5 Good Selection Criteria Response Examples

Updated 6 May 2023

You may find that some job applications ask you to respond to selection criteria, such as applications for government positions. Selection criteria require answers that demonstrate your skills, knowledge, qualifications and experience. Understanding how to respond to selection criteria questions during an interview can help you in your job-seeking process. In this article, we provide selection criteria response examples and tips for answering these interview questions.

What is selection criteria?

Selection criteria sections relate to the qualifications, fundamental skills, work experience and industry knowledge required for a role. Good selection criteria responses will showcase how you have utilised a necessary skill or trait during a previous position. Candidates can also use the selection criteria to work out whether this is the right job for them.

Selection criteria response examples

In this section, you can find some selection criteria response examples to assist you with answering selection criteria questions:

How do the skills that you possess relate to this position?

This question is asking you to think of specific skills that you have that will help you in the role. You should think of three or four skills and explain how you developed them and demonstrate a time when you have needed to use them.

Example answer: 'My observant nature, organisational skills and motivation are invaluable to this role. Being observant is an important skill for any marketing role. In my previous position at the Highland Gallery, I recognised that the needs of the target audience were not fully satisfied. In response, I dedicated time to improving one of the gallery's key exhibitions over the school holidays to make it more child friendly. Within a few days our visitors had doubled, and the reviews were excellent.

Throughout my studies, I realised the importance of organisational skills. I worked on my approach to setting daily tasks and goals to help me stay on top of my workload and receive good scores. As a marketing assistant, I would employ these skills to help me prioritise to ensure I promptly update my marketing tools to ensure the gallery runs smoothly.

Self-motivation is a tough skill to learn. Luckily, it's always been intrinsic to me. I know I want a career in marketing, and I've used this desire to motivate me in my studies and work. I also used this motivation in my last job to go above and beyond my typical tasks.'

How do you go about improving your skills?

This criterion focusses on skill growth. The employer wants to see that you're motivated and willing to improve your skills. Think of some skills you possess and how you would work on improving them. This may be through education or research.

Example answer: 'My degree in Hospitality and Tourism taught me vital skills relevant to the industry including time management, planning and communication. I decided to improve these skills over the summer by taking an online course in convention planning. This course taught me specific skills in logistical planning, promotional strategies and budgeting.

I also spend a lot of my spare time reading articles from Hospitality and Tourism Australia Magazine. I find this helps me stay informed on the latest news in the industry. It highlights real-world examples of the skills I learnt in my studies. It gives me a good perspective about real-world practices.'

Where did you gain your experience?

For this question, you need to list any previous experience that's relevant to the role and where you obtained this experience. The employer may check that you can support the information you wrote on your resume.

Example answer: 'With over 10 years in the IT industry, I have a lot of experience. I spent the last five years at DeckTech working in the IT department where I gained experience in coding. While in this role, I took a course in programming languages. Before that, I worked as an IT consultant for General Lawyers. I introduced a new program to the office and did a company-wide installation. I also ran educational courses for the staff.'

Related: What Is a CV?

Describe your workplace values

This criterion is about your personality and work ethic. The employer wants to see what you value. By doing so, they gain insight into your working style. Remember to relate each value to the role you're applying for.

Example answer: 'My top three workplace values are accountability, honesty and reliability. I believe these three values have allowed my career to successfully grow and flourish. Accountability involves keeping promises. As a PR officer, it's important not to overpromise and under deliver, especially concerning discussions with press outlets. I always stick to the facts and make sure I can deliver on anything I say. This keeps me accountable.

Honesty is an important trait that I employ in my everyday work. My previous job was fast-paced and competitive, but I didn't let this undermine me. I focussed my core value of honesty, which kept me level-headed.

Reliability is important for forming and maintaining professional relationships. As a PR officer for over five years, I've made valuable contacts in most of the media outlets. I've proven to these contacts that I'm reliable, so they continue to work with me.'

Related: Learning Styles for Career Development

Are you able to work in a collaborative environment?

Being able to work in a team is a valuable quality for almost any job. Therefore, you may find it's a common selection criterion. The employer wants to know that you will positively contribute to the workplace environment. They want to see that you can work effectively in collaboration with other members.

Example answer: 'During the entirety of my science degree, I worked as a barista at Uni Stop Cafe. This taught me the importance of working in a team. During busy periods, we had to work together to deal with the rush. As a team, we were able to collaborate and get the job done. I realised that without the help and support of my colleagues, the café wouldn't have been able to function. I hope to employ this skill as a research assistant and apply my knowledge of previous experiences into this new role. I will listen carefully to the team and work with them to produce top-quality research.'

Related: 6 Qualities That Make a Great Team Player

18 more selection criteria examples

The number of selection criteria will vary depending on the job you're applying for. The length of your answers will also vary. Some applications will have rules about word or page limits. If they don't, then try to limit your answers to about half a page. Here's a list of example selection criteria:

  • How do the skills that you possess relate to this position?

  • Are your skills transferable to this position?

  • How do you work on improving your skills?

  • Provide a few examples of your skills in action.

  • What knowledge do you have that's relevant to this position?

  • How would you apply your knowledge to this position?

  • How do you continuously improve and increase your knowledge?

  • Where did you gain your experience?

  • How much experience do you have?

  • How would your experience benefit this position?

  • Provide a few examples of your experience in action.

  • What qualifications do you possess that would benefit this position?

  • What qualities do you possess that would help you in this role?

  • Describe your workplace values.

  • Provide examples of your commitment to your career.

  • Are you able to work in a collaborative environment?

  • How do you stay organised to meet deadlines?

  • Provide an example of a time you learnt from a mistake.

Tips for answering selection criteria interview questions

Below you can find some tips to help you respond to selection criteria effectively:

  • Understand the criteria. Review the criteria to make sure you understand what it's asking before you attempt to answer.

  • Write an opening statement. Write a one-sentence statement that clearly highlights how your skills and experience make you a good candidate for the role.

  • Provide examples. Think of real-life examples when you had to employ or demonstrate the criteria.

  • Support your examples. Use facts and figures to support your claims.

  • Check your response. Edit each of your answers thoroughly before submitting them, ensuring they are free of spelling and grammar mistakes.

Frequently asked questions about selection criteria

Here are answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about selection criteria:

How do you write a response to the selection criteria?

When forming responses to selection criteria you need to make sure you address the specific question or statement. Only include relevant information and examples. Everything you write needs to relate to the job you are applying for.

How long should a selection criteria response be?

This depends on the application. Some will have word or page limits, make sure you thoroughly read all the instructions to find these. If the application has no limits, then keep your answers about half a page. You should keep your writing concise and to the point.

How do you answer a selection criterion with no experience?

If you are applying for a role but do not have specific experience in that industry, try to link it to other experiences you have. Think of other jobs you've had that have required similar skills. You can also write about experiences, achievements and qualifications that relate to the job.

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