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Application Questionnaires: Build better shortlists

Build Better ShortlistsWith vacancies often attracting hundreds of applications, what can you do to make the short-listing process more efficient AND be sure you have chosen to interview the best candidates? Here, we explain how Application Questionnaires can help you build better short-lists in less time time than it would take you reading a fraction of the CV’s

Application questionnaires care fully designed to reflect what you are looking for in the ideal candidate will help the best candidates to show their strengths and help you spot them amongst the crowd.

The Starting Point: CVs and Application Forms

Both of these will give you key facts about the person – but only the facts they choose to tell you. Even when applicants carefully tailor what they send to meet the criteria on the advertised job description, they are unlikely to guess exactly what you want to know. Those who are less skilled at applying for jobs may give you even less information that is specifically relevant – but that doesn’t always mean they are not the best person for the job itself.
The result is that sorting through and filtering applications becomes a time consuming process that doesn’t necessarily even pick out the most suitable people.

What is an Application Questionnaire?

An application questionnaire gives you a chance to ask job-specific questions, the answers to which can immediately tell you whether someone is potentially suitable for the role or not. The questionnaire has to be completed and submitted  in addition to the CV or standard application form.

What Questions Should you Ask?

Basic questions
How often do you get applications from people without the basic qualifications for the role, despite you clearly stating these in the advertising? Force people to confirm that they have these – e.g. GCSE Maths, entitlement to work in the UK – and you reduce the number of unsuitable applications you receive in the first place.

Job-specific questions
If you need a person with experience in a very specific field, or with a particular skill set, ask questions it would be hard for an unsuitable candidate to answer. Applicants can be vague or even downright dishonest on a CV; it is much harder to make up answers to specific questions.

How does the Application Questionnaire Fit into the Process?

You can include a form within hard copy or on-line application packs. Alternatively, you can create an on-line questionnaire. This speeds up the process and removes the need for any paper analysis. Ask the right questions, and you can often short list or discard people on the basis of their application questionnaire alone – there is no need to spend time reading the CV or application form.

Spend more Time on the Best Candidates

Once you have rejected clearly unsuitable candidates, you can look more closely at the applications still under consideration and start to build an interview short-list. If you still have a lot of potentially suitable applicants, you could build in a telephone interview stage to whittle down the pool still further before face-to-face interviews.

Application Questionnaires Available to Any Business

We use a simple on-line Application Questionnaire. We tailor the questions to match each vacancy and save a lot of time, while improving the quality of our short listing.  The system is available to any business. We can create bespoke questions and brand it appropriately for your business.  All responses are automatically fed through to you. Have a look at our examples:

Application Questionnaire Examples

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