How to Answer Selection Criteria
No matter how Key Selection Criteria appear, you respond to them the same way:
- Read and reread the advertisement, Key Selection Criteria and Position Description.
- Print or save the Job Details, Position Description, so you can easily refer to it later.
- Highlight key words in the first Key Selection Criteria and think about what the employer is asking for.
- List examples of how you meet the Key Selection Criteria. Describe relevant skills, experience, incidents, training, personal qualities, expertise and things you couldn’t have done without all these.
- Review your list and summarise, in 60-120 words, how you demonstrated the Key Selection Criteria .
- Repeat Steps 3 to 5 for the remaining Key Selection Criteria.
Knowing how to answer selection criteria means developing a strong understanding of the job requirements:
- Develop a full understanding of the job requirements and the type of character that would excel in the position.
- 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 person responsible for recruiting (the name and telephone number will be in the job details). They should be happy to answer your questions.
- Write down all the skills, experience, knowledge and personality traits you possess that would benefit the job.
Evaluate the Job Description:
There are 2 main parts to review in a Position Description:
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. Read their website and find out what their priorities are in terms of gaining profit versus community care. Try to find someone who knows what it is like to work there. Measure the values and the company culture against your own values and personality traits.
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.
How to Write High Quality Answers to Key Selection Criteria
Before starting to write your Key Selection Criteria, it will pay dividends (and even a job offer!), to spend 30 – 60 minutes researching various components of the job opportunity, the company and the industry.
BONUS TIP: Find out about the Organisation or Agency
The Federal and State Governments are large employers in this country, with thousands of jobs in a wide scope of industries. Every department and agency has different objectives, functions and programs and may deliver services in a variety of ways to the Victorian 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.
- Read more tips on how to answer selection criteria – read How to Write Selection Criteria
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