Screening interviews are an important part of the hiring process. While not necessarily the interview that will guarantee you the position the screening process will determine if you will advance further in the hiring progression. Telephone interviews are sometimes used as a screening tool though many recruiters will prefer to meet you face to face.
By having a direct interaction the recruiter will be able to gather additional information about you and your characteristics. A conversation over the telephone can only go so far. Screening interviews are designed to see if you would be a good fit for the company. The interviewer is most likely a human resource representative that has been trained in recognizing what to look for when interviewing candidates. This representative might not know the exact position you are applying for. Their sole reason for interviewing you is to get a feel of the type of person you are. The representative will then make a determination of whether or not hiring you is the right decision for the company.
It is only after the screening process that more specific interviews to gauge your abilities and skillset will be administered. It is important to do well on the screening interviews in order to receive the additional follow up interviews.
What to Expect during Screening Interviews
When you meet with the interviewer you should be friendly and outgoing. The interviewer will ask a serious of questions designed to learn more about you as a person as well as a candidate for the job.
The interviewer will use both open ended questions and standard questions about your employment background and history. The open ended questions are designed to reveal more about your personality than you would normally divulge during the standard interview prompts.
Screening interviews are usually done one on one but it is not unusual to go to an interview where there is more than one representative of the company. These representatives will ask you questions as well as your thoughts and opinions on different topics in tandem. Afterwards they will convene to discuss their observations and whether or not to suggest that your application proceed to the next step of interviewing.
How to Prepare for Screening Interviews
While the screening process is only the first step towards getting hired you should treat it as you if you were meeting your future boss. Arriving on time to the interview is vital since punctuality speaks volumes. Make sure that you are professional in appearance and that your attire is appropriate for meeting a representative from a prospective employer.
It is also important that you go to the interview prepared to answer specific questions about the position you are applying for. While screening interviews might be carried out by a human resource representative there is a chance that an actual manager might be meeting with you. If this is the case that manager may wish to gauge how knowledgeable you are about the position and whether or not you are eager about being hired to the company.
The primary goal of the screening interviews process is to determine whether or not you are right for the company. You may be the best suited with shining qualifications but if you fail this step then you simply have no chance of being hired. As you go through the interview you will want to be friendly and kind. Offer additional information if possible and even ask a few questions of your own. You want to demonstrate that you are interested in the position and eager to join the team.
The screening process can involve several steps. The one on one interview means simply that your application has perked the interest of management and they now want to get a feel for you. Provide them with a wonderful interview during the screening process and you are sure to receive a follow up meeting.
Adapted From The Everything Job Interview Book, 2nd Edition by Joy Darlington and Nancy Schuman, Copyright © 2008, 2001 by F W Media, Inc., published by Adams Media, a division of F W Media, Inc. Used by permission of the publisher. All rights reserved.