Graduate Recruitment Process - An Overview


  • Check the minimum eligibility requirements for the Program. These are listed on the who should apply page.
  • Find out more about our participating agencies and read up on the program before you apply. This will help you to select your work placement preferences - we will do our best to accommodate your preferences but there is no guarantee.
  • Start your online application early as applications cannot be submitted after the closing date and time.
  • Prepare any substantial text responses in a word document and then copy and paste them into the online application form to avoid being timed out.
  • Provide an email address and phone number that you access regularly, and will retain access to, e.g. a personal account.
  • Take your time with your application and double check your responses before you submit.
  • To find out more about what capabilities and behaviours are expected, review the role description.
  • Check your junk/spam folder regularly after applying.
  • And last but not least ... good luck!!

  • Summary

    Applying for a role in the 2018 NSW Government Graduate Program involves a range of capability-based assessments designed to assess your suitability for a graduate role. These assessments build on your application and help us learn more about your motivations, general abilities and values.

    Candidates will have access to request a reasonable adjustment throughout each step of the recruitment process. If you require a reasonable adjustment to the recruitment process, please contact Mahum Ali on (02) 8918 0888 or email

    We are committed to supporting you throughout each stage of the process. Need further information? Contact us on

    The first stage of the application process is entirely online. In addition to providing important information about your experience, interests and general application criteria (e.g., educational experience), this stage involves targeted and situational questions, and a general mental ability assessment.

    • Targeted Questions: These questions are designed to enable you to communicate your motivation to work as a graduate in the NSW Government, and to draw on your previous experiences to demonstrate your capabilities.
    • Situational Questions: You will be asked to respond to a series of situations that NSW Public Sector graduates may encounter in the program. These questions will demonstrate your analytical and problem solving skills and you will be asked to select the most effective and appropriate response.
    • General Mental Ability Assessment: Once you have completed the targeted and situational questions you will receive an invitation via email to complete an assessment of general mental ability. The assessment is called Matrigma, and is entirely non-verbal and timed. This will need to be completed within a 3-day timeframe.

    This application is entirely online and will not require you to attach a resume.

    Allow yourself a few hours to complete the application process when you are feeling good and not pressed for time.

    If you run into any technical difficulties with your online application, contact the I work for NSW Support team at or 1800 562 679.

    If you are successful in progressing to the next stage of the process you will be notified by our team and progress to the Pre-Assessment Centre stage.

    At this stage you will be asked to complete two different online assessments before you attend an assessment centre: an online video component and a personality assessment.

    These form part of your overall assessment and will prepare you for the assessment centres.

    The two online assessments are outlined below

    • Online Video Question: You will be sent an invitation to record an online video response to a question focusing further on your motivation to work in the NSW Government Graduate Program. Specifically, you will be invited to speak about your NSW Public Sector agency preferences and how your interests are related to your preferred choices of agencies throughout the program. There is a turnaround time of 4 days to complete this assessment.

    You will have the opportunity to test out how the interview works with some sample questions and answers.

    • Personality Assessment: The next step is to complete an online personality assessment. The turnaround time for this is 3 days. The assessment is called the Hogan Personality Inventory, and is untimed with a typical completion time of approximately 15-20 minutes. You will be asked to indicate either True or False to a range of items. .

    You will be sent an invitation to book into an Assessment Centre, this will include list of dates and locations. Be sure to book in early to secure your preferred date.

    As part of the Assessment Centre you’ll be asked to complete three activities with other candidates. 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.

    The three different assessments are outlined below:

    • Behavioural Interview: The behavioural interview will be a structured set of questions designed to gather evidence about how you have demonstrated your capability in the past. The questions will focus on the capabilities that are important for the NSW Government Graduate Program set out in the relevant role description.
    • Individual Task: This will be an individual activity where you will be asked to respond to a scenario on your own. The task will involve the review of information presented electronically on a laptop, which you will also use to complete the task.
    • Group Activity: This exercise requires you to work as part of a group to address a case study scenario. Like the individual task, you will be given the opportunity to review information about the scenario, before working together as a group. Part of the group activity will also include a presentation component, and requires the group to formulate, and present back on their approach to addressing the scenario.

    Similar to the Individual Task, researching into the types of projects and work that NSW Public Sector agencies are involved with will ensure you are better prepared for a range of different scenarios.

    If you are successful at the assessment day we will contact you to check that the referees listed in your application are still current.

    • If the referee reports are satisfactory, we will make you an offer.
    • Your offer will be subject to satisfactory pre-employment checks (citizen, visa, qualification and criminal history)
    • Your assessment results will be provided to your employer to support your development.

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