Why are sift answers limited to 250 words?
At Applied, we always aim to balance the value and effort needed throughout the process, from both candidates and the hiring team reviewing applications. We find that longer answers to application questions require a lot more work for both parties: candidates, when working to answer questions, and reviewers, when reading through and scoring candidate answers. As all answers are reviewed and scored by real humans (none of the scoring is automated or done via AI), and often 3 separate people will read each and every candidate answer, this can quickly become unmanageable with long essays.
The Applied process requires some upfront investment and commitment from candidates (rather than just sending in a CV and cover letter) but to make sure it does not deter good candidates from applying, we limit answers to shorter content. This also saves time when reviewing- as each question should assess a limited number of skills, it makes the process easier for reviewers and requires less time commitment from the team. If the skills you are assessing for cannot be expressed within the 250 word limit, it is best to split into separate questions assessing different skills. This creates a clearer profile of candidate skills assessed, and is also useful when automated feedback is provided, showing performance across different areas.
How does Applied count words?
Applied uses a calculation based on the number of whitespace characters, hyphens (‘-’) and underscores (‘_’), splitting the text based on their number and counting the number of ‘blocks’ in the text.
‘The word count in Applied is different from X software!’ / ‘When I checked in MS Word/ Google Docs/ other, I saw 250 words but the platform tells me I’m over count!’
Different document editors count words differently. For example, some document editing software providers count hyphenated words as separate, while others count them as a single one.