Job Application FAQs


Finding A Position

What types of jobs are available through the City of Chico?

The City has approximately 148 different job titles and over 400 employees. A full listing of all City of Chico Job Descriptions can be found on the Class Specifications page of the City’s Employment Opportunities website. Employees work in various locations throughout the City.

What should I be aware of when applying for a public safety position (Police/Fire/Dispatch)?

Due to the intense and sensitive nature of public safety positions, candidates may want to consider the following questions before applying for a position:

  • Do you find satisfaction in assisting people in crisis?
  • Are you decisive and able to quickly arrange things or actions in a certain order when given a specific set of rules?
  • Are you willing to work nights, weekends, holidays, overtime and lengthy shifts (10+ hours)?
  • Are you able to remain calm, think and speak clearly, and perform detailed tasks in emergency situations?
  • Do you want a job where each day is different, exciting, and new?
  • Do you have sound judgment and the ability to make effective decisions?
  • Would you be able to leave a difficult shift without dwelling on the circumstances of others?
  • Can you produce several alternative ideas quickly?
  • Do you possess a strong work ethic and the ability to report to work on time with a minimal number of absences?
  • Are you able to receive and apply constructive criticism?
  • Would you be willing to follow the “Chain of Command”?
  • Are you able to take initiative and lead a group?

What can I do if the City of Chico is not currently recruiting for the position that I am interested in?

Applications are only accepted during open recruitment periods and for specific job classifications. Applications submitted for general interest will not be retained and will be returned to the sender.

The City of Chico Employment Opportunities page has an automatic e-mail notification system for individuals wanting e-mail notifications of newly posted recruitments. Individuals can enroll in automatic notifications, for one year, by visiting the Job Interest Subscriptions page of the Employment Opportunities webpage.

Applying For A Position

I’m not sure if I’m qualified. What can I do?

Each recruitment announcement states the minimum and/or desired qualifications for each position. Read the requirements and qualifications carefully to match your education and/or experience and your knowledge and abilities to the position requirements. The position may require college course work or graduation, an amount of experience, a special license or trade certificate, and a California Driver License. Based on your qualifications, you should be able to determine whether you meet the requirements of the position. If you are still unsure, contact the Human Resources & Risk Management Office to discuss your specific situation.

How does the Human Resources & Risk Management Office determine if I qualify for the position?

The Human Resources & Risk Management Office will review your Application using the criteria set forth on the recruitment announcement. It is very important to include all requested information. List all paid work experience, licenses, professional affiliations, classes you have taken, training you have received and any other special qualifications you possess which relate to the position for which you are applying. The Human Resources & Risk Management Office will review all the information you provide; however, your qualifications must be clearly stated on the Application for Employment. Failure to complete the Application for Employment (including writing “see resume” in the area of experience) or failure to supply a resume will result in rejection of your Application. Without accurate and complete information, we will not be able to determine whether you meet the required qualifications for the job class. Being minimally qualified does not guarantee a candidate progression through the full recruitment process.

Must I live within the city boundaries to apply for a job with the City of Chico?

It is not necessary to live in the City of Chico to work for the City, unless specifically indicated on the position job description.

How will I know if a job is open for recruitment?

All active City of Chico recruitments are listed on the City’s Employment Opportunities page. Additionally, the City has a Job Line, (530) 879-7999, with a 24-hour recording of all current recruitments. Recruitment announcements are advertised through a variety of state and local resources, as well as industry-specific websites and publications, depending on the position. Announcements are also posted in the Human Resources & Risk Management Office at 411 Main Street.

How frequent is the recruiting for City positions?

Recruitments are conducted when there is a vacancy and the Employment Eligibility List previously established for the position has expired. In some cases, recruitments are conducted so that an Employment Eligibility List is available for an expected vacancy.

For some positions with limited turnover and one-person positions, recruitments may only be conducted every few years. For others, recruitments may occur every six months or more.

What do I do with my Application?

Applications are only accepted for positions that are open for recruitment and are only accepted online through the City’s Employment Opportunities page. When a position you are interested in opens, you can view the full job announcement and apply online by visiting the City’s Employment Opportunities page.

For some positions, i.e. Firefighter, only a limited number of Applications will be accepted. If a limit has been set, this limit will be listed on the announcement and on the Job Line.

Since many positions close quickly, it is to your advantage to submit your application early in the recruitment period.

It is suggested you keep a copy of the Application materials that you submit and the recruitment announcement to assist you in preparing for any written test, practical test and/or interview process that may be required.

If I want to apply for more than one position do I have to file more than one Application?

Yes, you must submit a separate Application and resume for each position. There is no limit to the number of positions for which you can apply.

How often can I apply for the same position?

You may reapply as often as the job opportunity is announced.

Moving Through The Recruitment Process

How do I find out about the job duties, requirements, and type(s) of examination?

For jobs that are open for recruitment, the recruitment announcement will contain the job description, requirements, salary, and deadline for application. Candidates who apply for a position and are determined to be eligible to proceed within the recruitment will receive e-mail and/or phone call correspondence regarding any testing/interview examinations.

What kind of examinations will I have to take?

Examinations are based on actual job duties. Depending on the knowledge, skills and abilities the position requires, the testing process may consist of one or more of the following:

  • Evaluation of training and experience on your Application
  • Questionnaires
  • Written tests
  • Oral board interviews
  • Performance examinations
  • Physical agility examinations
  • Assessment centers

Candidates will be notified via e-mail and/or phone call regarding their progress within the recruitment process and their eligibility to proceed.

How do I qualify to participate in the testing process?

Applications will be screened to determine those most qualified to proceed in the recruitment process. If there is a written test, those meeting the minimum requirements of the job will be scheduled to take the exam. You will be notified by e-mail and/or phone approximately 1- 3 weeks after the closing date of the recruitment as to the date, time and location of the examination(s). You will also be notified should your application not be accepted.

How do I prepare for the testing process? What do I study?

All tests are job-related and test the knowledge, skills and abilities required to do the job. To prepare, read the job description on the recruitment announcement; then study material, which you feel, would directly or indirectly relate to the necessary knowledge, skills or abilities of the position. For example, if the requirements for a position are performing mathematical calculations and interpreting regulations, some of the exam questions may cover basic math skills and reading comprehension. The City of Chico does not provide study guides for written exams.

What happens after I take the examination?

You will be notified (by e-mail) approximately 1-3 weeks after the date of the exam of your results. If you pass all components of the recruitment process, you will be placed on an Employment Eligibility List in the order of your final score.

When there is a vacancy in a City Department, the Department Head receives the names of all candidates on the Employment Eligibility List. The Department Head can consider any candidate from the Eligibility List and is not required to interview or select candidates in List order.

What should I do if I am called for an interview?

You will be notified of the time and place you should appear for the interview and to whom you should report to for the interview.

Since an Employment Eligibility List may be used by more than one department, the Human Resources & Risk Management Office may not know who contacted you. It is important that you get the above information when the interviewing department contacts you.

Before the interview, review your copy of your Application materials. These materials may include your Application for Employment form and/or Resume as well as the Employment Opportunity Announcement. Be prepared to discuss how your training and/or work experience relate to the position for which you are interviewing. Information regarding the position can be obtained by contacting the Human Resources & Risk Management Office.

How long is the Employment Eligibility List in effect?

The life of the Employment Eligibility List varies from 6 months to 24 months, depending on the position. If you recently applied or have been placed on the Employment Eligibility List and have a name or address or phone number change, please contact the Human Resources & Risk Management Office at (530) 879-7905 so we can update your information.

Does the City award Veterans Preference?

The City does provide preference in placement on the Employment Eligibility List to qualified veterans who have provided verification of their veteran status prior to the establishment of the Eligibility List. The preference process results in veterans being placed at a numerical position on the Employment Eligibility List above those non-veteran candidates who have the same final score following the completion of the examination process.

If you are a Veteran and would like to apply for preference, you must complete the “Veterans Preference Request” portion of the Employment Questionnaire Form and attach a copy of your DD214 (Report of Separation) with your Application.

Why does the City department with the vacancy conduct the selection interview instead of the Human Resources & Risk Management Office?

When the Human Resources & Risk Management Office recruits and tests for vacant positions, the requirements are typically based on all the positions with the same title and general duties. However, individual vacancies may differ depending on the specific department workload. The selection interview permits departments to evaluate individual’s qualifications and how they will fit organizationally into the needs of their department.

What happens if I am selected?

Conditional job offers are made pending a drug test (if required by position) and physical examination. Some positions require a polygraph exam and psychological evaluation. If you are employed when selected for City employment, DO NOT quit your job until you have been informed that you have passed all of the pre-employment processes.

When all pre-employment processes have been completed, the Human Resources & Risk Management Office will contact new employees before their first day of employment for processing. The processing takes approximately one hour.

The City of Chico complies with the Immigration Control and Reform Act of 1986 and uses E-Verify to confirm employee eligibility to work. If offered a position you will be required to present identification and/or work authorization paperwork. All new employees are required to complete and sign a U.S. Department of Justice Employment Eligibility form.

After you have been offered and have accepted a position with the City, a start date will be agreed upon. You will be informed where and to whom you will report on your first day.

When you are selected your name will be removed from the Employment Eligibility List for that position. Your name will remain on any other Employment Eligibility Lists you are on for the specified life of the list.

What if I am not selected or interviewed?

The City’s objective is to hire the best person for the job, so competition is often keen. If you are not immediately successful in obtaining a position, but have qualified for the Eligibility List, your name will remain on the Employment Eligibility List for consideration until the list expires or has been exhausted. You may be considered for other vacancies, within the same job classification, that occur during the life of the list. If you do not receive a job offer during the life of the list, you must wait for another recruitment and may reapply.

The City is an Equal Employment Opportunity employer. This means the City does not discriminate on the basis of race, religion, sex, sexual orientation, age, disability, national origin, religious affiliation or belief and will seek to accommodate qualified persons with disabilities.

All individuals are encouraged to apply for employment with the City of Chico. Women, minorities and the disabled are encouraged to apply. Please contact the Human Resources & Risk Management Office at least seven working days before a scheduled interview/examination if you require accommodation in the test process. Medical disability verification may be required before the city grants the accommodation.

To assist the City in accommodating persons with disabilities, materials will be made available in alternative formats upon request. Requests for accommodation can be made by calling (530) 879-7900, via fax at (530) 895-4733, or by coming into the Human Resources & Risk Management Office located at 411 Main Street, Chico CA 95928.

General Questions

Are City employees represented by a union?

Most Non-Management City employees are represented by a union. Employees placed in certain positions are required to join a union, which represents their position, or pay a service fee as a condition of employment. The Employment Opportunity Announcement will include information regarding required union participation.

How does the City treat smoking by employees?

The City has prohibited smoking in all City buildings, offices and facilities. Smoking is also prohibited in all City vehicles. Employees may smoke so long as they are at least 20 feet away from any entrance to City properties.

What is the dress code for employees?

Dress code is often based on the department and/or type of position. The full CIty of Chico Employee Clothing and Appearance policy can be reviewed here.

One Final Word

Do not be discouraged if you do not get hired your first attempt. Try again – a City of Chico position may be waiting for you!

If you have additional questions or comments, please contact the City of Chico Human Resources & Risk Management Office at 530-879-7905, or e-mail

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