Why should you include interview questions on job application forms?
Application form questions help to better pre-screening of job applicants and prepare more complete candidate profiles. Use them to:
- Shortlist candidates depending on experience and skills required for the position.
- Identify ideal candidates (through knockout questions) so that you shortlist candidates who match the profile.
- Contact knowledgeable and experienced candidates who can share samples of work or explain how their experience will help in the role.
The general formats of questions include: explain a previous project, multiple choice questions, open-ended and yes or no questions.
Job application form interview questions
- How did you learn about this job?
- Please share three references and their contact details.
Cultural fit questions
- How does this role fit in with your long-term objectives?
- Why do you want to work with our company?
- Why did you apply for this position?
Candidates’ skills and qualifications questions
- Share a few samples of your work.
- Tell me about three or four projects that you have recently worked on that are relevant to this position.
- Do you have a valid driver’s license?
- Are you able to communicate in Z language (writing and orally) at a native level?
- Name all the software that you have used while working as a Y executive.
- Have you ever used Y software for X purposes?
Employment terms questions
- Are you interested in part-time, full-time employment or either?
- Are you ready to undertake a drug test as part of this recruitment process?
- Are you willing/available to travel Y% of the time?
- This is a remote position. Can you manage to work remotely?
- Are you willing to relocate? If yes, in how many days you can join?
- Do you have a work permit to work in Y country?
- What are your salary expectations?
- If you are currently working, how many days notice period do you have to serve in your company?
- When is the earliest you can join our team?
- Are you comfortable working the shifts? Or you want to work a fixed shift?
Mini-tests that assess specific skills
Application form questions also help you in reviewing skills for some roles. For example, if you are recruiting:
- Translators, give them a task to translate a paragraph.
- Engineers, give them a task to debug a piece of code.
- Editors, give them a task to edit a short text.
Remember, these tests won’t completely give an understanding of applicants’ skills, as in some cases candidates take help from sources online. Combine these mini-tests with pre-employment assessments later on in your recruitment process to get a complete understanding of candidates’ qualifications.
Tips on how to evaluate candidates’ answers to job application form questions
- Use application form questions to ask more detailed questions later. For example, ask candidates to explain their previous projects in detail or describe the career objectives they have mentioned in the job application.
- Focus on important things. For example, ask if the candidate has particular certification but only if it is essential for the job.
- Find out which criteria are crucial and which are negotiable. For example, don’t shortlist the candidate who doesn’t know the framework on which you work, but consider someone if their salary expectations are only slightly higher than what you are offering for the role.
- They don’t reply to all your questions: Candidates who leave questions unanswered in the job application form show they might not really be interested in this role. Or, they might not have the answers you are looking for (like they lack knowledge of Y software). Decide if you will disqualify them straight away or give them a chance to give clarification depending on the entire application form and their resume.
- They are not comfortable with their work schedule: Positions in some industries may require working in shifts. These employees should be available during holidays and weekends and may have to work for their colleagues’ shifts if required. If candidates indicate they are uncomfortable working in shifts, this can be a red flag.
- Their salary expectations are way higher than what you can offer: You can easily negotiate with candidates whose salary expectations are slightly higher than what you are offering. But, if there is a huge difference, it makes sense to disqualify the candidate.
- They lack important qualities: While you can always train new employees but there are key skills for most roles. For example, if you are looking for a translator (English to French), disqualify candidates who are not fluent in both languages.