Selection criteria

As part of the hiring process, you may be asked to answer key selection criteria. Learn how to tailor your responses for success.

Selection criteria is a list of requirements you must satisfy to qualify for a job, and is an important part of your application. Generally, if you don’t supply answers that address the selection criteria you won’t be considered for the job.

If you’re unsure on whether you need to formally respond to a set of selection criteria, you should contact the employer. Some organisations have their own guidelines for responding to selection criteria.

What does selection criteria include?

Selection criteria may relate to any of the following areas.

  • Qualifications

    A brief factual response is usually all that’s required: state your educational qualifications or other training you may have. Depending on the application, you may also need to include a list of relevant subjects or units.

  • Work experience

    It’s good to provide specific examples for each selection criteria drawing on a range of different work experiences. Tailor your answer to the selection criteria and share details of how your performance created positive impact for the business.

  • Skills and abilities

    You’ll be expected to share instances of when you have demonstrated a skill or ability, so make sure to use relevant examples in your response.

  • An understanding and knowledge of the job and industry

    This type of criteria may need you to provide a summary of an issue, and share specific industry knowledge to show your understanding.

    This can also be referred to as business acumen. You may need to share your understanding of general business operations, how departments are connected, and how to effectively navigate the work environment to deliver on your role.

Preparing responses

  • Start a new document and use the exact wording of the selection criteria as headings. Don't be tempted to combine criteria which sound similar.
  • Respond to both the essential and desirable criteria.
  • It’s important to respond to all criteria even if you don’t feel you have much to say. Don’t be discouraged if you can’t give a strong response to every criterion.

The STAR model

When answering selection criteria, you can try using the STAR model to structure your response.

The STAR model stands for situation, task, action and result.

When using the STAR model it’s important to remember the following tips when constructing your response:

  • Use real-life examples to explain how your skills align with the selection criteria. The employer wants to know what you have done in the past, not what you think you would do in the future.
  • Keep the responses recent and relevant. Ideally use examples within the past one or two years.
  • If you’re responding to multiple different selection criterion, try to use a range of examples.

Get advice on navigating the application process

Book into a Careers and Employability Studio appointment to speak to a careers adviser about articulating your professional skills and responding to selection criteria.

Learn more