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Top 6 Screener Questions to Add to Your Job Application

Miranda Nicholson
September 27, 2016
Min Read

There are a lot of compelling reasons to add screener questions to your job application. They can help you separate serious job applicants from casual applicants and gather consistent information for easier comparison, among other benefits. But only if you handle them well.

If the screening questions you include on your job application are too personal or lengthy, you likely won’t get the results you want. But if you stick to a handful of solid questions, you’ll receive information that can be truly helpful when it comes to screening job applicants.

To get you started, here are 6 pre-employment screening questions you should consider adding to your job application:

#1: Why do you want to work for this company?

Asking about a candidate’s desire to work for your company serves two important purposes.

First, it lets you gauge candidates’ knowledge of your company and their true interest in the open role. If a job seeker is simply applying to any open position, he or she likely will not conduct any additional research on your company and will provide a weak or generic answer to this question.

Second, this type of question can help you determine if your job descriptions are doing the company and/or position justice. If applicants fully understand the purpose of the company as well as the duties and requirements of the role, their answers will reflect that understanding.

#2: Why are you looking for a new job?

Pre-screening questions that uncover a candidate’s reasons for leaving his or her latest role can be extremely valuable. They can give you a glimpse into a candidate’s career ambitions and help you determine if the candidate is a good fit for the role.

Whether the rationale impacts your hiring decision or not, it can be helpful to understand what brought a potential new hire to your job application. Was the applicant laid off from his or her previous position? Or is he or she simply looking for a more exciting career opportunity? Knowing this information can provide deeper talking points if the candidate is brought in for an interview at a later date.

#3: What are two key contributions you can bring to this role?

Screening job applicants to find out how they can positively impact your company is an important part of the hiring process. And asking about key contributions they can bring to the role is one way to reveal potential impact.

This question not only helps you determine if a candidate fully understands the role, but it can also help you determine if the candidate has the necessary skills or experience to take on the required job responsibilities.

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#4: What tools or technology do you use to stay organized?

This question can reveal a lot of important information about job applicants. First, it lets you see how tech-savvy someone is. If your company operates at the high-end of the technology spectrum, this can be essential.

Additionally, you can use this question to gauge each candidate’s level of organization as well as how well he or she uses available resources to manage workflows. If the open role involves people or project management, these are important skills to examine.

Screening job applicants on technologies

#5: What motivates you to perform your best work?

Asking about a candidate’s key motivators is a great way to determine if the candidate is the right fit for your company. If someone lists motivators that your company cannot provide—such as specific benefits or schedule flexibility—that person may not be the best one for the job.

Additionally, self-motivation is highly valued in most organizations today. Leaders are busy and don’t have time to micro-manage every project. Thus, it can be beneficial for your hiring team to ask a question on the application that shows a candidate’s work ethic and level of self-motivation.

Did you know? Formstack offers some great employee benefits, like remote work, paid healthcare plans, a 401K match, and more!  

#6: What is your perfect work environment?

This question can be a big part of helping you determine a potential employee’s culture fit. If you have a thriving remote culture, like Formstack, you probably aren’t looking for an applicant who says his perfect work environment includes a lot of in-person interaction with coworkers.

On the other hand, if your work environment includes a physical office with an open-concept space and a lot of “noisy” collaboration, the ideal candidate is probably not someone who says her perfect work environment is a quiet, solitary office.

Adding pre-screening questions to your job application is a great way to expedite hiring at your company. Ready to transform other HR processes? Check out our HR solutions for even more ways to take your HR team to the next level.

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Miranda Nicholson
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