What is Key Selection Criteria?
The Key Selection Criteria outline the qualities, knowledge and skills needed to do the job. You will need to write short statements that sell your specific capabilities for each of the criterion. It is important to include specific examples or situations where you have demonstrated the behaviour, knowledge, skills and personal qualities asked for in the KSC.
Writing a good KSC response statement is invaluable in preparing you for the interview stage of the selection process. Now that you have specific examples you will be better prepared to answer questions about your ability to do the job. Make sure you check your KSC statement for spelling and grammar.
Why does the Government require that you complete the Key Selection Criteria when applying for a Government Position?
By law, we must assess all candidates for our jobs fairly and consistently- to select on merit.
We do this by using the Key Selection Criteria given to all candidates to assess their ability to do a job. When you go for a job, KSC are clearly described in the Position Description – so you know what’s required. See jobs advertised on this career web site for the sort of things we look for.
Describing how you meet KSC ensures we capture all information about your suitability for a job. You can type in the spaces on your online application or cut and paste text from a document you’ve prepared.
KSC vary among employers and jobs. Traditionally, they are statements combining skills, knowledge, experience and personal qualities, e.g.
“Ability to develop and maintain systems and processes for mail distribution and storage of publications and brochures”
“Ability to work under pressure, prioritise tasks, meet deadlines and remain tolerant”
Increasingly, KSC are based on key capabilities e.g.
Resilience – Perseveres to achieve goals, even in the face of obstacles. Copes with setbacks. Stays calm under pressure. Accepts constructive criticism without becoming defensive.’
Problem Solving – Seeks all relevant facts. Liaises with stakeholders. Analyses issues from different perspectives and draws sound inferences from available data. Identifies and proposes workable solutions.’
How to Respond to Key Selection Criteria
1. Highlight key words in each KSC and think about what the employer is asking for.
2. List examples of how you meet the KSC. Describe relevant skills, experience, incidents, training, personal qualities, expertise and things you couldn’t have done without all these.
3. Review your list and summarise, in 60-120 words, how you demonstrated the KSC.
The SAO approach can help:
Situation – Where and when did you do it?
Action – What did you do and how did you do it?
Outcome – What was the result of your actions?
A word of encouragement, this may seem unfamiliar and a bit awkward to begin with, but around 60% of government jobs are filled by people not currently working in government organisations. And doing it this way ensures you’re considered fairly along with all other candidates.
3 Examples of KSC responses
1. Problem Solving – Seeks all relevant facts. Liaises with stakeholders. Analyses issues from different perspectives and draws sound inferences from available data. Identifies and proposes workable solutions.
“Problem solving has been a critical part of my roles over the past five years. While working as Customer Complaints Officer at Acme Department Stores, I dealt with a variety of problems. While many could be resolved easily, 2-3 per week were more complex and required a detailed process to resolve. I had to investigate what had happened from the staff and customer’s points of view, clarify the facts and work out what had gone wrong and why. I then had to propose suitable solutions and negotiate a mutually satisfactory outcome. I was often commended by my manager for my sensitive handling and speedy resolution of these problems. Less than 1% of complaints had to be escalated”
2. Advanced Computer Skills – Uses a wide range of software features for word processing, spreadsheets, etc. Helps others solve problems with software.
“As Personal Assistant to the Marketing Manager at SYZ Enterprises, about half my time was spent preparing letters and reports for clients using Word. I used detailed information in Excel spreadsheets to prepare graphs and tables to demonstrate the results of our market research and to analyse client company performance. I often prepared major PowerPoint presentations for my manager and maintained a database of her contacts. I also managed many daily emails and searched for information on the Internet to answer questions”
3. Sound communication, interpersonal and negotiating skills, including well-developed written and oral skills and the ability to develop and deliver interpretation and education services.
“In my 5 years as a teacher, strong communication, negotiation and interpersonal skills have been essential. I have dealt with a wide range of people, including parents, colleagues and students. I was involved in a community project where I co-wrote a booklet on helping child learn and have fun. As part of this project, I led successful negotiations with the Local Council and three schools in the area who agreed to run a series of weekend family science programs for kids in the area”