Giving an applicant a list of questions to answer prior to an in-person interview can be helpful.
You could ask specific questions about the position they are applying for and add the following to your request:
“Please be specific and limit your response to two to three paragraphs.”
You’ll get back a variety of answers of course, but two things you want to look for: did the applicant actually follow your directions and does the applicant’s answers line up with your needs for the position.
If you’re satisfied, then you can move this person on to the next step of your hiring process.
Here are a few examples.
For the position of billings and collections:
“When you contact someone to collect on a bill, what are the keys to how you approach that phone call?”
For a sales position, here are three possible questions:
“What is unique about your selling ability?”
“How do you approach a prospect who wants to think about it?”
“What is your definition of a close?”
For an Office Manager position:
“What are the three most important elements of running an office?”
You get the idea.
This could add a bit of time to the hiring process, but it also may ultimately save you time. If you can eliminate certain candidates from the in-person interview(s), that will free you up to concentrate on more qualified individuals.
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