Job application guide


How to prepare your application when applying for a job

The following information has been prepared to assist you during the application and interview process.

Council offers positions to people on the basis of merit. This means your qualifications, experience, skills and abilities (relevant to the position) are matched to the job requirements. Choosing the best person for the job is part of our commitment to equal employment opportunity.

For each position there are three essential criteria headings. Underneath these headings is a bullet pointed list – this information is located on page three of all position descriptions. The essential criteria (bullet pointed list) must be met if you are to fulfil the duties and responsibilities of the position. If you do not show how you meet the essential criteria in your application you are unlikely to be considered for an interview.

Position description

Before a position is advertised, the requirements of that position are analysed and a list of operational outputs and essential criteria (qualities required to perform the job) are developed. Essential criteria forms part of the position description. If you require further information on the position please contact the Officer listed in the advertisement next to “Like to know more?”

Making an application

What you write and how you answer each of the essential criteria will determine whether or not you are selected for an interview. The best way to set out your application is to write a statement using the essential criteria as headings and, under each heading, describe how your particular work experience, qualifications, knowledge, skills and abilities enable you to satisfy that criteria.

Applications are to be made via Council’s recruitment system, not via email. When applying online you need to submit:

  • A brief covering letter stating the position number.
  • A resume detailing your relevant work and educational history.
  • Telephone contact details of at least two professional referees.
  • Essential Criteria Statement addressing each of the essential criteria as mentioned above.

Your online application will be acknowledged automatically via email upon receipt.

Important: Please ensure your application is received by Council on or before the closing date (stated in the advertisement). Late applications may not be considered.

The selection process

The selection process at Ku-ring-gai Council involves a number of stages:

Short listing

The Selection Panel meets to assess all applications against the essential criteria and shortlists the applicants who will be interviewed. It is important to remember that you are competing with other applicants for the position. If your response to the essential criteria is not fully completed, or the information against each of the essential criteria is not competitive with other applicants, you may not be invited for an interview.


If you are selected for an interview you will usually be given at least four days notice. Council will contact you to tell you where and when the interview will be conducted.

In general, you will be interviewed by three people who make up the Selection Panel. They are responsible for selecting the most suitable person for the job.

The selection panel will ask questions related to the job description and the essential criteria. Relax and listen to the questions. Do not rush into an answer and take your time to group your thoughts. If you are unsure of the question, do not hesitate to seek clarification from the Selection Panel before responding. Do not assume the Selection Panel knows what is in your mind. You are responsible for classifying the strength of your skills, knowledge and experience so that the Selection Panel can easily assess your claims.

As the interview progresses, the selection panel will be documenting your responses to the questions asked. A clearly presented and well thought out answer will also demonstrate your verbal communication skills. You may be requested to complete a practical skills and knowledge-based exercise before or after the interview. You will be advised of any such requirement prior to the interview.

Reference checks/pre-employment health assessment

As part of the recruitment process, reference checks are carried out only for the interviewee/s with the strongest overall performance at interview. Referees will be asked questions that are relevant to the essential criteria only and will validate the information provided in your application and at interview. Some positions will require a “Working with Children Check” to be completed. This is a formal process of checks to help determine your suitability to work with children or have unsupervised access to children in your work. Short listed applicants are required to undergo a pre-employment health assessment at Council’s expense and with Council’s health provider.

Notification of employment

If you are selected as the successful applicant for the job you will be contacted with a job offer. This verbal offer will be confirmed in writing, detailing the terms and conditions of employment. If your application is unsuccessful you will be notified in writing usually within fourteen days of the interview. You can ask to have a post selection discussion with the convenor of the selection panel to discuss ways that you can improve your application or interview performance in the future.

Thank you for your interest in wishing to work for Ku-ring-gai Council. If you need more information or clarification on our recruitment process please contact People & Culture at