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The Civil Service Commission determines whether those seeking to work for the City of Long Beach are qualified to do the job for which they are applying. This is done through an application and selection process in which applicants are asked to describe their qualifications and are tested to determine if they possess the required knowledge, skills and abilities for that particular job.

Each year, the Civil Service Department accepts thousands of applications for City of Long Beach jobs and administers various examinations for different jobs, such as written, writing, and performance exams, and appraisal interviews and training and experience evaluations. At the end of each testing process, a list of eligible candidates is created and City departments hire people for jobs from these eligible lists. In addition, the Civil Service Department serves as the support staff for the Civil Service Commission.

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