How to apply for the National Graduate Program

There are 5 steps you need to complete to apply for the National Graduate Program.

Applications are now closed for the 2020 National Graduate Program. Thanks to everyone who applied.

Steps to apply

Step 1: Submit an online application - 19 March to 15 April 2019
Step 2: Complete an online assessment - 5 April to 23 April 2019
Step 3: Have a video interview - 26 April to 5 May 2019
Step 4: Attend an assessment centre - 20 May to 7 June 2019 
Step 5: Receive verbal employment offer and complete checks - starts in July 2019

Step 1: Submit an online application - 19 March to 15 April 2019

You’ll need to:

  • confirm your eligibility
  • provide referee details.

Step 2: Complete an online assessment - 5 April to 23 April 2019

If your application is successful, you’ll need to undergo all of the following assessments:

  • situational judgment test
  • abstract, numerical and verbal test
  • personality questionnaire.

We’ll send you instructions on what you need to do.

Step 3: Have a video interview - 26 April to 5 May 2019

If you’re successful at Step 2, we’ll invite you to complete a video interview. This is a one-way interview which takes about 15 minutes.

You’ll answer up to 4 questions and they’ll be a mix of motivational and behavioural questions.

You’ll be able to practice before your interview. We suggest you do some system tests to make sure your device is ready to go. We’ll send you instructions on how to log on and complete the interview.

To prepare for your video interview we suggest you:

  • research our department
  • review the requirements of the graduate program
  • are aware of any broader issues relevant to us and your field of study
  • make sure the device you plan to use for your interview works.

Step 4: Attend an assessment centre - 20 May to 7 June 2019 

If you’re successful at Step 3, we’ll ask you to come to an assessment centre where you’ll complete a:

  • behavioural interview
  • group activity
  • written task.

Expect to be at the Centre for about half a day. You may need to take some time off work or away from your studies. You can attend either a morning or afternoon session.

The location of assessment centres varies each year, but they’re usually held in capital cities. We’ll try to get you to your closest assessment centre.

If you don’t attend an assessment centre in person, we’ll withdraw your application.

We don’t pay for you to attend assessment centres.

We’ll also complete your referee check during this step. We’ll ask referees to give comments in support of your skills, abilities and past work performance.

Step 5: Receive verbal employment offer and complete checks - starts in July 2019

Once you complete the recruitment process we’ll let you know if you’re suitable or not suitable for the program.

Feedback will be available to all candidates at the end of the assessment process.

Verbal offer

If you’re suitable, we'll call you and offer you a position. This verbal offer is conditional. You need to pass an entry level check and medical check. We’ll arrange these for you and we pay for them.

Entry level check

The entry level check searches your details against a national database for any prior infringements or criminal charges.

If you have criminal charges or infringements, we manage it on a case by case basis.

Medical check

The medical check is a general health check. It helps us know if we need to make workplace adjustments for you.

We’ll schedule your medical check and find your closest available location.

Your personal medical provider can’t complete this medical check for you.

Indigenous graduates

Our program includes an Affirmative Measure to help employ Indigenous Australians. This is open to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians.

After you confirm your Indigenous heritage, you’ll have access to a support officer. They’ll help you through the application process and offer appropriate cultural support. You can email the recruitment provider for more information.

Graduates with disability

We have a disability application process. This is open to applicants who identify as having disability.

As part of the application process you’ll need to provide evidence of disability. This can be a letter from either a:

  • registered medical practitioner
  • Disability Employment Service (DES) provider
  • tertiary institution disability service unit.

Or, you can provide a statutory declaration.

Read about disability definitions on the Australian Public Service Commission website.

APS RecruitAbility scheme

If you meet the disability definition you can also apply under the APS RecruitAbility scheme. The scheme helps people with disability put forward their skills and experience during the selection process.

You need to opt in to the scheme when you apply for the 2020 National Graduate Program. You also need to do both of these:

  • declare you have disability
  • meet the minimum requirements of the program.

Read more about RecruitAbility and the opportunities we offer for people with disability.

We’ll support you to apply in a way that suits you. We can make adjustments for you throughout our recruitment process, if needed. Contact us to discuss options.

Letter of offer

If you pass the pre-employment checks, we'll email you a letter of offer. Make sure you complete all paperwork by the due date set out in the email.

The letter will outline details about your salary and conditions of employment. We’ll also send you information about the program and relocating.

Start working with us

We look forward to welcoming you in February 2020.

You’ll start with an orientation held in Canberra. It introduces you to work in the Australian Public Service. We’ll also outline the opportunities you have in the program and you’ll get to meet your supervisor.

Contact us

Our recruitment provider is Chandler MacLeod.  If you have any questions about the program, you can contact them by:

  • emailing them
  • calling them on 1800 242 560.

You can also connect with us on  Facebook or LinkedIn.

Page last updated: 30 April 2019

Was this page useful?
Why not?

Thank you for your feedback.