Australian Bureau of Statistics

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Interview and Testing Information

  • Ensure that you have read through the Applicant Information Kit and the Advice to Applicants which can be accessed on the Current Vacancies page.
  • Do some background research on the ABS and the particular business areas that you would like to work in. We are looking to recruit people as enthusiastic about the ABS as we are.
  • Know yourself. Write down what you consider to be your skills, strengths, weaknesses and accomplishments. If you are comfortable with what you have to offer the ABS you stand a better chance of demonstrating these strengths in the interview.
  • Review your response to the selection criteria. The interview questions will be based on the selection criteria and you should prepare examples from your experience that demonstrate your claims against each criterion.
  • Prepare a list of questions you may be asked and practice your answers to those questions.

The interview

If your application is short-listed, you may be invited to attend an interview with the selection committee. Using the selection criteria as a guide, you will be asked a range of questions designed to demonstrate your skills and experience. These questions may take the form of:
  • Hypothetical questions, which use work-related scenarios and require you to develop a response/solution; or
  • Behavioural questions, which begin with "Tell us about a time when" or "Describe a situation where". These are based on the principle that past behaviour is a indicator of future behaviour.

At the end of the interview, the committee frequently asks candidates if they have any questions or further comments. This is your opportunity to clarify any details of the role and to show the panel that you understand the work of the ABS.


Some selection processes may include testing as part of the assessment phase. The types of testing that you may be asked to complete include:
  • Work sample testing, which involves doing exercises or activities similar to those required in the job. For example, a writing exercise; or
  • Psychometric testing, which is used to assess your abilities, personality, behaviours and interests and may include aptitude and/or personality tests.

Further information

For further information on interview and testing in the Public Service, see:

Commonwealth of Australia 2008

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