Recruitment Frequently Asked Questions

We know that frequently applicants feel lost in the process of applying for employment. To make the system work for you, we have developed this brief summary of the most frequently asked questions. Whether you are applying for the first time, or have previously filed an application, this information will be useful to you.

Open positions are also posted at the Personnel Department office.

What is the difference between an Open Competitive job opening and Closed Promotional?
Job openings that are listed as open competitive are open to anyone who wishes to apply, while closed promotional job openings are open only to current, regular status, City of Santa Ana employees. Current City of Santa Ana employees currently on probation are ineligible to apply for promotional opportunities.

Can I apply for a position any time I wish?
No. The City of Santa Ana only accepts applications for positions which have been announced and for which we are actively recruiting.  You may submit a Job Interest Card. For the next 12 months after you submit a Job Interest Card, you will receive an email notification each time a position opens with the City of Santa Ana whose category matches one of the categories you've chosen. We'll also send you a reminder email in 11 months to give you an opportunity at that time to extend your notifications for another year

How will I know what jobs I'm qualified for and when to apply?
Whenever a position becomes available for open recruitment, the City of Santa Ana Personnel Department issues a job announcement for the position. The job announcement contains a brief job summary, statement of minimum education and experience qualifications, and a description of any special qualifications that may be required, i.e., licenses, certifications, etc. An opening and closing date appear on every job announcement. Your application must be submitted by 5:00 p.m. on the closing date.

If I want to apply for more than one job, do I have to file more than one application?
Yes. You must submit a separate application for each position. You may apply for as many positions as you wish, as long as the positions are currently open.

How do I file my application?
Apply directly on theCity of Santa Ana website (Job Opportunities). Your qualifications will be evaluated on the basis of information you provide.

Frequently, a Supplemental Application will be included with the job announcement and will require you to more fully explain specific experience or qualifications. A supplemental questionnaire focuses on the key responsibilities of the position for which you are applying and allows you to elaborate on your previous experience in areas of particular relevance to the job. Failure to complete the supplemental may result in an incomplete application and may disqualify you from the selection process.

What should I do if my address or phone number changes?
Notify the Personnel Department immediately. If we are unable to contact you because you have moved or changed your phone number, your name may be withdrawn from further consideration.

How does Personnel determine if I qualify for a position?
Personnel reviews all applications to determine if you meet the minimum qualifications and special requirements as stated on the job announcement. It is important to include not only paid work experience, but all other experience which may apply to the job, i.e., volunteer experience, licenses, professional affiliations, classes you have taken, training you have received and any other special qualifications. With accurate and complete information, we will be able to determine whether you meet the minimum qualifications for the job.

What happens after I file my applications?
After the applications have been screened for the minimum qualifications, you will receive written and/or email notification on the status of your application. Applicants meeting the minimum qualifications will advance further in the selection process. Once the eligible list has been established, the hiring department will then contact only those applicants they wish to interview.

What is an eligibility list?
An Eligibility List is the list that is established after a recruitment has been conducted. The list contains those applicants who meet the minimum qualifications for a specific position and have successfully completed the selection process. Usually, eligibility lists expire one year from the date the position closes; however, Personnel reserves the right to extend an eligibility list or expire the list early.

What are the steps of the selection process?
The steps of the selection process vary depending upon the position. For example, an application screening and oral interview may be all that is required. On the other hand, you may be required to pass a written exam; or a performance test may be required for a position requiring certain skills.

What should I do if I am called for an oral interview?
Be sure that you know:

  • time and place you should appear for the interview
  • phone number (important if you can't make it or an emergency occurs)
  • name of person who contacted you
  • how long the interview is scheduled to take
  • the job for which you are being considered

If you may need a reasonable accommodation in the interview, request it prior to the interview date.

What if I am not selected or not interviewed?
Our objective is to hire the best person for the job, so competition is important. If you are not successful in getting a job immediately, your name will remain on the eligibility list for consideration for any future vacancies that occur until the list expires. If you are not hired during that time, you must wait for another recruitment and apply for that position. It is a good idea to keep your original notifications from the Personnel Department. This way you will know what eligibility lists you are on.

What types of benefits does the City of Santa Ana offer?
Each job description has a tab that includes a complete list of employee benefits pertinent for that opportunity. You can also view benefit information here.