A screening interview is often the first step of the interview process. If your profile is promising and you fulfil most of the requirements for the open position, you might get invited to do a screening interview. The interview is often conducted by a recruiter or the HR manager by phone or video call.
Why is it called "Screening Interview"?
This first interview is so that the company can check if you have the right qualifications for the job. The recruiter will also take this opportunity to explain a bit more about the role and the team. Often recruiters are also keeping an eye out to see if you could possibly be a good fit for other open job roles the company. The goal of the screening interview is to generate a shortlist of candidates that’ll make it to the next stage of the recruitment process.
What questions should you expect?
Mostly the screening interviews are about checking your professional experience. Since the interviewer often does not have deep domain knowledge, this interview is more about your experience and less about your knowledge.
The conversation often starts with an icebreaker question like “Tell me about yourself”. Also expect to talk about your motivation for applying to this position and why you want to leave your current job (if you are working). Often you also get asked about your salary expectations to determine if you are within their estimated budget or not, and to discuss a potential start date.
Preparing for a Screening Interview
You should come prepared for the interview. Read the job description thoroughly and prepare your questions about the role. Also look at the key requirements and have answers ready for the interviewer on how you can fulfil those. Make sure you also know your CV very well to have answers for questions about why you changed roles and jobs in the past and what you specifically did in those positions.
Research the company you’re interviewing for. Get familiar with their products and what they’re doing, read through blog posts and take a look at their social media accounts.