Australian National Audit Office Graduate Program and Interview Preparation

Are you applying for a graduate position with the Australian National Audit Office (ANAO)? The recruitment process with the ANAO tests you on a range of skills through a variety of assessments. This article guides you through each stage of the recruitment process highlighting how to prepare for each assessment.
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The ANAO is the external auditor for the Australian Government public sector. They provide specialist public sector audit and assurance services to Parliament, the Commonwealth organisations, public sector agencies and statutory bodies. The ANAO graduate program is offered in three streams: the Assurance Audit Services Group; Performance Audit Services Group; and IT Audit. The graduate program is based in Canberra.

The recruitment process is as follows:

The ANAO are looking for the following skills in their candidates:

  • Technical and subject matter expertise.
  • Rigorous analysis and sound judgement.
  • Respectful and productive relationships.
  • Clear and influential communication.
  • Proactive self and project management.
  • Personal and people development and leadership.

Online Application Form

The application form is your first opportunity to introduce yourself to the ANAO and tell them why they should employ you. Your application form is assessed against the ANAO capabilities, so make sure to address them in each answer.

As well as the usual information requests, there are some sections of the application form requiring you to sell yourself on the form. These include the application statement, asking you to provide 500 words describing why you want to join the ANAO, and the personal statement section where you are asked to provide information about your hobbies, what you have liked and disliked in your previous job, your strengths and weaknesses, personal achievements and short and long term goals. Plan your responses in advance and edit carefully to ensure you provide the right information in the word limits available.

The application form includes the opportunity to upload your resume. For advice on how to create a resume that stands out from the crowd, see our CV Builder package.


The next stage of the graduate recruitment process is an initial interview. The interview questions are behavioural, with the interviewers looking for you to provide examples of times in your past experience that you have demonstrated various behaviours. In order to prepare for this interview, you should think of examples that can be used to answer questions against the competencies above, and organise the examples according to the STAR method (Situation, Task, Action, Result). Use these examples to prepare answers to questions like the ones below. And then pull all your preparation together with a mock interview, such as JobTestPrep’s Skype based interviews, which offer interview conditions, as well as feedback for you to take to your next interview.

Some example interview questions are:

  • Explain a time where you were under pressure and had to prioritise.
  • Give us an example of where you have had to use your communication skills.
  • How do you go working in small teams?
  • What are some of your recent achievements?
  • What do you consider to be your weakness?
  • What areas of your work style can be developed in the future?
  • How do you think you could contribute to the ANAO?

Second Interview

If you are successful at the first interview, you will be called back for a second interview. This interview is considered a discussion, and is more two way in nature. You are interviewed by staff from the relevant work area. This interview is an opportunity to discuss the work the role holder does, possible duties, the work environment, opportunities for training and development, and more. Once again you are asked questions on the six ANAO core capabilities.

Prepare for this interview in the same way as the interview above. Add new examples to add depth to your answers from both interviews. Due to the discussion nature of this interview, you may want to think about answers to more general questions. Read the JobTestPrep free guide to interviews for more information about how to behave in an interview.

At this stage depending on the area you are applying to, you may also be asked to take a work sample exercise and personality questionnaire. You will be told in advance of the day whether you will be sitting these tests.

In Summary

The ANAO is a popular graduate employment. Competition is high for places on the graduate program, with more than 600 applicants for approximately 30 places in 2013. This level of competition means that you must be on the top of your game in order to pass through each stage. Preparation is key, and you can do this with JobTestPrep. Good luck in your application.

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