Screening Employees

Effectively Screening Techniques


Screening employees or future employees is the first step in any interview process. Often it is the first time your company has a chance to talk with a candidate. It is like asking someone out on a date. You really don't know the person and they don't know you so everyone is on their best behavior and trying not to mess up. Your job is to put the candidate at ease and get important information out of him/her so you can make an informed decision on whether to spend time and resources to interview this person.

So, there are 3 elements in screening effectively

  • Ask Open Ended Questions
  • Cover Key Job Qualifications and Requirements
  • Query All Non-Standard or Missing Elements

It goes without saying that you should always keep good notes.

Open Ended Questions for Screening Employees

Always limit the yes/no type of questions. For example, 'Do you know XYZ Quality Standard?' Does not give you much information beyond an understanding that they can shake their head one way or the other.  

To gain more insight into whether there is a deeper understanding and more substantive knowledge on a subject, you must ask an open ended question. 

So instead say, 'Tell me what Quality Standards you have worked with.'

Better yet say, 'Which quality standards have you worked with and which ones do you believe work best in a company environment such as this one?" 

The second form of this question allows for a more informative answer and may open itself to a deeper understanding of the candidate's qualifications.

Key Job Qualifications and Requirements

This is the time to verify that the candidate meets the minimum requirements. Nothing is worse than getting to an interview situation only to have someone in the company find out the candidate does not have all the required skills!

Query All Non-Standard or Missing Elements

When looking at a candidate's profile, you want to look at things like dates of employment and make sure there are not large unexplained gaps of employment. Also look for drastic changes in career or outside part time interests.

Basically anything that does not make sense should be addressed and documented. If you decide to bring this candidate in for an interview despite these non-standard items or issues, be sure to re-address these items to make sure the story has not changed! While most of the time things can easily be explained, you don't want to find out later what was obvious up front!

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