Why are we trading out CVs for short answer sift questions? Two reasons.
One: #CVsAreDead. Two: research shows that CVs are pretty poor indicators for how well-suited a candidate is for a job.
The best indicators are those that test for what candidates will actually be doing on the job. Makes sense, right?
This is why our process uses scenario-based questions, focused on testing for specific skills and values. Candidates are assessed on their thought processes, their understanding of what is expected for the role, and their style of working.
A good sift question:
- Tests for specific skills, relevant to the role
Once you’ve chosen the skills and values your ideal candidate has, you can target these and cut out the noise.
E.g. Tell me about something you’re passionate about (it doesn’t have to be work-related), and convince me as to why I should try it?
Skills tested: persuasiveness, communication
- Is scenario based, not experience based
This means testing candidates on their responses to a situation now, rather than quizzing them on their past experiences. Why is this important? Because many skills are transferable across roles and industries. Having candidates reflect on how they would respond to a challenge now opens your role out to fresh talent, and those from non-typical backgrounds.
E.g. Your Director has just notified you that he needs to go to America in 2 weeks’ time to attend a conference. She has sent you the conference itinerary, the organiser’s contact details, and the dates she would like to fly out and return. What steps do you take to make your Director has everything in place for her trip?
- Focuses on challenges that your organisation is facing now!
Showing candidates the challenges you’re facing right now gives you a real sense for what they could do for you. It gives them more context for how your organisation works, and for the person you hire, it preps them for their role, even before onboarding.
E.g. We are delivering a large report to be jointly written by us and another organisation. You are responsible for the report. Please describe how you would coordinate with the other organisation and our client to ensure the report is delivered to the required standard in an efficient manner.
You can check out the question library for examples of sift questions others have asked. If anything in this article piques your interest or isn’t clear, don’t hesitate to get in touch at email@example.com, where a member of our team will be on hand to give you support.