A friend of mine told me that the recruiter he was working with told him that he was put on the hiring managers' short list of applicants. I have never heard of the short list before.

What does this term mean and what is its significance in the hiring process?

  • Could mean that he's survived the first cut (has the right skills, maybe passed a phone interview, etc.) or that he's one of a few people the managers' plan to interview in person.
    – mkennedy
    Jan 13, 2015 at 23:34
  • It means that your friend is on the list of applicants that the hiring manager is going forward with. Jan 14, 2015 at 0:47

1 Answer 1


It's a bit euphemistic, but essentially it means that the hiring manager has gone through a screening process (or even several), deleting candidates who weren't qualified or didn't pass some other criteria, and that your friend is still in contention for the position.

Short version - The manager considers your friend an acceptable candidate, but is not sure he is the best candidate, yet.

  • To be literal here, the list may have been 25 people, but now the manager has narrowed it down to 5 people. Thus the list is now shorter Jan 14, 2015 at 2:31
  • Also, it's highly likely that the final candidate that is chosen will be from the "short list". It's unlikely that everyone on the short list will be rejected and the search will continue with new candidates.
    – Eric
    Jan 14, 2015 at 3:04

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