The interview panel should carry out shortlisting within 2 weeks of the closing date of the job advert. If there is a delay in shortlisting, the chairperson is responsible for advising all candidates using Talentlink.

Selection of the Interview Panel

The chairperson is normally the recruiting manager and is responsible for the whole recruitment process.

Panel members should stay the same throughout the process. The chairperson must be trained and panel members should be trained in Recruitment and Selection before participating in any part of the process.

There is an online learning package as well as a practical skills course to assist with this. There should be 3 panel members to ensure that fair recruitment takes place, however 2 people may interview for lower graded posts or in specific situations where this is considered appropriate.

If possible, the panel should have a gender balance and include the line manager.

If a panel member has a personal relationship with a candidate, for example a relative or friend, they should tell the chairperson who will decide if the panel member is impartial. If the chairperson has a personal relationship with a candidate, consideration should be given to appointing a new chairperson. A replacement panel member may be appointed if there is any uncertainty. This also applies to Elected Members involved in the recruitment of Chief Officers.

Where multi-agency panels (including panel members from organisations external to the Council) are used, all panel members should be appropriately trained by the relevant organisation.

Service users / Parent Councils

Sometimes it may be appropriate to include service users or Parent Councils in the interview process. They will not be involved in the decision making process. If this is the case, anyone who will be on the panel must have an understanding of the recruitment process and comply with this policy. Services, along with HR, will develop specific guidance as required to meet the needs of their service users undertaking this role, which will be discussed with Trade Unions as required.

Any attempt to influence the decision of the interview panel in favour of a particular candidate will be considered as canvassing. Any such incidents should be immediately referred to the Chief Governance Officer.

Headteachers and Depute Headteachers

In the case of interviews for Headteachers and Depute Headteachers, the interview panel should be appointed in accordance with Scottish Schools (Parental Involvement) Act 2006 and Appointments (Scotland) Regulations 2007.

The Appointment procedure for Headteacher/Depute Headteacher Posts includes guidance in relation to Parent Council involvement.

Shortlisting process

The interview panel should shortlist the applications online on Talentlink using the shortlisting analysis form and shortlisting matrix which should be completed with the essential criteria established in the job profile and desirable criteria if necessary. Where possible, application forms should not be printed.

Shortlisting Analysis Form
Shortlisting Matrix


Where a candidate has indicated that they are a redeployee, they must be treated as a priority and you must consider their application before you continue to shortlist your other candidates. If the redeployee meets the essential criteria of a post they should be considered for the post as a priority interview.

You should check your vacancy regularly before the closing date to identify redeployees.

If only one redeployee applies, you can approach this as an informal chat.

If more than one redeployee applies and meets the criteria it should be progressed as a formal interview before you consider other candidates.

If you reject an application from a redeployment candidate it should be managed in the same way as a GIS candidate and the justification for the decision must be made in writing and must be clear as to which essential criteria the redeployee does not meet.

If you consider a redeployee suitable, you should offer them a work trial – more information is available in How to implement and support work trials.

Once you have considered your redeployees, you can then shortlist the rest of your candidates, if appropriate. Or, if you are progressing with a redeployee you can contact other applicants to advise of this.

Once the short list has been finalised and agreed, the chairperson should make arrangements to:

  • inform all candidates whether they have been invited for interview or not shortlisted, using Talentlink
  • arrange a specific email to candidates applying under the guaranteed interview scheme
  • if there is only one or there are no suitable candidates, contact the HR Helpdesk at for advice.

If there are a high volume of applications for a post, the panel can enhance the criteria, in a fair way relevant to the post, to help shortlisting.


If a candidate wants to complain about Falkirk Council's recruitment and selection process, they should be issued with a copy of the Recruitment and Selection Complaints Procedure.