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Graduate selection process

Stage one: Application

You need to submit an online application through our Careers page.

Your application will need to include:

  • your personal details
  • a response to one question (no more than 500 words)
  • a 100-word biography, including your interests outside of work and study
  • details of two referees
  • your CV, including key academic and professional achievements, extra-curricular interests and work experience.

The selection committee will review applications and shortlisted candidates will move to the next stage.

Stage two: Online assessment

If you meet the program eligibility requirements, we will invite you to complete an online assessment.

There may be more than one online assessment activity to complete.

Stage three: Assessment centre

The assessment centre is the final stage of the selection process and will be held either in-person or virtually.

It may include:

  • a group exercise, and
  • a panel interview.


Referee reports help the selection committee verify information shared in your application and during assessment activities. These will be collected online, through email or via our recruitment portal.

When providing referees, make sure their details are up to date.

Stage 4: Secuirty Clearance and Merit Pool

Candidates that progress to Stage 4 will need to complete the department's security clearance paperwork and provide supporting documentation within one week of receiving the email request.

There may be more candidates in the merit pool than positions available. We recommend not resigning from current employment until you have received a formal written offer.

If you remain in the merit pool but are not offered a position, you may be offered employment with other departments through a shared merit pool arrangement. Permission to share your details will be requested during the application stage.

All selections will be based on merit. Read more about the Australian Public Service merit principle.

Outcome and Feedback

On completion of the security assessment process, successful candidates will be provided with a formal offer of employment. This may take several months and offers will be made up until December.

Unsuccessful candidates will be notified via email. A link to request feedback will be provided in your outcome notification email.

Reasonable adjustment

We provide reasonable adjustments to support people with disability to participate in our recruitment processes to the best of their ability.

Reasonable adjustments are changes that can help you effectively complete recruitment assessments.

If your application is successful, reasonable adjustments can also be made available to assist you in your role.

Further information on DFAT's commitment to diversity and inclusion can be found on our Careers Page.

RecruitAbility scheme

The RecruitAbility scheme encourages employment of people with disability.

If you opt in to RecruitAbility, you will progress you to the next stage of the assessment process if you meet the requirements of the role.

To opt in, follow the instructions in APSC RecruitAbility scheme – a guide for applicants.

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