Using Shortlist+ what questions should I ask and not ask?

Applicants
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There are some great questions to ask using Shortlist+ and some you should never ask

Shortlist+ is a fantastic screening tool to help you shortlist the best applicants for interview. You can ask up to 3 questions. But you need to be careful what questions you ask.

Three great questions to ask are:

  1. What do you like doing at work?
  2. What would you not like doing at work?
  3. What is important to you in your next job?

IDEALLY AVOID asking questions requiring a "yes" or "no" answer:

These are otherwise known as 'closed questions'. It can be tempting to ask applicants questions such as "Do you have more than 3 years customer service experience?" and auto-excluding all those who don't provide the desired result. But many applicants know they will be auto-excluded if they provide the 'wrong' answer so lie which wastes everyone time. Therefore it is much better to ask questions requiring a statement.

ALWAYS AVOID these common mistakes

Competency based questions (eg. "Tell me about a time you delivered great customer service.") These are often a waste of time because almost everyone can give one example, which doesn't mean they are really competent and it is a challenge to benchmark answers. For example if you asked my three kids "Give me an example of when you kept your bedroom clean" I'm sure they can provide at least one example. But how do you know who is the best? And did they tell you I normally need to stand in the doorway 'encouraging' them? Context matters.

Questions about your company. Because all our adverts are branded "Recruitment Genius" and your details are kept anonymous applicant won't know who you are or anything about your company.

Questions requiring a long answer. Applicants have a maximum of 30 seconds so asking questions such as "Tell me about yourself from education to present day" is going to take up too much time.

_Two questions in one. _We all get easily confused at times, so split into two separate questions.

_Discriminatory question_s. Sometimes discrimination can be very subtle such as "Do you have suitable childcare arrangements?"

Irrelevant questions. Such as "What is your favourite football team?" (Yes, this a genuine example of a question we had to decline because it is not relevant to the role).

Annoying questions. If you ask applicants any of these questions our research suggests very few applicants will answer any questions:

  1. Information already on their CV - because they think you are not prepared to read the information they took a lot of effort to create, so why should they make any extra effort?
  2. "Do you have the right to work in the UK?" - it is much better to write in the job advert if you can support work VISAs.
  3. "Do you have a driving license?" - again it is best to mention this as an essential requirement in the job advert.