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How to Apply for a Job

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Welcome! It is our goal that this informational page will assist you to better understand the application and hiring process for the City of Costa Mesa. The following information will assist you in increasing the success of your job search.

The Human Resources Division is the starting point for obtaining employment with the City of Costa Mesa. The Human Resources Division is responsible for recruiting and testing individuals for employment.  

Job Flyer
The City of Costa Mesa publishes job flyers to announce job openings. A recruitment may be open for a specific period of time or on a continuous basis. Job flyers for current openings may be viewed on the City’s website under “Employment Opportunities.” The job flyer contains the following essential information that may prove beneficial throughout the application process:

  • Salary Range: Costa Mesa's salary ranges typically consist of seven steps. Generally, new employees are hired at first step and progress through the range.
  • Position: A brief summary of the position is provided and may include information about the assignment and work schedule.
  • Application and Selection Process: Important information regarding the application, selection and pre-employment process is listed here. If supplemental forms or specific information regarding experience or education must accompany the application, it will be stated here. Read this section carefully.
  • Examples of Duties: The essential duties and responsibilities related to the current job opening are described in this section.
  • Typical Qualifications: Qualifications listed in this section are essential and must be met in order to qualify for the current opening and to proceed in the application process.
  • Physical Tasks and Environmental Conditions: This section describes the physical tasks which will be performed by this position, as well as, the environmental conditions and exposures associated with it.
  • Benefits: The City of Costa Mesa offers an excellent benefits package. Information regarding benefits offered to City employees are detailed in this section.

To apply for an open position, you must complete an online employment application. Through NEOGOV’s Insight Enterprise software, the application is available on the City’s website under “Employment Opportunities.” You will need to create an account and select a Username and Password. After your account has been established, you can build an application and save it to apply for more than one job opening. If you do not have access to a personal computer with internet, click on this link for a list public libraries that offer internet access:

  • Library List
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Online applications are stored on a secure site. Only authorized employees and hiring authorities have access to the information submitted.

The application is important; it speaks for you in your absence. Following the instructions, filling it out completely and accurately, will help you in your search for employment with our organization. Applications may be rejected if incomplete. Be sure to submit your application materials before the final filing date. Postmarks and facsimiles will not be accepted.

* State and federal governments require employers to collect race, sex, age, disability, and ethnic information from applicants. It is voluntary and will be kept confidential and separate from the application. Providing the Human Resources Division with this information helps the City comply with the law.

The Human Resources Division will carefully review your application. This review determines if your work experience and educational background meet the qualification guidelines. If you meet the qualification guidelines, your application will be considered further in the testing process. If you do not meet the qualification guidelines, you will be notified by mail or email.

The selection procedure for each classification is stated on the job flyer. Some classifications require written and/or performance tests. Exams allow you to demonstrate that you possess the basic knowledge, abilities, and skills that are required to perform the job. Examinations, in general, may include, but are not limited to, the following components:

  • Application screening for best qualified applicants
  • Written test to rate your job-related knowledge
  • Performance test to measure your skill and ability to perform the essential duties related to the position.
  • Oral Interview to give you an opportunity to present your qualifications

To ensure consistency and fairness for each applicant, the basic format for each interview is the same. An interview panel composed of two or more persons will evaluate how well your experience, education, and other qualifications have prepared you for the position you are applying for. The panel members will ask a series of job-related questions and take notes during the interview. These notes will assist the panel in rating your responses after the interview. At the end of the interview, you will have a brief opportunity to add anything you feel would best describe your qualifications.

If you are invited to an interview, here are a few helpful hints:

  • Review the job flyer prior to the interview.
  • Dress appropriately.
  • Give yourself plenty of time to get to the interview early.
  • Present yourself in a professional manner.
  • Be prepared to tell the panel why you are the best person for the job.
  • Be yourself.
  • Carefully listen to each question, and answer questions directly; provide real life examples whenever possible.

Eligibility List
Applicants that have successfully completed all stages of the examination process will be placed on an eligibility list. These lists are typically valid for up to one year, or until exhausted or may be extended up to one additional year. Based on your performance in all aspects of this process, rankings range from: Exceptionally Well Qualified, Well Qualified, and Qualified. These results are normally mailed or emailed within two weeks.

The eligibility list is forwarded to the hiring department. Depending on the position, finalists may need to meet other conditions of employment. Failure to hear from the department in the near future will be indicative that someone else has been selected for the position. Your goal is to score as high as possible throughout the exam process to ensure a place at the top of the eligibility list. 

Once you have been selected and accepted the job offer, the next steps of the hiring process take place. All employment offers made by the City are contingent upon establishing proof of a prospective candidate’s legal authorization to work in the United States and successfully passing all components of the pre-employment process which may include, but is not limited to: comprehensive background check, criminal history check (Livescan fingerprint check), polygraph examination, post-offer psychological evaluation and post-offer medical evaluation (may include drug screen).

After you have met all pre-employment requirements, a hire date will be set. You will be sworn in as a City employee, and invited to an orientation session which will provide information on the City’s policies and benefits

Thank you for your interest in career opportunities with the City of Costa Mesa.