Long list? Short List? What do these terms mean and where do they come from?

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I'm Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter. I'm a career coach. That translates into I help people find work, hire people more effectively, be better managers and leaders, certainly be better in the workplace in general. Excuse me, I had to put something down there for a second.

And this video answers a question from someone. And the question is, "what does it mean when they say 'I was shortlisted?' Like, what is that shortlist thing?" So,, let me explain.

The term "shortlisting," comes out of the executive search work world and I'm someone who worked in search for many years. The concept was when you start to work with a new client, you would say something . . . you'd say something to the client to the effect of "initially, I'm going to build a long list of potential people to evaluate and assess for you and, then, from there, begin a process of creating a shortlist and would evaluate and assess them, narrow down people who really don't fit what you're looking for, and then, build a shortlist from which we can start doing interviews." Notice, it's the process of eliminating people from consideration to bring it down to a manageable number.

Now, for you who's in a search and being told that you've been shortlisted, you haven't told me whether this is before interviewing where they've taken, let's say, 250 people and narrowed it down to a manageable 20, or you've already gone through a first round interview, and they've taken that 20 and narrowed it down to two or three. Fundamentally, it's the process of narrowing down the people for consideration so that they can really zero in and choose the one that they want.

I'm Jeff Altman. Hope you enjoy this. Visit TheBigGameHunter.us. I've got a lot more there that you can watch, listen to or read to help you find work more quickly, be more effective at work, manage better, lead better, all sorts of good stuff.

And if you're interested in one on one coaching, visit my website. Again, that's TheBigGameHunter.us. On the homepage, there's a button where you can schedule a free discovery call or a coaching session with me, which I'll, obviously, charge for. But I'd love to help you.

Hope you have a great day and take care.


Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter
Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter

Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter is a career and leadership coach who worked as a recruiter for more than 40 years. He is the host of “No BS Job Search Advice Radio,” the #1 podcast in iTunes for job search with more than 1600 episodes and his newest show, “No BS Coaching Advice.” He is a member of The Forbes Coaches Council. “No BS JobSearch Advice Radio” was recently named a Top 10 podcast for job search. JobSearchTV.com was also recently named a Top 10 YouTube channel for job search.

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6 Responses
    1. Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter

      This is a video for job hunters. My answer for you would not be expert so I will not attempt to offer an answer

  1. Golden Sperm

    Hi Jeff, I hope you’re well.

    I’m sorry for being slow. But I’m wondering what it means when the HR says

    ” We are waiting for the decision of the hiring managers to extend the offer.”

    “You are currently shortlisted for an offer.”

    1. Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter

      I’ve been offline for the holidays. I apologize for not responding sooner. Although both sound good, neither commits a as company to anything. A shortlist is a small list of people. This being told that you are shortlisted for an offer should mean that you are one of a few people tgat they are planning on making an offer to you HOWEVER they could have said they will be making an offer. We are getting signatures to approve it but you should have it in a few days. The first statement tells me that they we’re waiting for feedback from the hiring manager as to move forward with an offer.

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