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Shortlisting and Interviewing


Having reviewed how a vacancy can be advertised you will now have the opportunity to explore the shortlisting and recruitment process. in this part of the module you will consider:

  • your role in the shortlisting and interviewing process
  • methods of shortlisting
  • the advantages and disadvantages of a range of selection methods

Approximate time needed: 2 hours

Materials needed:

  1. NASES. 2006. 'Chapter 2: The Recruitment Process'. The Guide for Student Employment.Liverpool: NASES

  2. 'Chapter 5: Selection' in Stredwick, J. 2005 An Introduction to Human Resource Management. Oxford: Elsevier Ltd. Access the e-book here

Your role in the shortlisting and interviewing process

Once again you will need to consider the extent of your role in assisting employers. Some services assist employers quite closely, selecting suitable candidates on their behalf, others leave this process entirely to employers. The extent of your involvement will probably depend upon:

your service's resources (including time and expertise and how these can be shared fairly amongst all employers)

the number of vacancies being offered to you by an employer

your institution's service level agreements with employers

The style and location of your service (ie placement service, agency style Jobshop etc)

Whatever the extent of your direct involvement, you will probably be called upon by employers to discuss with and advise them about the range of selection tools available - this section of the module will equip you with the skills to give employers advice about their shortlisting and interviewing processes.

Now read pages 27 - 33 in NASES. 2006. 'Chapter 2: The Recruitment Process'. The Guide for Student Employment.Liverpool: NASES


If employers have designed a clear job description and person specification, then hopefully the shortlisting process should be relatively straightforward.

You should have already read pages 27 and 28 in the NASES guide which give an outline of a shortlisting process and its likely benefits.


Your next task is to practice creating your own shortlisting form. You can use any vacancy to do this, but you must have a detailed job description and person specification to undertake the task fully. Before you create your own shortlisting form take some time to meet with either a line manager or colleague in human resources who has experience of how shortlisting is undertaken in your own institution.

Once you have created the form, take some time to reflect on the advantages and disadvantages of this method of shortlisting.

The Advantages and Disadvantages of Selection Methods

Options for selection

Once a shortlist has been arrived at, employers need to take the potentially difficult step of finally selecting a candidate for the position they have advertised. In this part of the module you will be given the opportunity to find out about a range of selection methods and consider their advantages and disadvantages.


It’s the final time to meet Andy James, our employer at Brite Lites. He took your advice and advertised his vacancy. He e-mails you with the following update.

Hi there -I'm really pleased with the response to my advert - ten students have shown an interest and acting on your advice I have shortlisted four. Now I need more help. How do I know who to select or do I just give them all a trial run?

Pause -What are your initial thoughts? How would you respond to Andy?

I think you would agree that taking all four students for a 'trial' could be expensive, unnecessary and lead to disappointment. So Andy will need to make some decisions based on a well thought through selection process.

Now read 'Chapter 5: Selection' in Stredwick.J, 2005. An Introduction to Human Resources. Oxford: Elsevier. (Note: throughout the chapter, the author has set a number of helpful activities. You don't have to do these activities, but as with all reading you will probably get more from the chapter if you are actively engaged and these activities could help with this.)

Having read the chapter write a final response to Andy recommending a selection process, with an explanation of your reasons. Whilst writing your response, you should think about the:

suitability of your recommendations to Andy's particular situation

resource and cost constraints which Andy might face

effectiveness of your suggested options

acceptability of your suggested options to Andy and his potential employees.

(source: Roberts, 2005)

You have now completed all the reading and exercises about recruitment and selection. Before we turn to anti-oppressive practice you might want to take some moments to jot down the key points which you have learnt so far.