Craig ShepherdGradAustraliaWhen it comes to the Australian Public Service, the Australian National Audit Office (ANAO) is one of the most sought after employers.
Reporting to Federal Parliament and located within the Prime Minister and Cabinet portfolio, the ANAO offers graduates an exciting and varied start to their career and a broad understanding of how government works. If you’re looking to be hired as an intern or graduate at the ANAO, here’s everything you need to know.
At the ANAO, values are important
The work you’ll be doing at the ANAO is incredibly important for both the government and the public. As such, you’ll need to be able to show that you hold the right kinds of values.
Employment with all public service entities requires adherence to a Code of Conduct and the APS Values, which covers behaviour and how you perform your job. The ANAO is no different, and they pride themselves on upholding the values expected by the public. In addition to the APS values, the ANAO places particular focus on its organisational values of respect, integrity and excellence — values that reflect its unique work and its focus on objectivity and impartiality.
Social inclusion, diversity and equity are other key values expected, and the ANAO even has a network of Diversity Contact Officers who help to grow a culture of respect, fairness and inclusion. By showing that you share these values, you’re giving yourself a great chance to gain a position.
A training needs analysis therefore needs to consider a number of sub-groups. New staff, both from other agencies and from outside the APS, may bring detrimental views, as can internal staff who haven’t had recent selection panel experience.
Sets of criteria and capability statements, often based on The Integrated Leadership System, have become so complicated and confusing that even public servants are not bothering to submit applications.
Attention to micro elements in the recruitment and selection process will help reduce time frames, make it easier for people to apply and make decisions more transparent and justifiable. Here are five of these micro elements:
Agencies need to have a clear recruitment and selection culture that supports branding and fosters a retention-friendly, fair environment. This goes beyond a stated policy and set of procedures to take account of people’s biases and faulty assumptions that undermine a desired culture.
Panel members continue to hold questionable beliefs that are not based on evidence, are unfair to applicants, and prejudice the assessment. Examples of such beliefs are: treating people fairly means treating them the same; applicants who don’t write to selection criteria shouldn’t get short listed; interviews are a memory test and no help should be given to applicants even if the questions asked are incomprehensible; applicants who don’t call the contact officer demonstrate lack of initiative.
Know what to expect from the recruitment process
When it comes to the selection process, the ANAO’s own website says it best: ‘Prepare carefully for your interview. Questions will be based on the six core ANAO capabilities relevant to the position you are applying for. Be prepared to tell us how your skills, knowledge and experience will help you meet the challenges of the job. We will advise you in advance if there is any preparation required or tests to be undertaken at the interview.’
Preparation is always the key, however, you should first understand what to expect from the recruitment process. The ANAO’s graduate recruitment process follows three main steps:
Firstly, you’re required to submit an online application. If shortlisted, you’re then invited to participate in a ‘one-way video interview’, where you provide recorded video responses to pre-recorded video questions. If you’re successful here, you’ll be invited to attend an assessment centre. The ANAO’s assessment centres are considered some of the best in the APS, with a heavy focus on personal qualities and teamwork more than technical skills. You should be prepared to demonstrate your unique personality and your approach to problem-solving, both in groups and independently.