Application Process & Interviews at Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet (PM&C)

Please describe the interview process and assessments.

Online written application (selection criteria and CV); Online cognitive testing including work suitability; In-person group assessment centre and interview.
Graduate, Canberra
Written application, IQ testing, emotional intelligence testing, interview, referees.
Graduate, Canberra
Assessments were lengthy and quite difficult relative to other organisations. The process itself was very long and quite arduous.
Graduate, Canberra
The interview was laid back and I was made to feel very comfortable during the process. However the interview was at the end of the day after an assessment centre, meaning I was tired and probably could have done better.
Graduate, Canberra
Many, many interviews and assessments, not all of which are indicative of how well you’ll fit into the workplace.
Graduate, Canberra
I went through online testing, a phone interview and finally a group assessment centre. The assessment centre included a group activity, individual interview, written task and retesting of the online tests.
Midlevel, Canberra
Written application was followed by psychometric testing, then an invitation to an assessment centre for written test, group interview and individual interview. This was followed by a phone interview.
Entry level, Canberra
Interview process was long. There were several stages including: application, cognitive testing, emotional testing and interview.
Entry level, Canberra
The interview process and assessments were done through an assessment centre and these were competitive and quite tough though fair.
Entry level, Toowoomba
The process is changed from when I was a graduate. It was a very straightforward process then, which involved a test then an interview. I understand things are a bit more difficult now they have introduced assessment centres (just adds more hoops to jump through).
Entry level, Canberra
There was a one on one interview and a group assessment. There was also psychometric and emotional intelligence testing.
Graduate, Canberra
Very easy, I came through the APS Indigenous Pathways.
Graduate, Canberra
My interview/assessment process were smooth and streamlined compared to some. Recruitment processes are currently changing, becoming more and more streamlined.
Midlevel, Canberra

What questions were you asked in your interviews?

Behavioural questions as well as questions about why I would like to work at the Department.
Graduate, Canberra
Behavioural-based questions. However, my interviewers were very friendly and eager to have a chat with me afterwards about their job and other subjects.
Graduate, Canberra
What skills can you bring? Why do you want to work for the Department? What is a difficult situation you have faced and how did you overcome it?
Midlevel, Canberra
Challenges facing Australia, APS scenario questions: describe a situation where....
Midlevel, Canberra
What I knew about the Department and general selection criteria questions.
Graduate, Canberra
Behavioural questions, such as name a time you did not get along with a colleague and what did you do to resolve the issue and ‘describe a time when something went wrong, or you failed to achieve something’. Subject matter questions such as ‘What are the types of issues facing Indigenous Australians today, and what do you think is the Government's role to address these issues?’
Entry level, Canberra
Questions included understanding the work of the Department, knowledge of key government priorities. Ability to show critical thinking analysis skills and the ability to show resilience.
Entry level, Canberra
That is difficult to answer now as it was conducted back in 2013, but they were focused on skills and abilities and how I would be able to blend into the Public Service.
Entry level, Toowoomba
Nothing unusual — from memory it was mostly about how I cope working to tight deadlines and how I consult with people.
Entry level, Canberra
Questions regarding ability to work in a team, previous experience, why I wanted to work there, policy challenges facing the Commonwealth.
Entry level, Canberra

Do you have any specific tips and advice for candidates applying to your company? How would you recommend they best prepare?

Read the Annual Report to get a good sense of what the Department does. Talk to people who already work there.
Graduate, Canberra
Understand the role of a central agency in the development of public policy.
Graduate, Canberra
Write in simple prose. Make an impact. Convey what you want to say about yourself clearly and succinctly.
Entry level, Canberra
Thoroughly know the issues surrounding your desired job and have a genuine interest/enthusiasm for them.
Graduate, Canberra
Read the annual report and look at the organisational structure to get a better understanding of what the Department does.
Midlevel, Canberra
Strong academic background is important, but varied work history, including volunteering, and interpersonal skills are equally important. Give examples of your behaviour, rather than listing activities or duties undertaken.
Entry level, Canberra
Ensure you understand the work and the role of PM&C. Have a strong understanding of issues the Government is facing and the policy objectives the Government wishes to achieve.
Entry level, Canberra
Be aware of the Public Service ILS. Be aware that the interviews are strictly based on the merits of your answers, not other, softer skills.
Entry level, Canberra
Have a good grasp of current issues facing the Government and Australia.
Graduate, Canberra
Come up with some ideas. There's a new recruitment process that places value on alternative experiences and new ideas. This may be a little difficult for those outside the public service though.
Entry level, Canberra
Use plain English, don't waffle or use lots of jargon. Be prepared to field questions on a broad range of issues. And research what the organisation does.
Midlevel, Canberra