7 Common Questions Used to Screen Job Applicants

Interviewing candidates can be time-consuming, especially if the right candidate seems to be just beyond your reach. Many companies have utilized employment applications as an additional screening tool, asking specific questions within the application itself. This way, hiring managers can better determine which candidates will be worth the time of an interview, and which to avoid.

According to a representative from Andijar Levine, “Hiring the right candidate for the right job not only helps job performance, but it provides the best environment for employees to be successful. When employees like what they do, it shows in their work.” Clearly,  employee satisfaction is essential. 

To aid in the screening process, we have provided the seven most common questions used to screen job applicants. These can be asked at an actual interview, but they prove most useful on the initial application to help decide which candidates warrant an in-person interview.

What days and times are you available to work during the week? How many hours per week are you available to work?

Although this may seem like a silly question, some candidates will apply for positions that require hours they are not willing to work. Some candidates may overlook the specific hours, while others think that if they are offered the job, they will be able to negotiate.

Are you willing to undergo a drug test and a background check as part of the hiring process?

This question lets applicants who may not pass a background or drug test know that this probably isn’t the job for them. It could save them – and the interview team – a lot of time later down the road.

Do you meet the minimum qualifications for this position?

Sometimes applicants will apply for a position in which they are not entirely qualified. In some cases, this is not a big deal. In other cases, it is a deal-breaker. Asking the question upfront can avoid wasted time in the future.

Can you provide a sample of your work?

Although this question may not be pertinent in every situation, asking for a sample of the applicant’s work can provide a great insight into their abilities. The work that they provide should be an example of their best work, so if what they have provided is not up to the standards of the business, they probably aren’t the right person for the job.

Why would you like to work for our company?

This question causes the candidate to cater the application to the specific company and position in which they are applying. It can also cause them to consider the company and why they are applying, eliminating individuals who turn in generic applications to every company hiring.

What is your ideal job?

Although the answer to this question will likely not be the entire truth, if an applicant applying for a position working in an isolated environment says their ideal job would be interacting with groups of people, they are likely not the best fit for the position.

What attributes are you looking for in an employer?

The answer to this question will show whether the applicant’s expectations of an employer fit with the qualities in which they are applying. If the applicant is looking for a strict, disciplined, and scripted employer and they are applying to work for a company who is lax, lenient, or fluid, the candidate is likely not going to fit well.

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