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Our interview intelligence guides you through the entire interview process, so you find your next great teammate—effectively and equitably.
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An HR screening interview is the first step in a candidate's job application. It is a short call that helps you evaluate the candidate's qualifications and get to know their personality. As the initial screening, meaning the first step in the process, this interview should focus on verifying the background information provided in the resume, as well as uncovering any red flags or issues that you need to be aware of before proceeding with further hiring steps.
During the screening call, you should ask questions about past experience, technical skills, and other qualifications related to the job description. This is also a good time for you to ask any general questions that will help you get to know the candidate better, such as their motivation for applying and what they expect from you as an employer.
This interview call is generally too early in the process to begin assessing for cultural fit, but there will be indicators of how well a candidate might fit in with the team. Listening to their enthusiasm and passion around the role, as well as any insight they can provide about their previous work experience should give you a good sense of whether or not they would be a good addition to your team.
It's important to use this interview to determine whether or not the applicant is a good fit for your company, as well as if they have the qualifications required for the role. By taking the time to record your impressions of each applicant and assess their potential fit, you can ensure that you are making decisions that are right for both your company and your candidate.
The best way to ensure that you get the most out of every screening call is to use a semi-structured approach asking similar questions of each candidate. This allows you to screen objectively and ensure a fair evaluation process.
Finally, take the time to look for any inconsistencies or red flags that might come up during the call. For example, if they seem to be unable to clearly explain certain skills or experience listed on their resume, then you should make sure to follow up on these points later in the interview process. This will help you ensure that you are making the right decision about who to hire for your open positions.
One way to create a competitive advantage is to use interview intelligence software to help you quickly and accurately assess the skills of each potential candidate. Doing so can give you valuable insights into where applicants are excelling as well as any areas they may lack, which effectively allows for more efficient screening calls and decisions.
The screening call, meaning the first call a candidate will participate in before either exiting the process or being moved to the next step, is an incredibly valuable tool for employers. It helps them quickly and efficiently assess a job applicant to determine their suitability for the position.
The main purpose of this call is to glean as much information about the candidate's qualifications from their resume in order to make an informed decision about whether or not they are a good fit. As such, it is vital that you have HR screening interview questions prepared to ask each candidate in order to get the most out of this call.
Here are some screening interview tips and questions to ask:
- Ask the candidate to explain their current qualifications and past work experience. This gives you an idea of their technical skills and abilities as well as any soft skills they may have.
- Ask questions about their motivation for applying to this position - why do they think they would be a good fit?
- Give them the opportunity to talk about a project they are proud of or a challenge they faced and overcame.
- Ask questions to gauge their interest in the team, company culture, and job role.
- Use open-ended questions that give the candidate room to elaborate on their answers.
Understanding the candidate's past performance will help you determine if they are the right fit for your team and company. Taking the time to properly assess each candidate during this screening call will help you make an informed decision about who to move forward within the hiring process.
By focusing on quality over quantity, you can ensure that you find the best possible candidate for your open positions and create a competitive advantage for your organization. Pillar's library of interview questions can be a sure help to your team here. With over 1,000 interview questions and answers that can be added to your screening with just a few clicks, you'll be well on your way to an efficient screening process.
So let's talk about some example screening call interview questions that you can use as your phone interview cheat sheet.
Phone Interview Conversation Sample:
First, it's important to ask general questions that help you get to know the candidate and their background. Questions such as, "What originally motivated you to apply for this role?" or "What experience do you have in this field?" are good starting points.
From there, dive deeper into the skills required for the job. Ask specifically about their experience using the technologies they listed on their resume, or ask for examples of how they have used certain resources in past positions. This will give you a good sense of both their technical expertise and their ability to think on their feet.
Then get into their past performance. Ask questions such as "Can you tell me about a time when you had to solve a difficult problem (but make it specific to the role)?" or "Can you think of an example where you displayed leadership skills in the workplace?" This will give you a better understanding of how they have applied their skills in past positions and how they may be able to contribute to your team.
Finally, ask open-ended questions that give the candidate the opportunity to talk about their motivations and passion for the role. Questions like, "What do you think makes you a good fit for this job?" or "What do you hope to get out of this position?" By tailoring your questions specifically to the role, and using these tips as a guide during your screening calls, you can ensure that you get the most out of every interview.
This should provide you with an effective phone interview script for the interviewer, allowing your team to efficiently and effectively assess each candidate. With these tips, you'll be able to make informed decisions about who to move forward in the hiring process with confidence.
Phone screening interview questions and answers don't have to be complex. This is more of a "fit" conversation than anything else, and your goal should be to leave the conversation with either a yes or a no. Are they a fit? (which means they move forward in the interview process), or aren't they?... in which case they exit the process.
Here's a phone interview conversational sample that could indicate that they wouldn't be moving forward in the process:
Q: In your last role, were you able to achieve your quarterly sales goals?
A: No, I was not able to meet my quarterly goals 3 out of the four quarters I was there.
This response could indicate that the candidate doesn't have enough sales experience, so you may opt to go in a different direction for the job - but it could also mean that they were never given access to the tools or training that they needed to succeed.
Having a phone interview cheat sheet can help when you get into a situation like this. Instead of taking the, "No" at face value, you can ask follow-up questions to gain a better understanding of why the candidate wasn't able to meet their goals. Questions such as, "What resources or tools were you given to help you reach your sales goals?" or "Did any other members of your team successfully hit their goals with similar resources?".
Asking these types of pre-screening interview questions can give you further insight into the candidate's experience and help you make an informed decision about whether they're a good fit for the role or not.
At the end of the day, it's important to remember that your goal with a phone screening interview is to quickly determine if someone is a good fit for a position - not to decide who should be hired on (or off) the spot.
By having an effective phone screening interview process in place, you can save your team time and resources by quickly assessing which candidates have the necessary skills to perform the job and are a good fit for your company culture. This will ultimately help you make better hires - faster!
At Pillar, our mission is to help you make better hires. Our interview intelligence software has helped our customers lower employee turnover by more than 50% over the last year all while also decreasing time-to-hire and lowering cost-to-hire. If you'd like to create a process that brings in better hires, schedule a demo with someone from our team today!