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[personal profile] pigmeich
I got numerous questions on how to screen. This is a field guide to people under the line somewhat below Bill Gates and Elon Musk. Above, and you must know your own techniques to be succesful.

For those of you new to concept, screen is an interview teachnique, used to sieve candidates through fast. It doesn't matter who you do sieve: job appliers, consultants, potential partners, clients or else. The only thing required is their eagerness to answer your questions.

It's all about questions

Steve Balmer wants "Developers! Developers! Developers!," but you want questions and questions to ask once more.

5 Pillars

There are five important pillars:

First, make sure the answers to the questions are useful to your process.

Second, change the questions, as they are prone to spoiling.

Third, ask the same questions every time.

Fourth, include different dificulty questions in the list.

Fifth, start from easiest, then hardest, then medium.

Example of a Good List

Good questions to a consultant seeking to give you accounting advice is:

Easy: What account number is usually assigned to equipment?

Hard: What's difference to accounting between companies limited by shares and by guarantee (Great Britian)?

Medium: What's the balance sheet equation?

And please note, they are already spoiled.

The Process

The screening process usually includes unqualified and trustworthy person to do screen from your side. It's completely enough for this person to just write down replies in the blocks after asking questions.

Additionally, you can video the screen. But it's surely a Personal Identifiable Information (PII). The responses depending on the personality infused in the answers could be too, but ask your lawyer on this matter, it differs between countries.

Then check the answers. You will soon find a pattern of bad replies. Good ones could be tricky, so don't hesitate to use Internet to prove the answers.

After you found the pattern it should take no more than 3 minutes to surf through each list of replies. Which is pretty low given the batching. Batching means you could not waste you time to greetings, farewells, waiting, and changing tasks.

All materials containing PII shall be destroyed at the end of the process.

What could go wrong?

First, the spoiling. Not always the great answers to all the questions indicate spoof, but much frequently.

Second, your inability to interpret answers. Superb answers seem strange at first glance, as usually contains either recounting of many cases, or a suprise answer.

Third, the police could break into the room if you are living in Russian Federation.


Here are quick Q&A.

Is it fast?

Good list, delegated to right person could indeed save you a lot of time. You might not notice it at first, as you now process 10 to 50 times more applicants using the same timeframe, but it drastically improves the quality of outcome.

Is it legit?

Any notes taken during the interview with a person you have no contract with could be considered PII that you cannot hold in some countries, depending on the content, and shall be destroyed at the end of the process.

Additionally, there could be assault, or political or religous incorectness, so choose the right person to do screen, and instruct to speak only the routine. Choosing questions to the list could also help.

Beyond that, I don't know yet any obstacles stopping you from doing the screen.

I'm alone in the business, who to delegate?

Then the first screen done by you should be to hire the assistant to you. Business cannot be done alone. Consulting could.

What if I got not a decisive results?

Throw couple more questions in. Screen new candidates in two waves: with old, and new questions.

And remember: Screen cannot reduce number of candidates to one. The purpose is to reduce for 5-25 candidates.


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