How to ace a screening interview

January 16, 2018

“The cost of hiring someone bad is much greater than that of missing out on someone good.”


A bad hiring decision can cost employers a lot of their time, not to mention resources. In such a situation, using pre-screening interviews in a proper manner can help recruiters avoid a lot of unnecessary problems before the the beginning of the formal interview process.


A pre-screening interview not only allows a recruiter to understand the professional qualification of a candidate, but also helps in gauging personality traits and behaviour. It helps in understanding whether a candidate will be a good cultural fit for the organization or not.


Pre-screening interviews, no doubt important for employers, are equally important for candidates as well. It is the first small step in the big opportunity that can be yours, provided you fare well in the first step.


A relaxed and laid-back attitude will never help you qualify your pre-screening interview. Remember that your attitude, personality & communication will be judged along with your skills and experience. Being prepared and being professional are the two things that will take you to the next round of interview.


The below pointers will help you know how to ace a screening interview:


1. Show your professionalism and sincerity, right from the beginning


It has been seen many a times that candidates tend to take screening interviews lightly  because they think that it is not a formal interview and is rather just a formality.


The first step to ace a screening interview is to change this thinking.


Take the screening interview as seriously as you would take a proper, formal interview. Remember that it is the first step that you have to cross if you want a job in that particular organization. Therefore, show your enthusiasm, professionalism and sincerity towards the role right from the very beginning. If you come across as a dedicated and sincere candidate with a pleasing personality, your chances of bagging the job will be much higher.


2. Bring out your best side


Think of the qualities in you that you should be showcasing as a candidate. You need to put those in the spotlight right from the time of your screening interview. Be careful how you express yourself though, you should not go over the top and come across as a person who exaggerates, as that will portray you as an overconfident candidate.


You need to express yourself in a manner that describes your achievements and at the same time, showcases your analytical skills, proving that you will be an asset for the organization. Your screening interview will be like the ‘first impression’ and you can’t afford to get it wrong.


3. Be sure about the job profile


Screening interviews are done to check whether a candidate is suitable for a particular job profile and whether he/she can be taken further to the next round. So, it’s important that you thoroughly familiarize yourself with the job profile.


Review the job profile that has been provided properly, and assess your previous roles and responsibilities that make you suitable for the role. A screening interview may seem very simple and easy but you never know what lies in store for you, so it is better to be prepared.


4. Build a good rapport


If your screening interview is a telephonic one, it is a very good opportunity to build a good rapport with the organization through the person taking the interview. Proper communication and perhaps a small dollop of humour can take you a long way.


Make sure that you’re using the correct words in your conversation. Frame your sentences properly and do not keep repeating yourself. If you present yourself well, it will definitely come to the notice of your interviewer. So by adding brownie points to your name, you can qualify easily and move on to the next round.


5. Communicate clearly


In order to judge whether you are a deserving candidate or not, it is important that the employers understand and get the full import of what you are saying. And for that, your communication needs to be very clear.


On, you need to answer pre-screening questions that are decided by the employers, and you also have the option of recording a 2 minute audio profile where you can talk about your skills and accomplishments. Your selection to the next round will depend on the answers that you give here. So what happens if you are not able to express yourself clearly?


There’s a chance of you losing the opportunity.


Give all your answers clearly and to the point. However at the same time, do not provide very short answers so as to miss out on important and relevant information.


6. Remember that little things matter


Little things can take you a long way and so it is important to pay attention to them. The first thing in this regard would be how you present yourself. Portray yourself to be the best solution for the problems/issues they have. Showcase how your past experiences have helped you become a critical thinker, problem-solver and decision maker.


Another important thing to remember is to stay true to yourself and also to your recruiters. It doesn’t matter whether the screening interview is via telephone, face-to-face or through recorded answers, you have to be honest about yourself. It will make you a trustworthy and reliable candidate.


Practising your answers is another good way to fare well in your screening interview. You can ask a friend to conduct a mock interview, and ask you probable questions. Analyse the responses that you give and how you give them, your body language  and your tone. The more you practice, the more perfect you get!


Keep your screening interview as simple, honest and candid as possible, and you’ll surely attain success. Download the interviewfox mobile app today, choose a job of your preference, attend pre-screening interviews and stand a chance to get recruited by reputed employers.