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Selection process


To apply for a position 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
  • a one page pitch telling us how your skills, experience and qualifications makes you the best candidate for this opportunity
  • your résumé, detailing your work experience and qualifications.

Once we receive your application, our selection committee will read it through and determine whether you will be shortlisted for progression to the next stage of the assessment process.


We use a range of techniques to assess and validate your key skills, experience, qualifications and fit for the role. This may include:

  • online psychometric testing (cognitive ability and situational judgement tests)
  • written tasks
  • phone or in-person interviews
  • group assessments

You should be available for assessment from the date applications close. If you will not be contactable for any length of time during the selection process, you should advise the relevant contact officer.


Referee reports enable the selection committee to verify the information obtained in your application and during assessment activities. Your referees may be contacted at any stage of the selection process.

It is important that you advise your referees you have applied for a role at DFAT, and that you feel confident they will be able to support the information you have provided.


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

We will contact you to advise your outcome by phone or email.

If you are placed on a merit list, this means that while you may not receive an offer of employment in the process you applied for, you may be considered for similar roles that arise in DFAT over the next 12 months.


As the recommended candidate, you will be contacted to discuss your engagement including things like your classification, salary, security clearance and start date. You will also need to complete any relevant new starter paperwork.

It is important to note that before you can commence at DFAT, you must undergo a comprehensive security assessment and gain a valid security clearance. This will usually take six to twelve months, but can take longer in some circumstances.

A face-to-face interview is a critical part of the security clearance process. This interview will be conducted in Australia. If you reside overseas, you will be required to travel to Canberra at your own expense to undertake the security interview. Interviews cannot be conducted by phone or over video messaging services such as Skype.


If you have questions about the application or selection process, please contact us at

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