How to address selection criteria

Selection criteria are used to assess how an applicant’s qualifications, skills and experience match the requirements of a position. This method of assessment ensures that the selection of applicants for an interview is merit-based. Effectively demonstrating that you meet all of the essential criteria will increase your chances of being invited for an interview.

Preparing your response

When answering the selection criteria it is important to provide evidence to back up your claims. Where possible use actual examples of what you have done, how well you did it, what you achieved and how it relates to the requirements of the job.

As a general guide, 2-4 paragraphs should be sufficient for each criterion for professional/general positions. Academic applicants may want to provide a more extensive response. Simply stating you possess what is required is not sufficient.

The STAR model

Using the STAR model can help you formulate evidence to support each of your claims. Consider:

  • Situation: Set up the context - When and where did it occur? Who was involved?
  • Task: What was the specific task or challenge?
  • Action: What specific action did you take? How did you take it?
  • Result: What did you achieve? What was the end result?

Refer to the example below to see how this method is used.

Essential criteria: A proven ability to write scripts and short programs.

In my current position I am responsible for web development of the internet banking system with Australian Commercial Bank (Situation). The system is based on J2EE architecture, using a Windows NT 4.0 server. A thin client is developed, using HTML, XML and XSL. A major aim of the information technology team was to improve operability and customer access to commercial business products (Task).

During my Bachelor of Information Technology I attained a distinction in the subject Object Orientated Software and used C++ and Java to interface with mainframes and Oracle whilst on a placement with Ford Credit. At the Australian Commercial Bank, I was involved in analysis, design and development of EJB components, socket communication and produced server-side scripting using JSP and Java Beans.

As a team member, I undertook responsibility for developing unit and integration test plans and coordinating system testing (Action). Feedback from national and international banking customers indicated that the website enhancements have increased accessibility to products and profit margins. I have also met with focus groups to assess their changing needs and develop strategies to continually improve the usability and quality of the system (Result).

Essential criteria: An ability to empathise with researchers and academics.

In my current role as Information Services Librarian I liaise with a number of higher degree students and academic staff who are undertaking research (Situation). Research and academic staff are often time poor and need timely access to recent peer-reviewed literature. Some researchers comment that it has become increasingly difficult to access literature as many higher education libraries have cancelled print journal subscriptions in favour of electronic access through aggregated databases that may not provide full content articles (Task).

Whilst working with academic staff and researchers of the Research School of Physical Sciences and Engineering at the Be Better Educated University, I received many comments from academic staff and researchers about the lack of journals to support research. This was particularly evident in Physics and Molecular Biology. I contacted several academic staff in the School of Physics to ascertain their concerns and to inform them that the key issues would be reported to senior library staff for action.

During discussions I listened closely to their concerns and paraphrased their statements to ensure I could accurately understand their issues (Action). Some Academic staff acknowledged my efforts and were appreciative of my attempts to understand their issues and raise these with senior library staff. My action contributed to the establishment of co-operative networks between academic staff and library staff and between academic libraries (Result).