Taken from our comprehensive How To Manual for building remote sales departments, Here's a few quick tips on screening job applicants:
As we noted in a previous post, most applicants do not read the job ad, therefore, even though it may be raining applicants the majority of them may not yet know enough about the position they just applied for to be interested in it.
#1 Never EVER call an applicant from their application alone.
#2 instead, open their application and look for relevant experience. You will not scrutinize their resume much at this stage, just try to eliminate the clearly unqualified or misfit resumes. Of those who have not been eliminated send them a qualifying email.
Example: Candidate, We received your application below. I took a look at your resume and we would like to schedule an initial interview with you. Before we do that however, please reply to this email with a few comments regarding why you are interested in working here. If you need to re-visit our website click here. We look forward to speaking with you.
#3 Don’t get sucked in by the responses that only talk about the applicant’s strength and experience. Remember your question wasn’t why are they qualified for the job, but why are they interested in the job. It’s too easy for an applicant to copy/paste a generic cover letter-type response that may sound good but does not accomplish your screening objective.
When you do get a response like this, reply again reiterating that you are asking about why they are interested in this particular opportunity.
Bottom line: Do not schedule interviews with an applicant until and unless they have read and understood the job description and explained to you why they are interested in learning more.
To learn more about how to schedule first interviews, conduct effective first interviews, improve your conversion ratios and maximize your return on recruiting budget take a look at our comprehensive manual for building remote sales departments.