Applications for our Graduate Foreign Policy intake close 11.55pm Sunday 22 March!

Check out the details below for updates on our recruitment process.


Key dates for 2020, and recent updates

We're now working within a rapidly changing and challenging environment due to COVID-19 - But don't worry, we've got this! 

Some of our key assessment dates may need to change, however we'll give you a heads up by email if there's anything important you need to know. 

One important decision we have already made, is that we will no longer run an assessment centre in Wellington. Instead, we will hold all interviews via a teleconferencing application called Zoom.

  • Applications open: Tuesday, 3 March - Sunday, 22 March 2020.
  • Assessment period: Throughout April 2020.
  • Interviews via Zoom (no Wellington assessment centre): Thursday 23 April or Friday 24 April (see details below).

Apply for Foreign Policy Graduate Roles

Applications for our Graduate Foreign Policy intake for 2020 are now open! Applications close 22 March 2020.

Apply button for the Foreign Policy Graduate application.

Key steps in our application process


  • Complete an online application form - you'll need your CV and unofficial transcript ready to upload

Assessment stage

  • Cognitive testing – verbal, numeric and abstract reasoning 

  • Video introduction

  • Written exercise – via email

Online Interviews - Via Zoom Video Conferencing 

Those selected to interview will be invited to attend an interview via Zoom on either the 23 or 24 April.

  • Competency-based panel interview
  • Job fair – opportunity to meet the team and learn more about MFAT.


Think you might need a hand with some of the assessment components above?

Let us know - we're here to help!

Who are we looking for?

We don’t take a cookie cutter approach to our graduate recruitment. The nature of our work is broad-ranging, so we’re looking for graduates with a range of skills, experiences and backgrounds. Diversity of thought is key.

We’re looking for graduates who are curious about global challenges and other cultures - people who want to help make positive changes for New Zealand. Naturally, you’ll have an interest in the work we do, and because relationships are at the heart of it all, you’ll enjoy working with people.

Minimum requirements

CriteriaMore details
Hold New Zealand citizenship Or have submitted an application for New Zealand Citizenship with The Department of Internal Affairs (DIA)
Able to obtain and maintain an appropriate security clearance Security clearance requirements
Have completed a minimum of a bachelor’s level qualification by February 2021 Our foreign policy officers have a wide variety of degrees, e.g nursing, law, commerce, science, marketing, veterinary science 
At least 3 months’ work experience during (or following on from) your studies Any type of work experience: part time/full time, internships, hospitality, retail, office work, etc
A willingness to be posted overseas and travel for work Travel is a key part of the role, however you will be initially based in Wellington headquarters

In addition to the above, we're looking for people who have SOME of the following skills or experience. 

Leadership experience School prefect, head of university student club/association youth leader, community initiatives, religious or cultural groups, workplace etc
Volunteer experience Ongoing or significant one-off volunteer work e.g.Community, youth groups, aid work, coaching, religious or cultural groups
Academic excellence

Outstanding academic achievement demonstrated by: excellent grades, or a tertiary academic award or scholarship, or further postgraduate studies

Languages Te Reo Māori at an intermediate level or above, or another language at an advanced level/work proficiency; e.g. Pacific languages, North Asian languages, Arabic, etc.
Cross Cultural Skills Understanding, experience and ability to engage effectively with Pacific, Pasifika or Māori communities. The ability to move between cultures.
Mātauranga Māori Strong skills, perspectives and knowledge from the Māori world, including Māori culture and the Treaty of Waitangi

Myth busters - graduate requirements

Get the right information before you apply. Here are some myths about our student graduate requirements.

Do I need a double degree or post graduate qualification to be eligible?

Our minimum requirement is now a bachelor’s level qualification. If you become a MFAT graduate, and you’re keen to do further study down the track, we can explore this with you.

Are only those with law degrees considered?

We're keen to see different skills from a mix of academic backgrounds, so, as long as you have a genuine interest in the work we do, we’ll consider any bachelor’s degree.

Do I need to be an A+ student?    

This is not the case - in fact we don’t have a minimum grade requirement. We’re looking for people with a balance of academic achievement and great people skills. For example, we value the skills that your experience in moving between different cultures can bring, as well as any volunteer or leadership experience you may have.

Do I need to speak another language?

It’s an advantage if you have language skills from a country where MFAT has a presence; you might even speak Te Reo or a Pacific language at home, but it’s not compulsory. Opportunities are available if you’re interested in learning another language.

Do I need to have graduated within the last 3 years?

No you don't - in fact we don’t have a time limit on when you graduated. The only condition is that you have less than 3 years' experience in a similar role, e.g. policy, legal, some other public sector roles.

Got any questions?

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