3 min

The step-by-step approach to getting ready for a competitive examination

Certain essential questions must be asked before applying for a competitive examination, and we are here to answer them and guide you in the process.

Updated on 03 March 2020

illustration The step-by-step approach to getting ready for a competitive examination
© AdobeStock

Am I really cut out for public sector employment?

In becoming a civil servant, you may be seeking stability, but you are above all sensitive to the following values :


  • Acting for the development of our society.
  • Actively serving our citizens and the public interest.

You also wish to contribute to the transformation of the public sector (digital innovation, quality of working life, diversity…).

Why join INRAE ?

You have no further doubts about joining the civil service, but you have another question on your mind : « why join INRAE ? ».


  • In view of the social issues which the world currently faces, INRAE is a public research institute that questions and deals with significant subjects such as nutrition, agriculture and the environment. The institute aims to inform public action as well as citizens through its research
  • As an employer, INRAE is concerned with offering its staff rewarding professional careers and a quality of working life, notably by preserving a healthy work-life balance.

Choose the position that interests you

You are now convinced of the interest of joining us and fully developing yourself at INRAE ; several positions are available to you. We are convinced that an offer will meet your expectations and allow you to freely express your potential.


The position you choose should really correspond to your professional project. Your education, experience and/or professional ambitions will be key elements in your choice.

Contact us for information

At this stage, you have found a position which seems to suit you ; we strongly advise you to contact the recruiter in order to get all the information you need before you apply (team size, position requirements, examination process…). You will also be able to contact them throughout the entire examination period.


Where can you find the details of the recruiter ? Each online job offer on the INRAE Jobs website includes a “Contact” box showing the details of the person in charge of the position.

Read the candidate handbook

This handbook summarizes the information you need to complete your application and will allow you to know whether you fulfil the necessary conditions for taking the examination.


We recommend you to read it carefully !


Where can you find the candidate handbook ? Examination-based job offers all include an "Application terms and conditions" box containing the candidate handbook. Each competitive examination campaign has its own handbook.


That’s it, you’re nearly there !!!

You have now reached the final step : « Apply ». This final click might allow you to get your perfect job. The quality of your application will allow you to pass the initial examination stages, this is why we strongly advise you to fill it out properly. Take the time to read the candidate handbook before you submit your application.



Learn more

What does a competitive examination involve?

Competitive examinations are a gateway to public sector employment, and the main recruitment process for permanent positions. The objective is to guarantee access to all while respecting equal treatment for each candidate.

28 January 2020

Understanding our public service corps according to your profile

When you register for an INRAE competitive examination, it is in view of a specific profession, one that corresponds to your aspirations and skills. So, you don’t understand why we are talking about ‘recruitment corps’. It's simple : when you pass a competitive public service examination, you are integrated into a specific professional ‘corps’. Everything is explained to you!

02 March 2020