The hiring process at a small company often falls into the hands of team members that have a multitude of other responsibilities vs. the HR department at a large firm. For this reason, having a streamlined process, using tools that are free and familiar to everyone involved is key.
For companies that use Google for Business or the ‘G Suite,’ a Google Form can serve as the perfect mechanism to automate the initial job candidate screening process and reduce email for all parties involved. It is important during the interview process that all of the interviewers provide feedback on the candidate in a fair and impartial manner. This form allows the interviewers to enter their feedback from their computer and for the data to be tabulated on a spreadsheet that all of the interviewers have access to.
Here is a step by step guide on how to create an initial screening interview form using Google forms.
Sign into Google Drive
Sign in directly to Google Drive by going to: Google drive.
Click on the colorful plus “+” button that says “New.”
Hover over “More” and click on “Google Forms.”
Name the candidate screening form
Name the initial interview screening form by clicking on “Untitled form” in the top left and typing in the name. You can call it ‘Interview Screening Form’ for example. You can also add a description under the title in the center white box where it says “Form description.”
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Begin creating your questions by clicking on “Untitled Question” and typing out your question. You can select what format the answer should be in by clicking on the gray box to the right that says “Multiple choice” and selecting the format. Note that all questions that are required will have a red asterisk symbol next to it when the user is completing the form. A good question to start with is, “Please enter the candidate’s name.” The format for this is “Short answer.” A useful multiple choice question could be, “Should this candidate move on to the next round?” and have, “Yes,” “No,” and “Maybe” as options, which would instruct the hiring manager or coordinator on how to proceed next. You can also use multiple choice to identify which round of interviews this is (if you use the form for multiple rounds). This is one of the key ways that email traffic gets reduced and expedites the interview process. When there is quick feedback and instructions on the next steps to candidates, they are more likely to want to continue the interview process.
Add additional questions
Add additional questions to the form by clicking the plus “+” sign in the circle to the right of the center white box. You can also upload an image, add a description to the question or create a new section by using the icons in the vertical bar to the right of the center white box. You may want to use the date option for identifying the date of the interview. To add the date of the interview to the form, click in the same gray box that you did for a multiple choice question and click on “date.”
You may also want to create a linear scale for ranking a candidate. A sample question to use is “On a scale of 1 to 5, how would you rate this candidate?” and add “Very Weak” and “Very Strong” as the labels.
The questions on the form can serve as questions for the interviewer but also as a guide for the interviewer to ask questions to the candidate.
Preview the form
Once you have created the last question, your form is ready! Click on the the eye icon in the top right of the screen to preview the form. I would suggest sending a test to a trusted coworker and getting feedback before you share it with the rest of the team. (Refer to Step 11 below on how to send.)
Add collaborators to the form by clicking on the three vertical dots next to your profile in the top right of the page and clicking on “Add collaborators” and then entering their email in the “Invite people box” where it says – “Enter names or email addresses.”
Collaborators can edit the form, send the form to other people and add other collaborators. Some reasons why you might want to have a collaborator is to help create more content for the form and also share the form with other members of your team.
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Set up notifications~root~>
Setup up notifications for when the form is filled out by an interviewer. Do this by clicking on the “Responses” tab next to the “Questions” tab at the top of the white center box. Then click on the three little vertical dots and check off “Get email notifications for new responses.” Each collaborator that wants to get notified will need to do this while they are logged in.
Setup a spreadsheet
Setup a spreadsheet in Google Sheets for members of the team to access to review candidate feedback. Do this under the “Responses” tab by clicking on the green Google sheet icon. This will create a spreadsheet via Google that you can use to view all the responses that have been given in the form. Select the destination for the responses (either a new sheet or an existing one) and click “Create.”
Share with team members
Share the interview screening form on Google Sheets with team members that need to review feedback on the job candidate by clicking on the blue box in the top right of the spreadsheet that says “Share.” Enter the email addresses and then click on the little pencil icon and click “Can comment.” You don’t want anyone changing the content on this sheet since it comes from the form.
Customize the form’s appearance
You can customize the form’s appearance by clicking on the palate in the top right of the screen (the customize theme icon) and selecting a color or image to use. You can select from various background colors and/or insert an image. Have fun with this! You can put an image of your team, core values, etc.
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Share the interview screening form with the interviewers~root~>
To share the form with the interview team, you can click the “Send” button and send it via email by entering the email address or share a link by clicking on the link button to the right of the envelope icon.
Share the new process
Meet with your team to share the new process and answer any questions they may have. Enjoy a streamlined initial screening interview process and less email!
Having this initial screening interview form using Google forms helps facilitate clear communication about job candidates and the next steps in the interview process and reduces email traffic among the interview team. Interviewers also feel that they have some guidance on which questions to ask and are therefore more agreeable to participating in the process.