National Graduate Program recruitment process

We use innovative methodologies to recruit graduates and match them to the right jobs.

Applications for our 2017 intake are now closed. Thank you and best of luck to all who applied. Keep up to date with what's happening on Facebook or as described in the recruitment process.

Initial screening

The initial application process is a set of multiple choice questions which you complete in our online portal.

You will be contacted by email if you have been successful and can progress to the next recruitment stage. There are several different stages throughout this process.

If you require reasonable adjustment or need to submit your application manually, email the National Graduate Program or call 1800 242 560.

2017 intake Graduate recruitment process

Stage 1 - Logical reasoning assessment
Stage 2 - Verbal reasoning assessment
Stage 3 - Video interview
Stage 4 - Behavioural questionnaire
Stage 5 - Assessment centre
Pre-employment checks
Start working with us

Stage 1 - Logical reasoning assessment

If your initial application is successful you will be invited by email to participate in cognitive testing. The email will contain instructions about completing this stage of assessment and provide a link to the online questionnaire. Use your logical reasoning ability to answer the 12 questions. You will have 75 seconds to answer each question - on average the test takes 9 minutes to complete. This test measures your ability to analyse abstract information and apply it to determine outcomes and patterns.

This stage of the process commenced on 18 April 2016.

Stage 2 - Verbal reasoning assessment

If you are successful in the cognitive testing stage you will be invited by email to participate in this round of assessment. We will email you a link with instructions about how to complete the assessment online. Make sure you read the email thoroughly before you start the assessment.

The verbal reasoning assessment consists of 15 questions. There is no overall time limit, however there is a time limit for each question. You will have 75 seconds to complete the first question in each section and 60 seconds for each subsequent question – on average the test takes 12 minutes to complete. This test measures your ability to interpret verbal information and reach correct conclusions.

This stage of the process commenced on 28 April 2016.

Stage 3 - Video interview

If you are invited to complete video interview, you will receive an email asking you to book a day and a time to complete your interview.  This email will tell you the technology needed for the interview, including the use of smart devices such as your phone or tablet. You will have plenty of time to practice before you complete your final video interview.

Once you’re comfortable with the practice options, you will be emailed the final questions just before your video interview starts. The final video comprises 4 questions and will run between 12 and 15 minutes depending on the length of your responses to the questions. Once you start the video interview you will not be able to stop, pause, restart or rerecord it.

In previous recruitment cycles, interviews involved a mix of questions about your understanding of our department and your aspirations for being part of our program. We’ll also ask some behavioural questions.

We recommend you prepare for the interview by:

  • researching our department
  • reviewing the key requirements of our program
  • being aware of any broader issues relevant to us and your professional field of study
  • practicing before agreeing to undertake your final video interview
  • ensuring that the device that you plan on using for your video with is working

This stage of the process is expected to start on 11 May 2016.

There will be additional online testing for Finance and ICT Professional pathway graduates and this is expected to start on 12 May 2016.

Stage 4 - Behavioural questionnaire

The behavioural questionnaire measures personality across 3 broad domains, people and relationships, tasks and projects, and drives and emotions. Ratings in each of these areas will give a sound indication of your suitability for our graduate program roles.

If you are successful in the video interview stage, you will be emailed an invitation to complete the online questionnaire.

This stage of the process is due to start on 1 June 2016.

Stage 5 - Assessment centre

An assessment centre is the last stage of the recruitment process. We revise the format each year and this year it will consist of 3 activities - behavioural interview, group activity, and a written task.

We aim to make the assessment centre as quick as possible so there is minimal impact on your study or work time.

The number and location of assessment centres are dependent on the number of candidates getting through to this stage. Locations vary each year, but are usually held in capital cities. We will advise assessment centre locations as soon as we can.

We will work to get you to the closest assessment centre, but you may need to take some time off work or away from your studies to attend. You can only progress to the next stage of the recruitment process after attending an assessment session.

Unfortunately we do not provide financial assistance to attend assessment centres.

This stage of the process is expected to commence 14 June 2016.

Pre-employment checks

Reference check

Reference checks take place at about the same time as the assessment centres. We encourage you to contact your nominated referees early so they know they may receive a call from us. Sometimes we contact a single referee or both.

Referees will be asked to give comments in support of your skills, abilities and past work performance, if applicable.

Entry level check

If you’re are offered a position in the program we’ll pay for and complete an entry level check. This is coordinated by an external provider. Your details are entered into a national database to search for any prior infringements or criminal charges.

If criminal charges and infringements are identified, we manage the situation on a case by case basis. The outcome will depend on the situation and information provided by the external provider.

Medical check

The medical check is a general health check to ensure you are fit for work and allows us to make any workplace health adjustments for you if required. You must be deemed fit for work before you can be engaged.

We schedule the medical checks and will find the closest available location to your residential address. Your personal medical provider cannot complete this medical check, it must be completed by our medical providers.

If you’re unable to attend, advise us with more than 24 hours' notice before your scheduled appointment so we can organise a new appointment time.

The results from your medical check may influence your job offer. We manage this on a case by case basis.

Start working with us

We look forward to welcoming successful graduates in February 2017.

You will start with a 2 week orientation course. It is held at the Louisa Lawson Building in Greenway, Canberra. Orientation introduces you to work in the Australian Public Service and we will outline the opportunities you have on the program. You will also begin the accredited learning component of the program.

Security clearance

All graduates are required to have a baseline security clearance. This is coordinated once you have started the program.

Contact us

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Page last updated: 3 May 2016

This information was printed Wednesday 28 September 2016 from It may not include all of the relevant information on this topic. Please consider any relevant site notices at when using this material.