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'Demonstrated Ability' in Selection Criteria


demonstrated ability selection criteria

More often than not, when you are applying for a government job you will come across the selection criteria that asks for your demonstrated ability in something. 

Your demonstrated ability will include abilities that are quantitative (or measurable) such as engineering abilities, computer abilities, mathematical abilities etc. It can also include more conceptual abilities (which are harder to measure) such as interpersonal and negotiation abilities, strategic planning abilities etc. 


Demonstrate is defined as:

    "Clearly show the existence or truth of (something) by giving proof or evidence.
    Give a practical exhibition and explanation."


demonstrate definition

How do you do this when writing selection criteria statements? How can you clearly show that what you're saying about yourself is true, and how can you give a practical exhibition ... in writing?

When going through their initial training all recruitment consultants (and most selection panel members) are taught that past behaviour will predict future behaviour. So your task here, is to show the panel what your past behaviour is. If a criterion asks about your ability to do something, give an example of where you have done it in the past. Show, through practical examples, your level of ability.

Here Are Some Examples

Demonstrated ability to work independently.

If you are addressing a selection criterion like this one you would need to show the following in your statements addressing the selection criteria:

  • That you have the ability make independent decisions
  • That you can control your own actions during stressful or busy periods (e.g., manage anger)
  • That you do not mention referring to their supervisor within your responses
  • Provide examples that demonstrate your ability of where you have achieved results as an individual
  • Show that you are able to identify and use support systems to alleviate stress
  • Demonstrate the ability to meet deadlines
  • Show that you are able to plan, organise and prioritise work
  • Demonstrate an awareness of your own limitations and have strategies for overcoming these
  • Show that you are confident in your abilities
  • Demonstrate with examples that you work regularly and consistently without supervision

Demonstrate an ability to think strategically.

If you are addressing a selection criterion like this one you would need to show the following in your statements addressing the selection criteria:

  • Demonstrate that you can anticipates issues
  • Show that you have assessed emerging issues and trends in the workplace
  • Give examples of where you have considered long term opportunities and potential areas of change
  • Demonstrate the ability to builds organisational capacity
  • Show that you can capitalises on your work areas strengths and opportunities
  • Give consideration to the government agenda and demonstrate that you can focus on aligning organisational requirements with government requirements
  • Show that you are able to link strategy with medium and long term requirements and organisational objectives, and develops long term solutions
  • Show that you are aware of the importance of promoting the vision and the mission of the organisation
  • Display a proactive and forward thinking approach with good levels of judgement when decision making
  • Communicate at the big picture level
  • Demonstrate the ability to recognises, harnesses and seizes opportunities

Demonstrated ability to work effectively in a team environment.

If you are addressing a selection criterion like this one you would need to show the following in your statements addressing the selection criteria:

  • Asks others for input and shares ideas
  • Collaborates with the team
  • Cooperates with others
  • Balances the needs of the team
  • Respects different viewpoints and ideas
  • Accepts changes in the make-up of the workforce
  • Treats each team member equitably
  • Finds ways and time to coach others
  • Forges links with other teams and business areas

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