About Us

Graduate recruitment process

'My advice is to apply for the program early and continue building your skills and experience while you wait for the final answer. Taking on other occupational and voluntary work helped me gain additional skills to take with me to the Department. The experience looked great on my resume and I picked up some fantastic references along the way.' Matt, 2017 Graduate

How to apply

The selection process for our annual graduate intake involves a number of stages and runs over several months.

Stage 1 - Online application - closed April 2017

The Graduate Programme will be advertised on the Departments' current vacancies webpage from around March/April each year. Candidates should monitor this site and our Facebook page closely around this time, as we do not accept late applications.

Once the positions are advertised you should create an account to register and use the online recruitment website.

You will receive an email when you submit your application to confirm it has been received. You will also receive profile information so you can log into your applicant account and see updates/notifications, download documents, complete assessments and make changes to your personal information.

You must read this and all other emails that you receive carefully as they will provide important next step information. If you do not receive the email, check the spam/junk folder of your email account.

Make sure you have the following personal details available:

  • personal particulars
  • current employment details
  • work experience
  • responses to the selection criteria
  • resume.

If you realise you have made an error or want to make a change to a section after submitting your application, you will be able to log back into your application profile.

You can make changes to most sections of your application. You will also be able to reset your password or withdraw your application if you no longer want to be considered for a graduate position.

After the closing date you will only be able to make changes to your profile information (for example, your contact details).

Stage 2 - Online testing - early May 2017

If your initial application is successful you will be invited by email to participate in online testing. Online testing might include:

  • online psychometric testing
  • cognitive ability testing
  • game based assessment.

The assessments measure competencies, including:

  • adapting and responding
  • working with people
  • relating and networking
  • problem solving
  • deciding and initiating action.

Stage 3 - Video interview - mid May 2017

If you are invited to complete a video interview, you will receive an email asking you to book a day and a time to complete your interview. This email will tell you the technology needed for the interview, including the use of smart devices such as your phone or tablet. You will have plenty of time to practice before you complete your final video interview.

Once you're comfortable with the practice options, you will be emailed the final questions just before your video interview starts. The final video will run between 12 to 15 minutes depending on the length of your responses to the questions. Once you start the video interview you will not be able to stop, pause, restart or rerecord it.

We recommend you prepare for the interview by:

  • researching our Department
  • reviewing the key requirements of our Programme
  • practicing before undertaking your final video interview
  • ensuring that the device that you plan on using for your video is working.

Stage 4 - Assessment centre - June 2017

Assessment Centres will be held in most capital cities in Australia. We will conduct telephone interviews for applicants from remote areas or for people outside Australia. The Assessment Centre process involves three areas of activity:

  • group activity
  • work sample testing
  • panel interview.

You will need to bring photographic identification, your academic transcript/s and a passport photo.

The interview process is similar to any professional job interview; make sure you approach it like one:

  • present yourself well and dress appropriately
  • speak clearly
  • know the job you are applying for, research the website
  • show interest and enthusiasm, we want to know you want to work with us
  • ask for clarification if you are unsure of anything.

Stage 5 - Referee report(s) - late June 2017

Referee reports are used to seek information about your employment history, qualifications, experience and role suitability. They also provide the selection panel with the opportunity to seek clarification on matters discussed during your assessment.

Stage 6 - Merit pool - early July 2017

All candidates who are found suitable for a role as a DIBP graduate are placed into a merit pool.

Stage 7 - Security and character requirements - commence early July 2017

We operate in a position of trust within the Australian community. Our employees are provided with significant powers to support the efficient and effective management of the Australian border.

To maintain the confidence of the Australian Government and the community, it is essential that all employees demonstrate and adhere to the highest standards of integrity and ethical behaviour - both in their official and private capacities.

Therefore, before you can work with us, you must obtain (and maintain for the duration of your employment or association with the Department) both of the following:

  • an Employment Suitability Clearance (ESC) – which assesses your suitability (from an integrity and character perspective) to work with or for us
  • a Commonwealth security clearance – which assesses your suitability to access classified Australian Government resources
    • Baseline level is required at a minimum. A higher level of security clearance could be required, depending on your specific role.

These processes can be intrusive in nature and could include (but is not limited to) detailed background, character, employment, police and financial checks.  An assessment of your suitability to be granted either clearance could be based, among other things, on advice from the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation (ASIO) and/or the Australian Federal Police (AFP).

If you do not already hold the required security clearance and/or ESC, we will send you the relevant security packs that must be completed and returned to us before you commence work.

More information about the Employment Suitability Clearance (ESC) is available.

How and when we notify you

If you are found suitable for a graduate position you will be placed in a pool of merit and notified accordingly.

Note, not all suitable candidates will be offered a position. We recommend you do not give notice to your current employer before you have been provided a formal letter of offer.

When to apply

Applications for our 2018 Graduate Development Programme have closed. Information on our next intake will be available February/March 2018.

2016 AGRIAS finalist

Australian Association of Graduate Employers (AAGE) is the peak industry body representing organisations that recruit and develop Australian graduates.

We were a finalist for Most Popular Integrated Marketing Campaign (public sector). This was determined by AAGE employer members participating in the 2016 AAGE Graduate Recruitment Awards' voting process.

For more information, see the Australian graduate recruitment industry awards website.


'I enjoy working at the Department, because of the dynamic nature of the work. It's interesting and fast paced there is always something new to learn and always a chance to develop new skills.' Jessica, 2016 Graduate.