All appointments within Defence are based on merit. Merit selection ensures the selection of the best available person for the position through open competition. Selection is based on the abilities, qualifications, experience, standard of work, performance and personal qualities of a person, as is relevant to the requirements of the job.

As part of the selection process within Defence, a candidate’s personal information and data may be released to a third party for the purposes of assessing candidate suitability. At the beginning of the application process candidates are presented with a Recruitment Privacy Notice detailing how Defence handles personal information.

If successful in being merit pooled, candidate data may be shared with other areas of Defence or other Commonwealth departments, to assess suitability for similar vacancies.


The standard timeframe for the recruitment process will vary for each job, depending on how many applications are received and how many interviews are held. Candidates can ask the contact officer what the expected time-frame is for filling the position. In most instances the panel aim to complete shortlisting (determining which applicants go through to interview) within a couple of weeks. 

Candidates selection

All candidate applications are reviewed and assessed for suitability. The selection panel assesses the match between candidates experience, qualifications, skills and abilities and the job requirements. Based on this, the selection panel then determines which applicants are shortlisted for further assessment (usually an interview).

However, not all selection processes involve an interview. Other assessment methods - such as referee reports, work simulations, assessment centres, technical tests, online psychometric testing and aptitude tests may be used in place of, or as well as, an interview. The combination of assessment methods used will be specific to the job.

Shortlisted applicants will be called by a member of the panel to arrange an interview. Unsuccessful applicants will be notified via email.

Psychometric testing

As part of the assessment process, candidates may be asked to complete psychometric testing.

Prior to submitting an application, candidates will be asked to provide permission for the details in the application form to be provided to a third party solely for the purpose of assessing suitability. By agreeing to the declaration and submitting an application, candidates are consenting to Defence sharing candidate details with Defence’s third party providers that provide support in conducting assessments for recruitment activities.

Under the contractual agreements, Defence’s psychometric testing provider adheres to the Commonwealth’s Protective Security Principles Framework, which includes the legislative requirements set out in the Privacy Act 1988.

All information provided is stored securely within Australia and does not move offshore. Should a candidate be concerned about the security of personal information with Defence’s provider, they may request to have personal data removed by contacting the provider directly after completing the assessment.

The testing platform is accessible via web browser and is available on all platforms (phone, tablet and desktop).


If interviews are to be conducted, the selection panel will assume that the candidates are available for interview from the date applications close. Where possible, shortlisted applicants will be given two working days notice of interview details. Should the applicant be unavailable in the period following the lodgement of application, the contact officer should be provided a contact telephone number. The selection panel will make every attempt to schedule interviews at the least disruptive time.

Special arrangements at interview

If a candidate has any additional needs when attending an interview (e.g.: wheelchair access, sign language interpreter, reliance on public transport due to a disability that requires the interview to align with public transport timetables etc.) the requirements can be stated in the relevant section of the online application, or discussed with the contact officer.


In most instances the panel will attempt to advise applicants within several weeks of the interview, depending on the number of applicants being interviewed.

Candidates can ask the chairperson what the expected timeframe is. The chairperson can also be contacted for feedback. This is a good way to improve for future interviews.

Referee comments

Referee comments may be sought before or after an interview. They are an integral part of the selection and assessment process sought to provide information relevant to the requirements of the job. Candidates should choose work related referees who can comment effectively on skills and abilities, experience and performance within the workplace.

Should a referee provide negative feedback relating to work performance or suitability, the candidate will have the opportunity to provide comment under procedural fairness principles.

Application progress

Applicants are asked to speak to the contact officer regarding progress of an application.

Making recommendations

After all selection activities are complete, the selection panel assesses the applicants’ claims and suitability for the position in relation to the assessment process. The selection panel make a recommendation regarding the most suitable applicant for the position to the recruitment delegate.