Advertising a job and interviewing candidates

Shortlisting and inviting candidates to interview


When you have the replies to your advertisement:

  • match applications against your job description and person specification
  • eliminate applicants who do not have the basic requirements for the job
  • draw up a shortlist of candidates to interview
  • consider notifying candidates who you will not be inviting for interview

How do I make a shortlist?

  • Draw up a table listing each candidate against the essential requirements of the job. This will be your shortlist.
  • Include only the number of applicants you will have time to interview - usually no more than three to four people a day. Allow time for preparation and discussion before and after the interview.
  • If there are too many possible candidates, look at how many meet both the essential and desirable criteria.
  • Don't discriminate against applicants on the grounds of sex, race, age or disability, sexual orientation, religion, political opinion or belief, pregnancy and maternity, marriage and civil partnership and gender reassignment.
  • Get more than one person to compile the shortlist to avoid possible bias.

Inviting candidates to interview

Invite the most suitable candidates to interview by letter, telephone or email. If you do it by telephone, you are advised to confirm arrangements in writing.

You should say:

  • when and where the interview will be
  • what documents the candidate should bring
  • who the candidate should ask for on arrival
  • the names and job titles of the people conducting the interview
  • if there will be a test or a presentation

You should also ask candidates to tell you if they have any special needs that you will need to cater for.