Human Resources

Evaluating applications and shortlisting applicants for interview


This section provides information and guidance on shortlisting applicants for interview, assembling the interview panel, the interview process and recording candidate selection decisions. 

What do I need to consider?

The University of Portsmouth has a fair and equitable recruitment process. To achieve this, we need to ensure that our processes are fair, systematic, efficient and effective.

The shortlisting stage provides a means by which all applications will be considered using a selection programme; this includes application forms, interviews, tests, presentations, and references. We achieve the criteria of fair shortlisting by basing the selection on the essential and desirable criteria; these are listed in the person specification. Our Guidelines for Shortlisting provide information and guidance on the shortlisting process.

What do I need to do?

Shortlist candidates for interview

All applications are considered by using the essential and desirable criteria contained in the person specification and by assessing application forms against these criteria. These assessments are complete by the recruiting panel and decisions input to the online recruitment system. All job applicants will be asked the same equality monitoring information. This information is not shared with recruitment panels and forms no part of the shortlisting or interview process.

HR will provide access to the online recruitment system to allow the recruiting panel to review all applicants’ paperwork.

It should also be noted that the University asks disabled candidates to identify themselves only to ensure that any appropriate adjustment or arrangements can be offered to enable such candidates to compete on an equal basis in the recruitment process. HR will provide support and advice to the recruiting manager in providing any reasonable adjustments to enable candidates to fully participate in the recruitment process. Positive discrimination (e.g. giving applicants from disadvantaged or under-represented groups preferential treatment in the recruitment process regardless of their ability to do the job) is unlawful. Therefore, the University would not offer a job to a woman or someone from an ethnic background purely to improve the University’s gender or ethnicity balance. Each candidate is considered on their merit against the job description and person specification.

Following shortlisting by the recruiting panel, HR will inform unsuccessful applicants, invite shortlisted applicants to interview and process any reserve candidates using the online recruitment system.

Guidance on using the online-recruitment system

  • For Convenors

If you are a Convenor on the interview panel, the Online Recruitment Guide- Process for Selection Committee (Convenor) has been designed to help in using the University’s online recruitment system.

  • Trained Interviewer/panel members

If you are a member of the interview panel or a/the Trained Interviewer, the Online Recruitment Guide-Process for Selection Committee(Trained Interviewer/Panel Members) has been designed to provide help and provide guidance in using the University's online recruitment system.

  • Interview administration

If you are involved in carrying out administration for interviews in your business area (required to view any/all vacancies, print candidates’ paperwork etc), the Online Recruitment Guide- Process for Selection Committee (View Only Users) has been designed to help.

Shortlisting Best Practice Guidelines

For all panel members and convenors we have Guidelines for Shortlisting. These guidelines contain Useful information and examples of good practice.

The following information is covered in the guidelines:

  • methods for shortlisting
  • administration required for all vacancies
  • shortlisting for interview comments
  • reserve Candidates
  • recommendations post-interview

It is important to remember when recording decisions (pre and post interview) that it is conducted in a consistent approach with robust reasons relating to the person specification. Shortlisting is an integral part of the recruitment process and having consistent and robust documentation is essential for legal requirements and auditing purposes.

What else do I need to know?

As part of Recruitment and Selection training, modules are available on the Shortlisting and Selection Process and Online Recruitment. Find out more about the full range of Recruitment and Selection training modules.

The HR department produce regular e-bulletins which provide news, updates and details of system and process developments, click to download the latest issue.

How do I get help?

Use this help form to get in touch (please note that you need to be logged into your UoP staff email account to access this form).