Interview Screening: Preparing for a screening phone interview and how to pass the test? 

A screening interview is an essential stage in the job selection process used by employers and recruiters, to evaluate the suitability of a job applicant to fill a new job opening. Typically performed over the phone, interviewers attempt to gain an understanding of your personality and motivation.

Between seeing sometimes hundreds of resumes and taking the time to interview a wide range of applicants, to make their jobs easier, recruiters will typically screen out more than fifty percent of all applicants during this stage of the hiring process. Want to know how to surpass the interview screening process? Here are some helpful tips:


Do your research  

Before you receive the initial screening phone call, you will need to know a few things about your potential future employer. Take careful note of the key responsibilities of the role, as well as the required and desired qualifications of the successful candidate. Understand exactly what the employer is looking for and try to fit that mould.

Also, make sure you have a clear knowledge of the company’s products and services, as well as their mission statement and key values. During the interview screening process, you want to showcase to the recruiting manager that you have a keen interest in joining the company.  

Practice, practice, practice

Because most interview screening occurs over the phone, it is important to be prepared with a set of strong, clear answers, so that you can impress who is interviewing you. Research and write up a list of common questions that are asked during screening interviews, and ask a friend or family member to help you practice them. Practicing will ensure that you construct confident and concise answers, and appear sure of yourself and your background, (even if you are a little bit nervous).

Be prepared with descriptions of your previous employment, as well as examples that prove your abilities. This will demonstrate your capacity to be successful in the role for which you are applying.

During the interview screening process

Often, the questions within the interview screening process are relatively simple, and are designed to get you talking. Every word you say tells the recruiter something about you. Initially, find a quiet place free of distractions and interruptions. The recruiter needs to be able to hear every answer clearly, so eliminate any possibility of external noise.

How you conduct yourself over the phone is also very important. Try to build rapport with the interviewer, remaining straightforward and direct with your answers. Smile when you speak. It may sound funny to imagine this, but your tone of voice can make or break your answers. If you are too serious, this may affect your chances in securing the role. Remember: keep it light and bright.

Finish the call on a positive note by thanking the interviewer for the opportunity to speak with them. Sum up why you would be an ideal candidate and ask about the next step in the process.

The thankyou note

Now you can breathe a big sigh of relief after the first phone interview screen. You have answered all the questions to the best of your ability, but there is one more thing to do before you can completely rest easy: follow up with a thankyou note. You want to acknowledge and appreciate the time spent interviewing you as a candidate for the role, as well as reiterate your skills, experience, and enthusiasm. Send an email thankyou not as soon as possible; recruiters will be making their decisions as soon as they get off the phone with you!

With these top tips in your personal collection, you will now be able to feel comfortable in answering any interview screening question thrown at you. Now for the next step: preparing for the face to face interview!   

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