Are Key Selection Criteria Simply Another Hoop to Jump Through?
Many job advertisements today require a key selection criteria document as part of the application process. The number of individual criteria points will vary from job to job, but there are usually between four and six. Be aware of the word count, page limit and sometimes even character count, as these are not to be exceeded.
Key selection criteria (KSC) responses require a good deal of thought and effort. If you are not expert in preparing KSC responses, asking for professional help, or immersing yourself in essential strategies is essential. It is worth noting that key selection criteria are also a golden opportunity. They are a superb platform to show the employer that you are the best person for the job.
So, what are Key Selection Criteria?
They are designed to get you to think through the skills, values, experience and personal qualities required for the role. Crucially, they demonstrate the ways in which you have gained those capabilities in your past roles. This information is then used to help filter those who’ve applied for the job and make a decision on who they should consider for an interview.
Essentially you need to state how your skills match the requirements of the job and organisation.
These qualities include:
- Excellent research and analytical skills
- Well developed written and oral communication skills
- An ability to work under pressure and meet deadlines
- A capacity to work across a wide hierarchy of personnel
It is vital you provide relevant situations to back up your statements. For example, avoid using vague examples. You need to be highly specific to show you have the knowledge, skills and experience needed.
The STAR Format
Many employers will require you to use the STAR format to complete your key selection criteria. So, what is STAR? It means Situation, Task, Action, Result – it is a simple way to unlock the key to a successful application.
The SITUATION is your workplace, your department, or the work you do, and will then focus on a particular aspect of your role. The TASK is what you were faced with that has similarity with the role you are applying for. The ACTION is the sequence of duties you undertook to meet the requirements of the task. The RESULT is the measurable result of the actions – for example, money saved, sales increased, or productivity raised.
Using the STAR system will focus you on each criterion with tailored, applicable and provable examples that answer each question. These snapshots give your key selection criteria its beating heart. They showcase you as an individual. They also give the employer a clear idea of your understanding of the role and ability to carry it out.
Important Things to Remember
Do not twist the question to suit an example – really think about the question and find an example that answers it.
Remember to support your claim. Your examples must be detailed and be very clear about the process of the task and the action.
And finally, show that positive outcome. It’s possibly the most important element of key selection criteria. This is the part that absolutely sells the criterion response. Positive outcomes come in many shapes and sizes. For example, you could have saved money, improved efficiency, or provided fantastic customer service. Whatever it may be, make sure you state it clearly. Many people are afraid of blowing their own trumpet and can dilute this section by being too humble. Do not be – this is your chance to really shine.
To sum up, key selection criteria summarises the essential requirements of a position and are a compulsory requirement for selection into the public sector. Additionally, they are also becoming increasingly common in the private sector. The employer determines the standards for each selection criterion. To nail that interview, you must satisfactorily address each selection criterion.
There is a significant amount of effort you need to put into key selection criteria. But if you can stay focused on the requirements, you are very likely to make it to the interview stage.