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A co-worker and I were going through several resumes that we received from college job boards, and we came across one that looked pretty good, to the point that we would want to interview him.

However, we noticed that on his university education, his GPA was missing. Normally this would be a big enough red flag to toss out the resume altogether, but looking at the rest of his resume led us to give him the benefit of the doubt.

That said, our company does have a requirement of a 3.0/4.0 GPA for recent graduates before we can even interview them, which brings me to my question: is it professional to email and ask for the GPA before we even offer an interview?

EDIT: I should say that the alternative to asking for the GPA is not interviewing the guy altogether.

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    It can't be any less professional than tossing out a candidate due to a completely arbitrary rule around a completely worthless metric. You'd bounce a candidate with a 2.95 GPA from MIT/Stanford/etc, but take someone with a 3.0 from Bob's College of Basketweaving? – Telastyn Jan 28 '15 at 20:11
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    Not my rule, and not in the scope of the question. – panoptical Jan 28 '15 at 20:16
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    How is it not in scope? If you didn't have the stupid, anti-productive rule, would you still ask about the GPA? Given the option, it's usually preferable to fix the problem, not the symptom. – Telastyn Jan 28 '15 at 20:37
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    These types of companies are at the top of my "Companies to avoid" list. – l46kok Jan 29 '15 at 10:09
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    A GPA requirement is not an anti-productive rule and I'm sure it is a strong guideline and not hard and fast rule (so the MIT grad still has a chance). A GPA gives an indication of either a person's ability or maturity at a minimum. It is true that sometimes it takes a couple of years to mature and start getting decent grades so then applicants have the option to say something like "3.5 GPA in my major" or "3.5 GPA over the last 3 semesters" if they have an otherwise ordinary overall GPA. GPA is definitely not worthless, unless you are one of those people with a low GPA. Then it is. – Dunk Jan 29 '15 at 22:59
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What's "professional" about inviting him for an interview only to yank him out because you just found out that his GPA isn't up to par? And you aren't going to get loving reviews from those colleagues who agreed to interview him only to find out that you had wasted their time interviewing a non-eligible candidate. You'll probably look like a jerk to both the candidate and your colleagues for not finding out something that you were supposed to find out and that you could have found just by asking.

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It's completely professional.

Part of your responsibility as an interviewer is to give candidates every reasonable opportunity to present themselves at their best, so that you can have some level of confidence that you didn't rule out good candidates for arbitrary reasons.

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If that is a rule for your business, then asking the question is perfectly fine. It's how you ask the question that matters. Request it in a professional manner before you interview him. "We came across your resume and wanted some additional information" should suffice. It would basically be a phone screen.

  • And I agree with @JeffO's comment above. This should be something (if it isn't already) that's part of the job posting. – Brian Jan 29 '15 at 14:43

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