Django form filters

I’ve been working on a Django Project for a while and one of the apps I have tracks candidates. These candidates have dates of a specific type.

The models look like this:


class Candidate(models.Model):
    first_name = models.CharField(max_length=128)
    last_name = models.CharField(max_length=128)
    resume = models.FileField(storage=PrivateMediaStorage(), blank=True, null=True)
    cover_leter = models.FileField(storage=PrivateMediaStorage(), blank=True, null=True)
    email_address = models.EmailField(blank=True, null=True)
    linkedin = models.URLField(blank=True, null=True)
    github = models.URLField(blank=True, null=True)
    rejected = models.BooleanField()
    position = models.ForeignKey(
    hired = models.BooleanField(default=False)


class CandidateDate(models.Model):
    candidate = models.ForeignKey(
    date_type = models.ForeignKey(
    candidate_date = models.DateField(blank=True, null=True)
    candidate_date_note = models.TextField(blank=True, null=True)
    meeting_link = models.URLField(blank=True, null=True)

    class Meta:
        ordering = ["candidate", "-candidate_date"]
        unique_together = (


class CandidateDateType(models.Model):
    date_type = models.CharField(max_length=24)
    description = models.CharField(max_length=255, null=True, blank=True)

You’ll see from the CandidateDate model that the fields candidate and date_type are unique. One problem that I’ve been running into is how to help make that an easier thing to see in the form where the dates are entered.

The Django built in validation will display an error message if a user were to try and select a candidate and date_type that already existed, but it felt like this could be done better.

I did a fair amount of Googling and had a couple of different bright ideas, but ultimately it came down to a pretty simple implementation of the exclude keyword in the ORM

The initial Form looked like this:

class CandidateDateForm(ModelForm):
   class Meta:
        model = CandidateDate
        fields = [
        widgets = {
            "candidate": HiddenInput,

I updated it to include a __init__ method which overrode the options in the drop down.

def __init__(self, *args, **kwargs):
    super(CandidateDateForm, self).__init__(*args, **kwargs)
        candidate = kwargs["initial"]["candidate"]
        candidate_date_set = CandidateDate.objects.filter(candidate=candidate).values_list("date_type", flat=True)
        qs = CandidateDateType.objects.exclude(id__in=candidate_date_set)
        self.fields["date_type"].queryset = qs
    except KeyError:

Now, with this method the drop down will only show items which can be selected, not all CandidateDateType options.

Seems like a better user experience AND I got to learn a bit about the Django ORM