Inviting The Best Candidates For Interview

Top Tips To Inviting The Best Candidates For Interview

an inconsistent approach to screening of applications may result in the best candidates being rejected. Particularly when there has been a large response to an advert. To ensure you are inviting the best candidates for interview your screening should be based on consistency, objectivity and relevance. I recommend attaching a form to each application which lists your key requirements and then you give each candidate a score for each of the requirements. For example, a score out of four may be given for items such as relevant experience, or a tick for possession of a mandatory qualification.

Here’s an example of a four-point scale:-

  1. No evidence demonstrated
  2. Little evidence demonstrated
  3. Moderate evidence demonstrated
  4. Considerable evidence demonstrated

Other Points to Consider When Screening Candidates

While you are looking through your applications for evidence of your essential and desirable criteria you should also look at the following:-

If a specific qualification(s) is a key requirement for you look carefully at the start and finish dates and the grades they achieved. Missing dates could mean they are trying to cover up the fact they didn’t actually complete the course and if the grade is missing it could mean they failed the course.

Employment History
Are there any gaps in dates? For Instance:

1991 – 1993 followed by 1993 – 1997 could really mean December 1991 – January 1993 and November 1993 – December 1997. If it’s the later, the candidate is trying to disguise a gap from January to November 1993!

If there could be gaps ask the candidate to talk to you through their CV and then dig deeper at each potential gap you’ve identified.

Do the job titles match the description of the duties?

Do they describe the role the person played or the result they achieved?

Reasons for Leaving Jobs
Given the current economic climate redundancy is not an uncommon reason for leaving a job. Your candidates know that and some will use redundancy to disguise another reason for leaving! Questions you can ask to delve deeper include:

  • What reason did the company give for making the redundancies? For instance: they closed the office I worked at, they reduced the factory operation from a two to a one shift pattern.
  • Were other team members made redundant at the same time?

Hobbies and Interests
If you have a particularly nervous candidate then discussing their hobbies and interests outside of work can be a good way of warming things up. For instance, if they have listed reading as a hobby ask them the last good book they read and would they recommend it?

Generally, though don’t take hobbies at face value, explore and ask yourself what they tell you about the candidate’s personality. There is a difference between being a member and being an active member of a club – one sits at home and the other has get up and go.

Is it tidy and accurate, suggesting attention to detail and an organised candidate, or crammed suggesting a chaotic mind?

Is it full of management speak, or bland generic words showing no real personality or originality of thought?

Spelling and Grammar
There is NO excuse for spelling and grammar mistakes on a CV produced on a computer these days. All computer software has built in spell checking. Errors show a lack of professionalism, attention to detail and all-round carelessness.

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Top Tips To Inviting The Best Candidates For Interview

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If you found this helpful and you would like to learn more about how I work with owners of small business who want to improve their HR management, please go here.

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