How to join

Application process

Your step-by-step guide

Below is your step-by-step guide on what to expect at various stages of the application process, specifically for military roles. It's a little more thorough than applying for other jobs. All up, you should allow about 3-6 months for your application to be processed. This includes health and security checks, assessments and interviews.

Remember, a career with us is more rewarding than other jobs – so stick with it. And you're not alone. You'll be assigned a Candidate Engagement Facilitator (CEF) who will help you through the process and answer any questions as you go.

1. Gather documents

First things first – we’ll ask for your academic and work history, so gather your record of learning or academic transcripts and make sure your CV is up-to-date.


To complete the process, you’ll need to provide copies of the following documents within two weeks of applying:

  • Birth certificate
  • NZ Driver licence, if you have one (to support initial Police check)
  • NZ Passport or NZ Citizenship certificate/ Residency sticker
  • Academic transcripts for all qualifications you have achieved (high school and/or tertiary or trade, including subjects and grades)


You will also need to complete an initial health and security check to ensure you are fit for service.

Our medical questionnaire requires your doctor’s name and contact details, plus the details of any past or present medical conditions, including medications or broken bones and operations. We’ll need your vaccination/immunisation history too, so dust off your Plunket Book or request your records from your GP.


It's important to take your time and get this stage right, as it will save a lot of time and effort later on. Basically, the sooner you get the right information together, or respond to requests for new information, the faster your application will go through.

2. Register and apply online

Step 1: Register your profile by filling in your contact details and telling us which Service is more your style!


Step 2: Apply online. Allow an hour to complete your application, though you can save it and return at any time. You’ll fill in your academic and work history and tell us your trade preferences. Once you've submitted the online form, congratulations, you've now formally applied!


At this stage, you’ll be assigned your Candidate Engagement Facilitator (CEF) who will walk you through the rest of the application process and answer any questions you might have.


If you want to discover the NZDF careers that suit you best, take our Force Interests Test (F.I.T). This optional 65-question survey will match your strengths and interests with potential career opportunities across the Navy, Army and Air Force. You’ll have the chance to learn about your compatible roles before applying for a position. 


Once everything is in order, you'll be asked to complete our online medical questionnaire and an initial background security check. Log in to your dashboard, or learn more about our medical standards and security requirements.

3. Attend Assessment Day (A-Day)

Good work so far! To join the New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF), you will be required to sit aptitude tests and complete fitness tests.


Aptitude tests help us determine your suitability for a career in the military. Your CEF will make contact to book you in for an aptitude tests either through remote proctoring or in person at your nearest recruiting office, including any important information you need to know for either option. But don’t worry, a little preparation goes a long way!


Next you'll be invited to A-Day (your Assessment Day), where we'll test out your physical fitness. But don't stress – you've got this. You can get ready, and make sure you pass with flying colours, by using Force Fit or attending group fitness sessions in advance. Read up on our fitness standards here. If for any reason you're unsuccessful at this stage, we'll discuss further options with you.

4. Attend interview

At this point, you will attend an interview with one of our team.  If you are successful, you will then join the candidate pool to await placement or attend a selection board (only required for select trades).

5. Offer of service

Once you’ve passed your initial assessments and interviews, we will make you a formal job offer called an 'Offer of Service.' This is subject to your full security and medical clearance.

6. Full medical check

At this stage, you will visit your local approved doctor for a full medical assessment, to ensure you are medically fit for Service. Read more about our medical standards. If for any reason you're unsuccessful at this stage, we'll discuss further options with you.​

7. Attend Induction Day

Almost there! Induction Day is our last opportunity to meet you before you join. In this final step, you’ll conduct further fitness testing and be prepared for your intake. You can use our Force Fit Accelerator programme to train for this final fitness test.

8. Join your intake

Welcome to the Defence Force! We appreciate your patience and perseverance throughout your application.


Now you can join your intake at the camp or base where your initial training will take place.

We will provide transport from your hometown to your initial training location.

Prepare for Assessments

Get prepared to take the first big step. In the lead up to Assessment Day you will be issued an online aptitude test, but don't worry, a little preparation goes a long way!

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Documents ready? Apply now.

If you've read the step-by-step guide and have your documents ready, then it's time to register.

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