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What is a Screening Interview? Tips on Getting Preparation

You've spent a ton of time sifting through the resumes of candidates who meet at least your minimum requirements. How do you choose the most qualified among them - potential employees who will fit your company's culture and goals?

Screening interviews are your salvation, as they will help you quickly find all the necessary information about the candidate without needing a formal interview.

In this article, you will learn: what a screening interview is, how it works, questions relevant to screening interviews in the recruitment process, types of screening interviews, and most importantly, how to start using them in your business.

What is a Screening Interview?

A video/phone screening interview is a type of job interview used to ensure that the applicant's qualifications would be the best fit for the position and that the person has basic requirements. This type of interview typically takes place before the traditional interviews with the hiring team and can be conducted over the phone or via video.

Initially, the objective is to narrow the pool of potential job candidates. This will ensure that only the most qualified candidates will be considered for the next stage of the hiring process. In addition, as mentioned above, the team must recognize that the candidate meets the criteria of professionalism.

Screening Interview

Employers will ask questions during a video/phone screening interview (first interview) related to an individual's experience, education, and professional background, as well as their skills and knowledge base relevant to the job role they apply.

Second interview questions may also focus on how they would fit into existing team dynamics or company culture if hired by probing into values such as work ethic, adaptability, and problem-solving ability.

The next round of interviews may also include the same questions about career goals to find answers about the terms of the person performing the expected work.

A screening interview serves two primary purposes:

  1. It allows recruiters to quickly identify the job candidates who have potential based on their answers;
  2. It helps limit time wasted interviewing unsuitable candidates who ultimately won't get past this next stage regardless due to lack of experience/qualifications, etc.

These interviews remain just one small part of the more extensive hiring procedures. However, video/phone screen interview is an effective solution for reducing workloads during recruiting processes.

It still falls upon employers to ensure all other steps give each candidate a fair chance to succeed by providing equal opportunities throughout the entire selection procedure.

How Does an Interview Screening Work?

The screening interview starts with a proper job application and involves several stages.

The first round in a job interview screening is a preliminary phone interview or video call with the candidate.

That allows recruiters to get an overview of their relevant experience and qualifications and ask fundamental questions about the job description and why they're interested in working at that particular company or organization (to ensure the candidate has minimum requirements).

Overview of relevant experience

After that, the goal is to get more information on whether it would be worth bringing the job applicant into further interviews. Then, the conversation moves onto later stages (after making sure of each other's potential), which often include multiple rounds of interviews.

Recruiters will dive deeper into specific aspects in these later stages, such as technical knowledge and problem-solving abilities.

The third stage is usually an interview with other stakeholders, such as colleagues or clients, who may ask more targeted questions.

Finally, the fourth stage is typically an offer and negotiation stage.

An offer and negotiation stage

Best Tips on Preparing for Screening Interviews

Screening interviews can be a daunting experience for many job seekers. However, you can make the most of your screening interview (it doesn't matter whether it's the first or second interview) and increase your chances of success with the proper preparation and attitude.

Here are some best video/phone screen interview tips on preparing for screening interviews that will help you get ready to ace it.

  • Research the company before starting an interview. By doing so, you will gain a deeper understanding of their values and organizational culture.
  • Check the job description and make sure everything is clear. Otherwise, point out some challenging moments.
  • Be prepared to answer questions like "Tell me more about yourself?" or "Why do you want this job?"
  • Take some time to rehearse potential scenarios in front of a mirror or even record yourself speaking aloud if necessary (it's valid for video and phone screenings).
  • Check your social media accounts. There should be no defamatory photos.
  • Prepare questions for the interviewer.
  • Be confident. Ensure you are confident in your answers to the video/phone screening questions and your ability to do the job. Moreover, be ready for the following interview phase and tell about your most significant achievements.
  • Check out your CV once again. If the information differs from the data in the resume, this will arouse suspicion (pay great attention to the employment history).
  • Remember to dress appropriately. It's essential to look professional throughout the interview, so verify that your outfit reflects this sentiment well.
  • Take your time and prepare your interview space. Make sure that the location where the screening interview takes place looks presentable.
  • Be on a positive note. Make sure you remain optimistic and enthusiastic throughout the whole hiring process.
  • Write a thank you note email after receiving the first one.

Pay attention to these interview tips, and always stay calm, confident, and well-prepared. Perceive every interview question as a way to demonstrate your best sides and qualities.

Best Tips on Preparing for Screening Interviews

Most Common Screening Interview Questions in the Hiring Process

Common screening interview questions in the hiring process include:

  • What's your story?
  • What influence do you have on the work environment?
  • Why do you think that you fit this job role?
  • What is your greatest strength/weakness?
  • Give an example of when you overcome a challenge.
  • What were your first impressions about the screening interview?
  • What was the most challenging decision you have ever had to make?
  • Do you understand everything in the job description?
  • How do you handle stress?
  • Do you like our management style?
  • What are your work history and your primary responsibilities?
  • In five years, where do you see yourself?
  • What are your salary expectations?
  • What do you know about our company?
  • Do you have any questions for me?

There may also be more pre-screening interview questions related to the job's specifics.

Therefore, it is better to answer each interview question clearly and informatively.

Types of Screening Interviews

The most common type of screening interview is the phone interview. It allows recruiters to get an initial impression of a candidate without meeting them in person or spending too much time on the video call.

In addition, this type of screening interview is beneficial when there are too many candidates.

Another popular option is video conferencing interviews, which provide similar benefits but offer the best candidates greater flexibility in terms and interview questions. That is perfect for having remote workers or those living far away from the office location that you want to consider.

Types of Screening Interviews, remote workers

Finally, some companies opt for pre-screening tests such as aptitude tests or written assessments before inviting someone in person. These give recruiters valuable insights.

Whatever type the company chooses, it's crucial to ensure everyone has equal opportunity throughout your recruitment process, regardless of any external factors.

How to Get Started with Screening Interviews

How to Get Started with Screening Interviews

You should first develop an effective screening process that outlines the interview questions you want to ask and the criteria you will use to evaluate the answers.—The evaluation process ensures a positive and successful screening experience.

The hiring manager should also ensure they have the right resources and tools to conduct the interviews, such as video conferencing or phone interviews.

Finally, it is essential to prepare for phone screening interviews by researching the most qualified candidates, clearly understanding the job requirements, and crafting questions that will give you the necessary information to make an informed decision.

Thus, using an online hiring video interview software such as Playhunt is your go-to solution to successfully complete an entire hiring process. Some of the many benefits that it offers are:

  1. Screening interview in video format provides employers with a cost-effective way to find the right person. In addition, it eliminates the need to travel for face-to-face interviews.
  2. Video interviews allow employers to access a larger pool of candidates , as they can take interviews from anywhere.
  3. Screening interviews in a video chat format will enable employers to better understand a candidate's personality and communication skills, as they can observe a qualified candidate's body language and facial expressions.
  4. Playhunt video interviews make sense as they offer a more convenient way to conduct interviews, as they can schedule, quickly recorded, and shared.

As mentioned in this article, to run an efficient, successful hiring campaign, a video screening software solution is your perfect choice.