure, or a bit of both, it may also be helpful if you can explain your lessons learned from the outcome.

Day of the interview

Arrive at least 10 minutes early to collect yourself and organize your thoughts.

If something happens and you’re going to be late, call the contact and explain your situation. Most interviewers will make allowances when you have a valid reason. It may even be possible to reschedule the interview in some circumstances.

Before you leave for the interview, check that you have brought with you any documents that were requested, such as your university degree, certifications, etc.

Interview Conduct

Here are some tips to help you during the interview:


If you are still-serving and are offered a public service position, you must release from the military before you can start your job with the public service.

Need more information?

The Veterans in the Public Service Unit (VPSU) was created by Veterans Affairs Canada to help Veterans understand and succeed in the application process for public service jobs. If you have any questions or require assistance, please contact the VPSU by sending a message through My VAC Account or by calling the Department at 1-866-522-2122.

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