The usual steps in the Job Application process are:

  1. Vacancy is identified and advertised
  2. Your application is prepared and submitted by the closing date
  3. All applications are assessed
  4. Applicant selection and interviews
  5. Referee and criminal history checks
  6. Job offer
  7. Feedback (to unsuccessful applicants)

Note: Always remember to check the organisation’s website for details on how to apply for jobs advertised by that organisation or if a contact person is specified on the job description, asking them questions about the process.

1. Job Vacancy

In general, vacancies are open to any person. It is illegal for an employer to discriminate because of age, gender, marital status or on cultural or religious grounds under Australian law. However, an employer may be granted exemption if the position requires a person to have specific or ‘identified’ characteristics (eg. of Aboriginal descent).

For Government positions applicants must be an Australian citizen or have permanent resident status.  If you do not fit this category, you are only eligible for appointment to temporary vacancies. For comprehensive information on working in Australia visit
When you have found a job that you would like to apply for:

Download the documents relating to the job you are interested in or phone for a copy of the information to be sent to you. This will usually include:

  • a role description detailing job requirements
  • information on how to prepare and submit your application
  • an application form, and
  • the name and details of the job contact person.

2. Preparing your Application

Your application should contain:

  • Completed cover sheet (If applicable)
  • Statement addressing each selection criteria
  • A Resume briefly outlining working history and positions held including major responsibilities and achievements. You should also note any relevant qualifications.

For most vacancies, selection is based on merit. You should display your competence or suitability in all of the selection criteria set out in the job description.  Stating that you can satisfy the criteria is not enough, you must provide examples of your experience and knowledge for each criterion. You must meet all essential selection criteria to be considered for the vacancy.

Should you require more information regarding the vacancy, contact the nominated contact person for the position. If you require additional information regarding the recruitment process for the position, you should contact the organisation’s Recruitment Officer.

Submit your application before the closing date. You should check with the job contact person if you are unsure about how or where to submit your application. In most situations you will be sent an acknowledgement to confirm that your application has been received.

Note: Applications are generally placed on files and therefore folders and binders used for presentation purposes are not necessary. If you are applying for two or more advertised vacancies you should submit a separate application for each vacancy.

3. Application assessment

Most organisations select employees based on merit – This means that the person whose skills, knowledge and experience best match the job requirements will be selected.

The interview team will assess your application against the Selection Criteria for the position. Most organisations have a scoring system which they use to rank applications from most suitable to not suitable. In most situations the top three applicants are asked to attend an interview. However, the interview panel may elect to interview less or more applicants depending on the quality of the applications, the number of positions available or the likelihood of consequential positions arising.

In the decision, the following are taken into account:

  • the extent to which each applicant has abilities, aptitude, skills, qualifications, knowledge, experience and personal qualities relevant to the job, and if relevant
  • the way in which each applicant carried out any previous employment or occupational duties and potential for development.

4. Applicant selection and interviews

If you are asked to attend an interview, you will normally be given several days to prepare. Check whether you are required to bring any supporting documentation or items of completed work.

Interviews are generally conducted by a panel comprising a minimum of two people but there are often three. Be prepared for different types of interview questions, for example, scenario, job knowledge or work experience questions. In most instances questions will be based around the Selection Criteria for the vacancy.

Go over your application and make a note of points you want to emphasise. Consider the challenges of the job and how your skills, knowledge, ability and experience will help you to meet them. If you have any questions about the job or the organisation, note them down and ask them at the end of the interview.

Note: Other selection techniques may be used with the interview or as separate steps in a selection process. For example, you may be asked to perform a practical exercise such as make a presentation, prepare a report, or do an activity that shows how you would perform a task on the job. Other examples include work samples, aptitude and ability tests or structured group and/or individual exercises.

5. Referee and criminal history checks

Referees provided by applicants may be contacted during the selection process. If required, include the names and contact numbers of referees in your application.

For some vacancies successful applicants will be required to undergo a criminal history check and/or a working with children check prior to the finalising of the selection process. A criminal record does not necessarily disqualify you from selection. If the criminal records check results in rejection of your selection, you will be given the opportunity to discuss the matter before a final decision is made.

When applying for a position in child-related employment a “Working With Children Check” will be undertaken. This is a formal process of checks to help determine your suitability to work with children or have unsupervised access to children in your work. The check takes into account relevant criminal records, apprehended violence orders and completed disciplinary proceedings.

Note: It is an offence under the Commission For Children And Young People Act 1998 for a person convicted of a serious offence to apply for a child-related position. Information on the Working with Children Check is located at

6. Job Offer

If you are selected as the preferred candidate for the position, the selection committee will ask to see original certificates or certified (by the institution) academic transcripts of your qualifications. You may also be asked to provide a copy of your birth certificate, evidence of your citizenship or resident status or undergo a security check.

The cost of producing this documentation is to be met by you. The selection committee may also seek verification of your qualifications from the issuing institution. Any statement on your application that is found to be deliberately misleading could make you, if employed, liable to dismissal and/or prosecution.

If you are offered employment you may be asked about your current salary to determine your commencement rate. Your employment arrangements are governed by the industrial award, employing legislation and policies relating to the particular job and department or agency in which you will be working. For information on industrial awards that may be relevant to your industry vist:

7. Notification of Outcome/Post Interview Feedback

You will be advised in writing of the outcome of the selection process. If unsuccessful, it is appropriate for you to request feedback on the panel’s decision. This information may be helpful for future applications. Details of who to contact will be provided in the letter of notification after the selection process.