1. Online Application and Security Questionnaire

You will need to complete an online application form, and submit a CV along with a cover letter. A security questionnaire will also need to be submitted along with your application. Due to the nature of GCHQ, you should expect to be asked to disclose highly sensitive information.

2. Sift Tests

If your initial application was successful, you will need to complete a sift test. This is a short self-assessment questionnaire designed to assess your suitability for the role. Depending on the role that you have applied for, you may also be asked to complete the preference sift test – a longer personality test that will focus more on your working style and preferences for the GCHQ.

For some roles, no additional testing is required.

3. Numerical Reasoning Test

You will be asked to complete a standard numerical reasoning test.

4. Verbal Reasoning Test

You will be asked to complete a standard verbal reasoning test.


If you successfully pass the online tests the next stage is an interview. Many roles will require you to attend two interviews. The first interview is a competency-based interview that will include CV-related questions. The second interview is a technical interview based on the technical skills you need for the role you have applied for.

6. Personality Test

Finally, you will be asked to complete a personality test. This will be used to see whether you have the traits required to be successful at GCHQ.

You should receive a response, regarding the outcome of your application, shortly after this stage.

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