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Knock-out Screening Questions

  • SmartRecruit


Any Yes/No or Dropdown screening question that isn't marked as a Diversity question can be configured as a knock-out question, with acceptable and unacceptable answers. SmartRecruiters will automatically reject candidates who choose unacceptable answers when completing their applications.

Configuring questions

You can configure any question that's already added to a Screening Question set to be a knock-out question. Configuration applies on a set-by-set basis, rather to the question itself (in your Question Library), so that each question can be:

  • a knock-out question with a specific configuration in one set
  • a knock-out question with another configuration in another set, and
  • a normal question in another set.

To configured a knock-out question:

  1. Navigate to Settings / Admin.
  2. Click Screening Questions in the Configuration list.
  3. On the Question Sets tab, click the Edit icon to edit an existing set. (Create a new set if necessary).sQSetList.png
  4. On the Edit Set page, click Settings for the question you'd like to configure. (Add a new question if necessary). 
  5. In the Question Settings modal, select the Knock-out option.KnockoutConfigure.png
  6. Mark each unacceptable answer as a Knock-out answer. At least one answer must remain unchecked.
  7. Click Done to finish.

Check for the Knockout icon to identify which questions are configured as knockout questions:Screen Shot 2017-10-17 at 1.55.35 PM.png

Configuring rejection

For each screening question set with at least one knockout question, you'll have the opportunity to configure:

  • A rejection reason that SmartRecruiters should assign to a candidate's application when they answer a screening question incorrectly.
  • A rejection email that SmartRecruiters should automatically send to the candidate after rejecting them for answering incorrectly. 

The rejection reason is required. SmartRecruiters will default to the "Did not meeting screening requirements" reason, but you can choose a different from your list of standard reasons (and custom reasons, if your company has them).


The rejection email is optional. Should you choose to send one, you can use any Rejection email template (or write a new one), and set up a Delayed Rejection.


Options are:

  • 1 hour after candidate submits application (default)
  • 2 days after
  • 5 days after

Rejections set up for specific candidates, when you configured a Delayed Rejection for a knockout question, SmartRecruiters will mark the candidate as rejected immediately but will delay updates to the Candidate Portal, and will delay sending the rejection email to the candidate until the delay period elapses.

Candidates who are rejected by knockout question will see that the rejection was sent by the Hiring Team at <Company Name>, rather than by a specific member of the hiring team. 

Unlike other rejections, which are triggered manually by a recruiter or other hiring team member, rejections triggered by a knockout question can't be consistently attributed to a specific member of the hiring team. Thus, SmartRecruiters uses the generic Hiring Team as the sender of the email (grouped with the email subject). However, any changes to the template or email body, like inclusion of name merge fields [m_employee_first_name] or [m_employee_last_name] will be reflected in the email itself.