All permanent jobs with the State of California require the applicant to first apply for and take the exam for the job title or classification in which you are interested. Keep in mind, all Exams are not offered on a continuous basis. Therefore, it is a potential applicant's responsibility to seek available "open" Exam Announcements or Recruitments on our Jobs Page or at State Personnel Boards' listings at

STATE OF CALIFORNIA - Civil Service Exam and Hiring Process

After you've successfully applied for and passed an exam you are placed on the classification's certified Eligibilty List (or hiring list). We can only hire applicants from these certified lists. Then, once on this list, you are eligible to apply for a job vacancy. This is the State Civil Service Exam and Hiring Process and is open to all regardless of race, color, creed, national origin, ancestry, sex, marital status, disability, religious or political affiliation, age, or sexual orientation. California residency is not required, and U.S. citizenship is required only for peace officer (Ranger/Lifeguard/Dispatcher) jobs.

                               STATE CIVIL SERVICE EXAM and HIRING PROCESS                    

1. Submit State Application for Exam
2. Take an Exam

3. Get on an Eligibility List
4. Find a Vacancy and Apply 
5. Participate in a hiring Interview

Step 1: Submit State Application Form (STD 678) - to take the qualification exam

The State Application Form is used to apply for all exams and job vacancies and may be completed online. Before filling out an application to apply for an exam, setup your profile account at the "My Profile" tab at Once you have completed this step, search for available exams and apply. All permanent positions require an applicant to take and pass a qualification exam for the job classification title. Once you've done this and are placed on the classification's "Eligibility List", you may then apply for job vacancies in that classification. To find our exam opportunities go to our Jobs Page and click on "Exam Opportunities" or see the list of available Online Exams - You can also find exams and vacancies in our "Career Opportunity Bulletin".

How to apply for an exam- You will need to complete and submit a State Application Form as indicated on the Exam Announcement.  NOTE: Depending on the type of exam, you will submit a hard-copy of your application to the Department or you will apply directly online for the Exam of your choice. In this case, you will submit your Application-on-file online as you apply for the Exam.

Carefully read the Exam Announcement to find out where and how to apply. Minimum Qualifications to apply are also listed in the announcement. We recommend you emphasize and highlight education and experience on your application form that most directly matches what is required to qualify for the exam. If your application meets these requirements for the exam, you will be notified by mail with a test date. NOTE: Online Exam information in Step 2.

Step 2: Take an Exam - to qualify for future vacancies

In-house Departmental Exams
After you submit your application to take an exam, our personnel office reviews your application to determine whether you meet the exam requirements and will notify you by mail with the time, place and date of the exam. These types of exams may be in the form of a multiple choice exam, a performance exam (like for a Heavy Equipment Operator), or a Qualification Appraisal Interview - or commonly called, oral exam.  With all types of exams, every qualified applicant is asked the same questions.

If you have not received your notice within 30-days from the exam's application final filing date, contact our Exam Unit at (916) 653-9685 to confirm your application met the minimum qualifications.

Online Exams
There are a variety of online exams available. These types of exams are in the form of a questionnaire that assess your educational, professional, and volunteer work experience to insure you meet the requirements for the particular classification. These types of exams are self-directed and require an applicant to first create an Application-on-file at the "My Profile" tab at (See Online Exams at for a list of online exams used at California State Parks.)

Once you've created your Application-on-file, you can then take a particular classification's qualification exam. Then, upon completing and "passing" the exam you will be eligible to apply for open vacancies in the classification for which you just tested.  For a complete list of statewide online exams go to: 

To prepare for the exam, we recommend you pay close attention to what is listed in the "Test Scope" section of the exam announcement. Here you find specific areas of knowledge, skills, and abilities that typical exam questions will be based. Focusing on these will help you be successful on the exam.  The type of exam (written or oral interview-style) will be indicated in the "Exam Information" section of the announcement. Click here for more Exam Preparation tips and for more information on the various Types of State Civil Service Exams.

Step 3: Get on an Eligibility List - used by the department to hire applicants

Successful exam applicants will be placed on the classification's Eligibility List and divided into ranks by score. Candidates in "reachable" ranks (Ranks 1, 2, or 3) may be considered for hire and are therefore eligible to apply and interview for open vacancies at State Parks. The Eligibility List is fluid, meaning as individuals are either hired or removed from the list, individuals below Rank 3 may move up into the 3rd and reachable rank. Therefore, if you passed the exam consider applying for vacancies in the classification because the eligibility list may not yet be updated on State Personnel Board's system.

Step 4: Find a Vacancy and Apply

Now that you have taken an exam and received your results, the next step is to find a vacant position in the classification for which you tested and apply by submitting a State Application Form.
There are many ways to find available vacancies:

Contact Letters - These are letters sent to those candidates in reachable ranks for current vacancies. If you receive a Contact Letter and fail to reply to this job inquiry, your name may become "inactive" for that eligibility list. If you decline or do not respond to 3 such letters, your name will be removed from the list.

Web-based Vacant Position Database (WVPOS) - Sign up for the eNotify System which allows you to enter your email address to be notified when job vacancies are added. You will receive emails on current vacancies throughout California State Service and may apply for any position advertised, as long as you have taken and passed its exam.

Department Vacancy List - This list is available at under Current Vacancies (right column). Job opportunities are also listed in our Career Opportunity Bulletin.  Copies are available online from the certification unit, 1416 9th Street, Room 1018, Sacramento, CA 95814 or phone: (916) 653-3919.

Step 5: Participate in a hiring interview

The department will contact you if they would like to interview you. The hiring interview is designed to identify the best job-to-person match for the vacancy. Before you go to your interview, acquaint yourself with the position's duty statement along with the department's mission and functions and how the job for which you are interview contributes. NOTE: You can get a copy of the Duty Statement from the contact person listed in the Vacancy Announcement.