Hopefully by understanding the role of the prescreening interview it will help you best prepare for it, interview well and move on to the next step in the interview process.
The prescreening interview has become common place in the job market. The purpose of the prescreening interview is strictly to determine if you meet the minimum qualifications of the job and if the company can afford you. Prescreening interviews are typically conducted on the phone by human resouces or a recruiter. They often last less than 30 minutes. These calls can come at any time of the day and sometimes in the evening or on weekends.
The types of questions asked during the prescreening interview are often clarifying questions about your experience, background and current situation. Remember the recruiter is trying to assess how you match what they are looking for. It can be beneficial for you to have your resume and the job posting in front of you so as they are asking for clarification you can speak to your experience and how it fits with the job posting. For those of you who have multiple versions of your resume, make sure you know which version you sent them because that will be the basis of their questioning. Be prepared to talk about the reason you are looking for new work and that it is clear and concise. Any hesitancy here will only leave doubt in the recruiters mind. Also be prepared to address the “salary question”. Remember one of the primary objectives of the prescreening interview is to determine if the company can afford you. This is not the time waiver or say “negotiable”. The recruiter will want a number or at least a range, so to increase your chances of moving forward in the process be prepared to talk salary.
If the prescreening interview goes well, you will be invited to meet the hiring manager. At the end of the prescreening interview, consider asking how well your background aligns with what they are looking for. Be sure to get the name and email address of the recruiter so you can follow up on your status and yes – to send a thank you note.