Screening Interview Questions: How to Ace Your First Interview

Screening questions are an essential element of your hiring process. Easy to determine whether the candidate is an excellent fit for a given position and check if they align with the job’s basic requirements.

The screening questions can have different forms, like online applications for interviews, and you can also go for in-person interviews.

In short, screening interviews are critical, and you should not take them lightly.

Importance of Screening Questions

Screening questions are fundamental because they help you save time and resources as you can identify qualified applicants as soon as possible in the hiring process. 

You can also ensure the candidates have the skills or experience to perform the job well. 

By screening candidates, you can focus on more important tasks and save resources for more qualified candidates, which means there is a minimum risk of making a wrong hiring decision.

Different Types of Screening Questions

There are different types of screening questions one should be aware of:

Basic Qualification Questions

The screening questions determine whether the candidate aligns with the job requirements, like education level experience and critical certifications or licenses. 

Behavioral Questions

Behavioral questions are designed to understand the candidate’s past behavior and how they would respond in a specific situation related to a given job. 

These questions can help in predicting the future behavior of the candidate. 

Situational Questions

Situational questions are also similar to behavioral questions, but they are generally focused on some hypothetical situations.

These questions are specially designed to evaluate the candidate’s problem-solving skills; you can also assess the decision-making skills. 

For example, you can ask how they would handle a situation where one of the team members is not aligning with the performance objectives.

Culture Fit Questions

The cultural fit questions are designed to understand whether the candidate aligns with some values and work style. 

These questions help identify whether the candidate would fit your team or the organization well.

Tips to Keep In Mind When Asking Screening Questions

When designing screening questions, you must understand that you must follow some practices to ensure that they are legally compliant and effective.s

Always Keep it Simple.

When creating screening questions, you must ensure they are easy to understand. 

The Questions Must Be Job-Related

The screening questions should be related to the specific job requirements. You need to ask the questions relevant to the given position, and if you are not asking them that way, it can lead to some bias or discrimination.

Avoid Yes or No Questions

You should refrain from asking yes or no questions as they do not provide much insight into a person’s experience or qualifications. 

The institute should always go for open-ended questions, making it easy for the candidates to offer perfect responses.

Always Be Consistent

Use similar screening questions for all the candidates applying for the same position, ensuring consistency and fairness in the hiring process.

Avoid Discrimination At All Costs

You must ensure that your screening questions do not discriminate against any candidate based on gender or religion.

Use Pre-Employment Testing

It would help if you considered using pre-employment testing besides the screening questions to understand the skills and abilities of the candidate. This can include personality assessments or job-specific tests.

Evaluate All The Responses Objectively

When reviewing the candidates’ responses to the screening questions, you should evaluate them objectively and focus on the information provided instead of any personal bias or assumptions.

Screening Interview Questions And Answers

Q1. Can you tell me a little about yourself?

Ans – Indeed, I have been working in human resources for over seven years, specifically in recruitment, for the past four.

I completed my Master’s in Human Resources from XYZ University. In my previous role at ABC Company, I managed end-to-end recruitment for multiple departments.

Outside of work, I love traveling and trying different cuisines, which I believe has helped me understand and appreciate diverse cultures and perspectives.

Q2. What Specifically Attracted You To This Position?

Ans – Being a job bookkeeper, you must ask what attracted the candidate to this position. A potential candidate would be excited or interested in the job’s responsibilities or what they learned from your company for the overall mission. 

It would help if you looked for answers that show a great understanding of the job duties, products, or services you provide.

A generic answer likely means that the candidate needs to be more invested in winning this position with our company, and they are just looking for any available job.

Q3. Why are you leaving your current job?

Ans – While I am grateful for the experiences and skills I gained in my current role, I am seeking an opportunity that allows for more strategic involvement in the recruitment process.

I believe your company can offer this and a more diverse set of roles to recruit for, making it a perfect next step for me.

Q4. What Did You Learn From The Biggest Failure?

Ans – Another screening question that you should ask is what the candidate has learned from their failure. Everybody has failed at something in their workplace or personal life. 

The candidate should be willing to take responsibility for their mistakes and see if the opportunities for growth and learning can help them in this role.

Q5. Do You Have Anything That You Are Pretty Passionate About?

Ans – This question would give you a better insight into what motivates a candidate. Being a screening question, it’s always a good one because it’s another way to understand the right fit for the candidate.

Whenever you ask these questions, you must be an intelligent interviewer to check if the candidate aligns with your needs. 

For instance, if the candidate mentions being passionate about certain things, but the position is structured with little room for creativity, then the candidate is not the right one.

Q6. Can You Explain This Gap in Your Employment History?

Ans – I had to take some time off to deal with personal matters during that period. However, I remained professionally active by keeping up with industry trends, attending virtual HR seminars, and completing advanced recruitment and HR management courses.

Q7. How Could One See Themselves Growing Ladder in Company

Ans – Successful screening questions help identify suitable candidates interested in growing with the company.

You need to eliminate the applicants just trying to use the position as a stepping stone; instead, you should look for a candidate looking forward to staying with your company longer.

Q8. What Are Your Salary Expectations?

Ans – Based on the responsibilities of this role, the current market rates, and my experience, I believe a salary in the range of $70,000 to $80,000 would be appropriate. However, considering other benefits and the total compensation package, I’m certainly open to discussion.

Q9. What Do You Think About Teamwork?

Ans – Asking this question is very important as it can help you understand the candidate’s ability to work with others if they are unable or unwilling to answer this query.  

The perfect candidate would be able to give you an excellent example of times when they had to rely on teamwork to get their job done.


screening questions are pivotal in refining research, surveys, or hiring. They enhance data quality and conserve resources by enabling a targeted approach.

Though their design requires thorough goal comprehension and audience alignment, technology aids in streamlining this process, as we advance in our data-driven world, screening questions’ role in deriving valuable insights and informed decisions will inevitably grow.

Screening Interview Questions FAQs

What is a screening interview?

A screening interview is the first round of interviews in the hiring process. Employers use these interviews to ensure that candidates meet the minimum requirements of a job.

It is usually a short interview conducted by HR to determine if the applicant matches the job description and the company culture.

What are some common screening interview questions?

Some common questions include: “Tell me about yourself”, “What interests you about this role?”, “Why do you want to work for this company?”, “What relevant experience do you have?”, “Can you tell me about a time when you overcame a challenge?” and “What is your expected salary?”

How should I prepare for a screening interview?

Prepare for a screening interview by understanding the job description and requirements, researching the company, and practicing answers to common screening questions. Also, prepare to ask thoughtful questions to demonstrate your interest in the job.

What is the purpose of a screening interview?

A screening interview aims to help employers quickly sort through many applicants. It saves time and resources by identifying the most promising candidates early on. This round also allows candidates to assess if the company and the role align with their career goals.

Keep exploring. Don’t forget to check out the ? articles.

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