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What is a screening interview? Everything You Need to Know

What is a screening interview? Everything You Need to Know

A screening interview is a great chance to stand out from the other applicants and make a good impression on the interviewer. You can talk about how much you want the job, how much you care about the company, and what you can bring to the job even in a short phone interview. Preparing for a screening interview takes time and research.

This article talks about questions you should be ready to answer at the screening interview and gives you tips to make sure you are ready.

What is a screening interview?

As part of the hiring process, employers use a screening interview to find out if a candidate has the skills needed to do the job the company is hiring for. It is often the first interview someone has when they are being hired. Most of the time, this is an opportunity for the recruiter to:

  • Tell us about the company and the job they want to fill.
  • Ask the candidate questions to find out if they meet the basic requirements for the job, if the job is what they are looking for, and if they are interested in the job.
  • Answer the candidate’s questions about the company, the job, and the hiring process.

The screening interview can be done in person or on the phone. In either case, the screening interview will decide if you move on to the next step of the interview process.

Typical questions for a screening interview

In a screening interview, you should be ready to answer the following:

  • What kind of job do you want?
  • Tell me about yourself.
  • What made you decide to quit your most recent job?
  • Describe your current job responsibilities?
  • Why did you decide to work here?
  • How do you want to be paid?
  • What management style suits you best?
  • When could you start if they chose you for this job?
  • What’s your best accomplishment so far?
  • What do you do well? Where do you need to improve?
  • Where do you see yourself in five years?
  • What do you do when you’re feeling overwhelmed?
  • What keeps you going at work?
  • Why should someone hire you?
  • Do you want to find out more about this specific role?

How to get ready for a successful screening interview

Here are some ways to prepare for your next screening interview:

1. Read the job description.

Check out the candidate’s required and preferred skills, as well as their main responsibilities for the job. Make a list of the most important tasks and think about how your education, skills, and experience relate to those tasks.

2. Learn about the business

You should be able to answer questions about the company’s products, market, and other important strategies and numbers that you can find out by doing research. Different ways will be used to ask, “What do you know about us?” As part of your research, you should read blog posts and social media posts. Check to see if you know anyone who works at the company and could tell you more about it.

3. Know what’s on your resume

Be ready to talk about your previous jobs and experiences in a way that shows how good you are. Be able to talk about your three most important accomplishments and how they show that you can do well in the job you’re applying for.

4. Get used to talking to people.

Interview a friend to learn how to do it. Give them a list of questions that are often asked in screening interviews, and practice answering them. If the screening interview is over the phone, have your friend call you for your practice interview. If you want to use notes during the interview, have them ready to go during your practice interview.

5. Prepare questions

Think of some thoughtful questions to ask the interviewer to show that you are interested in the job.

How to get the most out of your preliminary interview

Here are some tips that will help you do well at your interview:

Find a quiet place.

If the screening interview is over the phone, give yourself at least 30 minutes to talk with the interviewer in a quiet place where you won’t be interrupted.

Get excited!

Try to get along with the person who is doing the interview. Show that you’re interested in the company and ask what the next steps are and when they might happen. If you don’t have the interviewer’s email address, you should ask for it so you can keep in touch.

Smile when you talk.

Smile when you talk about the work you’ve done, when you ask questions, or when you talk about how much you like the company. The interviewer will be able to tell the difference in tone, and it can have a big impact on how interested you sound in a job.

Tell it like it is.

Make it as easy as possible for the interviewer to get the information they need. When you answer a question, be clear and to the point.

End on a positive note.

Thank the interviewer for the chance to talk about the job, and end the call on a good note. You might say something like this: “Thank you so much for calling. I liked what I heard about the job and the company, and I think I’d be a good fit for the role. I’d love to talk more about the chance with you in person. Next, what should I do?”

How to follow up after a job interview

Here are some easy things you can do after the screening interview to make the wait easier and make it more likely that you will get a callback:

Send a thank-you note.

Send a thank-you email or letter within 24 hours of the interview. Say again that you are interested in the job and thank them for letting you interview.

Just do what’s said.

If someone tells you to do something, like send a follow-up email, do it. If you forgot to ask about what will happen next during the interview, you can ask for more information in the email that follows up.

Be patient

Be aware that your thank-you note might not get a response, especially if the organization is looking at a lot of applications. Contact them again one and two weeks after the interview.

Get ready for your next interview.

You never know when you’ll be asked to come back for more interviews, so you should always be ready. Do more research to find out about company milestones, projects that have won awards, or recent projects that aren’t easy to find on the company’s website. This information can help you in the interview.

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