How to Answer Prospective Job Applicants

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By responding to prospective job applicants, you control the flow of information.
By responding to prospective job applicants, you control the flow of information. (Image: Jupiterimages/Comstock/Getty Images)

Answering prospective job applicants is a task that puts you at the forefront of your company. Providing information and answering queries while representing your workplace can be rewarding. By streamlining the flow of information, you can make the task of selecting the right candidate for the job easier for those involved. Your communications and management skills will be enhanced and when a candidate is hired, they will remember your helpfulness.

Be courteous and professional. You are the public face of the company and your responses will reflect upon the company. Even as job applicants are being interviewed for a position in a company, the applicant is also essentially interviewing the company. Your company wants to recruit and employ the best talent and professional correspondence will make a positive impression on prospective applicants.

Adhere to proper business etiquette for all types of communication. This includes using spell-check and proper grammar and an appropriate degree of formality when addressing applicants.

Direct applicants to your company’s website. Many questions the applicants will have will be answered on the website and they will also learn more about your company by doing their own research. Link applicants to the page where they will find the relevant information.

Answer queries in a prompt manner. Waiting too long to reply to a phone or email query could communicate a lack of organization. A good rule of thumb is 1-2 business days for emails and 2-3 business days for phone calls. If the reply will take longer for you to compose, send a quick email to acknowledge the message and indicate that you will respond soon.

Know when to use shortcuts. Use a form template for frequently asked questions. If the position has been filled, you can also use a standard reply encouraging applicants to submit their resume to be kept on file. In these cases, some extra sensitivity can make a big difference so personalize the communications if at all possible.

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