How to decide which candidates are best to shortlist for interview

When it comes to arranging interviews, the process can be lengthy and time-consuming. That’s why it’s important to make sure you’re choosing the right candidates and not wasting your time or theirs!

CVs don’t tell the full picture. That’s why we would always encourage you to ask for a covering letter – many candidates will explain CV gaps, skills and experience better in a covering letter than a simple CV can show.

Look at who has put time into their application. Have they tailored their CV and covering letter to show how they best fit the role? If they’ve gone that extra mile to showcase their matching skills, they have taken extra time to apply and therefore are genuinely interested in the role.

Sometimes, it’s easy to write somebody off from a role just by scanning their CV. Maybe they’ve moved around frequently (this could be due to temporary contracts)? Maybe they’ve been in one place for a long time (maybe they need a change of scenery or are facing redundancy)? If, at first glance, they don’t seem to have relevant experience – is it possible that the skills they have already could be transferable to the role you’re recruiting for?

Perhaps you could arrange a quick telephone chat first, to ensure that it’s not going to be a waste of time for both parties to arrange a face to face interview? Even if somebody lives locally, an interview can be time-consuming. For example, they may have to swap their working hours, take annual leave or sort out childcare cover for an interview. For both parties, it’s a good idea to make sure it’s worth that!

Offering an initial interview is great, it should feel more relaxed than a face-to-face meeting. Make sure you don’t ask too many strenuous questions – this is just a way to discover if you ‘click’ and the role may be suitable.

One alternative to organising a telephone chat would be to speak to a recruitment agency (hiya!) and get them to do the chatting and CV reading. Get a recruiter who knows you, understands your business and wants to place the right candidates. They can have the initial chat with applicants (and often we will already have people in mind whom we have done that with and can suggest to you!)

Speak to us today to see how we can provide you with the best candidates for your vacancies.

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