Writing selection criteria can be daunting for anyone. 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.
Whether it's your first time writing selection criteria or not, I want you to put your best foot forward and that requires preparation. I put this article together to help you face the challenging Q&A portion of an application process. Let’s take a quick look at what selection criteria are—after that, we can move into the easiest way to analyse the questions, and finally learn how to respond.
When writing selection criteria you are helping the employer determine if you are a suitable fit for the job. Each selection criterion make up a series of written questions put together by the recruiter, to give you a chance to showcase your experiences, how they translate to the role offered, and how you would be of value to the organisation.
Click here to preview selection criteria examples.
A good response highlights your skills and experience and provides the recruiter with 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 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 significant 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? 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.
Remember: it's best if you attempt writing selection criteria answers yourself - checking for sense and grammar - as you know best how to address each criterion.
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