The screening process provides information about an individual’s skills, knowledge and attitudes, enabling a potential employer to determine whether that person is suited to, and qualified for, the position. Experience has shown that hiring an overqualified person can be as harmful as hiring an under qualified person.

The application form is the place to begin screening candidates for a job. It provides information on the person’s background and training and is the first means of compa1ing the applicant with the job description. This will ensure that you don’t waste time on applicants who clearly do not meet the minimum requirements for the job.

Generally, the following information is asked on an employment application form: name, address, telephone number, kind of work desired, work experience, education, extra-curricular and references.

The personal interview is the second stage or step in the screening process. Du1ing the interview, the manager learns more about the applicant through face-to-face contact, including observation of personal appearance. The interview should be guided, but not dominated: by the manager as it is important to let the candidate speak freely, whenever possible, the interviewer should ask questions that are directly related to the job. Devise a list of questions that will adequately assess the applicant’s qualifications while meeting the specifications for the job. Three major errors often committed in the personal interview are,

a. Failure to analyze the requirements of the job in sufficient detail to generate valid questions.

b. Failure to ask candidates the right questions to determine their strengths and weakness, and their fit with the job.

c. Too much reliance on customary reaction instead of objective evaluation of candidates based on criteria in the job specification.

Interviewing makes the selection process more personal and gives the interviewer an overall idea of whether the applicant is appropriate for the job. The following list of techniques will help you select the right applicant for the job.

1. Review the job description before the interview.

2. Break the ice-establish a friendly atmosphere.

3. Develop an interview time plan and stick to it.

4. Keep an open mind, i.e., don’t form an opinion too early.

5. Give the candidate time to tell his or her story, don’t talk too much.

6. Present a truthful picture of the company and the job.

7. Listen carefully concentrate and take notes.

8. Avoid detailed discussion of salary too early in the interview

9. be courteous

10. Don’t leave the candidate hanging – discuss the next step in the hiring process and the timing.

Other screening techniques include employment tests and physical examinations.

Some employment tests measure aptitude, achievement, intelligence, personality and honesty. A physical examination determines if the applicant meets the health standards and physical demands of the job. Group discussions on any topic will evoke the leadership skills and expose overall knowledge base of the candidate.