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The application process

Information about each stage of the application process from online application to offer.


Read more about the application process for the 2022 NSW Government Graduate Program.

Stage 1: Online application

In this stage you will be asked to provide information about your experience, interests, and education. You do not need to attach a resume or cover letter. You will be asked to select your preferred program stream/s. You may select up to two streams: primary and one degree-specific stream - legal, digital or social work. Ensure you have reviewed the requirements for each stream you are applying for. Allow 2-3 hours to complete the entire application. The application will also include:

  • Targeted questions: these questions allow you to communicate your motivation to work as a NSW Government graduate and to draw on your experience to demonstrate your capabilities.
  • Situational questions: you will be asked to respond to a series of situations that NSW Government graduates may encounter in the workplace. These questions will allow you to demonstrate your problem-solving skills. You will be asked to select the most effective and appropriate response.
  • Cognitive ability assessment: after submitting your application, you will instantly receive an email inviting you to complete an assessment called Ravens Advanced Progressive Matrices. This is entirely non-verbal and has a 45-minute time limit. In this assessment, you will be presented with visual matrices consisting of different geometric patterns. For each item, you will be asked to figure out the underlying logic and rule behind the patterns and select the option that completes the pattern. You will need to complete this assessment within 72 hours of submitting your application, so please check your emails regularly and check your junk/spam folders.

Stage 2: Pre-assessment centre activities

If you are successful in progressing to the second stage of the process, you will be notified via email.

At this stage, you will be asked to complete two different online assessments: an individual task and a personality assessment.

Applicants for all streams will only need to complete the Personality assessment once. Those applying for the primary, legal and digital streams will complete the same individual task. Those applying for the social work stream will be required to complete a different individual task. Please note that if your application has progressed for the social work stream, as well as another stream, you will be required to complete both individual tasks.

You will also be invited to book into a virtual assessment centre. This will include a list of dates and times. Book in early to secure your preferred date.

Stage 3: Virtual assessment centres

This is your chance to show us who you are and put your best foot forward!

Please note that if your application has progressed for the social work stream, as well as another stream, you will be required to complete two different assessment centres. All other streams will only need to attend one assessment centre.

In the assessment centre you’ll be asked to complete two activities which each run for approximately one hour. There is a short break in between activities. For the primary, legal and digital streams the activities are a structured interview and a group activity. For the social work stream the activities are a structured interview and a role play. On the day, you will receive a briefing and be given the opportunity to ask questions to ensure you understand the requirements for each activity.

Assessment centres will be held in September and early October. All assessment centres will be conducted virtually via Zoom video conferencing software.

Stage 4: Successful candidate pool

If you are successful in the recruitment process, we will contact you to confirm your position in the graduate pool for the relevant stream. This means your application is being considered for a role in the 2022 graduate program and you may be contacted by one or more of the government agencies looking for graduates. If you have applied for multiple streams, you may be successful in both. In this stage you will also be asked to complete an online video interview question.

Stage 5: Offers of employment

Agencies may contact you to complete a reference check. If the referee reports are satisfactory, we may make you an offer. This offer will be subject to satisfactory pre-employment checks (citizen, visa, qualification and criminal history). We’ll also provide your assessment results to your employing agency to support your development.

Now, for the exciting part - the start of your new career in NSW Government!

Extra support

We are a diverse and inclusive employer and we strive to reflect the community we serve through our workforce. We have extra information for Aboriginal candidates and candidates with disability to assist you in applying for the program.

Graduate Chris smiling at camera

Read about our partnership with Yarn'n and other information to assist you throughout the recruitment process.

Three graduates (male, female, male) standing outside talking to each other

Information about adjustments throughout the recruitment process and how we can support you.

Key dates

5 July 2021: applications open

28 July 2021: information evening

9 August 2021: applications close

September 2021: assessment centres

November 2021: graduate offers

7 February 2022: program start date