No HR professional wants to sort through endless stacks of resumes for every open position, but a manual hiring process often leads to this common conundrum. You know the skills and qualifications that your candidate needs to have in order to be a top performer at your company, but searching through a resume database for that one candidate that meets all of these requirements can be a time consuming process.

To easily identify top candidates, pre-screening questions can be a powerful tool in the early stages of the hiring process. While it’s always important to clearly evaluate everything that a candidate can bring to the table, a few simple “Yes / No” questions at the very beginning can save you a lot of time and energy in the long run.


Here are a few simple suggestions to help you establish a pre-screening process and start qualifying incoming applicants:

Translate Your Qualifications

A standard job description will usually list desired candidate qualifications. While you should always be upfront about the skills and experience required to do the job, simply providing a list doesn’t guarantee that an applicant will adhere to these specifications.


To prequalify your applicants, translate your list of qualifications into a series of basic yes or no questions within the body of your online application. This practice allows you to clearly see which qualifications your candidate possesses, while also identifying areas where the candidate may fall short.


Prepare Your Candidate for Next Steps

Prequalifying questions can also be used to prepare your candidates for the next steps of the hiring process. For example, if you use pre-employment skills testing, drug screening, or formal background checks, you can clearly set these expectations at the beginning of the application process. If a candidate is not willing to participate in these due-diligence practices, they may not be a very good fit for your organization.


Get a Sense of their Personality

Personality questions in the first stage of the application process may seem like needless “soft-balls” but they set the standard that you care about the quality of the people who work for your organization. A few simple “Yes / No” questions upfront allow the applicant to ease in to this process, while allowing your hiring managers to get a first taste of the type of candidate that they (potentially) will be interviewing.


For a more in-depth look into the quality of the candidate, and how they fit into your company culture, we also recommend using Virtual Interview style questions to gain a deeper understanding of the applicant.

Evaluate the Results

Once you’ve collected your prequalifying question answers, you can fairly evaluate applicants in the early stages of your hiring process. Candidates who do not meet your basic requirements will be easily identified, so that you can swiftly eliminate them as a potential employee.

Hard Skill Results:


Soft Skill Results:


For more information on how to find top quality candidates, download our Online Recruiting Guide: 11 Steps to Attract More Applicants.