Writing job specific questions

  • JSQs should be designed to test the most important skills and experience in the person specification
  • The length of each question is limited to 250 characters, so keep them short and direct
  • If you want to explore a number of aspects of the candidate's experience or capability (eg length of experience, areas of experience, applicability of experience), produce separate questions for each aspect
  • It is recommended that a combination of three questions be used. This should be enough to get a meaningful insight into the applicant's suitability without duplicating other parts of the application
  • The most effective JSQs are experience based. Ask applicants to give a specific example of using a certain skill. Questions based on knowledge are less reliable as an applicant can research a model answer; questions about their experience are harder to falsify
  • JSQs can be
    • a multiple-choice question
    • a question with a text box provided for a written answer

    You can define the maximum length (in characters) for written answers.

  • Written answers may give you more information, but may be harder and slower to assess
  • eRecruiter can be set-up to automatically score multiple-choice questions. If you want to do this, specify the score for each response on the VRF
  • We may be able to provide you with previous examples if you need an idea of how to write and structure JSQs. However if they are to be really meaningful, it is important that you word them carefully to reflect a relevant point in the job description or person specification.
  • Your HR Adviser can provide further advice.