Shortlisting candidates: guidance and template

Download our template shortlisting grid to help you identify which candidates to invite for interview. Find out how to make sure your process is fair and that you shortlist the right people.

Last reviewed on 11 June 2024See updates
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  1. Download and adapt our shortlisting grid
  2. Use fair criteria and rely only on evidence outlined in the application
  3. Decide on a practical number of candidates to shortlist
  4. Use the same panel to shortlist and conduct interviews
  5. Anonymise application forms 
  6. Collect criminal record self-declarations after you've shortlisted candidates
  7. Consider carrying out an online search on shortlisted candidates
  8. Shred and recycle the paper you've used

Download and adapt our shortlisting grid

Use the template to help you decide which candidates to shortlist for interview.

KeyDoc: shortlisting candidates template DOC, 204.0 KB

How to use it

  • Add all the essential criteria from the relevant person specification
  • Go through each application, checking off whether (or the extent to which) the candidate has met the essential criteria for the role, and use that as the basis for shortlisting

Make sure at least 2 people are involved in your shortlisting process (see paragraph 225 of Keeping Children Safe in Education (KCSIE) 2024).

Use fair criteria and rely only on evidence outlined in the application

Make your system clear and straightforward. Shortlist your candidates based only on:

  • Criteria taken from the person specification
  • Skills and experience outlined in the application that are relevant to the job in question

Decisions were based on relevant criteria and evidence You’ve

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