Methods of selection

Both internal and external recruitment may use interviews, application forms, aptitude tests, group tasks, presentations, and role-playing tasks to help select the best candidates for the job.


A CV is a document that applicants complete and submit alongside a job application. CV stands for ‘curriculum vitae,’ which is Latin for ‘course of life.’ It is a personal document that includes information about an applicant’s skills, experience, qualifications, and hobbies. This document is used by a business to decide whether applicants match the requirements of the person specification. Some roles only require a CV, with no application form, as this may encourage more applicants to apply.

Application form

An application form is completed by a potential employee when they apply for a job. It will often include a series of questions for a potential employee to answer, so that the business can learn more about them. It often includes a section for applicants to write about themselves and why they are the best candidate for the role.

Letter of application

Sometimes, instead of completing an application form, a potential employee is asked to write a letter of application, in which they demonstrate why they should be employed to fulfil the job role. Additionally, some applications require letters of reference, which are letters from an applicant’s previous employers about their skills, experience, and character.


A business will often invite a number of applicants for an interview. This is usually a face-to-face meeting during which the business will ask a series of questions and observe how the candidate answers them. The performance of each candidate can be compared.


Some businesses will ask job applicants to complete a test. This might be a practical test or a paper-based test, depending on the vacancy. Tests are often used to see how well an applicant is able to think and react under pressure

Group activities

Sometimes a business may ask a number of applicants to work together to complete a task. This may be a practical task, or a discussion. Whilst completing the task the behaviour of the applicants can be observed to identify those who work well with others, those who are leaders, and those who might work better on individual tasks.


A reference is usually a written statement provided by someone who knows the applicant well, usually their current employer. Comments are commonly made about their attendance and punctuality records, whether they are dependable as well as other personal qualities.