Early screening gets the right hire

If you’ve ever hired before, you’ve most likely found yourself in a situation where you were interviewing a candidate and in the midst of conversation, you realized this person doesn’t have the crucial prerequisites needed to fill the position.


You complete the interview because it would be rude to abruptly end it, but you sit there, kicking yourself for wasting not only your time, but the candidate’s as well. You should’ve asked the right questions before you got this far in the process with an unsuitable candidate. You should’ve implemented screening questions during the application phase. The main purpose of screening questions is to help you avoid this!

Ask candidates the right qualifying questions early
‍Photo by Charles Deluvio  on Unsplash

Screening or “killer” questions are your must-haves. They are the important requirements for the position that cannot be compromised. It would be helpful to write down a list of the essential things needed in order to perform this job that can act as a checklist for you to refer to when scanning candidates. This will help you in selecting candidates in the process without ever glancing at their resume or picking up the phone.


Using an ATS or applicant tracking system such as Happo is a modern way to handle candidates. A big perk is that you can add screening questions as part of the application process. This means that when a candidate applies for the job, they will answer your key questions at the same time.

Implementing screening questions early in the process can save you valuable time because it is ideal to find out as much as you can about the candidate’s qualification before you invite them to the interview. This efficient way of screening candidates also helps to eliminate unqualified candidates when you are handling a large volume of applications.

Add screening questions to applications in Happo
‍Photo by Bonnie Kittle on Unsplash

When you’ve set the foundation for the job and created a requirement profile (if you haven’t you should do that now), defining your screening questions should come naturally. By reading through your requirement profile, you should know what to look for in the applicant’s resume when it comes to their experience, education, and skills and in the overall perspective, and therefore be able to figure out what are absolute musts in order for someone to fill the position. Each step of the process relies heavily on each other to help you get to the bigger picture – finding the right talent.

Screening questions are especially important because they allow you to know what should not be overlooked when examining candidates. The sooner you can have a candidate answer whether or not they have the crucial skills and abilities needed for the job, the sooner you can move forward with the candidate or reject them. Thus, filling that empty position you need filled in no time!

Is a driver’s license required for the position?


Need preferred IT languages?


Are they okay with traveling for work?


If a candidate can’t fulfill your absolute musts for the position and you can already see that while you are screening candidates, you can move simply move on to the next suitable candidate.

Let’s just say, for example, a candidate has experience in developing and the education that comes with it. Great! Let’s invite them to an interview. But wait, they’ve answered your screening questions and have no driver’s license, doesn’t know the IT languages you need, and absolutely hates business trips.

When you only read the candidate’s resume, you have no way of knowing these things about the candidate. You would find yourself exactly in the scenario where you’re sitting in an interview wasting your time and the applicant’s time.

This is why screening questions are crucial to finding the right talent and should always be included as soon as possible.

In Happo, you can ask questions in three different formats – multiple choice, dropdown or freeform for whatever best suits your question. The questions are very simple to include when you use Happo as your recruitment tool and will be automatically part of the application form that job-seekers fill out.

Add screening questions to applications

Adding screening questions in Happo is effortless and will save you from a lot of unnecessary stress. All you do is type your question, choose your format, and hit save. It's the simple, but powerful features that can make recruiting easy.

Choose what kind of screening questions you want to add

All candidates will see the same screening questions when they apply for a position through your application link and will be able to answer accordingly. You'll never have to contact a candidate to inquire about important requirements again.

Screening questions can be freeform, dropdown, or multiple choice

You are on your way to finding your best hire yet. How's your benefits package for attracting the great employees?

About the author

Jante Diaz

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