Hints and tips for applying to the Graduate Development Program

Written applications

Use the application form provided. Read it carefully and complete as directed and ensure your responses address each question.

Addressing the selection criteria is essential when applying for any job in the public sector. The STAR approach may help you to demonstrate how you meet the selection criteria.

The STAR approach is as follows:

  • Situation – briefly explain the situation and context.
  • Task – outline the task or what you were aiming to achieve.
  • Action – describe your approach, what you did and how you did it.
  • Result – mention the result or outcome.

Proofread your application thoroughly, checking for grammar, syntax, spelling or typographical errors. It may be useful to ask a family member or friend to read your application and provide you with feedback. Remember, this is an opportunity to make a great first impression.

Do not attach or send any documents other than the application form and your academic transcript. Cover letters, for example, cannot be considered.

Group assessment
  • Be aware that you are being assessed on your contribution – this does not mean the loudest and brashest are the most competent.
  • Research the selection criteria to get a better understanding of the theory being assessed.
  • When the exercise begins, start by defining the task.
  • Demonstrate your ability to lead by keeping the group focussed on what you need to achieve as a group (using positive encouragement rather than coercion and intimidation).
  • As with most exercises, keep track of the time.
Interview tips
  • Make sure you are aware of the selection criteria that are being used for selecting applicants. Re-read the questions you were required to answer in the application.
  • Select examples of previous experiences and activities (for example, university projects and previous work samples) that will demonstrate your level of competence and support your claims against each selection criterion.
  • You can draw these examples from all aspects of life, work, university or community involvement. Make notes and bring them with you to jog your memory in the time allocated for pre-interview preparation.
  • Do some basic reconnaissance, familiarise yourself with the interview location and such things as parking, public transport and security requirements. Ensure you have the right interview time and plan on getting there early.
  • Practice. Engage in mock interviews with friends, colleagues, career advisers or anyone else who is prepared to help. Get them to ask questions related to the selection criteria.
  • Relax – the interview is not a test.
  • If you are unsure if you have answered the question, check with the panel. Ask if they would like more detail or another example.
  • Don’t be afraid to ask questions at the end of the interview. This can be another opportunity to demonstrate your enthusiasm, suitability and interest in the position and organisation.
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Graduate Development Program