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Selection Criteria Answers

Selection criteria answers should ideally be written by you, and this can be daunting. In fact, the whole job application process, right through to the interview—and beyond—can be a little overwhelming. Even the best-prepared candidate has moments of doubt, especially when it comes to responding to selection criteria.

Please note that we do not offer this service at this time but may do so in the future.

Wait... What Are Selection Criteria Answers?

It’s okay if you haven’t heard about selection criteria before, but I want you to be prepared for it. Although this is an area outside the scope of our resume services (at least for now), I wanted to put this article out there to help you face the potential Q&A portion of an application process. Let’s take a quick look at what selection criteria actually are—after that, we can move into the easiest way to analyse the questions, and finally learn how to respond.

Put simply, your selection criteria answers help the employer determine if you are a good fit for the job. The selection criteria are likely to be a series of written questions put together by the recruiter, to give you a chance to showcase your experiences, their relevance, and how you would be of value to the organisation.



Understand the Selection Criteria

  1. Check for a word count.
    You might not realise how restrictive a word count can be until you’ve taken the time to perfectly structure a response that doesn’t fit. A word (or character) limit can challenge you to be more economical with your words, so it’s always a good idea to check the restrictions before you start.


  2. Read the instructions.
    Nothing is more frustrating than taking the time to craft a careful response and then realising (usually after you’ve hit the submit button) that you’ve misunderstood what the recruiter is asking for. Many organisations will provide you with instructions on how to respond to the selection criteria, or how they want responses formatted. Read these carefully!


  3. Understand the criteria.
    Whatever selection criteria a recruiter is using, their wording can often guide you towards the sorts of responses they’re looking for.


Structuring Your Responses For Maximum Effect

A good response highlights your skills and experience, and shows the recruiter supporting examples. I want to explore the most popular response model with you to help get you started. What we’re talking about here is the S.T.A.R. Model.

To begin, search your memory for work-related experiences that you can apply to each criterion. For example, they may ask “Have you ever been instrumental in improving company processes, and what was the outcome?”. You might remember that you once identified a problem at work that was costing the company a lot of money. You then implemented changes, resulting in a big increase in company revenue within the first year. Don’t you want to let your future employers know how wonderful you are? Of course, you do. And the best way to do that would be to use the S.T.A.R. Model below.

S.T.A.R. stands for:

S = SITUATION. What was the setting? Where were you? What was going on?

T = TASK. What was your role? What were you trying to achieve?

A = ACTIONS. What did you do to achieve your task?

R = RESULT. What was the outcome?

Using this structure when answering your selection criteria will help the employer in their decision-making process. They want to know ‘WIIFM’ – or, What’s in It for Me? Basically, ‘why should I hire you over all the other applicants’? Making their job easier will increase your chances of getting hired.

S.T.A.R. is easily the most popular response model because of its simplicity, but it isn’t the only one open to you.

If you want to learn all you can about selection criteria and all other aspects of the job application process, we will soon be adding a resume-writing course to our services.

So now that you’ve read our tips for providing selection criteria answers, what are your tips and tricks? We’d love to hear them!



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