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Graduate selection process

The graduate selection process is the same for both policy and management programs and comprises three stages.

Stage one: Application and Online Testing

To apply for the policy or corporate management graduate program with the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) you need to submit an online application through our current opportunities page.

Your application will need to provide:

  • your personal details
  • respond to two questions (no more than 250 words per question),
  • a 100 word outline of who you are, including your interests outside of work and study
  • details of two referees
  • your key academic and professional achievements, extra-curricular interests and work experience. Please note that this process captures all the information needed for your application. Separate resumes will not be accepted.

You will then be invited to complete online testing if you meet the eligibility requirements of the programs.

The selection committee will review applications and shortlist them for progression to the next stage of the assessment process.

Stage two: Video Assessment

Candidates who progress to this stage of the process will be required to complete a video assessment. This will be either a presentation or interview format and will test your communication and presentation skills as well as your ability to think on your feet.

Stage three: Assessment Centre

The final stage of the process, the assessment centre, is held in Canberra. Candidates must attend this assessment in person: assessments cannot be conducted by video conferencing or Skype.

The assessment centre will include the following tasks:

  • Group exercise
  • Written exercise
  • Panel interview

Before attending the interview you will be required to:

  • Complete an online behavioural profile test. The test is not determinative, but contributes to the selection committee's assessment of a candidate's 'fit' for the job; and
  • Complete online departmental security clearance paperwork, including providing supporting documentation.

At this early stage of planning assessment centres are expected to be held in May-June 2020. Please note these dates may change.


Referee reports enable the selection committee to verify the information obtained in your application and during assessment activities.


We make all selection decisions based on merit. This means:

  • the selection process is fair and consistent
  • assessment is based on the inherent requirements of the role
  • based on the assessment, the best person for the role is selected.

Successful candidates will be contacted by phone and email. At this stage we will look to make offers by July 2020.


Due to the size of the process and the number of applications received, we are not able to provide feedback to unsuccessful candidates.


If you have questions about the application or selection process, please contact our recruitment team at, or phone 02 6261 9811.

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