How to Answer Online Job Application Questions

Ask for help when filling out the Web-based application at the company.

Ask for help when filling out the Web-based application at the company.

Companies ask job seekers to fill out a specific online job application form so that screening and selecting officials can gather information about work history, educational experience and job qualifications. The employer may design the job application so that it asks questions and elicits answers from applicants that help determine if they are good candidates for the job opportunity. Some job seekers worry over what it takes to get a call back for an interview -- proper completion of the online application can make your job search more effective and fruitful by increasing your chance of being called for an interview.

Fill out the "Personal Information" section in its entirety, including your full name, mailing address, phone number and email address. Although you are submitting the application via a Web page, employers might contact you by postal mail, phone or email with instructions on how to move forward in the hiring process.

Provide your date of birth, if you are under the age of 18, so that employers can comply with child labor laws. In addition, answer questions about sex, race and disability status, as a good faith measure. These questions are often presented in a separate section or page of the online application. Laws require that companies make Equal Opportunity reports, and your application data may eventually help to improve the application and hiring process for all. Lastly, answer felony conviction questions with honesty.

List your work history information precisely as instructed on the form, such as providing your last three employers if asked to do so. Include the full company name, location and phone number. Background checks, such as with your former supervisors, may be conducted over the telephone as well, even though the application is online. Type exact starting and ending dates, month and year, as well as your reason for leaving. If you don't want to state that you were fired, use the term "involuntary separation." Lastly, include job duties with keywords that are relevant to the position for which you are applying.

Type in your educational data that details schools and colleges you attended, degrees and certifications earned, and any relevant licenses. Provide the current name of your old high school and university. Specify your degree level, such as associate, bachelor's, master's or Ph.D. degree. Employers perform applicant background checks with educational institutions, as well; note whether the application mentions if you will need to provide official transcripts.

Take all online skills assessments that are a part of the application process. Answer the questions to the best of your ability. There may be more than one correct way to approach a question. Some online tests might have multiple choice answers. Hiring employers aren't necessarily trying to trick or eliminate you from the hiring process. They may want to know how you respond to work-related situations based on your answers.

Use the "Additional Comments" section to create a new section that was not included when the employer designed the original online application. For example, add a "SKILLS" section in the blank text box. List specific knowledge, talents and abilities that you weren't able to include anywhere else on the application form, such as "motivating others," "coaching individuals" or "working independently."

Tips

  • Create and maintain a personal data sheet so that you can quickly and accurately fill out online applications without having to constantly stop and look up your information.
  • Have a list of professional references prepared to put into the online application.
  • Avoid writing "See Resume" on the application.
  • Use "N/A" or "Not applicable" if you must leave a field blank in the online application.
  • Don't hit the "Submit" button until you have completed all the questions in the application and proofread what you have written.
  • Confirm that a job opportunity is not an online scam.

Warning

  • Read through the complete online application before you begin to answer questions. You don't want to neglect or overlook important employer-specific instructions or give information in an early section that is specifically asked for later.
 

Photo Credits

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