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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.

We use a text-based interview to get to know you better, and identify whether your skills, capabilities, values and interests are aligned to the department's.

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 written exercise, which may be completed online before the assessment centre
  • a group exercise
  • a panel interview.

Assessment centres are expected to be held in July 2022, but dates may change.


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.

Merit pool and outcome

After the assessment process, suitable candidates will be placed in a merit pool.

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

At this stage in the process, we will match suitable candidates to available positions and contact you with a verbal offer of employment. Pending your security clearance being granted, we will provide a formal written offer of employment. This may be some time after the verbal offer as security clearances take time

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

Verbal offers will be made in August 2022.

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


We can provide feedback on request. 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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