Selection Criteria

What are Selection Criteria?

Selection criteria are the qualifications, experience, knowledge and skills required for appointment to a particular job. For most Australian job applicants, the term ‘selection criteria’ comes up when they’re considering applying for an Australian government or public service position – in local, State or Commonwealth government agencies and bodies.


Local government includes roles in city, town, council and shire-based organisations.

You’ll usually find selection criteria listed in the job advertisement, the application instructions, and/or in the position description form.


If you have addressed selection criteria in the past, take note that many agencies and departments have been reforming selection processes.


For this reason, my advice to you is that you read application instructions carefully – e.g. you might only be required to address three or four out of eight criteria.


How to address selection criteria.

You address selection criteria by writing a response to each individual criterion.

Your response should persuade the employer that you possess the requirements of the job.

Give an example of a work challenge, situation, scenario or other setting to help the recruiter understand the task you faced, how you handled it, and what results you got.


Selection criterion: The singular of ‘selection criteria’

Think of genuine examples that demonstrate your abilities, i.e., work challenges, projects and tasks you’ve tackled and overcome. Try to use recent examples, ones that are fresh in your mind.


Use the SAR technique

For each situation or example, think: Situation, Action and Result. Using the SAR technique will help you address criteria more fully. 


  • SITUATION: Describe the situation so that it makes sense to any reader. Give context. Explain the level of difficulty or complexity.
  • ACTION: Step out the actions you took – and why.
  • RESULTS: Describe the results and outcomes you got. You can also describe lessons you learned in the situation.


Why must examples be genuine?

Examples you use in addressing criteria must be genuine because you could be asked to explain them at interview!

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