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Frequently Asked Questions

The following have been designed to assist you in making a decision to apply for the ABS Graduate Program. Please contact us if you have any additional questions.

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What We Offer



Contact With The ABS

What We Offer

What does the ABS do?

The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) is Australia’s official national statistical agency. We assist and encourage informed decision making, research and discussion within governments and the community, by leading a high quality, objective and responsive national statistical service. The ABS also has an important leadership and coordination function with respect to the statistical activities of other official bodies in Australia, and a liaison function with other countries and international organisations on statistical matters.
How can I contribute as a graduate at the ABS?

As an ABS Graduate, you will join a world leader in its field and contribute to providing statistics on a wide range of economic, social, population, and environmental matters that are highly relevant and important to the Australian community.

At the ABS you will find diverse and challenging careers for a wide range of backgrounds and specialisations. We provide you with opportunities to utilise your degree and encourage you to expand your existing knowledge and skills.

The ABS provides a supportive environment where employees are nurtured, their skills are developed, and achievements are recognised. All ABS employees have the opportunity to make a difference to society through important work which informs key decisions affecting the Australian population.

What does the ABS offer graduates?

The ABS Graduate Development Program (GDP) provides you with training to help you quickly build your capability to become effective in the ABS environment. Your program will involve structured formal training and development activities

In addition to the Graduate Development Program, you will:

  • be provided with training specific to your subject matter area as determined with your Supervisor
  • undertake work rotations if you are placed in an area where this is possible
  • be offered access to a variety of networking opportunities
We offer you a competitive remuneration package, with the opportunity to advance to an APS4 upon successful completion of the 9 month Graduate Development Program (see FAQ below). Graduates will also have the opportunity to move into different areas of the business, volunteer for other projects/committees and enjoy the flexibility to achieve a healthy work/life balance.

Will I be a permanent employee?

Yes, from the moment you start the Graduate Development Program you will be an ongoing (ie. permanent) employee of the ABS.

Is there a strong social spirit at the ABS?

The ABS provides all employees with the opportunity to take part in a diverse range of social and sporting activities – there is something for everyone!
The ABS has a strong and lively social club in each office which organises many events including the ABS Ball, Christmas parties, wine tasting evenings, quiz nights, shopping trips and much more!.
Does the ABS support further study?

The ABS has a Study Support Program that provides assistance to employees undertaking external part-time study. This support is evaluated on a case-by-case basis but may include up to six hours/week paid study leave and financial assistance towards the cost of the course. The Study Support Program will be available only upon completion of the Graduate Development Program,Are there rotations involved in the Graduate Development Program?

There are not formal rotations programs involved in the Graduate Development Program. However if there is a business need, you may have the opportunity to work in another section.
What is it like to live and work in Canberra?

For information about working with the ABS in Canberra, from some of our past graduates view our video below:
Also additional information about working at the ABS offices in the ACT, and living in Canberra can be found on the ABS ACT Office page.

Are there opportunities available in locations other than Canberra?

Opportunities may be available in some of our Regional Offices. Regional Offices are located in Adelaide, Brisbane, Darwin, Hobart, Melbourne, Perth, and Sydney. Please note that the majority of Graduate positions are available in our Central Office in Canberra. For information on regional office locations please visit the ABS Offices webpage.

Do I need to be an Australian citizen to obtain a position at the ABS?

Australian citizenship is a requirement for employment in the ABS. If you are not currently an Australian citizen, or do not expect to receive citizenship by January 2015, you cannot be employed by the ABS.
Can I reapply, if I have applied for the Graduate Development Program in previously?

If you have previously applied for you Graduate Development Program, you can apply again this year, as long as you meet the Eligibility Requirements.
Can I edit my application after it has been submitted?

You cannot edit your application once it has been submitted.
What grades do I have to achieve to be considered for a position at the ABS?

The ABS does not have a mandatory grade requirement. Our selection processes is a competitive process, in the past year's successful candidates have had a credit average (where greater significance was considered for grades achieved in the final years of the qualification). When shortlisting candidates, in addition to academic grades, resumes and application responses be used to form a holistic assessment of the candidate's suitability.

Your academic results are important and will be a part of the assessment process. However, our assessment process will also consider your skills, knowledge and experiences. We are looking for graduates who enjoy a challenge and value the opportunity to build professional relationships in a friendly and diverse team environment. We are seeking graduates who have strong analytical skills who can think laterally and strategically. Graduates should have the ability to adapt to change, show resilience, display initiative and be driven to achieve results.

What preparation can I do for my application?

Do some background research by becoming familiar with role the ABS and the stream that you are interested in. We are looking to recruit people as enthusiastic about the ABS as we are.

Review the eligibility requirements and pre-application checklists, prior to commencing an online application.

When preparing responses for the selection criteria questions, consider examples from your academic, work experience or extra-curricular activities that demonstrate your skills, strengths, and accomplishments.

How do I respond to the Selection Criteria?

When responding to selection criteria, it is important that you address each question and provide evidence of your suitability. Do not simply state that you meet the requirements of the selection criteria - give examples from your current or past experience which demonstrate how you meet each criterion. Guidance can be obtained from the Addressing Selection Criteria page on the website. Remember to give yourself plenty of time to complete your online application form.

Remember, you are able to edit your responses up to the application closing date.

What is involved in the Written Test?

A written test will assess your written communication and analytical/conceptual skills. You will be assessed on your ability to comprehend and refine significant issues, integrate and construct information and present your information logically and/or outline issues for discussion.


If I am selected to interview, what preparation can I do?

Prepare yourself to answer questions as clearly and concisely as you can; avoid overly long answers and don’t waffle (but don’t give ‘yes’ or ‘ no’ answers either!). Be sure to ask the interviewer to clarify or repeat any questions you don’t understand. Try to be confident and remember the interview is really a conversation between you and the panel members to ascertain your suitability to the ABS, and vice versa.

What do I need to bring to the interview?

You need to bring:

1. Your most recent academic transcript.

2. One form of Identification, from the list below:
        • Birth Certificate,
        • Passport,
        • Certificate of Australian Citizenship,
        • Drivers Licence,
        • Proof of Age Card.

3. An additional form for Identification as Proof of Australian Citizenship, this must be either:
        • Australian Birth Certificate,
        • Australian Passport,
        • Certificate of Australian Citizenship.

It may also be helpful to have a copy of your application and resume on hand during the interview or you might like to bring brief notes along to prompt you about your achievements and relevant work experience.

Contact With The ABS

How will you contact me throughout the selection process?

Throughout the selection process, you will be primarily contacted on the email address you used when you registered your application. At the end of a particular stage of the selection process, you will receive an email informing you of whether you have successfully progressed to the next stage or if you were unsuccessful.

Also, completing the application form, it is important to include your full postal address, correct email and alternative contact numbers. If your contact details change throughout the year, you can update them through the online application system.

If my email has changed since I submitted my application, how do I update this information?

You can updated you email address online at any time (even after you have submitted your application).

To update your email address online:
(a) Log into the ABS eRecruitment portal (via using your registration details.
(b) Once you have logged into the system, select My Profile from the left hand navigator menu.
(c) Then click on the My Details link.
(d) Once you have updated the relevant information, click on the Save button at the bottom of the page.

Please note, once you have updated your email address, you will need to enter this address when you log in.

What happens if I have to move to another state?

If you need to move outside of your home state to take up your graduate position, you will be provided with relocation assistance. This may include relocation of yourself, your belongings and temporary accommodation.

Successful applicants will be contacted directly by our Relocations Unit to facilitate their move.

How can I obtain additional information?

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