Screening Job Applicants for Recruiters: 6 Qualifying Questions

When you make a candidate presentation to a client via email, you most likely include an introduction and some of your notes to entice your client. These might be the same notes you use for that candidate if you’re making a MPC (Most Placeable Candidate) marketing call. It takes time to create these notes and to be sure that they are the “best of the best” in terms of highlights that you should point out.

So, why not let the candidate do some of that prep work for you?

There is no way that you know more about this candidate’s career accomplishments than they do. But you might be better at teasing it out of them or “wordsmithing” how those accomplishments are presented. There are several advantages to getting your candidates involved in coming up with their own selling points:

  • It lets you see whether this candidate is able to clearly articulate their selling points or whether you need to do a lot of prep work with them.
  • It helps the candidate to think through how they should present themselves during the interview while there’s still time for you to help them refine their approach.
  • It gives you the opportunity to send a cover page to your clients with the exact same format for each candidate. This makes it easy for the client to evaluate your people and shows that your firm has a professional, consistent process.
  • Your role changes from copywriter to editor, as much of your presentation is finished for you, saving you a lot of time.

Screening job applicants: sample questions

Below are six sample questions you might want to include as a cover page when you present your candidates. You would send these qualifying questions to your candidate in advance and then edit them before sending them out.

1. What do you think are your best personality traits that would be of interest to a future employer and why (work ethic, project completion, people skills, foresight/planning, organizational skills, ability to deal with upper management)?

2. What have you done that has increased efficiency or saved time for your department or company?

3. What have you done that has saved money for your department or company?

4. What have you done that has increased revenue for your department or company?

5. What have you done that has caused you to stand out among your peers?

6. Describe a time when you thought there was no way out of a negative situation at work and how you overcame it.

Have candidates answer these qualifying questions for you before you present them, and see how much better it works for you!

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Gary Stauble, a guest writer for the Top Echelon Recruiter Training Blog, is the principal consultant for The Recruiting Lab, a coaching company that assists firm owners and solo recruiters in generating more profit in less time. For more information or to schedule a complimentary coaching session, visit www.therecruitinglab.com or call 408.849.4756.