A recruiter or a Human Resources person usually conducts the initial interview. Screening interviews may be conducted over the telephone or in person. The purpose of this interview is to decide whether or not the candidate has the skills necessary to perform the open position — it is not used to determine who the best candidate is.

The interviewer has specific questions to ask. These questions are designed to collect facts to report back to the hiring manager. Attempt to identify what information the interviewer is looking for. Candidates must provide clear and concise answers. Always try to be positive — negative answers tend to produce greater probing and doubts in the mind of the interviewer. Don't offer additional information unless you are sure it will help.

Some common screening questions include:

  • Tell me about your experience in this field
  • Why are you interested in working here?
  • What do you know about the company?
  • Why are you leaving your current position?
  • What questions do you have for me? *Remember – when asking questions in a screening interview, stick with general inquiries about the company and the role rather than specific information that the caller might not be familiar with.

Watch the short video below for best practices for phone interviews!

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