What is a Screening Interview? - All You Need to Know

Screening Interview

If one makes a resume that matches job requirements correctly, a recruiter will reach out to the candidate with an initial screening interview. Now, what is this screening interview? And what are the things you must know about it as a recruiter or a candidate?

I have done some digging to find out every bit of detail that might help you ace a screening interview or successfully conduct one if you are a recruiter.

What is a screening interview?

Screening interviews are initial discussions between the recruiter and the applicant. It is supposed to evaluate candidates’ eligibility to move to the next rounds of the recruitment process. Based on instruction from the hiring managers of C-level executives, recruiters might take a specific approach or adopt tactics for screening candidates. Usually, it is done over a quick chat over a phone call. However, one can take a slightly creative approach that increases the success rate of screening interviews.

Going ahead, we will discuss the purpose of conducting screening interviews and the different types of screening interviews or tactics recruiters adopt to ensure they send only eligible and deserving candidates to the next interview round.

Why are screening interviews conducted?

Screen interviews have a strong purpose in serving the recruitment team. Some of which are:

1. Narrow down the candidate pool

When recruiters source candidates, they might receive an overwhelming number of applications. However, not all candidates are good enough to consider. Moreover, a company might want to hire only one or a few candidates out of hundreds of thousands of sourced applicants. It is where screening interviews are employed to narrow the candidate pool and filter out the not-so-qualified candidates.

2. Assess basic qualifications and skills

Screening interviews are also meant to interrogate candidates, reconfirming their qualifications on the resume and verifying the skills they claim to possess.

3. Determine cultural fit

Above all, if a candidate is not culturally fit, it might be difficult to work together. Hence, recruiters make initial screening calls to determine candidates’ cultural fit, looking to shortlist like-minded people who possess attitudes and vibes matching their existing work culture.

4. Save time and resources for both the employer and candidates

Assessment and a one-on-one interview with each candidate are time-consuming. Hence, screening interviews are done to shortlist the top contenders for the assessment and final interview rounds.

What are the types of Screening Interviews?

After recruiters have their screening strategies in place, they must decide on the best way to reach out to those applicants and find out what they are looking for in a new job. Usually, recruiters would adopt one of the following mediums to get their questions answered:

1. Phone Interviews

It is the most popular type of screening interview. The recruiters can decide whether they want to move forward with a candidate over a quick chat on a phone call. It saves a lot of time in scheduling and conducting any other type of screening interview. The recruiter just calls a candidate, and if it is the right time for the candidate to be on a call for a few minutes, the job is accomplished.

2. Video interviews

Sometimes, recruiters might want to get on a video interview instead of a phone call for screening. It is usually when the recruiter is capable of asking critical questions and wants to evaluate a candidate deeply in the screening call itself.

3. Online assessment

Employers can screen candidates even without setting up an interview if they can ask the right questions. A few screening questions often follow a successful application on job portals. It can be a set of objective questions, a few descriptive ones or both. Based on how candidates answer them, they are shortlisted for the next rounds of interviews.

Screening interviews are one of the crucial stages that decide candidates’ eligibility for making it to the next rounds of the recruitment process. While it saves the employers’ time and money assessing and interviewing many candidates, it motivates shortlisted candidates to prepare themselves well for the actual, detailed evaluation process ahead.