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 under the age of 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 with a high level of academic achievement, excellent professional credentials and a proven track record of successful performance and achieving excellent results.

The ECB is 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 English, with proven drafting ability.

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


Recruitment Process

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, entering your experience, qualifications obtained and references, as well as answering questions to complete your application. Once completed and submitted, you will receive a confirmation of your application by e-mail.

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


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?

Please register for “job agents” in the online recruitment portal on the website of the ECB in order to receive information on any employment opportunities.

Applicants who are interested in future vacancies are able to register for “job agents”. If you would like to set up a “job agent”, go to the “Careers” section of the website, then click on the link “Online recruitment portal” on the right-hand side of the page. Type in the username and password you created. Navigate to “Employment Opportunities” and set your search criteria accordingly (to receive details of all employment opportunities, just leave all fields blank), then “Save as Job Agent”. Enter a name for your job alert (mandatory), set the frequency of your alert (daily is recommended) and then “Save”. Go back to “Employment Opportunities”, click on “Job Agents” and then tick “Notify me by e-mail …”. Your job posting has been saved and, whenever a new vacancy is issued, you will receive a notification by e-mail. Further details regarding this tool can be found in our user guide.

Online recruitment portal

User guide

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.

When will I hear about my application?

Should you be invited for an interview or a pre-selection exercise, you will be contacted either by phone or by e-mail. Please ensure that your contact details in your application are correct and up to date, as failure to reach you may result in your exclusion from the recruitment campaign.

Feedback on the status of applications is provided only once the recruitment process is completed. No information concerning the status of your application will be communicated by phone or e-mail before the end of the recruitment process.

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. No information will be provided via phone or e-mail before the process is complete.

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. The test is typically taken at the ECB premises on the day of the interview.

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, depending on the position applied for.

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 for an interview for a managerial campaign at salary band “I” or above. The process includes self-assessment questionnaires to be completed online and an interview. The link to the self-assessment questionnaires will be sent to applicants by e-mail 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?

Yes, the ECB carries out reference checks before a final recruitment decision is taken. Please confirm to the hiring manager at the end of the panel interview that we may contact your referees.

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”


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.


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”.


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

Technical Issues

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

The ECB cannot accept applications sent outside of its online recruitment portal, for instance via e-mail or post.

The issue you are experiencing may be internet browser-related. We recommend that you use Firefox or Google Chrome. If this does not resolve the issue, please send an e-mail to: e-Recruitment Technical Support providing further information on the issue you are experiencing 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 the “Password Forgotten” link which will open a new dialogue box. Enter the e-mail address you registered with. If the system recognises this e-mail address, an e-mail containing a new password will be sent to you.

Online recruitment portal

I requested a new password but I didn’t receive an e-mail

Please check your spam folder. If you haven’t received an e-mail, check that your e-mail address is correct. If the credentials are correct, please contact: e-Recruitment Technical Support for further assistance.

I’ve entered the wrong password too many times and my account is locked, how can I access my profile?

Please send an e-mail to: e-Recruitment Technical Support.

Why didn’t I receive a confirmation of my application?

When you initially register, you are sent your access details by e-mail. If you don’t receive an e-mail, check whether you have exceeded the size limit of your mailbox and look in your spam folder. For each application, you will receive a separate confirmation. If you have not received an e-mail, check the status of your application via the “My Applications” section of your profile. If the application still has the status “Draft”, it has not yet been submitted. You will need to go back into the application and submit it in order to be considered for the position. If the application was sent and you did not receive an e-mail, please contact: e-Recruitment Technical Support.

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.