The information provided here is a guide to the recruitment process followed by Sydney Living Museums when recruiting employees.

1. Introduction

Thank you for your interest in working for Sydney Living Museums. Sydney Living Museums is committed to ensuring that its recruitment processes are fair and equitable and result in the most meritorious candidate gaining the role.

The information provided below is a summary of our recruitment and selection process in accordance with the Government Sector Employment (GSE) Act 2013 and is intended to assist candidates in finding out about roles, in writing their applications and in understanding the process which will be followed by Sydney Living Museums in selecting a successful candidate.

1.1 Basic requirements

To gain employment in the NSW public service, including with Sydney Living Museums, there are certain basic requirements candidates need to meet. If recommended for appointment to the role for which you apply, proof in support of the requirements listed below will be required (if relevant to the role) before you are appointed.

Please be aware that any statement in your application which is found to be deliberately misleading could make you, if employed, liable to dismissal.

1.2 Citizenship

To obtain an ongoing role candidates need to be an Australian citizen or have permanent residence status in Australia. New Zealand citizens possessing Special Category Visa (SCV) may also be appointed to ongoing roles. All successful candidates need to provide proof of identity when commencing employment.

To obtain a temporary role candidates need to be an Australian citizen or have permanent resident status in Australia or have a temporary residence visa which allows them to work in Australia for the period of time over which the role is to be filled.

See Department of Immigration & Citizenship for information about requirements for Visas, Working Permits and Australian Citizenship.

1.3 Fitness to carry out the required duties

Depending on the role being applied for, candidates may be required to meet particular health or physical fitness requirements to be eligible for consideration. Any requirements related to health will be indicated in the role description. In some circumstances you may be required to attend a medical examination before being appointed to the role.

1.4 Criminal records check

The NSW government requires a criminal records check be carried out on candidates recommend for employment. A criminal record does not necessarily disqualify you from selection. If the criminal records check results in rejection of your selection, you will be given the opportunity to discuss the matter before a final decision is made.

1.5 Working with children check

When applying for a role identified as child-related employment a ‘Working with Children Check’ will be required to be undertaken in addition to a criminal check. This is a formal process of checks to help determine your suitability to work with children or have unsupervised access to children in your work. The check takes into account relevant criminal records, apprehended violence orders and completed disciplinary proceedings.

It is an offence under the NSW Child Protection (Prohibited Employment) Act 1998 for a person convicted of a serious offence to apply for a child-related role. Information on the Working With Children Check is located at The Working with Children Check website.

If successful in being appointed a role you will need provided evidence that you possess a current working with children check before commencing employment. The cost of completing this check is to be met by you.

1.6 Privacy

All information provided in applications, including personal details, is protected by the Privacy Act 1988. Information provided will be used for recruitment purposes only. All applications will be retained in Sydney Living Museums' Human Resources section for 12 months after the selection then destroyed.

Information on privacy & security practices followed by  JobsNSW can be found on their website.

1.7 Verification of professional, academic qualifications and/or licences

If you are selected as the preferred candidate for a role, the selection panel will ask to see original licences, certificates or certified (by the institution) academic transcripts of your qualifications/skills if they are a requirement of the role. The cost of producing this documentation is to be met by you. The selection panel may also seek verification of your qualifications/licenses from the issuing body.

1.8 Merit Selection

Under the Government Sector Employment (GSE) Act 2013 recruitment selection is undertaken on a merit principles-based approach. This approach is intended to identify candidates most suited to the pre-established standards of a role based on an assessment of the capabilities, experience and knowledge of the person/s concerned.

The candidate who, on balance, demonstrates the most merit against the requirements for the role is recommended for appointment. Internal candidates are not given preference over external candidates and no factors other than those clearly relevant to performance in the role are taken into account in the assessment of candidates. As a result it is imperative that candidates demonstrate their level of knowledge, skills and capabilities in their application, interview and assessment/s.

2. About the application

It is important to prepare a comprehensive and competitive application in order to be called to attend an interview and assessment/s. A good application shows why a candidate is the best person for the role and how their experience, knowledge and capabilities match the requirements of the role.

An application should contain the following:

  • Responses to all of the questions in the online application form including two targeted questions (each response to the targeted questions should be no longer than twenty lines in length)
  • A covering letter one to two pages in length
  • An up to date resume detailing your skills, experience and education including two referees (ideally your referees would be your current or a recent supervisor/manager)
  • Any additional documents that support your claim to the role (for example licences or qualifications).

2.1 Information about the role

Read the job advertisement carefully. All Sydney Living Museums’ advertisements contain the following:

  • An overview of the experience, knowledge and capabilities required for the role
  • Targeted questions you need to respond to
  • The name and telephone number of a contact officer
  • The salary and classification for the role
  • The location/s where the role will be based
  • The closing date/time for submission of applications
  • A link to the role description
  • A link to the candidate information guide
  • Any essential requirements required by the role holder to be eligible for the role; for example working with children check, driver’s licence, qualifications and experience.

Please carefully read the information provided in the advertisement, in particular the role description. This information will assist you to understand the exact nature of the role, help you to decide whether the role is of interest to you and also whether you are likely to meet the minimum requirements of the role.

2.2 Contact Officer

The advertisement will specify a contact officer who can answer questions about the role and discuss the role requirements in more detail. Candidates are strongly recommended to speak to the contact officer about the role before starting their application. Talking to the contact officer may also provide a better understanding of what to emphasise in your application. 

2.3 Covering Letter

The covering letter should be one to two pages in length and address the following:

  • Details of the role being applied for
  • A brief introduction about yourself
  • A summary of your skills, qualifications and experience that relate to the focus capabilities* of the role you are applying for.

Candidates are asked to respond to the targeted questions in the online application. Do not include responses to the targeted questions in the covering letter.

* Focus capabilities are the capabilities required for a role that you must be able demonstrate immediate competency in to be eligible to be appointed to the role. Detailed information on the focus capabilities is included in the last section of the role description.

2.4 Targeted Questions

It is compulsory to respond to each of the targeted questions for the role you are applying for. Applications that do not have responses to all targeted questions will not pass the short listing phase of the recruitment.

Targeted questions are capability based questions intended to gather evidence of your ability to meet the focus capabilities of the role at the required level and the pre-established standards of the role, including the essential requirements as identified in the role description.

Your responses to the targeted questions should demonstrate your experience with actual examples of where you have used specific skills relevant to the duties of the role you are applying for and at the required level of the focus capabilities.

Targeted questions generally begin with:

  • Give an example of…
  • Describe a scenario…
  • What experience do you have…
  • Can you briefly outline your knowledge…

You will be asked to respond to the targeted questions in the “pre-screening” section of the JobsNSW online application process. The questions are included in the advertisement to allow you the chance to prepare your responses before beginning your application.

Please note: it is advised that you prepare a draft of your responses to the targeted questions (for example in a word document) before entering them into the required text boxes within the system. This provides you the opportunity to review and edit your responses and to ensure they do not exceed the maximum twenty line limit for each response. 

2.5 Online application process

All vacancies within Sydney Living Museums are advertised on our website and JobsNSW. All applications need to be submitted online through the JobsNSW website.

You can create your own secure online account on JobsNSW, save and review applications before submitting them and apply for as many roles as you wish using the same details. Information on setting up an account on JobsNSW and help with applying through the online e-Recruitment system can be accessed at How to use this site.

Once you a have successfully submitted your application through JobsNSW you will receive a confirmation email generated by the system.

If you have any technical problems using JobsNSW please call 1300 JOB NSW (1300 562 679).

2.6 Resume

A resume should be included with your application to support your claim for the role. It should include a summary of personal details and an outline of work history to date. It is recommended that the following be incorporated:

  • Full name and address
  • Telephone number (including a business hours contact number)
  • Email address (that is checked regularly)
  • Education/qualifications (include majors, where obtained and dates or expected date of completion)
  • Referee details (include name, email and contact telephone number during business hours)
  • Employment history (include dates, names of employers, roles occupied, work area (section/branch etc.) and a brief outline of the tasks undertaken. The details should be in reverse chronological order, starting with your current role and working backwards. Be concise and only give relevant information about major responsibilities. It is not necessary to mention in detail jobs which were held for short periods, unless the experience is relevant to the advertised role. However, please do not leave any unexplained gaps in your work history).

2.7 Nominating Referees

You are asked to provide the name and contact details of two referees in your application. The people you nominate should be able to comment on your recent work. A good referee would be your current or recent manager. Your referee will be asked to provide information on your skills, knowledge and/or experience as they apply to the role you have applied for. If you are uncomfortable with your current manager knowing you have applied for another job, a colleague would be a suitable substitute if they have a good understanding of your skills at work. Personal referees are generally not required.

2.8 Closing Date

Note the closing date/time for applications and ensure that your application is submitted by this date or earlier. The closing date is the date by which your application must be submitted via JobsNSW.

If for any reason you cannot submit your application by the closing date/time contact the contact officer listed in the advertisement prior to the closing date to discuss the possibility of an extension.

Any application received after the closing date without being granted an extension will not be accepted.

3. The selection process

3.1 The selection panel

The selection process is carried out by a panel of at least two people including:

  • A representative from the portfolio/team in which the vacancy occurs
  • An independent representative from either another organisation or portfolio/team within Sydney Living Museums

The panel will include at least one representative from each gender. The panel’s role is to assess all candidates in terms of the pre-established standards for the role and to recommend the most suitable candidate for appointment to the role.

If no candidate meets the minimum requirements of the role, the selection panel will recommend that the role be re-advertised or other appropriate action be taken. Where this happens all candidates will be notified by email.

3.2 The Interview and Assessment Process

The selection panel will assess all submitted applications based on the responses to the targeted questions, covering letter and resume to determine a short list of candidates for interview and assessment. All applications will be assessed based on the pre-established standards for the role; i.e. the focus capabilities and essential requirements of the role.

Note: those candidates whose applications do not meet the minimum pre-established standards for the role or do not respond to the targeted questions will be “culled” and not considered any further.

If you are invited for an interview and to undertake assessment you will be contact by email. At this stage you will be provided with details regarding the interview, assessment/s and selection panel. If you are called for an interview and you have special requirements (i.e. wheel chair access or an interpreter for hearing impaired persons), please advise the contact officer or Human Resources who will make arrangements to assist wherever possible.

You should prepare yourself for the interview and assessment/s by familiarising yourself with the role and the work of Sydney Living Museums, particularly with the property or team in which the role is located. Information about Sydney Living Museums and its work can be found this our website.

Candidates should bear in mind that the panel will base its decision on material presented by candidates in their applications, at the interview and assessment/s. It is your responsibility to convince the panel that you are the best candidate for the role.

3.3 Interview

The selection panel will prepare the questions for interview based on the requirements specified in the job advertisement and the role description. Most interviews questions are designed to draw out examples of your previous experience and behaviours as opposed to your knowledge or opinions. This typically involves describing situations or the type of work involved in the role you are applying for and asking you to provide examples of like work or similar situations from your own experience, how you approached the situation, and what you did.

At the interview, the selection panel will be seeking to determine each candidate’s relative strengths and weaknesses in relation to the requirements of the particular role. Usually, each member of the selection panel will ask one or more questions in relation the pre-established standards for the role. All members of the selection panel will play an active role in the interview and decision making process.

The panel may ask you, as part of the interview process, to produce samples of your work so it is good idea to bring relevant documents or materials to the interview – however these should be carefully selected so that the selection panel does not have to spend considerable time perusing documents while the interview is progressing.

You will also usually be given an opportunity to make a closing statement and/or ask one or two brief questions. This will give you a chance demonstrate your interest in and understanding of the role. For this reason it is advisable to be prepared to give reasons for your interest in the role and to describe the relevant experience, knowledge and capabilities on which your application is based. However, you should be careful not to take up too much of the panel’s time in this closing part of the interview.

3.4 Assessments

Under the Government Sector Employment (GSE) Act 2013 candidates are required to undertake assessments in addition to interviews. If the role you apply for is for a period less six months you will be asked to complete one assessment in addition to the interview. If the role you apply for is for a period longer than six months you will be asked to complete two assessments in addition to the interview.

Assessments are designed to determine if you are able to meet the capabilities of the role based on your experience, knowledge and capabilities. The assessments are generally based around tasks/duties required to complete the regular duties of the role.

Common forms of assessment used include:

  • Work samples
  • Short question tests
  • Presentations
  • Role play
  • Online testing such as cognitive psychometric testing.

3.5 Referee Checks

Following the interviews the panel will contact the referees nominated by candidate(s) who based on their application, interview and assessment/s performance appear to have the most merit. Referees will be asked to comment against the relevant criteria, including any areas which the panel specifically wants to explore as a result of the recruitment process so far.

Referee checks form part of the selection panel’s decision making process in selecting the most suited candidate for the role. For this reason the panel may ask you for additional referees if they feel they need more information than is available from your nominated referees to assist them in making their decision.

3.6 The Outcome

Following the referee checks the panel will make a final comparison of all candidates based on the results of the applications, interviews, assessments and referee checks. After the selection panel has completed this process its recommendations will be forwarded to the Director for approval. Once approved, the successful candidate will receive an initial verbal offer of appointment requiring a prompt reply. A formal letter of offer letter will follow shortly after.

3.7 Salary

It is Sydney Living Museums’ policy that all new appointments commence employment at the base salary level. Where salary above the base range is sought the successful candidate should discuss this with the convenor of the selection panel when the offer is made.

3.8 Previous Voluntary Redundancy

If you have previously received a voluntary redundancy and receive an offer to be re-employed in a public service role within the period covered by the separation payment, you will be required to pay back that proportion of the severance payment applying to the period of re-employment.

3.9 Talent Pools

In some cases more than one candidate is assessed as suitable for the role as a result of the merit assessment process. Where this occurs a talent pool is created consisting of those candidates who have demonstrated that they are capable and qualified for the role, but were rated as less suitable overall than the recommended candidate. The talent pool remains in force for a period of twelve (12) months from the date the Director approves the selection panel’s recommendations. The talent pool can be used directly or indirectly to fill identical or similar vacant roles.

If you have been placed in a talent pool you will receive an email notification following the completion interview and assessment process.

3.10 Unsuccessful Candidates

Candidates not considered suitable for appointment will be notified by email that they have been unsuccessful soon after the recommended candidate has accepted the role.

Being unsuccessful is no reflection on you personally – it means only that in the selection panel’s opinion you were not, at the time, the best person for that particular role.

Unsuccessful candidates are invited to request a post-selection discussion with the convenor of the selection panel to obtain constructive comments regarding their application or presentation at interview and assessment results. The points raised by the convenor can assist you in making better applications in the future and/or can highlight your training and development needs.

Feedback may include:

  • Assessment against the criteria
  • Strengths and areas for improvement
  • Gaps compared with the successful candidate
  • Quality of the application submitted and/or interview style
  • And/or results of assessment/s.

4. Further Information

If you require further information regarding Sydney Living Museums' recruitment and selection processes, please do not hesitate to contact Human Resources on or the nominated contact officer for the role as listed in any job advertisements. Human Resources can also help if you have any requirements for the interview (eg mobility access, or interpreter for hearing impaired people).

For information on the Government Sector Employment (GSE) Act 2013.

For information applying for roles in the NSW Public Service go to the employemnt portal on the Public Service Commisssion website.

For information on the go to NSW Capability Framework.