How to apply

Decision

You’ve found a job you’re interested in. Here’s some hints and tips on deciding whether to proceed with your application.

Review the job advertisement

Key information includes:

  • a snapshot of what is involved, salary, benefits etc
  • contact person who can answer questions about the job
  • how to apply and the closing date
  • position statement and capability framework
  • options for adjustment within the recruitment process

Review the Position Statement

The Position Statement has key information that may help you to decide whether to apply for the job including:

  • core accountabilities
  • essential criteria
  • desirable criteria
  • conditions of service including the relevant capability profile

Speak to the contact person

Phone or email the contact person if you need more information. Their details are in the job advertisement and this can help to:

  • answer your questions about the job
  • give you more information about our Council
  • get you the support you need to take part in the process
  • talk about job accessibility and flexible working

Your call to the contact person is an opportunity for you to make a positive first impression, if you do decide to apply for the role.

Application

The application is a chance for you to show how your skills, knowledge and abilities are suited to the job.

Each vacancy will ask you a set of application questions which are based on the criteria listed within the Position Statement.

Write your resume

Your resume (also known as a curriculum vitae or CV) needs to be up-to-date, clear, concise and well organised. It is best if you can tailor the content of the job you are applying for. As a guide, your resume may include:

  • personal details including your name and contact details
  • education, qualifications and relevant training
  • work experience (paid and volunteer) with most recent experience first including job title, employer, dates of employment, your responsibilities and achievements
  • skills, achievements and relevant memberships
  • referees including their name, title and contact details

Application questions

The application questions are based on the criteria within the Position Statement and relevant capability framework and will be reviewed by the selection panel to assess your suitability for the role compared to other applicants. We highly recommend you write your responses in a Word document prior to uploading them to our online recruitment system.

The best way to respond to the questions is to use the STAR technique. The amount you should write for each question depends on the complexity of the question and the level of the position you are applying for. It is best to write your answer in sentence format although you can use dot points when outlining the tasks or actions you took.

STAR technique

Example question: If you have experience working under minimal supervision, please provide a recent work example detailing what the situation was and what tasks you accomplished with minimal supervision.

S – Situation: provide the situation that you were in

Example answer: When working as a General Works Assistant in Parks, my Team Leader was sick for the day. I was required to act in the Team Leader role and manage a day labour employee, ensuring the tasks set out for me by my Site Supervisor were completed.

T – Task: describe the task at hand and what you were doing

Example answer: I was required to mow Walters Park in preparation for the ground to be used on the weekend.

A – Action: describe what actions you took and discuss what you specifically did to address the situation

Example answer: I conducted a toolbox talk with the day labour employee to go through the tasks to be completed for the day, which included completing a risk assessment on the site to identify and assess issues or hazards. I ensured the contractor was trained and inducted on the plant we were using for the day, which was the whipper snipper, edger and blower, and made sure all the Work Method Statements were signed off. All the appropriate safety signs were put out. After I helped the contractor conduct the pre-start checks I made sure they put on their PPE and I delegated the contractor the task of litter picking before I started mowing. I supervised the contractor during the day in whipper snipping and once all mowing was completed, the site was cleaned up, signs packed up and all equipment returned to the truck.

R – Result: describe the result you achieved

Example answer:The day’s tasks were completed and I was able to let the contractor know they had done a good job. At the end of the day, I completed my daily diary and made sure all the paperwork was up to date and ready for my Supervisor.

Tips

  • Be specific – don’t tell us what you think you might do in the situation – tell us what you did
  • Use full sentences, check your spelling and grammar and stay within the word limit. The online system will not spell check for you, so it is recommended that you type your responses in a Word document first.  
  • Remember communication skills are important for all jobs
  • If you don't have the ticket or qualification, part way through or willing to get it, it is important to fill out your application honestly. Explain this in your answer and include expected completion date if you are part way through.
  • You can use examples from a different workplace or a different role
  • Write a cover letter to personalise your application although this is not a requirement

Interview

The interview/assessment is a chance for both of us to find out if the role is the right choice for you. It's as much your opportunity to learn about us, as it is our opportunity to learn about you.

We use different assessments to give you every chance to show us you suit the job and its context.

Some examples of assessments include:

  • behavioural video and face-to-face interviews
  • cognitive ability assessments
  • work sample exercises
  • technical skills assessments
  • group assessments

Behavioural interviews

In a behavioural interview, you will be asked to provide examples from your past employment of specific situations which demonstrate your experience relevant to the question. We believe that past performance is an indicator of future performance. A selection panel will consist of three members who will assess your suitability for the role against other applicants. 

Alternate assessment

We use a range of assessments designed specifically to for the role. For example, if you apply for a concreter position, you may be invited to a technical skills assessment to demonstrate your skills and experience in concreting. All assessments will be in a format which provides the ability for applicants to demonstrate their experience.

Preparation

Ensure that you obtain a copy of the Position Statement and focus on the skills and experience listed. Think about situations in which you have demonstrated these skills in your current or past roles. Prepare a list of examples against each criteria and practice explaining the scenario aloud using the STAR technique. You can bring along some simple dot-points to the interview to assist.

STAR technique

To make sure you answer your interview questions well, we suggest you use the STAR (Situation, Task, Action and Result) technique the same way as the application process.

What to bring?

You don’t need to bring anything unless requested. The panel may request you bring along:

  • identification/proof of right to work in Australia (e.g. driver license or passport)
  • your qualifications or any related licenses and/or tickets as listed in the Position Statement

It is important that you bring along your originals and a copy, as the panel will keep the copy

Questions

You will be asked in the interview if you have any further questions. Use this opportunity to really understand the role, our organisation and the specific conditions of employment. To ensure you succeed in the role, it is just as important you understand all the requirements of the role and the culture within our organisation and team.

Tips on the day

  • Listen carefully to the questions
  • Ask questions if you are unsure
  • If you need to, you can ask the panel to repeat the question
  • If you don't understand the question, try not to get nervous and ask the panel to rephrase the question for you
  • Feel free to bring along additional supporting information
  • Dress according to the role you are applying for. For a field-based role, smart casual wear is appropriate. It is expected that you would wear a suit or corporate attire for a professional or corporate position
  • If a panel member knows you and your situation, explain the scenario as if all panel members don't know you
  • If you don't have examples from your current role, you can use examples from your previous workplace
  • If you can't think of an example choose an example from other areas of your life, which are non-work related. Possibly draw on your experience from university, a sporting group or within your local community. If you have no relevant experience, you could outline hypothetical points and actions you would take.

Checks

Pre-employment checks

Screening checks may include:

  • working with children checks
  • employment history checks
  • qualification, licence and ticket checks
  • confirming your right to work in Australia
  • referee checks
  • pre-employment medical

We will tell you about the checks that apply to the job and ask for your consent prior.

Referee checks

If you are one of the candidates most suited to the job, we will contact two of your referees including your most recent supervisor. These help us find out more about your past performance and confirm your claims for the job.

We will ask you to consent to us contacting your referees before we do the checks. It’s worth contacting them at this point to make sure they will do the check and to give them relevant information to this role to help them talk about your previous work that relates to the job.

Offer

Selection decision and employment offer

We use all the information we collect to compare candidates and make our decision and offer. We will tell you if you are successful or not, or we may offer you a place in a talent pool.

If you are the successful candidate, well done!

Eligibility list

Even if you are not the successful candidate, we may offer you a place on the eligibility list. If you gain a place in the eligibility list, well done! This means you have met the job requirements and we can consider you for the same job for up to 12 months.

Merit based recruitment

We recruit on the basis of merit. This means that the person selected is best suited to the job requirements and the needs of our Council.

Sometimes we target a specific group to fill a job. For example, people with a disability, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. This helps us build a workforce that reflects the community we serve. Merit still applies to all candidates - it's the pool that is different.

 

Commitment

Our commitment to candidates

We strive to provide the best candidate experience we can as we understand the time and effort required from you to apply.

To demonstrate our commitment to candidate experience, we have signed up to the Circle Back Initiative. The Circle Back Initiative is a collection of employer and recruitment agencies who commit to responding to every job applicant.

Communicating with you

We aim to keep you informed and supported from the beginning to the end of the recruitment process.

We will do this by:

  • having the name of the contact person in the job ad so you can ask questions
  • having a contact person during the assessment and selection stages
  • letting you know if you will progress through each stage of the process
  • telling you about the assessments you need to complete ahead of time
  • notifying you if you are successful or unsuccessful in your application

Making workplace adjustments for people with disability

We will make workplace adjustments if you have disability. Workplace adjustments are made to allow a person to:

  • perform the inherent or essential requirements of their job in the workplace
  • have equal opportunity in the recruitment processes, promotion and ongoing development
  • experience fair terms and conditions of employment
  • maximise productivity

If you are a person with disability, we:

  • encourage you to ask for adjustments early. You can make a request for an adjustment at any stage of the recruitment process
  • will work with you to determine what we can do. Where possible, we will do this well in advance of an assessment or when you start your job
  • aim to fulfil requests for adjustments on the day of your assessment. If this is not possible, you may need to do the assessment at another time

Giving you feedback

We will make every effort to give you feedback if your application is unsuccessful.

Though you may feel awkward about asking for feedback, we want you to have the best possible care. This includes giving actionable feedback to help you:

  • with your career journey
  • learn from your experiences
  • improve or take a different approach next time

We are also keen to learn from you! Please share your feedback with your dedicated Talent Acquisition team member managing the recruitment process.