Most of our clients retain our services to profile, source and find the best possible candidate for a critical position opening. While tenure, educational pedigree, career accomplishments and experience are all important criteria in narrowing the candidate pool - so are communication skills. The ability to face the market and other executives in the organization with solid communication skills is paramount in employers making the right hiring decision.
We always screen each candidate and interview them by phone and in person multiple times before they become a finalist for a given position. We also have each candidate complete a detailed candidate questionnaire that is relevant to the position they are interviewing for. My advice to any candidate that is asked to complete a candidate questionnaire is to take your time and think thru each question and your answer. Write your answers down on paper, read each question out load and make sure you are articulating your thought process with as much detail and logic possible. Short answers to detailed questions are a non-starter.
This is NOT the time to take shortcuts.
Your answers show the prospective employer how you think, communicate and the thought process you put into answering each question. My suggestion is to take your time. Clients tell us that many candidates that are successful and receive the job offer over others are tied to how well they did in showcasing their communication skills. Do not let the search firm you are working with force you to complete the questionnaire until you have time to do it right!
In the end - you will be glad you took the time to make sure the prospective employer sees you and your skill set in the best possible light.