The information provided here is a guide to the recruitment process followed by Sydney Living Museums (Historic Houses Trust of NSW) when recruiting for employees.
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 applicant gaining the position.
The information provided below is a summary of Sydney Living Museums’ recruitment and selection process and is intended to assist applicants in finding out about the position, in writing their application 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 sector, including with Sydney Living Museums, there are certain basic requirements you need to meet. If you are recommended for appointment to the position for which you apply, proof in support of the requirements listed below will be required (if relevant to the position) 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.
To obtain a permanent position you 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 permanent positions.
You will also need to provide proof of identity.
To obtain a temporary position you need to be an Australian citizen or have permanent resident status in Australia or have a temporary residence visa which allows you to work in Australia for the period of time over which the position 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 position you are applying for you 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 position description. In some circumstances you may be required to attend a medical examination before being appointed to the position.
1.4 Criminal Records Check
The NSW Government requires a criminal records check be carried out on applicants recommend for a position. 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 position identified as child-related employment a “Working with Children Check” will 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 position. Information on the Working With Children Check is located at The Working with Children Check website.
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 twelve (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 licenses
If you are selected as the preferred candidate for a position, the selection committee will ask to see original licenses, certificates or certified (by the institution) academic transcripts of your qualifications/skills if they are a requirement of the position. The cost of producing this documentation is to be met by you. The selection committee may also seek verification of your qualifications/licenses from the issuing body.
Any statement on your application that is found to be deliberately misleading could make you, if employed, liable to dismissal and/or prosecution.
Appointment to positions in the New South Wales Public Service is on the basis of Merit. This means that each applicant is assessed on merit against the knowledge, skills, experience, qualifications, personal qualities and standard of work performance required in the advertised position. The selection criteria in the advertisement set out what these requirements are for each position. The applicant who, on balance, demonstrates the most merit against the requirements is recommended for appointment. Internal applicants are not given preference over external applicants and no factors other than those clearly relevant to performance in the position are taken into account in the assessment. As a result it is imperative that applicants demonstrate their level of knowledge, skills and ability in their application.
2. About the Position/Application
It is important to prepare a comprehensive and competitive application in order to be called to attend an interview. A good application shows why an applicant is the best person for the position and how their capabilities match the selection criteria for the role.
An application should contain the following:
- Responses to the selection criteria
- A covering letter
- A resume detailing previous work history and education/training
- Any additional documents that support your claim to the position.
2.1 Information about the position
Read the job advertisement carefully. All Sydney Living Museums advertisements contain the following:
- An overview of the knowledge, skills and experience required for the position
- The name and telephone number of a contact officer
- The salary
- The location/s where the position will be based
- The closing date/time for submission of applications.
The advertisement will specify a contact officer who can answer questions about the position and discuss the position requirements in more detail. You are strongly recommended to speak to the contact officer about the position.
Please carefully read the information provided in the advertisement carefully, in particular the position description. All of this will assist you to understand the exact nature of the position, help you to decide whether the position is of interest to you and also whether you are likely to meet the minimum requirements of the position.
Electronic information packages are hyperlinked to each advertisement and can usually be printed or downloaded. In addition to the information contained in the package the website of the NSW Public Service Commission contains useful information for completing your application and about working for the NSW Government.
When accepting a role in the Government you need to be aware of the principles of a ‘diverse, fair and safe workplace’ refer to A Diverse, Fair & Safe Workplace section of this website.
2.2 Job Requirements/Selection Criteria
The position description provides detailed information about the position functions and requirements. However, the selection criteria which you must address in your application are those specified in the job advertisement. Please note that it is not sufficient to simply send in a standard CV with a covering note indicating the position for which you are applying – such applications are almost always culled prior to the interview stage because the selection panel does not have enough information to assess the applicant’s claims against the position’s essential knowledge, skills and experience requirements. The essential requirements of the position are the skills, knowledge and experience required to successfully carry out the duties of the position.
To do this you must submit a brief covering letter, responses to the selection criteria, your resume and any other supporting documents you wish to include. Keep your covering letter reasonably short and succinct. Your responses to the selection criteria are the most important part of your application and you should respond to each of the selection criterion by describing how your skills, knowledge and experience meet each selection criteria requirement and how they could be used in the job. It is strongly recommended that you complete this process so that you maximise your chances of obtaining an interview for the position as this is your opportunity to demonstrate your expertise against each selection criteria that will be reviewed by the selection committee during the selection process. It is helpful to give examples of significant achievements illustrating the relevant experience or skill. Simply stating that you meet the requirements will not provide the panel with enough information.
Remember that the selection criteria listed in the advertisement will be used by the panel at all stages of the selection process as the basis for determining the most suitable applicant. Therefore, if you do not address your application to those criteria, the panel will find it difficult to assess your claims against those of others on the basis of relative merit. As a guide, you should write no more than one or two paragraphs for each selection criterion. Attach your CV or a summary of your career to date with brief details of the nature of each position and details of any relevant education or training undertaken.
Any statement on your application that is found to be deliberately misleading could make you, if employed, liable to dismissal.
2.3 Capability Framework
The NSW Public Sector Capability Framework provides a common and consistent description of the skills, knowledge and abilities expected from the NSW Public Sector staff. The framework consists of 14 capabilities across 3 broad streams. The capabilities identified in the framework enables Sydney Living Museums to design jobs more effectively to meet our business needs and recruit and select individuals with the skills and abilities that match our workforce and business requirements. Sydney Living Museums has converted all of our position descriptions to the position description format that conforms to the NSW Public Sector Capability Framework.
Information on incorporating the Capability Framework into your response to the selection criteria is included on the NSW Public Sector Capability Framework page.
For further information on the Capability Framework refer to the NSW Government’s Capability Framework website.
2.4 Covering Letter
A covering letter should contain a brief summary of your knowledge, skills and experience relevant to the advertised position and expressing your interest in the position.
A resume should be included with an application to support claims made against the selection criteria and comprise 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 contact number during business hours)
- Email address (that is checked regularly)
- Education/qualifications (include majors, dates and where obtained or expected date of completion)
- Referee details (include name, email and contact telephone number during business hours)
- Employment history (include date, names of employers, positions 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 position 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 position. However, please do not leave any unexplained gaps in your work history).
2.6 Nominate referees
You should include the names and contact details of at least two people who can be contacted to act as referees in support of your application. The persons you choose need to be well acquainted with your work in areas relevant to the position requirements. They will be asked to provide information on your skills, knowledge and/or experience as they apply to the selection criteria of the position.
2.7 Submitting you application
The Sydney Living Museums website and JobsNSW include the details of all our current vacancies. 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 positions 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 How to use this site.
Once you a have successfully submitted your application through JobsNSW will receive a confirmation email generated by the system.
If you have any technical problems using JobsNSW please refer to the information provided Frequently Asked Technical Questions or call 1300 JOB NSW (1300 562 679).
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 Committee
The selection process is carried out by a committee of at least three people including:
- A representative from the Portfolio/Team in which the vacancy occurs
- A representative from within Sydney Living Museums
- An independent representative from either another organisation or Portfolio/Team within Sydney Living Museums
The committee will include at least one representative from each sex. The committee’s role is to assess all applicants in terms of the requirements for the position and to recommend the most suitable applicant for appointment to the position.
If no applicant meets the minimum requirements specified in the selection criteria, the selection committee will recommend that the position be re-advertised or other appropriate action be taken. Where this happens all applicants will be notified by email.
3.2 The Interview
The selection committee will assess all submitted applications based on the selection criteria for the position and from this determine a short list of candidates for interview (note: those applicants who do not meet the minimum selection criteria for the position or do not meet them as well as other on the basis of their applications will be “culled” and not considered any further).
If you are invited for an interview you will be contact by email. You may be asked to bring some materials or prepare a presentation to assist the committee in its assessment. If you are called for an interview and you have special requirements (eg wheel chair access or an interpreter for hearing impaired persons), please advise the position contact officer or Human Resources who will make arrangements to assist wherever possible.
The selection committee will prepare the questions for interview based on the requirements specified in the job advertisement and the position description. Most interviews questions are designed to draw out example 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 position you are applying for and asking you to provide examples of like work or similar situations from your own experience, how you approached the, and what you did.
At the interview, the selection committee will be seeking to determine each candidate’s relative strengths and weaknesses in relation to the requirements of the particular position. Usually, each member of the selection committee will ask one or more questions in relation to the requirements of the particular position. You should prepare yourself for the interview by familiarising yourself with the work of Sydney Living Museums, particularly with the property or team in which the position is located. All members of the selection committee will play an active role in the decision making process. The committee 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 position. For this reason it is advisable to be prepared to give reasons for your interest in the position and to describe the relevant skills and knowledge on which your application is based. However, you should be careful not to take up too much of the committee’s time in this closing part of the interview.
Applicants should bear in mind that the committee will base its decision on material presented by candidates in their applications, at the interview and by test where applicable. It is your responsibility to convince the committee that you are the best candidate for the job.
3.3 Practical tests/Presentations
In some cases the assessment process can also involve a short practical test, presentation or task to assess the candidates’ skills in a particular area. Where this occurs the procedure will be explained to each candidate usually in advance of the interview.
3.4 Referee Checks
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. 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.
Following the interviews the committee will contact the referees nominated by the applicant(s) who based on their application and interview performance appear to have the most merit. Referees will be asked to comment against the relevant criteria, including any areas which the committee specifically wants to explore as a result of the assessment process so far.
3.5 The Outcome
Following referee checks the committee will make a final comparison of all applicants assessed. It will base its decision regarding relative merit on the material presented by the applicants in writing, their performance at interview, the result of any practical tests and the referees’ comments. Once the selection committee has completed this assessment process its recommendations will be forwarded to the Director (or her delegate) for approval. Once approved, the successful applicant will receive an initial verbal offer of appointment requiring a prompt reply. A formal letter of offer and acceptance letter will follow shortly after.
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 committee when the offer is made.
3.7 Previous Voluntary Redundancy
If you have previously received a voluntary redundancy and receive an offer to be re-employed in a public sector position 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 reemployment.
3.8 Eligibility Lists
In some cases more than one applicant is assessed as suitable for the position as a result of the merit assessment process, where this occurs an eligibility list is created consisting of those candidates who have demonstrated that they are capable and qualified for the position, but where rate as less suitable overall than the recommended candidate. The list remains in force for a period of twelve (12) months from the date the list is created. The eligibility list can be used directly or indirectly to fill identical or similar vacant positions.
If you have been placed on an eligibility list your email notification about the selection process outcome will include this information.
3.9 Unsuccessful Applicants
Applicants not considered suitable for appointment will be notified in writing by email that they have been unsuccessful soon after the recommended applicant has accepted the position. Being unsuccessful is no reflection on you personally – it means only that in the selection committee’s opinion you were not, at the time, the best person for that particular job.
Unsuccessful applicants are invited to request a post-selection discussion with the convenor of the selection committee to obtain constructive comment regarding their application or presentation at interview. 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 applicant
- Quality of the application submitted and/or interview style.
3.10 Costs incurred in attending selection interviews or tests
Sydney Living Museums will under certain circumstances meet the costs associated with attending interviews, provided they are reasonable and do not involve any unnecessary detours or overnight stays. For information on this please contact Human Resources.
4. Further Information
If you require further information regarding Sydney Living Museums' recruitment and selection procedures, please do not hesitate to contact Human Resources or the nominated contact officer for the position as listed in the job advertisement. Human Resources can also help if you have any requirements for the interview (eg mobility access, or interpreter for hearing impaired people).