How to Address Selection Criteria


Panic is a word that many of my candidates use when they talk about how to address selection criteria.

There is sometimes a fear attached to the very phrase selection criteria. Many reasons account for this nervousness, mostly however it is because candidates want to impress, they want to give a good impression of their skills and experiences but fear they might fail to showcase their skills.

Most importantly candidates want the opportunity to get to the next phase of the recruitment process which tends to be the face to face interview (that is another blog topic)! Here I will share with you, some common sense tips on how to best address the selection criteria.

Firstly, what is selection criteria? It’s basically the standards that job applicants need to meet. These often include qualifications, knowledge, skills, abilities and experience.

Skills, Knowledge, Abilities, Education crossword puzzle

Remember this is not an interview, so read each of the criteria carefully, tailor your answer to each point and always keep the job you are applying for in mind. Use examples from your past to highlight how your experience is relevant. Your answers don’t need to be long; they simply need to answer the specific questions/criteria.

Sue Adams Coaching outlines some useful points on this:

  • Respond to key words in the selection criteria
  • Address all parts of the selection criteria
  • Stick to the wording of the selection criteria
  • Avoid statements of belief or claims without evidence
  • Write evidence-based responses
  • Be results oriented
  • Pitch to the level of the job
  • Use short, direct, active sentences.


An easy to remember formula to address selection criteria is the STAR method. This assists in describing your examples.  For each criterion think about the following and use these points to form sentences:

Situation/Task – Describe the Situation or Task briefly (set the scene, what was the situation? What was your role?)

Actions – Specific actions taken by you (this is about you and what you did – this is where you put most of your information)

Results – The impact or consequences of the actions taken by you (just a brief statement at the end of the example)

(Adams, Sue, 2010, Addressing Selection Criteria)

So now you have it, with some preparation and structure to follow you will have confidence in addressing selection criteria. The fact that you are applying to a job in the first place would usually indicate that you feel like you are capable of performing in the job. Don’t let some selection criteria get in the way of your career progression.

Finally after you have prepared your response to the criteria, ask a trusted person to proof read it for you, such as your recruitment consultant. As individuals we often don’t sell ourselves enough, so a consultant will help you keep you on track to help highlight what you have to offer.

Philip Divilly


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One Response to How to Address Selection Criteria

  1. Fotis Friday 08th April 2016 at 11:31 am #

    A worthwhile, realistic and easy-to-follow explanation of how to address selection criteria – thank you Philip!!

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