1. What is a screening interview
  2. Screening interview questions & how to answer them
    1. Tell me about yourself
    2. Why do you want to leave your current job?
    3. What is your greatest strength and weakness?
    4. How do you handle stress and pressure?
    5. What motivates you?
    6. Why should we hire you?
    7. Where do you see yourself in 5 years from now?
    8. What are your salary expectations?
  3. Screening Interview tips
    1. Read the job description
    2. Research the company
    3. Be attentive to the questions asked
    4. Find a quiet spot with good connectivity
    5. Be optimistic while answering
    6. Practice your answers to perfection

A job interview, as you all know, has several rounds before you finally bag the job. One such round is the screening interview round.

A screening interview is not that hard to pass once you thoroughly practice the frequently asked HR interview questions.

But first, let’s find out more about screening interviews and what to say to recruiters during a recruiter screening call.

What is a screening interview

To begin with, a screening interview is a shorter version of a job interview that is conducted to determine if a candidate is qualified for a position.

A screening interview takes place mostly over phone or video calls and basic interview questions are asked about qualifications, work history, etc.

Based on this, a candidate is then sent forward to the main job interview rounds.

Screening interview questions & how to answer them

Now that you know what a screening interview is, here are a few common questions asked during a recruiter screening call.

The questions will be more personal and less technical.

Tell me about yourself

A frequently asked HR interview question, you need to know what to say to recruiters when asked “Tell me about yourself.”

First things first, highlight only the relevant aspects of your academic and professional career.

To do this, go through your resume thoroughly and make a list of things you think is relevant to the job.

Remember, the idea is to give an honest answer which is relevant and concise.

Why do you want to leave your current job?

You will find this question recurring in a recruiter screening interview since a recruiter wants to hire a candidate who will be sticking around for the long term.

So, when faced with such a question in a screening interview, you must know what to say to recruiters.

It’s best to point out something that you found attractive in the job description or about the profile. You can also give answers such as you’re looking to relocate, or that you want to make yourself feel more challenged to grow, etc.

But DO NOT cite money, office politics, or anything that can be considered bad-mouthing your company while answering “Why do you want to leave your current job?”

What is your greatest strength and weakness?

A recruiter asks questions like “What is your greatest strength?” or “What is your greatest weakness?” to understand how well a candidate knows him/herself.

It is important to be aware of your strengths and weaknesses as it helps you to grow not only in your personal sphere but also in your professional sphere.

So, go through the job description posted and make a list of the skills they want and tally it with yours.

Then frame your answers accordingly. The task is to highlight strengths relevant to the job requirement.

Also, when citing your greatest weakness keep it simple, something that you know can be fixed by a plan of action.

Try to swerve away from a crucial factor that can hinder your chance of getting the job.

How do you handle stress and pressure?

Stress and pressure are a given in every job and therefore becomes an important task to know how to not let it hinder your work.

Recruiters ask the screening interview question “How do you handle stress and pressure?” to understand how a candidate handles work stress for a flawless performance.

You don’t want to come off as a person who crumbles under stress and pressure since it will leave a poor impression on the recruiter.

So, you can cite real-life examples and frame your answers using the Situation Task Action and Results (STAR) method. This will help you to keep your answer concise and also aid in making your point.

What motivates you?

This common HR interview question is asked in a screening interview to get an idea about what gets you excited.

Now, how you answer "What motivates you?" will give the recruiter a clear understanding of your work style, your personality, and whether or not you will be a fit in the organization.

Why should we hire you?

Remember, recruiters prefer to hire candidates with the ability to solve a problem and help in building the brand more.

Your job is to present yourself as the best candidate. So, when answering the screening interview question "Why should we hire you?" try matching your qualifications to the requirements of the job role and how these qualities will play out.

This answer requires you to exude confidence, so make sure to practice your answer.

Also, remember to not sound over-confident. You don't want the recruiter to think that you are too full of yourself.

Where do you see yourself in 5 years from now?

“Where do you see yourself in 5 years from now?” is the recruiter’s favorite screening interview question to test a candidate’s determination towards the job role, your career graph, and how it aligns with the company’s goals.

As stated before, recruiters prefer candidates who will be staying with the organization for the long-term.

This makes it all the more necessary for a candidate to not only study the job description thoroughly but also understand the organization’s culture and values.

Without knowing these crucial factors, it will be difficult for you to come up with an answer that is relevant to the recruiter.

What are your salary expectations?

As much as the recruiter finds you a suitable fit for the job, they would also love to know that they can afford you too.

Every organization is allotted a budget for the job profiles based on their levels. So, the recruiters ask you “What are your salary expectations?” to see if your requirement is within their budget.

However, make sure to not sound solely focussed on the remuneration when answering this question in a screening interview. Instead, before answering the question, ask about the responsibilities you need to shoulder, their expectations from you, etc. and then answer.

This will project that you are not solely focussed on the salary, but also care about the requirements.

Also, based on the responsibilities and the company’s expectations you can quote your numbers without sounding unrealistic.

Screening Interview tips

So, with the common screening interview questions taken care of, here are a few factors to consider on how to talk to recruiters.

Read the job description

The first thing to do before even applying for a job application is to read the job description.

The job description is the answer key to all your queries. In these job descriptions, recruiters highlight the skill sets they prioritize in a candidate.

So, going through the job description will help you assess if you are suitable for the position.

Also, going through their requirements can help you to frame your answers in case you lack any of the skills.

Research the company

An organization’s work culture plays a crucial role given you will be spending almost 9 hours of 5-6 days in your office.

Hence, make it a top priority to dig up more about the company by reading reviews of the employees on sites like AmbitionBox.

Make a list of pros and cons about the company’s work culture, its values and check if it aligns with yours since the last thing you would want is to feel stuck in a company absolutely in contrast to your beliefs.

Be attentive to the questions asked

The initial screening interview if taken in the form of a telephonic interview will be a test of your attentiveness.

Given that a screening interview is a short introduction interview, you will need to pay extra attention to what the recruiter is asking and answer in a straightforward, concise yet polite way.

Find a quiet spot with good connectivity

Now, taking it forward from the above-mentioned point, you need to find a quiet spot within your house to pay absolute attention to the screening interview.

But do make sure to have good network connectivity as well without which the screening interview cannot take place.

Be optimistic while answering

Make sure to answer optimistically,whether it is a telephone screening interview or a video interview.

Remember your objective is to take yourself forward into the next round of a job interview and being a gloomy employee is not the way to go about it.

So, even if you find yourself facing a setback, answer in a manner that can help you take yourself ahead.

For example, if you find that you lack a certain skill, you can come up with a plan of action by stating how you plan to develop said skill. .

This will provide the impression that you are serious not just about the job interview but have a well-mapped plan of action to work on it.

Practice your answers to perfection

A confident candidate attracts recruiters faster than the not-so-confident ones.

The best way to show your confidence in a screening interview, or for that matter any job interview, is by practicing how to answer the interview questions.

In addition to these interview tips, make sure to keep a confident smile throughout the screening interview (if it is a video call) and keep practicing the basic interview questions to land the job you want.

Also, don’t forget to send a thank you email after the interview.

All the Best!

Interview Advice Freshers