Screening Applicants for Your Team

Top 5 Tips for Screening Applicants

Haven’t we all made bad hires in our career because we rushed too quickly to hire someone without proper screening?

Your time is very valuable; you do not want to spend any unnecessary time with inappropriate candidates.

This is a quick and simple checklist for screening applicants.  Please note that if they fail to meet your standards at any point along the way you do not progress in the interview process.  Shut it down and move on to the next candidate.

  1. Review their resume very carefully!
    • Are they over or under qualified?
    • Do they appear to have the skill set you need?
    • Are they used to working in an environment comparable to yours?
    • Education
    • Job stability
  2. Where they live – remember too far to commute is never a good thing.
  3. Have 3-5 great questions written down and schedule a phone interview.
  • Do they sound bright, energetic, and articulate?
  • Ask what research they have done on you. If they are interested they should have checked out your website.
  • Ask what interested them about the job.
  • Ask what experience or credentials they have that would make them a good fit.
  • Ask why they are leaving their current job.

You are listening of course to see what you can learn about them and to see how you feel about their communication skills in general. If you don’t like what you hear, STOP HERE!

  1. The first in person interview
    • Are they on time?
    • How are they dressed? This is the honeymoon phase, if it’s bad now it will only get worse
    • Do they have questions prepared for you?
    • Allow enough time to focus and take your time – at least 45 minutes.
    • Do not do all the talking!
    • Do not sell them on the job – tell them the truth about the role.
    • You may want to have someone else on your team sit in. If you don’t, be certain to have someone sit in to give a second opinion on the second interview.
  2. After the interview, be sure to check all references thoroughly and any other background checking resources you have – use them!
  3. Conduct a second and even third interview – be sure you are sure!

Bonus:  If it is possible to arrange, consider having them work a few days on a per diem status to see if it is a fit.



Next Steps:

Put together a form you will use to measure each applicant from initial response from your ad or reference throughout the interview process and reference checking.  Look over our list in the previous chapter to find which items are important to you.

Use your form!


To receive a PDF of my book Building Bigger, Busier, and More Profitable Teams, click here.

Leave a Reply