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Selection Criteria Examples: 13+ Good Selection Criteria Responses
Selection criteria have the power to decide the fate of your job application. Imagine: you’ve been on the edge of your seat for two weeks, waiting to hear back from your dream employer. And now — unbeknownst to you — the moment of truth has arrived.
If you’re applying for a position where the job advertisement included selection criteria (for example, a job in the Australian Public Service, or a large company), things can go one of two ways from this point:
“Wow, this applicant’s experience could make them a great fit,” Gary thinks. “And their cover letter tells me they’re passionate about this field.”
He glances across at the list of key selection criteria for this position. And then he realises there’s no third page. You haven’t addressed the selection criteria at all.
He closes the window, sighs, and drags your application to the bin. Next!
Gary reads your stellar resume and your eloquent cover letter. Then he opens your ‘Key Selection Criteria Responses.docx’ document.
He compares your selection criteria responses against his list. A smile starts to spread across his face, and he sits up a little straighter. You’ve used the right keywords, structured it with the STAR framework, and organised it into skimmable bullet points. Gary adds your application to the shortlist — the selection panel is going to love it.
Okay, so Gary isn’t real, but key selection criteria are very real. Take them seriously, or be ready for Scenario A (i.e. the bin).
But don’t worry — you already have the skills you need to do an excellent job. If you’ve ever told a story to a friend about something that happened at work, you’re halfway there.
Today, you’ll get the tools you need to get the rest of the way — all the way into your dream job.
What are selection criteria?
Selection criteria are the essential skills, knowledge, experience and qualifications you must demonstrate to be eligible for a job. HR departments use them to evaluate candidates’ competency, and they are necessary for most government jobs, and for new roles at most large organisations. They don’t just benefit hiring managers, either. You can use them to see whether the job is a good fit for you.
It’s crucial to answer the selection criteria when applying for a position. To respond to key selection criteria, create a separate document to your covering letter and resume — both of which you have customised for this position, using the same language as in the job description. You’ll need to describe how well you meet each of the primary selection criteria in order to answer them, provide detailed information when asked, and use relevant examples from your work experience.
Job advertisements may also list desirable criteria. Unlike the key selection criteria, these aren’t essential. But if you can show that you possess these criteria too, your chances of scoring a job interview will be much higher.
What are some examples of selection criteria?
- Ability to work in a team and a collaborative environment
- Exceptional time management skills and ability to meet deadlines
- Ability to demonstrate a high level of effective team management
- A qualification in a relevant industry area
- What skills do you have that are relevant to this position?
- Is it possible for your abilities to be transferred to this position?
- How do you go about honing your skills?
- Give some examples of your abilities in action.
- What relevant professional knowledge do you have for this position?
- What skills would you bring to this position?
- How do you keep your knowledge and skills up to date?
- What kind of experience did you get and where did you get it?
- What is your level of experience?
- What skills do you have that might be useful in this position?
- Give a few examples of how you’ve used your skills.
- What qualifications do you have that would make you a good fit for this position?
- What personal qualities do you have that would make you a good fit for this position?
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How to address selection criteria
When addressing selection criteria as a job applicant, you must be thorough. To do this, you must explore each criterion mentioned in the advertised position description in separate paragraphs and relevant examples. Back up your answers with related examples of what you have achieved and why these experiences will help you thrive in the role.
Here are five simple steps to effectively answer selection criteria:
- Analyse and dissect the selection criteria
- Write an opening statement
- Brainstorm ideas for each selection criterion
- Go into further detail and support your claims with ‘the how’
- Write out in full sentences, using a checklist
Read on for more detail.
1. Analyse and dissect the selection criteria
Read the selection criteria on the job advertisement thoroughly before jumping right in. As an example, let’s look at interpersonal skills. The associated criterion details could be ‘well developed interpersonal skills’.
This includes the ability to:
- Express opinions, information and critical points clearly and concisely via effective verbal communication
- Effectively working with others to resolve interpersonal conflicts in a positive way
- Being able to work in both formal and informal settings with others in groups and teams
If you look into this further, you can break down the desired sub-skills:
- Verbal communication
- Problem-solving and decision-making skills
2. Create an opening statement
For each selection criterion, clearly state how you fulfil it in one sentence making sure you incorporate key points. Keep it short – you will go into further details and specific examples and relevant experience in the next step.
“I possess strong interpersonal skills, which I have developed throughout my role as a Project Manager.”
3. Brainstorm ideas for each selection criterion
Here, you can pull together some examples of your work experiences relevant to the role you are pursuing. For example, sticking with the theme of Project Management, an applicant may think of the following scenarios to show how they fulfil the selection criteria before writing their response:
- Project Manager at X – Encountered conflicts when managing teams and resolved these accordingly.
- Project Manager at Y – First managerial role. Perfected verbal communication through many encounters with fellow team members. Learned to deliver my points clearly and concisely.
- Project Coordinator at Z – Working with teams.
4. Go into further detail and support your claims with ‘the how’
Once you’ve got the base points that surround the overarching selection criteria, you can then go to these and choose which examples suit best. A great way to do this is by employing the STAR Method technique.
Example response to the STAR Method:
Role as Project Manager at X
In this role, I needed to ensure that all team conflicts were resolved effectively and in a positive manner.
I ensured that when any conflicts arose, they were handled straight away and according to business protocol.
This led to minor conflicts remaining contained, and improved lines of communication between team members.
5. Write out your responses in full sentences, using a checklist
Now, you can write the paragraph in full. When reading through your final draft, check the following steps before you submit your job application.
Have I addressed all elements of the selection criteria?
Once you’ve completed your application, it is good to revisit the wording of that particular selection criterion found in the position description. Make sure your content correlates and that the descriptors used in the advertisement are directly addressed in your writing. Double-check that you have met the requirements of the process itself- there may be a word limit you need to stick to, or the recruiter might ask you to list examples using bullet points instead of keeping them in paragraph format.
Are my claims justified with relevant examples?
This is as simple as making sure you are specific, concise and that your answers remain relevant using real experience. There is no use going on a tangent and writing an essay if it is a bunch of useless content irrelevant to the position.
Have I chosen the right words?
Match your language with that used in the job advertisement. When a recruiter is scanning your document, and there are words that they believe to be relevant to the position, this will more than likely generate some interest – after all, every corporate job posting gets 250 applications on average. Hence, yours needs to stand out in the selection process to make it on the shortlist.
Avoid ambiguous and passive language to make sure your writing is clear and delivers your point effectively.
Has someone else proofread my response?
Sometimes a new set of eyes can pick up on some mistakes that you might have missed. When you’ve been working on a piece for a long time, everything starts to look the same. Have them look through your work and compare it to the job advertisement – they may be able to offer some insight on how to improve your piece further.
The STAR Model in selection criteria
The STAR model is one technique used to demonstrate relevant information for a specific capability within selection criteria.
Create context by describing where you applied the skills that helped to gain your knowledge
What was your role in the situation, and what were you required to accomplish?
How did you respond to the situation? What measures did you take?
What did you accomplish? How does this result relate to the job that you are applying for?
What are the different types of selection criteria?
Selection criteria are more than just the desired skills an employer is looking for. It also includes experience, abilities, awareness and both hard and soft skills. The most common type of selection criteria includes qualifications. Most jobs, especially at a professional level, have a set requirement of qualifications needed.
Skills and abilities
This type of selection criterion is the most frequently occurring in job advertisements. This type of criteria aims to provide examples of scenarios when you have shown this skill or ability. Again, the STAR Model is an effective framework to demonstrate this criterion via detailed examples.
Some examples include:
It is best to provide a full scope of your experience for this criterion rather than simply touching on examples. Explore each instance of your experience by listing them and providing details of what you’ve done. Go into depth with any information that illustrates that you performed well.
Some examples include:
Understanding or awareness
This criterion requires you to summarise an issue or subject, including specifics, to demonstrate your knowledge in the area.
This might include:
If you do not have any direct experience in the selection criteria topic mentioned, see if you can explore an example related to it or is somewhat similar or comparable through related practice.
This criterion would be the simplest to answer, as all it requires is a concise, factual response that states the qualification necessary for the position. If the application asks for further information, you can elaborate by exploring relevant subjects undertaken while completing the qualification.
Some examples include:
Selection criteria examples and templates
If you want to understand more about what it takes to write a successful selection criteria response, find some of the most popular criteria skills below and our examples of them. Whether you need to show your communication, teamwork, or technology abilities, use these examples to write your perfect response based on your experience.
Selection criteria: Proven ability to work in a team and a collaborative work environment
Here is an example of a typical teamwork selection criteria. The readers are looking for an example of when you’ve worked in a team as proof that you’ll be able to share and work with other employees if they hire you.
Teamwork criteria example
When working in hospitality, I continually proved my ability to work with a team in a very team-oriented environment. While at Johnny’s restaurant, I worked in a large team every shift, and in hospitality, teamwork is crucial to providing smooth and efficient service. Daily tasks were often team-oriented, including service, preparation and post-service jobs, which needed to be coordinated amongst staff to ensure we completed everything.
This coordination meant communicating with other staff on shift, including chefs, dish staff, bar staff and other floor staff, and regularly attending meetings where I collaborated with other employees and management to improve the way we delivered service to customers. Regardless of how new an employee was or what training level, I treated every other staff member as equals, which helped forge professional associations and strengthened the team overall. As a result of my teamwork skills and collaborative work efforts, management often offered me extra shifts because they knew that I could work effectively with everyone to get the job done.
Selection criteria: Demonstrate a high level of effective team management
Here is a popular way of wording selection criteria for leadership skills. When a potential employer asks this, you may either be looking at a job that requires or may require leadership in the future or a position where you may have to be semi-autonomous.
Team management criteria example
When working at Smith and Son’s as a receptionist, I often had to demonstrate an ability to lead teams. After working there for five years, I became one of the longest-serving receptionists, which meant leading team meetings, organising staff events and coordinating a team of up to five receptionists at a time working on the floor. Growing genuine friendships and connections with new staff members was a priority to complete these tasks, as I knew they would come to me with problems more readily. I also needed to visibly complete my daily tasks ahead of schedule so that other receptionists would respect my participative leadership style. Staff will not respect a leader if they can’t do their job. As a result of my collaborative and friendly leadership, staff were confident in my ability to lead them and often came to me to communicate with upper management on their behalf, as well management relying on me to collaborate with them regarding receptionist staff and their needs.
Selection criteria: The ability to show a high level of quality customer service and management
Here is a typical example of phrasing for customer service selection criteria. This criterion means that the job you’re applying for will have customer-facing tasks, and management is looking to see that you have experience working with customers.
Customer service criteria example
While completing my studies, I worked part-time at Myer as a sales assistant for two years, where customer service was one of the most critical elements of my job. During my time at Myer, I worked across several departments. I demonstrated my customer service skills multiple times, especially with tricky customers or clients upset about something outside my control.
Clear communication and genuine concern with a customer’s needs is crucial to delivering exceptional customer service. When I worked in the womenswear department, a mother of the bride came in whose outfit had arrived (they’d ordered the dress online), but it didn’t fit, and we weren’t able to get a replacement in time for the wedding.
The customer was understandably distraught, so I worked with her over a few hours, calming her down and coming up with some options for alternatives. This process included calling down items from different departments and ensuring she felt important and valued by getting her to sit down and have a cup of tea while I found all the pieces she wanted to view — or that I thought she might like.
She ended up finding a dress that she liked more than the original and left a positive review a few days later on our Facebook page about her experience. Being able to help people when something goes wrong is one of the most rewarding elements of customer service and management. I developed this skill while working at Myer, as evidenced by many positive reviews and winning ‘best sales assistant of the month’ five times over my two years.
Selection criteria: Demonstrate the ability to use business technologies and analyse data and information effectively
Here is an example of how using technology selection criteria may be worded in a job application. In this case, the reader is looking to see how you’ve used relevant business technologies in the past and that you’ve been able to read the information given by these programs accurately.
Technology criteria example
When completing my Diploma in Administration, I was required to complete work placements that used business technologies in everyday tasks, including online library databases, microfiche and Microsoft office, and basics in Xero software.
When I completed my month-long work placement at Smith’s Chiropractors, I discovered that they were still using entirely paper-based data collection systems. I organised the transfer to a cloud-based company database system. This process included uploading files to the cloud, then connecting with multiple other programs, including Microsoft Excel, to create spreadsheets for chiropractors at the office to use in their day-to-day work. It also meant analysing large quantities of data online and turning them into practical, easy to use information.
This use of business technologies helped both the chiropractors and the full-time administration staff become more efficient. They were no longer reliant on a paper-based system. They streamlined several processes throughout the workplace, allowing the clinic to see where processes were going wrong or could be improved.
Selection criteria: Demonstrate the ability to apply analytical and research skills
Here is a common way job applications may ask you to prove you fulfil analytical and research selection criteria. They are looking to see that you can apply what you’ve learned in analytical skills and research to everyday situations.
Analytical and research criteria example
When I was training as a teacher’s aide, I researched the special needs school and students I would be working with, both in work placements and my future work. I researched autism and students on the spectrum, looking at how different students may respond to stimuli within the school environment or having another teacher’s aid to their usual one. Students with special needs often react in unusual ways to new and changing circumstances, so it was important that the research papers I was working on were relevant and gave me valid analytical accounts and theories.
The research I did, both within teachers aid training and independently, had to be applied in day to day practical ways, rather than just understanding the theory. I completed several projects on the topic, which required extensive literary research and analysing statistical data.
When I did my two-month-long work placement at St John’s primary school, I regularly applied the theories and concepts I had come across in my research in everyday situations. There was one student who particularly struggled with writing due to the texture of the pencils and pens. My investigation into textural sensations for students with autism helped me find ways to alter the pencils with everyday items, such as blue tac, which made it much easier for him to write. By applying the research to practical everyday learning, I helped increase class participation — not just for this student but also for students in other classes. This potential to improve learning outcomes is one of the most rewarding aspects of being a teacher’s aide.
Selection criteria: Proven ability to use interpersonal skills in everyday workplace situations
Here is a common way of phrasing interpersonal skills selection criteria. Interpersonal skills refer to, basically, people skills. Communication skills are a part of it because if you can’t communicate effectively, you’re not going to be much of a people person — but generally, they are separate.
Interpersonal skills criteria example
When working as a bartender at the Northern Hotel, there were many times when my interpersonal skills were called upon to improve difficult situations. In a busy hotel on a Saturday night, especially when customers have had a few too many drinks, relating to customers and talking them down from becoming angry is a crucial skill that I honed over the four years I worked there.
One night, a particularly irate customer was getting angry at one of our newest staff members who had cut him off. I didn’t want to get involved too early because this can often make new staff members feel undervalued, but I stepped in when he started getting personally offensive. The customer was a regular I knew relatively well, so I explained that I would have done the same thing and helped cool him down. I ensured that the new staff member was still involved, checked up on her several times throughout the night, and gave security and management a heads up.
Two years later, she told me that one of the reasons she had stayed working with us for so long was because she knew, from that first shift, that other staff members would always support her on shift. Management recognised my interpersonal skills formally, and I won the ‘most supportive staff member’ award at our annual awards nights organised by management.
Selection criteria: Job applicant must be competent with a high level of administration skills such as database management, Microsoft Office and basic computing
Employers are looking for individuals skilled in specific programs that ensure efficiency and modernisation. In the 21st century, organisations expect anyone with a level of administrative background or skills to be competent with multiple programs and the general handling of a computer system.
Administration skills and database management criteria example
Whilst completing my Diploma in Administration, I was fortunate enough to take an Internship at Elixir Wealth Advisory, where I was an assistant to the Administration Officer. The opportunity allowed my database and computing skills to improve significantly, whereby I became efficient in using multiple Microsoft and Google applications. Working in administration involved working with clients’ details, answering phone enquiries and ensuring I organised notices and meetings for all staff members.
One of the memorable days during my internship involved a client urgently requesting an appointment with his advisor. As the Administrative Officer was away sick that day, it was my job to fit the client into the busy schedule of the small business. I used our database system MySQL to rearrange the specific advisors day, then telephoned and used Microsoft Office to email other clients to inform them of their short-notice change to the day. Despite being short notice, the day’s meetings ran smoothly, and we could fit in the urgent session. Without using the databases and applications, the Advisory wouldn’t have known who the client was before they met and would not have been prepared to act quickly.
Selection criteria: Job applicant must have the ability to demonstrate sound written and oral communications skills
In many jobs, you need to show how you can effectively communicate as part of a team and to various people. Strong written and oral communication skills are vital in all departments and come in useful for daily tasks.
Written and oral/verbal communication criteria example
In my first full-time job at Flight Centre, oral and written communication skills were essential to being a successful travel agent. Many clients depended on me to tailor travel itineraries to their preferences during this career.
To ensure clients were satisfied both before and during their travel, communication was crucial to inform them of alterations to their plans. Once clients start their journeys, sometimes unexpected changes occur. One such situation was a significant weather disruption. A family of 4 were unable to travel to New York and spend the desired four days there. Due to their stopover in LA, I needed to organise four days of activities elsewhere. I made multiple phone calls to the clients to brief them on planning and status, understand their requests for the four days, and comfort them during this stressful time. Organising accommodation and activities in a different time zone required me to send many emails confirming availability on short notice. After constant communication with the family and many managers, I successfully reorganised the days spent in LA instead of New York, where the family enjoyed their altered stay. They even brought back a thank you gift for my consistent communication and quick thinking. Without being confident in my communication skills, being a travel agent would have been extremely difficult. It was crucial to organise, control, reach out to multiple people, and ensure clients were always satisfied with my service.
Selection criteria: Have the ability to prioritise tasks accordingly and demonstrate a high level of organisation
Organisational skills are a vital capability for working in any job in any field of work. The reader would be looking for an example of when you demonstrated your organisational skills at a time of need — or in your everyday work — that you can continue to display if they hire you.
Organisation criteria example
In my current position as the Year 6 teacher at Saint Mary’s Primary School, my job is to help the students become more mature before they reach high school and ensure their numeracy and literacy skills are all up to the standard. It is essential to teach them skills that will carry on throughout their schooling careers, such as organisation, socialisation and dedication.
One of my tasks as a teacher includes converting weekly objectives into achievable tasks that the students will understand, such as homework or in-class activities. For example, a typical Friday will mean the collection of homework. I analyse the homework and monitor which areas the students struggled, passed or excelled in and use this to integrate into the following week’s lessons. I will develop the week’s timetable appropriately, considering any activities the students have to attend, allowing me to determine the relative importance of each task.
By Monday morning, I am aware of the students’ weekly progress and tasks and have set the week’s goals. It is imperative as a teacher to remain constantly organised and prioritise the student’s needs and difficulties to ensure they can get the best education.
Selection criteria: Demonstrated time management skills with delegated tasks and ability to meet deadlines
Time management means that you need to demonstrate how you can work effectively. Employers expect all staff to make optimal use of their time and allocate it appropriately. Managing time is a crucial aspect of a business, and an employer needs to know how to use your skills to benefit the company.
Time management criteria example
While studying Business as a full-time university student, being part of a competitive dance team and having a part-time job at Kmart, my early 20’s were very busy. In addition to plenty of daily activities, I kept up with housework, grocery shopping and cooking, and proactively managed my full study load.
Whilst I considered myself a busy person, one week seemed particularly busy where I knew I had to manage my time well. That week consisted of two university assignments to complete, a total of 4 shifts at Kmart, and an extra dancing practice as there was a competition that weekend. I had to organise the appropriate time to allocate to each activity, as my Kmart shifts, university lectures and dancing classes were all at set times. To remain organised, I designed a timetable for the week, allocating my set activities first, and filling the blanks with when I could cook, study, sleep and attend to other activities. As one of the two assignments was due on the Friday of that week, I prioritised that task to complete first before I did the other one, which was due the following week. By Saturday, I had managed my time successfully as I met all my set commitments and had finished the first assignment Wednesday, leaving ample time to complete the second assignment during the rest of the week. It was continuously crucial in my 20s to manage my time appropriately in my day-to-day life and prioritise tasks based on their importance.
Selection criteria: Ability to approach difficult tasks and sudden changes appropriately
Employers are looking for an individual who can develop ideas to assist in formulating, creating and evaluating several possible solutions to a problem. Problem-solving skills are vital in high-stress scenarios and demonstrate quick thinking and versatility in the workplace.
Problem-solving criteria example
When working as the Head Waiter at Ballara Receptions, it was common for me to take control of multiple situations and lead the other waitresses by example and as a leader. The position itself entailed allocating specific tasks to the waiters and ensuring a smooth flow of the night. One night, there was an error in the number of guests attending the wedding. Whilst this issue needed to be dealt with quickly, there was not enough staff to meet the number requirements. I had to re-organise my plan for the night and allocate extra tasks to the other waiters to make up for the lack of staff and the additional people. There were many situations to rearrange, such as seating, the number of staff allocated to each job and the extra materials needed to serve the guests.
Whilst it was lucky a staff member was willing to work that night, without the ability to adapt quickly and evaluate a situation, the night would not have gone smoothly with the multiple changes that occurred.
Selection criteria: Strong analytical skills and attention to detail
Analytical skills are essential in the workplace as they tie in with problem-solving. An employer wants to understand how you gather information, analyse it, and solve problems that ensure a smooth workplace productivity flow.
Analytical skills criteria example
It is essential in any job to constantly evaluate simple and complex problems in the workplace using skills such as paying attention to detail and researching and analysing problems.
When I was completing my Certificate IV in Bookkeeping, I was required to undertake a group assignment that required us to record an actual business’s financial affairs for a month. We worked with Benjamin’s Patisserie to help ensure his sales and costs were accurate. Whilst spending time at the café and working closely with the staff, I noticed that all staff completed multiple jobs throughout their shift with no allocated task for each. It became noticeable that some team members were more suited to a specific task such as serving, making coffee and working the cash register. I suggested to the owner Benjamin that he allocate tasks to each staff member based on their strengths and weaknesses. Immediately I noticed that sales increased as there was a smoother flow of productivity in the café, tasks were completed efficiently and at a higher standard than before. It is crucial always to analyse ways an organisation can improve or if there is an issue that you can resolve as it helps to increase success in the workplace.
Selection criteria FAQs
What is the difference between selection criteria and selection process?
Selection criteria play a role in the selection process, and are used as a tool to choose the most suitable applicants for a position.
The selection process is the procedure an organisation uses to hire new people. Usually, the company will form a selection panel of two to three staff who will review all applications, then choose a group of applicants to advance to the interview stage. This process can include an interview, a written assessment, and psychometric testing. In most cases, this takes 4 to 8 weeks.
How do you write a good selection criteria?
To write a good selection criteria response, use the specific language from the job description, use concrete examples that prove you meet the criteria, and provide measurable outcomes where possible.
What is the difference between selection criteria and job qualifications?
Qualifications are a type of selection criteria, and are used in some jobs to ensure that a new hire has the appropriate certification to work in this role, as required by the industry.
How long should a selection criteria response be?
Generally, a selection criteria response should be around 250 words. This will vary depending on the question asked, however. For example, some criteria may only require you to state your qualifications. On the other hand, some may ask you to give a more detailed description of a scenario.
What kind of examples can you use in your selection criteria?
It’s usually best to use examples of times when you had to deal with an unusual or unexpected situation at work, but you can also use more general examples that show how you managed your day-to-day tasks.
What are some reasons for rejecting a response to selection criteria?
Hiring managers may reject an applicant who:
- Fails to proofread their selection criteria responses
- Fails to use concrete examples
- Uses irrelevant examples