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Before Submitting Your Application

What are  the eligibility requirements for employment with the ONI and  how do I prepare my application?

Applications must be submitted online. Follow the instructions carefully to ensure the security and integrity of your personal information and do not include classified information.

Late applications are not usually accepted. If you are unable to lodge a full application by the closing date, discuss your situation with the contact officer - the closing date may be extended in special circumstances. If you are granted an extension you will be emailed a special link to enable you to apply.

Eligibility Requirements

To be eligible for employment with ONI you must be an Australian citizen and, as all our positions are Designated Security Assessment Positions (DSAPs) you must be assessed as suitable to hold an Australian Government security clearance prior to being offered employment. All ONI staff must maintain the required security clearance for the duration of their employment.

ONI's Selection Process

ONI has a two-stage selection process. Stage one is job-specific; your skills, experience and abilities are measured against the job requirements and the key attributes listed in the candidate information kit. Stage two comprises security vetting, where we assess your eligibility and suitability for a security clearance. Both stages must be successfully completed.

  1. Selection for employment in ONI is based on merit, which means that from a field of applications, we need to select the best person for the job. We use a range of tools and techniques, including written applications, interviews, referee reports and work sample tests, to collect the evidence we need to make a merit-based decision.
  2. Security vetting assesses your eligibility and suitability to access and properly protect sensitive and classified resources. We do this by completing a range of background checks and interviews with various people, including you, to assess and confirm the security relevance of all information provided by you. Security vetting often takes several months to complete. You will be expected to provide required information according to set deadlines; and to be open, honest and cooperative throughout the process. ONI's security vetting team will assist you throughout the vetting process as required.

ONI is committed to workplace diversity and aims to create an environment that values and uses the contribution of people with different backgrounds, experiences and perspectives.

Stage 1: Application and interview

Preparing your application

Your online application is the first step in the selection process. Interviews may not be held if the best candidate is readily identifiable from applications and referee reports alone. For this reason it is particularly important that your application directly and specifically addresses the key attributes in the context of the duties of the advertised position. If any attribute is not addressed, or is insufficiently addressed, your application may not receive further consideration.

It is a good idea to learn as much as possible about the duties and responsibilities of the role, the work environment and ONI before submitting your application. Information is provided in the candidate information kit and on this website. You should also speak to the nominated contact officer if you have further questions.

Advertised vacancies often attract a number of very good candidates, so it is in your interest to prepare an application that demonstrates your capacity to fulfil the role. Your statement addressing the key attributes is the most important part of your application; it is the basis on which the selection panel determines who should be considered further.

You may be asked to submit a one-page (or equivalent) pitch, outlining why your skills, experience, abilities, and personal qualities suit you for the position. Or you may be asked to answer two or three specific questions. In either case, keep the key attributes and the duties of the role in mind when preparing your application and remember to include specific examples of work you have done, your contributions to a process and/or an outcome, including how these relate to the attribute you are addressing. Your statement should be comprehensive but succinct; your response should not exceed the word limit.

Your online application must include:

  • The online application form
  • A statement of claims against the key attributes - outlining examples and achievements that demonstrate your claims. The statement can be in narrative and/or dot point form (your response will not exceed the advertised word limit).
  • A resu or CV that summarises your work history, beginning with your most recent employment.
  • The names of two referees (one of whom should be your current supervisor) who can provide comments on your work performance and possibly assessment against the key attributes. The selection panel may seek detailed written or oral comments from referees. Please indicate clearly if you do not wish your referees to be contacted prior to shortlisting.
  • If required, an example of written work. This could be a publication, a thesis or a report. An example of your written work is generally only required for analytic positions. The requirement for written work will be specified in the advertisement – if it is not mentioned then you do not need to provide it. Examples of written work should be, at maximum, 10 pages – an extract from a larger document is acceptable.

If all the required documentation is not submitted your application may not be considered.

For additional information on preparing your application and writing your statement of claims against the targeted question(s), please refer to the Cracking the Code publication on the Australian Public Service Commission website.

Lodging your application

After you complete application and submit it online, you will receive an email confirmation that your application has been received successfully. Please ensure that your email address is correct on your application form.


We aim to shortlist applicants as soon as possible after the closing date. Ensure you provide accurate contact details as only a reasonable attempt will be made to contact applicants for interviews. The time taken for shortlisting will depend on the size of the field, and may be as long as several weeks. The selection panel will assess applications against the key attributes and only those applicants who demonstrate the strongest claims will be selected for interview. Applicants not selected for interview will be notified by email.

Availability for interview

You must be available for an interview from the date applications close, even if you are on leave. We will give you as much notice for interview as possible and will try to schedule your interview at the least disruptive time. If you are going to be on leave or away after applications close, please provide a contact number where you can be reached. Overseas and interstate applicants will be interviewed by telephone in the first instance but please note that if you proceed to security vetting, you will be expected to attend security vetting interviews in Canberra at your own expense.

After the interview

After the interview round, the selection panel will recommend a further shortlist of applicants who will proceed to security vetting. If you are not recommended for security vetting you will be notified via email. Unsuccessful applicants may request feedback regarding their candidacy for the position however ONI does not provide feedback about any aspect of security vetting.

Stage 2: Security Vetting 

Please refer to the following link (Careers FAQS)