Applications for our next Graduate Foreign Policy intake will open Monday 02 March 2020. We'll be visiting Universities during March. Check back soon for event dates!


Applications will open from Monday 02 March 2020.

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

Assessment centre - Wellington (half day)

  • Job fair – opportunity to meet the team and learn more about MFAT
  • Work-based scenario – group exercise
  • Competency-based panel interview

Candidates selected to attend our Assessment Centre in Wellington will be notified from 23 August. We are happy to assist with domestic travel, and we’ll discuss options with offshore candidates.


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 obtained a minimum of a bachelor’s level qualification by February 2020 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/university, sporting, church, community, etc
Volunteer experience Ongoing or significant one-off volunteer work, e.g. coaching kids sport, marae, youth groups, community, aid work, SPCA, etc
Academic excellence

Excellent grades, academic award or scholarship, further postgraduate studies

Ability to speak another language Te Reo, Pacific languages, North Asian languages, Arabic, etc
Cultural competency Understanding, appreciation and ability to work with other cultures and communities particularly those with close connections to New Zealand
Mātauranga Māori Strong skills, perspectives and knowledge from the Māori world, including Māori culture and the Treaty of Waitangi
Other experiences Other experiences that demonstrate you’ve stretched yourself, e.g. lived or worked overseas, hobbies, life experience, etc

Myth busters - graduate requirements

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

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

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

Only those with law degrees are considered.

As long as you have a genuine interest in the work we do, we’ll consider any bachelor’s degree. We’re keen to see the different skills applicants provide.

I need to be an A+ student    

Not the case - in fact we don’t have a minimum GPA requirement. We require people with a healthy mix of academic achievement, work experience, and great people skills. We’re also keen to hear from those who have volunteer or leadership experience, or who participate in community, cultural or sporting activities.

I need to speak another language

It’s an advantage if you have language skills from a country where MFAT has a presence, but it’s not compulsory for employment with us. If you’re interested in learning another language, opportunities are available.

I need to have graduated within the last 3 years.

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

Got any questions?

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