Candidates answering application form questions

HR Resources

How to Write Application Form Questions (and 4 Great Tips to Remember)

January 22, 2023

Reem Al-Tamimi

Reem Al-Tamimi

Content Writer

Why are job application form questions important?

An application form is a necessary step in the hiring process. Most importantly, it pre-screens candidates and eliminates those who are unsuitable for the role – before you even begin reviewing resumes.

Moreover, including application form questions in your hiring process allows you to work against the clock during the hiring process. As you can:

  • Learn more about candidates beyond the CV or cover letter.
  • Easily compare candidates early on in the hiring process.
  • Run background checks before inviting candidates in for interviews.

Add these questions to your application form and get to know your candidates without wasting any time. These questions allow you to get to know the candidate on a deeper, personal, and professional level.

Here are 25 thoughtful application form questions to get you started and help you create a standout candidate experience.

A recruiter finds the best candidate by asking application form questions.

Employment Questions

These simple application form questions will help recruiters unravel any deal breakers – such as if the candidate is unable to travel or is unable to work full-time. This ensures that recruiters will not waste their time assessing the wrong candidates for the role. Therefore, you should ask these application form questions early on in the hiring process in order to spare valuable time.

Here are some great questions to be inspired by:

  • Are you looking for a full-time or part-time job?
  • During the week, what days/time are you available to work?
  • What’s your notice period?
  • What are your salary expectations?
  • Are you eligible to work in [X country]?
  • Are you open to relocating? If yes, when?
  • Are you available/willing to travel for work purposes?
  • Are you ready to undergo a background check?
  • Do you have a valid driver’s license?

Candidates' Skills and Qualifications Questions

Assessing candidates is no walk in the park. At the end of the day, you don’t want to waste your entire day assessing a mass number of candidates only to find they’re all unsuitable for the role. Instead, you need to unravel the skills and capabilities of these candidates prior to interviewing them on the phone. The best way to do that is by asking skills and qualifications questions on your application form. These questions will allow you to determine whether or not a designated candidate is a good fit for your vacancy.

Here are a few sample questions you may want to use:

  • How proficient are you in speaking and writing in [X language]?
  • Do you have any prior experience with [X] software?
  • List the tools and software you’ve used for this position.
  • What are your strengths and weaknesses regarding your interpersonal skills?
  • What is your leadership style?
  • What do you excel at?

Cultural Fit Questions

A good hire doesn’t only possess the required skills and qualifications – but also seamlessly fits into the company culture like a glove.

To find the perfect candidate, you need to evaluate their cultural fit by asking specifically-tailored application form questions. The answers to these questions will help you unravel if the candidate can adapt to the company's culture and values.

Include any of the following questions in your job application:

  • What drew you to this position?
  • What about our company piques your interest?
  • Does this position fit into your long-term goals? If so, how?
  • What motivates you to do your best work?
  • What’s your ideal company culture?
  • What are the qualities that make you a great team player?
  • What are you looking for in a new role?

General Questions

Let’s get this out of the way: while asking all the aforementioned questions is great – there is one question you can’t forget to ask.

Yes, you got that right!

How did the candidate learn about the position in the first place? Now you may be wondering why this question is important. For starters, asking this question will help you determine the source or channel that’s yielding the most candidates. Is it your favorite job board? Maybe your career page? Or is it really Facebook that’s doing the trick? The answers to these application form questions will help you determine your best sourcing channels and enable you to take your sourcing game to the next level.

Here are a couple of other general questions that you can add to your list:

  • How did you learn about this position?
  • Did someone refer this job to you? If yes, who?
  • Do you know anyone who works at our company? If yes, who?

Four great tips to keep in mind when evaluating the candidate’s answers:

Avoid asking any biased questions

Bear in mind that some interview questions can be ingrained with bias. So when building your application form questions, make sure to keep an eye out for any questions that might elicit gender, race, ethnicity, or demographic bias. Instead, make sure each question is strictly based on and relevant to the role.

Keep an easy flow for your application form

If you want to keep your candidates from dropping out of the application process, then you need to keep your application form easy, smooth, and simple. Plus, it needs to make sense to the candidate. Therefore, the order of the application form questions should be straightforward and concise. For example, people are used to being asked for their name and contact information at first, followed by a series of general and role-specific questions.

Include questions that unravel the candidate's career goals

When assessing candidates, you need to gauge their aspirations and long-term career goals. Do they see themselves growing with your company in the long term? This question is critically important to add to your application form questions. Especially if your company prefers to promote from within and requires employees to commit to a certain amount of time before receiving raises or certain benefits.

Determine which answers are considered deal-breakers for your company

For some positions, there are a lot of criteria that might be deemed as ‘’deal breakers”.
For example, it could be that the candidate’s salary expectations are far higher than what the company has budgeted for the position. Or perhaps the candidate isn’t willing to travel or relocate for a specific position. So make sure to these questions to your list of application form questions.

Did you find these application form questions helpful? For more HR resources, templates, and job descriptions, check out our HR resources blog, where you will find a vast range of useful advice, tips, and resources for you and your HR team! And if you'd like to see our award-winning recruitment software in action, book your free one-on-one demo here!

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Reem Al-Tamimi

Reem Al-Tamimi

Recruit better, faster, and fairer

Join hundreds of recruiting teams who increased their hiring success and recruited winning teams with Elevatus.

Request a demo