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Recruitment process

Applying for a role may seem daunting and time consuming, but it's only a small investment compared to the benefits and opportunities you will gain if you're successful.

Your application is an opportunity for you to demonstrate how your skills and experience can successfully fulfil the requirements of an advertised role.

It's important that you thoughtfully prepare your application, address the selection criteria in the advertisement and answer any targeted questions before you submit your application.

Different roles will have varying requirements, however a merit-based selection process that is open, competitive and free of bias, unlawful discrimination, nepotism and patronage is always used.

The recruitment process may include:

  • an assessment of your application
  • an interview
  • referee checks
  • screening checks
  • psychometric testing
  • assessment centres
  • presentations or written exercises.

Should you wish to disclose a disability or medical condition so that consideration may be given to any reasonable adjustments which may be able to be made to the assessment process, please tell the nominated contact person, as the South Australian Government is an equal opportunity employer.

As the purpose of recruitment is to identify the person best suited to the role and the needs of the agency, not all applicants will progress through all recruitment stages.

Here is a general guide to the stages of the process.

1. Application

Carefully read the job advertisement to determine if the role is right for you.

Check that you have the necessary qualifications, experience, skills and abilities required.

Take note of the job number and ensure you record the email address and password you use when starting your application.

Address the requirements of the role in your application. Some positions may require you to address each of the selection criteria for the role and other roles may ask you to respond to open-ended or 'targeted' questions in the application form.

Complete your application and submit all supporting documentation by the closing date and time. Late applications may not be accepted.


2. Initial shortlisting

Your application will be reviewed against the requirements of the role to determine if your application will progress to the next stage. This stage is referred to as shortlisting.

3. After initial shortlisting

If you are successful at the shortlisting stage of the process, a more formal assessment of your application will be made. This may include online testing, a telephone interview, sample work tasks such as case studies, writing assignments, role plays and/or group activities. Most assessment activities are timed and likely to include reading from a computer screen or paper.

If you have a disability and need an adjustment to be made to the assessment process, please inform the nominated contact person.

4. Interview

The interview will be conducted by a panel of two or more members who will ask behaviour-based questions designed to enable you to demonstrate how you meet the selection criteria.

Some panels will ask 'scenario' based questions where they pose a likely situation to you and ask how you would respond in that situation.

You can prepare for the interview by reviewing the requirements of the role (qualifications, experience, and competencies) and reflecting on how you've demonstrated these requirements in the workplace or through your studies. Interviews are usually conducted in-person.

5. Referee checks

You will be required to nominate a number of referees in your application that may include a current or recent line manager. If you have not nominated your current / recent line manager, the panel may, subject to advising you, contact the line manager or other referees that the panel believe are relevant. The panel does not need your permission to do so.

If you are successful in progressing to this stage of the recruitment process, your nominated referees will be contacted to provide evidence of your past behaviour, knowledge, values and skills. If referee checks are satisfactory, your application may progress to the next stage.

6. Screening checks

You will be required to complete a Pre-Employment Declaration outlining your suitability, eligibility and capacity to undertake the functions of the role you are applying for in the South Australian public sector.

The following screening checks may be conducted, depending on the requirements of the role:

  • medical and functional capacity assessment
  • relevant criminal screening checks
  • registration with the relevant professional body
  • education qualification check
  • citizen or residency status or visa check
  • service check (for current public sector employees).

All pre-employment checks must be satisfactory before you can commence employment.

7. Employment offer

If successful, you may be offered the role verbally, followed by a written offer soon after. Before receiving an offer of employment, you will be required to complete a Pre-Employment Declaration.


The South Australian public sector is committed to employment practices that are fair, responsive and inclusive.

Australian citizens, permanent residents and non-Australian citizens are eligible to apply. If you are a visa holder - whether it be temporary, provisional or permanent - it must be valid and permit you to work in Australia.

Applicants can check their work rights using the visa entitlement verification online (VEVO).


Given the high number of applications received for some roles, the time for recruitment does vary.

More information

If you require more information about the role you are applying for, or the application process, please contact the person listed on the job advertisement.