Having looked at the advantages of application forms in recruitment, in the first part of our exploration into this topic, we’ll now take a more detailed look at some of the application form questions you could potentially use.
However, before working on the design and types of questions that could work well in your job application survey, it’s also useful to have in the back of your mind what you can do to increase your response rates once it’s ready. Here’s a few quick pointers.
- Keep things fun. Don’t be too formal and stuffy. Instead, be friendly and open and explain that you’re running this survey to find out which candidates are potentially the best match.
- Give applicants an idea of how long your survey will take to complete. While it’s generally best to keep surveys short, for this type of survey you may require a bit more of your candidate’s time. Try to give them an honest estimate of how long it will take to complete. Think about including a progress bar too. So, once they’ve begun your survey, they can see how close they are to the end.
- Try to make your survey accessible. It’s worth noting that up to 1 in 5 people responding to your survey, may have a disability. So, in order not to miss out on a potentially strong candidate, that might be suffering from a visual impairment, it’s prudent to ensure your job application survey, is as accessible as possible. Find out more about this with the work we’ve been doing to make our own survey templates more accessible.
Example application form questions
You’re now ready to start looking at some sample questions for your survey.
When it comes to online questionnaires, the style and layout can vary depending on whether you’re an inhouse HR team developing an HR survey, or an employment agency putting together a recruitment questionnaire to better assess a candidate’s suitability for a job role.
However, with so many questions to potentially cover off in your application survey, you need to think about how you will structure it, so that it’s both easier for the job candidate to complete and for you to review.
Some may decide to go with a more traditional style of application, with a respective beginning, middle part and end, focusing on gathering personal details, qualification and skills, work history, and the candidate’s thoughts about why they are suitable for the role. However, it can be more effective to group your questions. By doing this, it can provide you with more detailed information in key priority areas for your business that could range from how well a candidate fits a role, to how well their personality might fit into your team.
Here are some key areas and questions to consider.
Does the candidate fit your role?
The following questions will help to assess if their experience and skills align with the role you’re hiring for.
- What is it about this role that makes it a good fit for you?
- What would you like to do differently in your next job compared to your current job?
- What are the characteristics of your ideal next role?
- What skills would you want to develop in this role?
- What challenges are you looking for in your next job?
Would the candidate’s personality work well with the rest of your team?
These questions should help you to investigate candidates beyond just their skills, experience and qualifications, to see if their personality would blend well with the others in their assigned team.
- Who inspires you in your work and why?
- What are you reading right now?
- Describe your character in a couple of sentences.
- What do you listen to while you work?
- What do you work towards in your free time?
Does the candidate match your own organisation’s values and aspirations?
To better assess how well a candidate’s values, ambitions and beliefs align with those of your organisation, it can be helpful to include some of the following questions.
- Which one of our company values do you identify with the most and why?
- What motivates you to do your best work?
- Among the people you’ve worked with, who do you admire and why?
- What will you add to our company culture?
- What’s one of the most valuable lessons you’ve learned in your career. How would you apply it in this role?
How well does the candidate know your own industry?
Finding out how much an individual knows about your industry can also be an important factor when deciding whether to employ them or not. This can be especially the case if you’re trying to decide between two strong candidates that score highly in all your other priority areas.
- What interests you about our industry?
- Can you highlight any recent industry developments are you excited about, and why?
- How do you like to keep up with industry knowledge and trends?
- What magazines/blogs/publications do you like to read?
By incorporating some of these ideas and questions into your job application survey, it should be a quicker and simpler process of narrowing down the most suitable candidates to interview. We hope you found these questions useful. If you’d still like some more support with this, you might like to visit our template forms page, where you will find more sample questions, as well as a customisable template form, which will help you to get your survey up and running more quickly.