How to Use the Online Application to Find Your Top Candidates

If you use your online application system efficiently, you can use it’s screening questions to get meaningful information from the applicants for your faculty jobs and not just to weed out the ones who are not qualified by reason of education or experience

When crafting your questions, avoid those that can be answered with yes or no. Instead, give multiple choice options: “How many years of experience do you have in teaching college students?”

  1. 0 years
  2. 1-3 years
  3. 4-6 years
  4. 7 years or more

If you ask this as a “yes” or “no” question, some people will answer “yes” just to get through the screening system, but if you give a choice of specific levels, you are forcing them to give a meaningful answer.

As you would during in person interviews, ask open ended questions: “Describe your previous university employment.” Or, “List the names of college level classes you have taught.” Or, “Describe your favorite techniques for motivating students.” The responses will give you important information, not just about their actual teaching skills, but about their writing skills.

Taking the time to ask good questions on the online application system can save you time later when it comes to selecting the candidates you want to interview for academic positions. If you don’t like the candidate’s answers to the questions, you can move on to the next applicant without wasting time examining the curriculum vitae to see if the applicant has what you are looking for. If you’ve designed your questions well, you will already know the answer.

Dindy Robinson is Director of Compensation at Texas Christian University, Fort Worth, Texas.

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