FAQ: Professionals

General Information

I only have a technical diploma but would love to challenge myself with a role at CERN, what opportunities are available to me?

We recruit for a broad range of positions from entry level to professional and beyond. We seek people with diplomas ranging from apprenticeships through to technical diplomas, to Masters and PhD. There are opportunities for all! The Organisation is at the forefront of scientific and technical development, and posts open regularly in a vast array of fields and levels.  Visit this link  for more information.

Do I have to have a PhD to work at CERN?

No. CERN requires a diversity of profiles, some require a PhD, others an apprenticeship. Whatever their level of education, we encourage individuals to meet their full potential. We have roles requiring various diploma levels, check out our opportunities to see whether one which corresponds to yours is open now.

What is career progression like at CERN?

Once you have a contract with CERN we take performance very seriously:, structured review processes, training and educational resources are in place for you to shape your future. It’s a place where you can get the guidance you need in order to do your job well and develop your skills for the future. Visit cern.ch/your career

I don’t live near Geneva, can I still be considered for a post?

We recruit from across the 21 member states with no discrimination based on your current location.

Does CERN hire candidates from outside the 21 member states?

For ‘staff’ positions, we can only consider applications from nationals of CERN Member States, for more details http://home.web.cern.ch/about.

How often are new jobs posted on the website?

New vacancies are published regularly, and the frequency depends on the needs of the Organization: see cern.ch/jobs.

How long are vacancies posted on the website?

Posts are published between 4 – 6 weeks on cern.ch/jobs but can be published for longer depending on the profile sought.

How should I choose which position to apply for?

Browse through the opportunities, and choose a role that you feel best matches your experience/qualifications. Note however, that if your qualifications/competencies don’t match, you will not be considered.

Application process

When will I hear back on my application?

Depending on how far you progress you should hear back from us within 4-6 weeks after the closing date.

There are no jobs open that match my profile; can I apply to CERN in general?

There are some skills that are always in demand at CERN; for these you can apply via ‘spontaneous application’ according to the field which corresponds to your profile.

Can I apply to more than one job at a time?

Yes! Feel free to apply to any vacancy for which you have the required experience and qualification.

How should I choose which position to apply for?

Browse through the opportunities,  and choose a role that you feel best matches with your experience/qualifications. If your profile doesn’t match, you will not be considered.

What are the steps in the recruitment process at CERN?

The recruitment process at CERN has 8 stages, for more details visit Recruitment Process

Interviews and beyond

What happens after the interview, how long before I can expect to hear a result?

Your recruiter will tell you on the day the timeframe within which you should expect to hear a result. We would like to contact every candidate as quickly as possible after the selection day but the decision can mean this is within 2-3 weeks of the interview date.

The contract offered is for 5 years, can this be extended?

We offer a limited duration (LD) contract of up to 5 years that cannot be extended.. However, after successfully completing the probation period, staff are eligible to apply for an indefinite contract should one be opened in the field. Approximately half of the staff on limited duration contracts go on to further their career at CERN. Visit cern.ch/your career

Will my application be deleted if I am not offered the job?

We treat all online applications in the strictest confidence, and following the closure of a position, your application is archived. It is stored within the secure application management system exclusively for the purpose of recruitment. If you wish to withdraw your application for any position at any time you can simply log in to the system. You can also suspend you account by going to ‘My Account’.

What kind of conditions and benefits can I expect if I am successful?

In addition to the challenging career opportunities that come with working at CERN, we offer a comprehensive benefits package. People here enjoy living a truly cosmopolitan life, in the heart of Europe. The environment offers a myriad of leisure activities with excellent benefits, great remuneration and the freedom to work flexibly, it's not just the work and atmosphere that makes people enjoy their jobs, it's the tangible elements that they receive too.
See our employment conditions page to find out more about the benefits of working at CERN as a professional.

I have been sent an invitation to record a video interview, what should I prepare?

Congratulations! You made it this far and have been selected for the next step of the selection process. We use Sonru.com for our video interviews and full instructions are sent with the invitation to make the experience as smooth and enjoyable as it can be. Check out their website candidate information for tips to make this as successful as possible. When you record your interview, have your CV to hand and perhaps a pen and paper but the main thing is to relax and be yourself.

If I need to relocate to take up a post at CERN, is there any support for me and my family?

We value the diversity of our workforce and CERN supports new staff and their families to  settle in the region as smoothly as possible. Staff recruited outside the local region may be eligible for an international indemnity, special home leave and installation/removal benefits. Visit cern.ch/employment conditions

I have been invited for an onsite interview at CERN, what should I prepare?

Being invited for an interview is great news and means you have made it through several stages of the process already. If you are serious about wanting to work at CERN the best thing you can do is prepare for your interview. These tips will help you make the most of your opportunity: cern.ch/preparing for interview.

I don’t have a current visa to work in Switzerland; can I be considered to work at CERN?

Yes. If you are successful, the Human Resource team at CERN will assist you with all the necessary paperwork to ensure you have the correct documentation, whether you choose to live in France or Switzerland.

How long will the interview take? I have been invited for the whole day; do I really need to spend all day at CERN?

We run some of the biggest experiments in the world so we take recruitment seriously; often the selection interview is just one part of a whole day. The selection interview usually consists of a selection board with representatives of the hiring department, Human Resources and an external department. You may be asked to prepare a brief presentation in advance as an introduction of your relevant skills and experience for the board members. The interview itself usually lasts between 45 – 60 minutes. You may also be asked to complete a written test and/or a practical test to assess your technical knowledge. There may be an opportunity to meet with other members of the team in more informal discussions and of course everyone needs to eat. Where possible, we invite the candidates to join us for lunch at the main cafeteria and then you might have the opportunity to visit some of the experiments. Each selection process is tailored to the needs of the position.