Screening Call Interview Questions

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Screening Call Interview Questions

The screening call is typically your first live touchpoint with a candidate. Whether via a phone call or Zoom meeting, this is your first opportunity to gather a good impression of the candidate's skills, meeting manner,  in-person communication skills, and personality. As a recruiter, it is important to ask the right screening call interview questions in order to accurately assess whether the candidate is a good fit for the role and your company's culture. Phone interview answers are the foundation for your initial assessment, so you must ask the right questions to gather the necessary information. Before we dive into the questions themselves, let's talk about how screening questions for recruiters differ from HR's. HR screening questions and answers focus on determining whether a candidate meets the requirements for employment, such as work authorization and salary expectations. On the other hand, recruiter screening questions are tailored to assess the candidate's potential fit for the specific role and company culture.

Here are several examples of both HR Screening Questions and Recruiter Questions to showcase the difference:

HR Screening Questions:

1. Tell me about a time when you (x) with (y) and got a (z) result.

2. How do you handle remote work? Do you have specific tools that you use to stay focused at home?

Recruiter Screening Questions:

1. What interests you about this particular role and our company?

2. Can you tell me about a project or accomplishment you are particularly proud of in your previous position?

Both sets of questions may seem similar, but the focus and intention behind them differ. HR screening questions determine if the candidate is qualified for employment while recruiter screening questions assess whether the candidate will excel in the specific role

As you can see, recruiter screening questions are more targeted toward the candidate's skills, experience, and potential fit for the role and company. It is important to ask open-ended questions that allow the candidate to showcase their strengths and provide specific examples. This will give you a better understanding of the candidate's capabilities and potential for success in the position.

Additionally, it is crucial to actively listen to the candidate's responses and ask follow-up questions. This will allow you to dig deeper and gather more information about the candidate's skills, experience, and fit for the role. If you don't currently have access to a library of questions like these to help your recruitment and HR teams prepare for interviews, chat with someone from our team. We'd love to show you how Pillar's interview intelligence software can automate interview questions for you in just a few clicks.

Phone Screening Interview Questions And Answers

So you're about to jump on a phone screen and you're prepared. You've seen the candidate's resume, LinkedIn profile, and portfolio. You've set up your meeting space and tested your tech. What's the final step that you need pre-interview to set the tone for a great conversation? Phone screening interview questions and answers that fit the requirements of the role.

As an interviewer, it's important to have a set of standard questions that you ask every candidate. This allows for consistency and fairness in the screening process. However, be sure to customize your questions based on each individual candidate's background and experience.

Here are some common phone screening interview questions you may consider:

1. Can you walk me through your work experience? and what led you from one role to the next?

2. How did you hear about our company and what interests you about this role?

3. How do you handle difficult situations or conflicts at work?

4. Can you tell me about a time when you had to adapt to change in the workplace?

5. Tell me about your experience working on a team.

6. What are your salary expectations for this role?

Here's how you could put many of these into a phone interview script for your interviewers:

"Hi [Candidate Name], thank you for joining me for this phone screening interview. My name is [Your Name] and I'm excited to learn more about you and your experience. Let's start by going through your work history, can you walk me through the roles you've had and what led you from one role to the next?"

This "opening" sets a good foundation for the interview and allows the candidate to share their experience and background. Now let's showcase that we were listening by repeating things that they say in a few words, known as "active listening," and ask our qualifying questions.

"It sounds like your sales experience would be a great fit for our AE role, tell me more about [specific role or experience mentioned by candidate]."

As the conversation progresses, you can ask follow-up questions based on the candidate's answers to gain a deeper understanding of their skills and fit for the role. Remember to also leave time at the end for any questions the candidate may have for you.

Once you have qualification questions out of the way, and you've answered any questions the candidate may have, now set the proper expectations. This could go one of two ways. Either they're a fit and you're telling them what's next, or they're not and you're telling them why. Here's an example of both scenarios:

"Based on our conversation, it seems like you have the necessary experience and skills for this role. Our next step would be to schedule a follow-up interview with the hiring manager. Maybe mid-next week. How does that sound to you?" (OR), "Thank you for taking the time to speak with me today. While your experience is impressive, we are looking for someone with more experience in [specific skill or experience]. However, we will keep your resume on file for future opportunities that may be a better fit. Thank you again for your time."

Remember to always thank the candidate for their time and leave a positive impression, even if they may not be the right fit for this particular role. This leaves the door open for potential future opportunities and maintains a good reputation for your company's hiring process.

If you've enjoyed the conversation with the candidate, it should be hard to say no. Caring enough about people that we see them as more than a number is what makes us great recruiters and HR professionals. So go into your phone interviews with empathy, curiosity, and an open mind- candidates will reciprocate your energy.

Phone Interview Conversation Sample

So we've given you some phone interview conversation samples- as a matter of fact, these two sections could be part of your "phone interview cheat sheet" and referenced when you prepare for an interview. Some of you will have pre-screening interviews. A pre-screening interview is one of many different types of phone interviews. It is a brief interview where the interviewer asks the candidate some basic questions to see if they're eligible for a formal interview later on which saves the recruitment team time and can help them find the right candidate faster.

A pre-screening interview questions template would look something like this:

1. Can you tell me a bit about your work experience and how it aligns with this role?

2. What interests you about our company and this particular opportunity?

3. What are your salary expectations for this role?

4. How do you handle difficult situations at work or conflicts with colleagues?

5. Tell me about a time when you had to adapt to change in the workplace.

6. What are you looking for in your next role and how does our company fit with that?

At this stage, it's important to focus on the candidate's experience and qualifications, as well as their interest and alignment with your company culture. Keep the conversation friendly and engaging, while also getting a sense of the candidate's communication skills and overall fit for the role.

The goal of a pre-screening interview is to narrow down the pool of candidates and determine who will move on to the next stage of interviews. It's also an opportunity for both parties to get a feel for each other before committing to a formal in-person or virtual interview. Use this time wisely and efficiently, but also be sure to make a positive impression on the candidate and represent your company well.

If you're currently struggling to find the right questions in interviews, or you've seen employee turnover go up and have the sneaking suspicion you're not qualifying your candidates well enough, then book your demo of Pillar today. We built interview intelligence software to help you hire better and it's backed by a suite of tools like a library of interview questions, interviewer coaching tools, and more to help you get the best results. With Pillar, you'll have access to expert guidance and resources to help you make data-driven hiring decisions. So why wait? Book your demo today and start improving your hiring process.