Human Resources FAQs
Are examinations ever cancelled?
It is very rare for an exam to be cancelled. If we do cancel an exam, there will be a recorded message on the Chautauqua County Human Resources telephone at 716-753-4237.
Are hours worked per week actually important on the application?
Yes. You must enter the actual or average number of hours worked per week. This information is used when reviewing your application to assess whether you have the required experience stated in the minimum qualifications. In most cases part-time work is credited.
Are there study materials available?
New York State Department of Civil Service publishes study guides for specific categories of examinations. You may review the current list contained on this website. Examination announcements will indicate if there is an appropriate State published study guide available.
Can an exception be made for an application deadline?
No. When applying for an exam, take note of the closing date for filing. Applications must be postmarked or delivered to the Chautauqua County Department of Human Resources by the close of business on the closing date for the exam. No exceptions will be made. Please note that postmarked applications are not acceptable for Continuous Recruitment Examinations.
Can I be waived from the performance test?
Yes. If you have applied for an exam that requires this test (see the exam announcement), the Chautauqua County Department of Human Resources reserves the right to waive the qualifying test under specific conditions. Please check the appropriate box on the last page of the application.
Can I get a federal or state job if I'm on an eligible list?
No, the state and federal governments administer their own tests and establish their own eligible lists.
Can I submit a resume in lieu of completing the employment experience section on the application?
No, you must complete the employment experience section entirely, being sure to answer all questions, provide complete dates of employment (month / year), number of hours worked per week, and a detailed description of your work experience.
Can the examination fee be waived ?
Yes, a waiver of examination fee will be allowed if you are unemployed and primarily responsible for the support of a household. In addition, a waiver of examination fee will be allowed if you are determined eligible for Medicaid, or receiving Supplemental Security Income payments, or Public Assistance (Temporary Assistance for Needy Families / Family Assistance or Safety Net Assistance) or are certified.
Do I have to be a Chautauqua County resident to take a civil service examination?
Most examinations do not require you to be a Chautauqua County resident. For those positions that do have a residency requirement, the information will be stated on the exam announcement.
How do I apply for examinations?
Whether you are interested in a tested or non-tested position, the same application form must be completed. This form is available at the County of Chautauqua Department of Human Resources Office in Mayville, New York and online. If you apply for more than one position, you must complete one application for each title.
How long does my application stay on file?
Applications for titles that do not require an examination stay on file for the remainder of the calendar year in which you submitted them. New applications are necessary annually for such titles. Examination applications stay on file for the duration of the eligible list established after the examination process.
Is there an examination fee?
Yes, a $15 ($25 for uniform titles) examination fee in the form of a check or money order payable to the Director of Finance must accompany your application.
What are Continuous Recruitment Examinations?
Continuous Recruitment Examinations are those for which applications are accepted on a continuous basis, there is no last filing date. Some are administered on a computer, others are held on a training and experience basis, and others are written exams. The scores for these exams are inter-filed in rank order with existing candidate scores to form a constantly changing eligible list. A passing candidate's name remains on the list for one year.
What are provisional appointments?
A provisional appointment is a temporary appointment to a competitive class position (a position that requires a civil service test) when there is no existing civil service list or the list contains fewer than three candidates willing to accept the position being offered. In order to become permanent, the provisionally appointed employee must take the next examination for the position. The permanent appointment to the position will be made among the three highest scoring candidates who indicate their willingness to accept the position. The provisional candidate must be among the top three interested candidates to be appointed permanently.
What can I do if I receive a Not Eligible Letter from Civil Service?
The "not eligible" determination is based on the information that you provided on your application and the minimum qualifications for the position you are applying for. If you feel that you omitted information from your initial application that could possibly be used to deem you "eligible" for a title, then submit a letter providing the missing or unclear information to our office. We will then be able to take a second look at your application and determine if you qualify.
What do I do if I've applied for more than one exam scheduled on the same date with different government agencies?
If you have applied to take a written test announced by either one or more local jurisdictions, other than Chautauqua County, scheduled to be held on the same test date as another written test, you must notify each of the local jurisdictions no later than two weeks before the test date so they can make arrangements for you to take all of your tests at one test site. All examinations for positions in state government will be held at a state examination center. A cross-file application form should be completed and submitted to our agency as soon as you are aware of conflicting test dates.
What happens after I apply for a job listed in immediate openings?
Applications for immediate job openings are evaluated by the Human Resources Department to ensure the candidate meets the qualifications to be eligible for appointment. Approved candidates will receive an Eligibility Determination Letter acknowledging the approval. Approved applications will be forwarded to the agency where the vacancy exists for review and consideration. Applicants disapproved because they do not meet minimum qualifications will be notified by mail.
What happens after I apply for an examination?
Applications for scheduled exams are evaluated to ensure the candidate meets the qualifications to take the exam. Approved candidates will receive an Eligibility Determination Letter acknowledging the approval. Approved applicants will receive an admission notice at least one week prior to the test date with information about test location, time, and other instructions. Applicants disapproved because they do not meet minimum qualifications will be notified by mail.
What if my name or address changes?
Notify the Chautauqua County Department of Human Resources immediately of any change of name, address, or phone number by completing the Name and/or Address Change Form. It is your responsibility to keep this office updated with your current information.
What is a Training and Experience Examination?
A Training and Experience Examination is a method of testing whereby a candidate receives a test score based on information submitted in their application and/or a questionnaire which is sent to the eligible candidate. In some instances, the candidate will be requested to complete a Web-based questionnaire. The score is calculated from weights given to various factors of education (training) and experience.
What is Civil Service?
The New York State Constitution and New York State Civil Service Law mandate that public employees must be hired for jobs on the basis of their merit and fitness. In practical terms, “merit and fitness” means finding people who are best suited to perform a particular job. Civil Service jobs can be divided into two areas: positions that require participants to compete in an examination and positions that do not require competitive examination.
What is Job Training Partnership Act / Workforce Investment?
The Job Training Partnership Act / Workforce Investment is eligible through a state or local social service agency. If you are eligible for an examination fee waiver, please check the appropriate box on the front of the application.
What will be on the exam(s)?
You can find out what areas each exam will cover from the exam announcement under the heading “Subject of Examination.”
When is the Department of Human Resources open?
The Department of Human Resources is open daily, Monday through Friday, from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
When will I receive my exam results?
We receive and process the exam results from the State Civil Service Commission approximately two to three months after the examination date. You will be notified by mail of your score and place on the eligible list. Those who score 70% or above are included on the eligible list for job openings. Jobs are filled from these lists by the employer choosing one of the three highest ranked applicants willing to accept the job.
Where are the eligible lists used?
All Chautauqua County departments, all towns, villages, school districts, special districts, City of Dunkirk, City of Jamestown and BOCES Second Supervisory District, Erie-Chautauqua-Cattaraugus Counties use the eligible lists.
Where are the exams held?
Unless otherwise stated on the exam announcement, the exams are held at the Chautauqua County Government Office Campus in Mayville, New York.
Will I get the job if I get the highest test score on a civil service exam?
If you obtain the highest score on an exam you may be considered for the position, but having the highest score does not guarantee that you will be hired. The canvass and the interview are equally important parts of the selection process.