Pre-Interview Questionnaire

Posting a vacancy to fill a new position in your company can often result in hundreds of responses. You may receive a large volume of applications and resumes that are difficult to sort through. Even after narrowing down your collection of applicants, you may still have a high number of potential new hires for the position. Interviewing every single one of these people could result in diminished efficiency, take an excessive amount of time, and cause you to become overwhelmed. To streamline the process, you may want to implement a pre-interview questionnaire. Sending this type of document to applicants will help you to learn more about their experiences and abilities and assess their compatibility with your organization’s culture. Once the questionnaires have been completed and sent back, you will be able to narrow down your search to a reasonable number of applicants and conduct your interviews more efficiently.

Formatting the Questionnaire

The questionnaire should be designed to gather more detailed information about applicants than the data received through resumes, references, and cover letters. You should always begin the document with space for the individual to provide basic contact information including their home address, phone number, name, and email address. Have the applicant date the form as well to aid in maintaining an organized filing system. Following this section, you should ask detailed questions that will help you assess the applicant’s qualifications. Inquiries should help hiring managers determine how well the individual will fit in the company’s environment, the applicant’s level of motivation, and relevant strengths and weaknesses that will affect job performance. To further screen for interviews, the form should always request information about salary needs, interview availability, and the earliest date that the applicant can begin work.

What the Pre-Interview Questionnaire Should Ask

The right questions are essential to helping you narrow down your field of applicants and choosing the correct individuals to interview. This will help you to identify your top candidates while saving immense amounts of time on numerous interviews. Here are several examples of questions that will help you to find the right applicants to bring in for a face-to-face interview:

1. Please explain your educational background and relevant experience to this position. How will they help you contribute positively to the company?

2. What attracted you to this position? Why do you want to work for this organization?

3. Are you currently employed elsewhere? If so, how long have you been with that establishment? What are your reasons for leaving?

4. If you are unemployed, please explain the circumstances that have led to this situation. How long have you been looking for a job?

5. Please describe the duties that you would enjoy fulfilling in this position. Which responsibilities would be a challenge?

6. Are you comfortable in a leadership role? What is your leadership style?

7. How proficient are you with technology? Are you an expert in any particular systems?

8. Please describe your ideal work environment. What motivates you to perform well and be productive?

9. Have you had experience with management styles that are difficult to work with? Please explain.

10. What have you found to be frustrating about work in the past?

11. How did you learn about the job opening? Have you recently applied to jobs with other organizations?

12. Are you available immediately to interview for this position? When would you be able to begin work with the company?

13. What is your greatest strength and your most challenging weakness? Share an example of how these have influenced your career.

14. Please share a little about your long-term career goals. How does this position fit into your plans for the future?

15. Describe the criteria that will determine whether you accept a job offer with the company. Do you expect benefits or have a minimum salary requirement?

Sending a similar questionnaire to applicants will help you to save time and energy while finding the perfect candidate for the job.

About the Author

LiveCareer Staff Writer

At LiveCareer, we live and breathe the belief that we can help people transform their work lives, and so do our contributors. Our experts come from a variety of backgrounds but have one thing in common: they are authorities on the job market. From journalists with years of experience covering workforce topics, to academics who study the theory behind employment and staffing, to certified resume writers whose expertise in the creation of application documents offers our readers insights into how to best wow recruiters and hiring managers, LiveCareer’s stable of expert writers are among the best in the business. Whether you are new to the workforce, are a seasoned professional, or somewhere in between, LiveCareer’s contributors will help you move the needle on your career and get the job you want faster than you think.


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