Shortlisting dos and don'ts


  • Adopt an objective and consistent approach towards shortlisting
  • Look for evidence that the applicant meets the essential (and desirable) criteria.
  • Score each applicant against the criteria in the person specification.
  • Rank candidates for interview by scores. A form is enclosed which may be used as a guide (Appendix 6.1).
  • Keep a record of your decisions and rationale.


  • Vary from the criteria in the person specification or introduce new criteria.
  • Be influenced by personal knowledge of an applicant, or take any personal information into account.
  • Make assumptions
  • Exclude applicants who declare a criminal conviction, before seeking professional advice.

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