What are Selection Criteria?
Selection Criteria represent the qualifications, skills, knowledge, experience and personal attributes that an organisation deems a person must have in order to do a job effectively. As most job applicants usually have similar qualifications, skills and experience, these personal (or behavioural) attributes are usually the key to achieving an interview for the advertised position and the associated criteria are usually based on the hiring organisation’s ‘values’ and/or ‘code of conduct’ i.e. required competencies such as Respect | Integrity | Planning and Organising | Communication | Problem Solving | Teamwork (to name a few).
Do all positions have Selection Criteria?
The simple answer is YES – even if the advertised position is a non-government organisation, i.e. a supermarket chain looking for a Warehouse Manager or an energy provider seeking a Project Manager, all organisations have specific requirements (i.e. criteria) listed under the ‘ABOUT YOU’ or ‘OUR IDEAL CANDIDATE’ component of the position advertisement. The difference between these ‘requirements’ and government ‘selection criteria’ applications are often with non-government organisations the emphasis is more on the qualifications, skills, knowledge and experience – whereas government organisations usually assume that you have these or you would not be applying for the job and therefore the emphasis is keenly upon the ‘personal attributes’. Nevertheless, whether it is a private organisation or a government entity, your ‘behavioural attributes’ should always be evidenced.
The best applicant doesn't always get the job - the best application writer does
Most applicants vying for the same role will have a similar set of credentials, i.e. qualifications, skills, knowledge and experience and it’s therefore important to remember:
- The hiring organisation may also be seeking to identify your alignment/match/fit to their core values and/or their core capabilities framework such as Respect | Integrity | Planning and Organising | Communication | Problem Solving | Teamwork and others in your application before you are selected for interview; and
- The hiring organisation’s Interview Panel will usually comprise representatives from their Human Resources Department and representatives from the relevant departmental area where the successful applicant would be working to identify your ‘fit’ or ‘match’ to that department and the overall organisation.
Why the STAR model should always be used (even in cover letter applications)
Even if the advertised position does not call for STAR responses, it is still the best methodology to clearly evidence your skills, knowledge, experience and ‘personal attributes’ to a government or non-government hiring organisation. For example, if the criteria relates to communication, a statement such as ‘I have excellent communication skills’ would not be appropriate – all responses should be quantified with an example using Situation (where you used this skill – what was the related Task – what Actions you did – what the Results of your Actions were). Once this information is drilled down, the statement against this specific criteria needs to be presented in an appropriate manner to clearly evidence your competencies to the interview panel and enhance your opportunities to achieve an interview.