A Guide to the Civil Service Process for Employment


A Definition of Civil Service

Multnomah County has a set of rules and regulations established to provide a merit system of personnel administration including:

  • Recruitment, appointment and promotion of employees on the basis of their relative ability, knowledge and skills;
  • Retention of employees based on performance;
  • Ensuring impartial treatment without regard to political affiliation, race, religion, color, national origin, sex, age, marital status, disability, political affiliations, sexual orientation, gender identity, source of income, or any other non-merit factor; and
  • Assuring employees are protected against coercion for partisan political purposes.

Recruitment and Selection Process

  • All job announcements to fill a vacant position or for an open continuous recruitment are posted on the Multnomah County Jobs website.
  • Candidates must submit applications for a specific job by the announced deadline.
  • All applications received by the deadline are screened for meeting minimum qualifications (MQs) as stated on the job announcement.
  • If there are five or less qualified applicants, a list may be sent directly to the hiring manager for interviews. A formal testing process is not required.

Letters are mailed to those who do not meet the MQs.


Examination Process

  • If there are more than 5 applicants who meet the MQs, candidates are invited to participate in a testing process. Letters are mailed notifying applicants of the time and location of the test.
  • A second screening is conducted of the applicant's training, experience and answers to supplemental questions or other submitted material to determine the most qualified candidates. Letters are mailed to those who are not most qualified.
  • Additional testing processes may be conducted, such as an oral interview, a written test or a combination of tests.
  • After the test has been conducted, scores and ranks are calculated. Letters notifying the applicants of their score and rank are mailed.
  • Please note: Applicants may ask to review their individual test results within ten days of notification.
  • A list containing at least the top three ranked applicants is sent to the hiring manager. Interviews may be with a single supervisor or manager or a panel of employees from the work group.
  • The manager offers a candidate the job. After a candidate has been hired, other candidates are sent a letter notifying them of their status.
  • The list of eligible applicants remains active for time period established for the list, unless candidates are notified of an extension or termination of the list. Length of eligibility on a list can be between 30 days to 2 years.

Job Announcement Sections

Position Description. The job is described including some of the tasks the employee will be completing.

To Qualify. The minimum qualifications are described. Applicants who do not meet the minimums will be disqualified.

Supplemental Questions. Questions applicants are asked to answer are listed in this section. Review and follow the requested format for submitting your response.

Examination Process. The description of the examination process for this specific job is outlined in this section.


Completing an Application

  • The Multnomah County job application process is online only. Paper applications are not accepted. Apply online at web.multco.us/jobs
  • List all relevant education and training information, include any degrees or certificates earned.
  • Be specific and detailed in your employment history. The information listed in this section is used for the initial screening for minimum qualifications. Review your response; will a stranger be able to determine your qualifications from your answer?
  • Submit your application form, supplemental questions and any other material by the announced deadline.

Oral Examinations

  • The oral examination is frequently used. Other examination processes include written, assessment, multiple choice and presentations.
  • Oral examinations may include a panel of 2 to 6 members. Raters ask each candidate the same set of questions. Questions are based on job skills, experience and education.
  • The highest score is 100 and the lowest passing score is 70. All the rater scores are added and averaged for the final grade. There may be more than one person in the same rank, if they have the same final grade.