Short-listing suitable applicants

Short-listing applications is the process of deciding which applicants should be followed up with an interview and which applicants can be immediately ruled out.

Ensure you read carefully through each application and assess each applicant in relation to the position description and person specification. Eliminate candidates who do not appear to meet the essential parts of the position description and person specification. If an applicant looks good on paper, pick up the phone and get them in as soon as possible.

Be open minded

It is easy to fall for the trap of having a particular mindset about the likely type of person for the job. Applicants who fall outside this can sometimes be omitted when they may in fact be excellent candidates. By at least making initial phone contact with these people, it may be possible to make a more informed decision on whether to interview them.

If the position is a senior one and the applicants will be coming from some distance or interstate for interviews, it may be useful to conduct an initial telephone interview.

If an applicant is clearly not suitable, you may wish to send an immediate letter thanking him or her, but politely noting that you will not be proceeding with their application.

Click here for an Acknowledgement Letter to use as a starting point for writing your own.

If you will not be interviewing for a few days and an applicant is very suitable, you may wish to phone them immediately to keep them interested in your position. Make a phone call to the short-listed applicants confirming the time, date and location of their interview.

Prior to their interview, the short-listed candidates should be sent the position description and person specification. This will ensure they know exactly what the position offers them and allow them the opportunity to ask questions during the interview.

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