Key selection criteria for goverment jobs | Hays (2023)

Key selection criteria for goverment jobs | Hays (1)

You've seen an job opportunity that you're interested in, on a jobs board or in the press and want to apply, but where do you start?

A key requirement for jobs in Government is to respond to the Key Selection Criteria (KSC). You need to know how to address the criteria.

On this page:

  • Understand job and key selection criteria
  • Key selection criteria examples
  • Qualifications
(Video) Australian Government Job. How to address selection criteria to get Australian government job 2021

Our experience also shows that people who do some basic research about the job before submitting their applications achieve the best results. Before you apply, we suggest that you think about the job requirements and gather someinformation, so that you can focus your job application better.

Understand the job and Key Selection Criteria

If you don't fully understand the job requirements you may have difficulty demonstrating that you are the best person for the job. Study the Position Description, including Key Selection Criteria, along with any other relevant
information you have collected. If you are unsure about any aspects of the job, call the Contact Officer (the name and telephone number will be in the job details) during normal business hours. They'll be happy to answer your questions.

There are four main parts to look at and review in a Position Description:

Values: These tell you about the way the organisation works and what it expects of its employees. Check that you are comfortable these values fit with the way you want to work.

(Video) Australian government jobs | Selection Criteria Tips | How to Answer Selection Criteria, Career Talk

Accountabilities: This is a list of the day-to-day responsibilities and tasks of the job. Each job has a key focus - for example some roles supervise staff, some manage resources or provide policy advice; others deliver support services. Your career background and interests should match the requirements of the job. You will need to be able to demonstrate that you have the capabilities - personal qualities, knowledge and skills to do the job. Perhaps you have worked in a related field or industry or have private interests that are relevant.

Key Selection Criteria:The Key Selection Criteria outline the qualities, knowledge and skills needed to do the job. You will need to write short statements that sell your specific capabilities for each of the criterion. It is important to include specific examples or situations where you have demonstrated the behaviour, knowledge, skills and personal qualities asked for in the KSC.

Writing a good KSC response statement is invaluable in preparing you for the interview stage of the selection process. Now that you have specific examples you will be better prepared to answer questions about your ability to do the job. Make sure you check your KSC statement for spelling and grammar.

By law, we must assess all candidates for our jobs fairly and consistently - to select on merit. We do this by using the Key Selection Criteria given to all candidates to assess their ability to do a job. When you go for a job, KSC are clearly described in the Position Description - so you know what’s required. See jobs advertised on this career web site for the sort of things we look for.

Describing how you meet KSC ensures we capture all information about your suitability for a job. You can type in the spaces on your online application or cut and paste text from a document you’ve prepared. KSC vary among employers and jobs. Traditionally, they are statements combining skills, knowledge, experience and personal qualities, e.g.

(Video) Selection Criteria for Australian Government Jobs | 3 Tips | How to write selection criteria

  • "Ability to develop and maintain systems and processes for mail distribution and storage of publications and brochures"
  • "Ability to work under pressure, prioritise tasks, meet deadlines and remain tolerant"


Increasingly, KSC are based on key capabilities e.g.

  • Resilience - Perseveres to achieve goals, even in the face of obstacles. Copes with setbacks. Stays calm under pressure. Accepts constructive criticism without becoming defensive.’
  • Problem Solving - Seeks all relevant facts. Liaises with stakeholders. Analyses issues from different perspectives and draws sound inferences from available data. Identifies and proposes workable solutions.’


No matter how KSC appear, you respond to them the same way:

  1. Read and reread the advertisement, KSC and Position Description.
  2. Print or save the Job Details, Position Description, so you can easily refer to it later.
  3. Highlight key words in the first KSC and think about what the employer is asking for.
  4. List examples of how you meet the KSC. Describe relevant skills, experience, incidents, training, personal qualities, expertise and things you couldn’t have done without all these.
  5. Review your list and summarise, in 60-120 words, how you demonstrated the KSC.
  6. Repeat Steps 3 to 5 for the remaining KSC.


The SAO approach can help:

  • Situation - Where and when did you do it?
  • Action - What did you do and how did you do it?
  • Outcome - What was the result of your actions?


A word of encouragement, this may seem unfamiliar and a bit awkward to begin with, but around 60% of government jobs are filled by people not currently working in government organisations. And doing it this way ensures you’re considered fairly along with all other candidates. See below for three examples of KSC responses.

Key Selection Criteria examples

Problem Solving:Seeks all relevant facts. Liaises with stakeholders. Analyses issues from different perspectives and draws sound inferences from available data. Identifies and proposes workable solutions. "Problem solving has been a critical part of my roles over the past five years. While working as Customer Complaints Officer at Acme Department Stores, Idealt with a variety of problems. While many could be resolved easily, 2-3 per week were more complex and required a detailed process to resolve. I had to investigate what had happened from the staff and customer’s points of view, clarify the facts and work out what had gone wrong and why. I then had to propose suitable solutions and negotiate a mutually satisfactory outcome. I was often commended by my manager for my sensitive handling and speedy resolution of these problems. Less than 1% of complaints had to be escalated"

(Video) The key to nailing Key Selection Criteria for Government jobs

Advanced Computer Skills:Uses a wide range of software features for word processing, spreadsheets, etc. Helps others solve problems with software. "As Personal Assistant to the Marketing Manager at SYZ Enterprises, about half my time was spent preparing letters and reports for clients using Word. I used detailed information in Excel spreadsheets to prepare graphs and tables to demonstrate the results of our market research and to analyse client company performance. I often prepared major PowerPoint presentations for my manager and maintained a database of her contacts. I also managed many daily emails and searched for information on the Internet to answer questions"

Sound communication, interpersonal and negotiating skills, including well-developed written and oral skills and the ability to develop and deliver interpretation and education services:"In my 5 years as a teacher, strong communication, negotiation and interpersonal skills have been essential. I have dealt with a wide range of people, including parents, colleagues and students. I was involved in a community project where I co-wrote a booklet on helping child learn and have fun. As part of this project, Iled successful negotiations with the Local Council and three schools in the area who agreed to run a series of weekend family science programs for kids in the area"

Qualifications

In many cases qualifications are either not required or are an added advantage-desirable. However, some roles need formal or mandatory qualifications, such as a University Degree. You must be able to produce documentary evidence of these qualifications to be appointed to the job.

Find out about the employer

The Government is the largest employer in each State. Each department and agency has different objectives, functions and programs and may deliver services in a variety of ways to the community. So it's important that you find out what the employing agency does - its' objectives and functions and how the job you are applying for fits in. A good starting point is to look at the agency's corporate website or visit a public library to find out about:

  • The agency - look at Annual Reports, Business and Corporate Plans. There may well be a question asked at the job interview to explore your understanding of the agency's role. If you've done your homework, you
    will be able to impress your potential employer by describing what you understand the organisation does;
  • The organisation structure - an organisation chart sets out the reporting arrangements and may tell you where the advertised job fits in. Usually the organisational context will be stated in the Position Description.
  • Agency values - these vary for each agency. Public sector values are responsiveness; integrity; impartiality; accountability; respect and
    leadership.


Decide if you are qualified to do the job

Ask yourself these questions:

(Video) Government Jobs - Answering Selection Criteria Successfully - Queensland Public Service

  • Do I meet all or most of the Key Selection Criteria of the job?
  • Could I do the job with some training - formal or on-the-job?
  • Do I have skills gained in other fields of work that may be transferable?


If so, then you are ready to apply. But before you start your online application, make a few notes on all the information you have gathered:

  • Summarise the background and skills you can offer
  • Highlight your strengths and relevant experiences, achievements and capabilities.
  • Highlight relevant achievements from past jobs.
  • Address any obvious weaknesses and what training you are willing to do to address these.
  • Address each Key Selection Criterion for the job.
  • Prepare or update your resume or CV.
  • Talk to your referees about the job you are applying for and what they will say about you to a prospective employer.

FAQs

What is the key selection criteria? ›

Key selection criteria are the skills, attributes, knowledge and qualifications that the employer has defined as being essential for satisfying the requirements of the job and can be found in every Position Description.

What are examples of selection criteria? ›

Examples of selection criteria
  • Analysis and research.
  • Accuracy and attention to detail.
  • Decision-making.
  • Independence.
  • Initiative.
  • Interpersonal/verbal communication.
  • Knowledge/experience of specific software or equipment.
  • Knowledge/experience of the organisation, policies or procedures.
8 Feb 2022

How do you address a key selection criteria in a cover letter? ›

Actually address the key selection criteria

Use bullet points to break down your answer, and see how strongly these link into the skills and qualities the hiring manager is looking for. Address the criteria directly when you come to it in your cover letter.

Why are you the best person for this role? ›

For example, you might explain that you are particularly motivated, or that you are known for going above and beyond for your employers. A second way to answer is to emphasize your unique skills. If you have skills that make you a strong candidate (especially if not many people have those skills), mention these.

How long should key selection criteria be? ›

About 250 words is generally an appropriate length for each criterion. However, this may depend upon factors such as the role being applied for.

How do you meet these desirable criteria? ›

Follow these steps to show you satisfy the job selection criteria:
  1. Identify the selection criteria. Study the job description carefully and identify its selection criteria. ...
  2. Research the employer. ...
  3. Compare and adapt your CV. ...
  4. Simplify your CV. ...
  5. Write your cover letter using STAR responses. ...
  6. Proofread your job application.

How do you write essential and desirable criteria? ›

 You will need to: Provide evidence of a situation and how you demonstrated your capability and how you meet the selection criteria. Provide specific details of the task and what you did. Provide an indicator or description of success or a result.

How do you address a selection criteria without experience? ›

Show how you have done something similar in the past. Show how you have learned something similar in the past. Give examples of how you are able to pick up the skills / knowledge / experience you are missing in a very quick time frame.

How do you answer demonstrated ability to work within a team? ›

Demonstrated ability to work effectively in a team environment.
  1. Asks others for input and shares ideas.
  2. Collaborates with the team.
  3. Cooperates with others.
  4. Balances the needs of the team.
  5. Respects different viewpoints and ideas.
  6. Accepts changes in the make-up of the workforce.
  7. Treats each team member equitably.

How do you write a good suitability statement? ›

Describe what you bring, the skills and experience acquired. The statement should include examples of real key achievements, what you have done, what you have delivered and core learnings. Use active, positive language, rather than lots of passive statements.

What is demonstrated ability? ›

A Statement of Demonstrated Ability is a statement granted at the discretion of a Federal Air Surgeon to a person who is disqualified from obtaining a pilot's medical certification.

Is selection criteria the same as cover letter? ›

A Cover Letter is an introduction to yourself, to accompany your resume when you apply for a job. Most people find it more difficult to write a selection criteria response than it is to write a cover letter.

How do you demonstrate skills on an application? ›

Be a STAR: presenting examples to back up your skills
  1. Situation - Set the scene. Describe the situation or problem. ...
  2. Task - Outline the task required to solve the issue or problem.
  3. Action - Explain what you actually did. ...
  4. Result - Describe the outcome and the difference it made.

How your skills knowledge and experience will be relevant to this role? ›

Relevant experience can include the following:

Work in a similar or same industry. Academic work/studies in a similar or same field. Any other work that has presented you with challenges that will help you learn this next job faster and be successful.

How do you handle stress and pressure? ›

2. Commit to a Positive Attitude
  1. Decide what you can do. Pinpoint which parts of the situation you have the power to change or influence for the better. ...
  2. Get support. Find someone to talk to about your situation. ...
  3. Care for yourself. Take especially good care of yourself when stress in your life is high.

What makes you stand out from other candidates? ›

These can be professional skills, areas of expertise, personal qualities, or any relevant experience. Also, consider any impressive accomplishments from your past or career goals that speak to your commitment to the field. Think of ways to out-do the other candidates.

Why do u want this job? ›

Focus on the job at hand

'I want this job because I have clear skills that will help me achieve...' 'This role will give me the opportunity to combine both my skills in [skill 1] and [skill 2] to achieve...' 'I love [job role specific task] and my last job took me away from that.

Do you have to meet all essential criteria? ›

You do not need to match all of the criteria

Although the employer would like to appoint a candidate who meets all of their requirements, they would not expect to do so.

What is HR selection criterion? ›

Selection criteria must be job relevant and is developed from the knowledge, skills and abilities required or desired to do the job. Selection criteria is more than the minimum education and experience required for the position.

What skills and experience can you bring to this role Example answer? ›

“I can bring positivity, experience, a creative approach to solving problems, and the ability to embrace change enthusiastically. I can bring drive, a passion for this industry, and the ability to always treat your clients and customers in a way that will ensure they become long-term advocates of the business.

How your skills match the job description? ›

Focus on the actual day-to-day tasks the job lists out as opposed to the title itself. Start to think which roles on your list might be aligned with the skills the company is looking for. As you start describing your experiences on your résumé, make sure that you show some correlation between the two areas.

How do you talk about teamwork in an interview? ›

Emphasize how the group worked together as a whole. You want to demonstrate your ability to work with others, and that includes sharing your success with the group. Express Confidence and Positivity: You want to convey that you do well working with others and that you enjoy it.

Why do you think you are suitable for this role sample answers? ›

💡 Example answer

“My skill set matches all the requirements laid out in the job description. In particular, my ability to work to tight deadlines and manage my time effectively make me a good fit for the role.

What makes a good personal specification? ›

A person specification should include: The technical, organisational, communicative, and creative skills and abilities you expect from an ideal candidate. Any specific qualifications or education required for the role. The level of experience needed in either similar organisations or equivalent roles.

How do you write a job criteria? ›

How to write key selection criteria
  1. Step 1: brainstorm key words and ideas. Copy and paste the criteria from the position description into a new document. ...
  2. Step 2: write a statement using the SAO approach. Write a statement under each criterion of 60 to 120 words using the SAO approach: ...
  3. Step 3: proofread your statements.

How do you deal with difficult team members interview answer? ›

Your answer might include holding meetings to address a procrastinating coworker or agreeing to a compromise on a particular issue where viewpoints differed. The point is you need to get across that you took initiative to find a solution.

Can you give examples of when you've helped a team be successful? ›

Example Answer

I sat down with them and listened to their concerns, and together we came up with a way for them to feel they had more input in the project. By helping them feel listened to, I helped our team complete the project successfully and on time.

What can you contribute to the team best answer? ›

How to answer "What can you contribute to this company?"
  • Provide concrete examples from your past. ...
  • Discuss your skills. ...
  • Demonstrate how your skills fit with this specific company. ...
  • Support your answers with data.

How do you write a personal statement for a government job? ›

How to write a personal statement for a civil service job
  1. Introduce yourself. Briefly introduce yourself to the employer with a summary of your interests or skills that are relevant to the job. ...
  2. Share relevant skills, experience or interests. ...
  3. Explain why you're applying for the job. ...
  4. Proofread your statement.
29 Sept 2021

How do you sell yourself in a personal statement? ›

Start with why you're the perfect fit for a place on your course. Mention the most important aspects of your relevant skills and experience early. Prove the points you've introduced – it's here you'd talk about your current and previous studies, your skills, and your work experience.

How do you write attention grabbing suitability statement? ›

  1. Steps to Write an Impressive Personal Statement:
  2. Research about the company:
  3. Outlines your skills and experience:
  4. Describe your personal characteristics and qualities:
  5. Explain how you are suitable for the job:
  6. Keep brief and to the point:
  7. Highlight memorable specifics:
  8. Tell a good story:

What skills would you bring to the job? ›

Here are some of the most constantly in-demand transferable skills.
  • Communication. Effective communication is essential in any role. ...
  • Organisation and planning. ...
  • Motivation and enthusiasm. ...
  • Initiative. ...
  • Teamwork. ...
  • Leadership skills. ...
  • Problem solving. ...
  • Flexibility.

How would your team describe you as a leader? ›

I lead by facilitating open communication, and trying to bring out the best in every team member”. Lead by delegating and making others better: “I'm great at delegating and finding the strengths of other team members.

Why do you want to be a leader answer? ›

Here's a sample answer: I believe I can lead and inspire a team to perform their best and try to accomplish goals. I can achieve this through relationship building, being motivated about the goals, and influencing others around me.

How do you answer a selection criteria question? ›

Here are four simple steps for answering Selection Criteria:
  1. Step 1 – Understand what's being requested. Read through the Selection Criteria in detail and understand what each one is asking for. ...
  2. Step 2 – State your claim. ...
  3. Step 3 – Support your claim. ...
  4. Step 4 – Be critical when checking your work.

What is a selection criteria statement? ›

Selection criteria are the skills, knowledge, and experience required to successfully do the job. Learn to show how well you meet the criteria by writing convincing statements in your job application.

What is Star approach to selection criteria? ›

STAR stands for Situation, Task, Action, Result and applicants are told that they should write their selection criteria as follows: Situation: describe a work situation that you were faced with. Task: describe the task that you had to complete. Action: describe the action that you took to complete the task.

What are the top 5 skills that you have? ›

Top 5 Skills Employers Look For
  • Critical thinking and problem solving.
  • Teamwork and collaboration.
  • Professionalism and strong work ethic.
  • Oral and written communications skills.
  • Leadership.

What attracted you to this position? ›

If you can explain how the role aligns with your career goals or how the company's work interests you or how it connects to something you're passionate about, you can show the interviewer that you understand what you want from the company and what they want from you.

What are your three strongest characteristics? ›

You can consider highlighting these skills in your resume and interviews:
  • Communication skills.
  • Honesty.
  • Loyalty.
  • Dependability.
  • Teamwork.
  • Flexibility.
  • Self-reliance.
  • Eagerness to learn.

Why you are the best candidate for this position? ›

When describing your strengths and accomplishments that make you a good fit for the position, provide quantifiable examples of each. For example, rather than saying that you have strong communication skills, describe an example in which you used your communication skills to solve a problem in the workplace.

How do I answer the Qld government selection criteria? ›

Structuring your statement
  1. Write a brief introductory statement outlining how/why you meet the criterion.
  2. Highlight your relevant skills and experience by describing your major responsibilities in current or previous employment (this may include relevant non-paid work)

How do you address selection criteria you don't meet? ›

In Summary, When You Don't Meet the Criterion:

Show how you have done something similar in the past. Show how you have learned something similar in the past. Give examples of how you are able to pick up the skills / knowledge / experience you are missing in a very quick time frame.

How do you write a statement of claims against selection criteria? ›

Addressing the statement of claims or selection criteria
  1. Situation – Set the context by describing the circumstance where you used the skills or qualities and gained the experience.
  2. Task – What was your role?
  3. Actions – What did you do and how did you do it?
  4. Results – What did you achieve?
3 Sept 2020

How do you write essential and desirable criteria? ›

 You will need to: Provide evidence of a situation and how you demonstrated your capability and how you meet the selection criteria. Provide specific details of the task and what you did. Provide an indicator or description of success or a result.

How do you meet the criteria for this job examples? ›

Follow these steps to show you satisfy the job selection criteria:
  • Identify the selection criteria. Study the job description carefully and identify its selection criteria. ...
  • Research the employer. ...
  • Compare and adapt your CV. ...
  • Simplify your CV. ...
  • Write your cover letter using STAR responses. ...
  • Proofread your job application.

How do I write a CV for a government job? ›

How to write a Government resume experience section
  1. Use 4-6 bullet points per job title;
  2. Don't go further than a decade behind when describing your job history, unless you're applying for an executive position;
  3. Combine job responsibilities as well as achievements with numbers in results when you describe your past work;

How do I write a letter to apply for a government job? ›

Key Takeaways
  1. You must know what type of cover letter you are writing.
  2. Always use a professional cover letter template.
  3. Research thoroughly about the company you are applying to.
  4. Add skills and experiences relevant to the job position.
  5. Write your cover letter in 3-4 paragraphs.
  6. Don't make it too long.
8 Jan 2022

Should I apply for a job if I don't meet all the requirements? ›

If you've found a job that you want to apply for but don't meet all of the requirements, it's often still worth applying. Even without every qualification, it's possible to receive an interview and a job offer.

Should you apply for a job if you're not sure you want it? ›

Don't Apply for a Job When You Are Struggling to Decide If You Are Interested. Make sure that the job meets at least a third of the elements of your ideal position. It seems obvious, but many job seekers apply for jobs that they don't really want. Ask yourself if you'd be excited to receive a call for an interview.

Do you have to meet all qualifications? ›

Focus on Your Transferable Skills

You don't have to satisfy every requirement or meet every qualification listed. If your skills are transferable and you are in the ballpark with the number of years of experience the company's looking for, apply. Applying gives you the opportunity to be considered.

How your skills knowledge and experience will be relevant to this role? ›

Relevant experience can include the following:

Work in a similar or same industry. Academic work/studies in a similar or same field. Any other work that has presented you with challenges that will help you learn this next job faster and be successful.

Can you use dot points in selection criteria? ›

Question: Can I use dot/bullet points when writing my statements against selection criteria? Answer: Yes you can, but you should be careful how you use dot points (also known as bullet points). If you are simply listing things that you have done or can do, dot points might lead to your undoing.

Is cover letter same as selection criteria? ›

A Cover Letter is an introduction to yourself, to accompany your resume when you apply for a job. Most people find it more difficult to write a selection criteria response than it is to write a cover letter.

Why do you think you are suitable for this role sample answers? ›

💡 Example answer

“My skill set matches all the requirements laid out in the job description. In particular, my ability to work to tight deadlines and manage my time effectively make me a good fit for the role.

What makes a good personal specification? ›

A person specification should include: The technical, organisational, communicative, and creative skills and abilities you expect from an ideal candidate. Any specific qualifications or education required for the role. The level of experience needed in either similar organisations or equivalent roles.

How do you answer personal attributes? ›

How to answer "What makes you unique?"
  1. Mention skills listed in the job description.
  2. Provide examples from your background. ...
  3. Avoid generic phrases like "I'm a hard worker". ...
  4. Include key personality traits that will allow you to deliver similar results in the future.
5 Apr 2022

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