About Us

Graduate recruitment process

The graduate program helped me see which path I wanted to take in my career. I had three rotations in three different areas of the Department – operational, policy and legal. This wide spread of experiences was what I needed to understand how the Department, and the government overall, works to help the Australian people.
Apart from the business side of things, the program was the best way to introduce me to the world of full time work. I got so much support from the grad program team as well as my fellow graduates in settling into Canberra and managing a 9-5 schedule. Siddharth, 2017 graduate

How and when to apply

The selection process for our Graduate Development Program involves a number of stages and runs over several months. You will need to be ranked as suitable for each stage in order to move onto the next stage.

Stage 1: Online application - 26 March 2018 till 20 April 2018 (closed)

Placements for the Graduate Development Program will be advertised on the Department's careers and recruitment webpage. Candidates should monitor this site and our Facebook page closely as we will not accept late applications.

Once the positions are advertised you will be required to create an account to register and use the online recruitment website.

Make sure you have the following personal details available:

  • personal particulars
  • current employment details
  • work experience
  • responses to the selection criteria
  • resume.

When you submit your application you will receive an email to confirm it has been received. You will also receive profile information so you can log into your account and see updates and notifications, download documents, complete assessments and make changes to your personal information.

You must read this and all other emails you receive carefully as they will provide important information about next steps. If you do not receive the email, check the spam/junk folder of your email account.

If you realise you have made an error or want to make a change after submitting, you can make changes to most sections of your application by logging back into your profile and accessing your application, before the closing date. You can also withdraw your application if you no longer want to be considered for a graduate position.

After the closing date you will only be able to make changes to your profile information (for example, your contact details).

Stage 2: Online testing - early May 2018

If your initial application is successful, you will be invited by email to participate in online testing which might include:

  • online psychometric testing
  • cognitive ability testing
  • game-based assessment.

Online testing measures competencies, including:

  • complex problem solving
  • critical thinking
  • active listening
  • judgement and decision making
  • adapting and responding
  • working with people.

Stage 3: Video interview - mid May 2018

If you successfully complete the online testing, you will be invited by email to participate in a video interview. This email will ask you to book a day and a time for your interview and will advise you of the requirements needed, including the use of smart devices such as your phone or tablet. You will have plenty of time to practice before you complete your final video interview.

Once you are comfortable with the practice options, you will be emailed the final questions just before your video interview starts. The final video will run between 12 to 15 minutes depending on the length of your responses to the questions.

Note: once you start your video interview you will not be able to stop, pause, restart or re-record it.

We recommend you prepare for the interview by:

  • researching our Department
  • reviewing the key requirements of our program
  • practicing before undertaking your final video interview
  • ensuring the device you plan on using for your video is working.

Stage 4: Assessment Centre – 28 May – 6 July 2018

If you are successful at the video interview stage, you will be invited to attend an assessment centre. These will be conducted in most capital cities. The assessment centre process includes:

  • panel interview
  • group activity
  • work sample testing.

You will need to bring photographic identification, your academic transcript/s and a passport photo.

The interview process is similar to any professional job interview. At the interview:

  • present yourself well and dress appropriately
  • speak clearly
  • know the job you are applying for, research the website
  • show interest and enthusiasm, we want to know you want to work with us
  • ask for clarification if you are unsure of anything.

Stage 5: Referee report(s) - July 2018

Referee reports are used to seek information about your employment history, qualifications, experience and role suitability. They also provide the selection panel with the opportunity to seek clarification on matters discussed during your assessment.

Stage 6: Merit pool - July 2018

If you are found suitable for a graduate role you will be placed into a merit pool.

Note: not all suitable candidates will be offered a position. We recommend you do not give notice to your current employer before you have been provided a formal letter of offer.

Stage 7: Employee Suitability Clearance (ESC) and Security clearance requirements - commence July 2018

We operate in a position of trust within the Australian community.

To maintain the confidence of the Australian Government and the community, it is essential that all employees demonstrate and adhere to the highest standards of integrity and ethical behaviour - both in their official and private capacities.

Therefore, before you can work with us, you must obtain (and maintain for the duration of your employment or association with the Department) both of the following:

  • an Employment Suitability Clearance (ESC) – which assesses your suitability (from an integrity and character perspective) to work with or for us
  • a Commonwealth security clearance – which assesses your suitability to access classified Australian Government resources
    • Baseline level is required at a minimum. A higher level of security clearance could be required, depending on your specific role.

These processes require disclosure of information that could include (but is not limited to) detailed background, character, employment, police and financial checks. An assessment of your suitability to be granted either clearance could be based, among other things, on advice from the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation (ASIO) and/or the Australian Federal Police (AFP).

If you do not already hold the required security clearance and/or ESC, we will send you the relevant security packs that must be completed and returned to us before you start work.

Read more about the Employment Suitability Clearance (ESC). Before applying for a career with us, we encourage you to complete the Employment Suitability Self-Assessment.