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Division of Human Resources


Screening Tools

Finding the best candidate to interview starts by narrowing down the application pool. 

The Screening Process (for the Columbia Campus Only)

The USC Jobs system automatically screens applicants to determine if they are qualified for a position based on answers they provide during the application process. The Recruitment and Employment Office assigns certain educational and experience related questions to all newly posted staff positions that will assess the minimum qualification requirements. In addition, hiring managers are welcome to develop preferred qualifications and specific job related questions that applicants are required to answer as they apply.  

Narrowing the Pool 

The hiring manager will be able to view all applicants who are qualified based on their answers to the qualifying questions. Because applicants will be self-qualifying, hiring managers must carefully review the applications to ensure those chosen to be interviewed meet the minimum requirements and that their noted experience is relevant for the job. Basic guidelines for screening applicants [pdf] can assist you with this process. Candidates who do not meet the minimum requirements must not be interviewed. Once a candidate has been selected, the hiring manager is required to certify [pdf] that they meet the minimum qualifications. 

An applicant review template [pdf] should be used to compare the candidates against set criteria to determine who to interview. The hiring manager should develop a job specific template prior to reviewing applications. A sample review template [pdf] may help you get started. After scoring the applicants, top candidates should be invited to the interview. If you have too many qualified candidates, prescreening questions or a brief telephone interview can narrow the pool.

You will also want to check to see if there are any conflicting relationships between the candidates, the hiring manager or any members of the search committee. Definitions of conflicting relationships may be found on page 2 of the Attestation of Hiring Process [pdf] form.