A screening interview is short in duration and used to narrow down a list of candidates by determining whether or not they have the right qualities for the role in question. Usually acting as the first stage of a hiring process, screening interviews are held by recruitment agencies like Agile Recruit to see if you will make it through to the next stage. Let’s take a look at ways in which you can prepare yourself for a screening interview.

Generic Screening Interview Questions

Because the interviewer also tends to be the hiring manager, the screening interview questions you face will probably be functional. The interviewer is aiming to create a condensed shortlist of fitting candidates based on the answers that you provide – if your answers show you have the necessary skills they are looking for, then you are put in good stead. Here are a few of the generic screening interview questions you may be asked:

  • Why do you want this job in particular? – Make sure to look into the company before the interview and mirror your experiences and skills to match the company’s requirements.
  • What is your employment history? – Consider what skills and credentials you have gained during previous positions. 
  • What qualifications have you obtained? – It is advisable to note down all of the different certifications you have gained across your life. Each qualification can highlight a skillset you have that may be favored by the employee.
  • What are your salary requirements? – This can be a difficult question to answer as you don’t want to price yourself out of the company’s salary range but at the same time don’t want to ask for less money than you are worth.  It is advisable to research what the average wage is in the company’s geographical area and base your answer on that.

Screening Interview Top Tips

It is important to remember that the person who is interviewing you will probably be interviewing numerous other candidates too. To make it to the next round, you must stand out from the pool of interviewees – a few ways in which you can do this are as follows: 

Thoroughly review the job description – Think of the job description as your means of knowing the exact qualities that the company will want you to possess. Study the qualifications and responsibilities for the role and prepare your answers to include said skills. A further benefit of researching the company is that you can gain an understanding of their needs and culture before the screening interview.

Focus on your core skills – because a screening interview is designed to narrow down the list of candidates, they don’t tend to last very long. Because of this, you don’t need a lengthy answer for every question asked. If you can condense your answers into succinct ones that revolve around your core skills, you are on to a winner. You will no doubt have faced adversity and challenges in the past, so make sure to mention how you overcame these hard times.

Being clear on the relevant expertise you have gained will highlight how you could benefit the company to the interviewer. Reviewing the job description comes into play here because it will show you the necessary core skills to mention.

Know your CV – Although your CV should contain the majority of the information that the interviewer is looking for, you must remember they will have read through countless CVs and won’t remember everything on them. If you are questioned on your CV, and your answers don’t marry up with what is written, you will look ill-prepared and unprofessional. Answers that match what your CV says will be very favorable to those hiring.