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Department of Education

  • #4 in Government & public services
  • 1,000 - 50,000 employees

Application Process & Interviews at Department of Education

7 rating for Recruitment, based on 32 reviews
Please describe the interview process and assessments.
I was originally hired at a different government department but due to machinery of government changes I was moved to my current department before I commenced.
Candidates started with completing an online application form, consisting of selection criteria and a resume upload. We then had to complete an online writing assessment and Skype interview. Offers were made after that.
When applying for promotions: there was no interview, no applicant assessment, months without any communication
Over complicated and time consuming for all parties
There was some online assessments and a skype interview. Both were well managed and I had plenty of time to prepare/complete them.
The psychometric testing was standard. The interview process was a Skype interview - this was presumably to level the playing field for any candidates who could not make it to Canberra to interview in person, but I found it quite disconcerting to have less visual social signals. That said, the interviewers were warm, welcoming and supportive.
I think there was an online test thing, then a written assignment and an email online test and a skype interview.
An online application with several selection criteria, an online automated interview where specific questions are asked, an online Skype interview with people from the Department asking occupational related questions.
This was a long time ago as I joined the grad program once I completed my Indigenous cadetship. This means that my entry was different.
Two online assessments and one interview
Online application questions with resume, followed by online cognitive testing, with a final Skype interview.
The process involved responding to selection criteria and submitting a resume, completing a few tests that tested the ability to synthesize information and develop policy recommendations and then completed a Skype interview.
The interview process was relatively painless compared to other agencies. The assessments were refreshingly different and the interviewers were extremely lovely. It was also very easy to set up interview times and online processes, unlike other agencies.
A cognitive test followed by two written assessments and a skype interview.
Psychometric testing, online in-tray assessment and writing task, Skype interview.
To be improved.
Online examinations, interviews
I appreciated that Education was one of the few departments that did not have "assessment centres" but instead conducted most of the recruitment process online.
Initial written assessment criteria and tests were similar to other graduate programs I applied to. The interview was via Skype which made sense from a money-saving perspective but this was different to other jobs I applied for which involved face-to-face interviews and assessment centres. I think for inter-state applicants coming to Canberra for an assessment centre might have made the idea of moving to Canberra for a job more 'real'. I think numerous interstate grads will move back home at the end of the grad program and perhaps this number could be reduced by holding interviews in Canberra. Also a lot can be learned from assessment centre where recruitment teams can see applicants working in a real team environment.
I enjoyed my interview a lot. The interview panel made me feel very comfortable from the very beginning which helped me to talk openly about my skills, knowledge and experiences.
What questions were you asked in your interviews?
I was asked questions around values of the department in regards to honesty/transparency, equity and diversity etc and asked to provide examples of situations where I have had to display these values.
Questions mostly reflected the selection criteria, albeit in slightly different combinations. They definitely asked what I thought the department did.
I can't remember but broadly they were based on the selection criteria, team work, integrity
I applied for a specific stream, so I was asked questions related to my field of study
I was asked how I worked with diverse groups of people to achieve great outcomes, I was asked about my organisational skills and I was asked about my written and oral communication skills.
Generic questions i.e. about my motivations and how I handled stress.
I was asked generic behavioral questions linked to leadership, problem solving and reasons for joining the department.
Why I wanted to work at Education and what I can offer Time management skills Problem solving skills Overcoming difficult situation
General background about me. Then examples of: achieving goals in a team, a time I failed and what I learnt from it, why I chose Dept. of Education and Training, why diversity was important to me.
The interview panel asked me behavioural questions and wanted me to explore each answer by giving examples from my past experience.
Mostly questions based on scenarios or past experiences and how I would respond in certain situations.
Do you have any specific tips and advice for candidates applying to your company? How would you recommend they best prepare?
Be authentic
Show passion for the work we are doing. Make sure you have examples of teamwork and communication, as these are crucial skills in the public service.
Research the organization and know what they are currently working on.
Start applying and prepare for an arduous experience
Do your research, have skills that are in demand, have good work, volunteering examples/experiences to draw from as well as university/study examples.
Keep an eye on the news, have a look at the department's website, and be able to tailor your selection criteria examples to emphasise another aspect (if you get an unexpectedly arranged question).
Read the selection criteria, make sure you have examples of all of them.
Really identify what your strengths and weaknesses are as an individual, don't be afraid to acknowledge you have some things to work on, use examples when you explain your strengths or abilities relating to occupational skills.
Be yourself and be genuine.
Know what the Department does (and doesn't) do!
I would suggest that applicants read about the department and its priorities as well as the generic APSC documents like the APS Values and the Integrated Leadership System.
Be genuine and enthusiastic
Understand why they want to contribute to the education system in Australia and in what capacity.
Interview questions are mostly behavioural so have answers prepared for a diverse range of situations.
Just relax
Familiarise yourself with the department's goals and values, and make sure you always have the APS integrated leadership system behavioural outcomes in your mind when you are responding to questions. Each question the interviewer asks you aims to test whether you have a specific trait or skillset that they desire, and they are usually pulled out of the 'ILS'.
Use the APS Integrated Leadership System (ILS) and the desired performance measures E.g. 'achieves results', 'communicates with influence', etc. and shape specific examples of how you have and will demonstrate these behaviours. Have an answer for why you want to work there and when they ask if you have any questions, ask about their day-to-day work and activities and why they like working there - make them sell it to you.
Prepare a list of examples you would like to mention to showcase your experience. These can be from your university experience, any kind of job you did in the past or even any kind of community involvement, volunteering experience etc.
Learn as much as possible about the department and think about their past experiences, challenges in the work place and at university and how they overcame them.