14 Screening Interview Scripts

Arley’s comments:

This writer has done a lot of work here. You’ve used clear headings and subheadings and have included a lot of detail. You’ve also done some research. However, a lot of this content seems to be about how to do well on a screening interview as a job candidate, not as someone in HR. The advice is about how to prepare for one if you’re looking to get hired, but this is not helpful for someone trying to give a pre-screening interview. You will therefore need to switch focus and revise this chapter to remove information for job seekers and add information for HR professionals. Also, it looks like some of the language of the sources has gotten into the draft, so make sure to double check the source use and cite your sources.

Judy’s comments:

There is some good information however it strays from the topic. You were to focus on the upfront screening interview – we defined and reviewed this concept in Week 5. In addition, as Arley mentioned, the perspective needs to be changed from an applicant’s perspective to the HR professional’s standpoint – remember who your audience is. This is key to this handbook. I also noticed some information that could result in discrimination (e.g. suggesting to give an employer family background information) therefore this needs to be edited to reflect HR best practices and the Canadian legal system.

Learning Objectives

  • What is a screening interview?
  • Screening interview for HR
  • Stages of a screening interview
  • How does a screening interview works?
  • Types of questions asked during a screening interview
  • Pre-screening interview
  • Conclusion
  • Tools used for a screening interview
  • How to ace screening interview
  • HR interviewing
  • Tips for HR professionals


What is a screening interview?

There are certain kinds of skills, qualifications, and requirements of a job field. Screening is basically done to find out whether the candidate is appropriate for the job profile or not. In the process of hiring, the first round is screening interviews to filter the suitable candidates for the required job field. In a screening interview, you are asked about your qualification, your work experience, and a brief introduction to your life expectations and objectives. After that, you are asked questions about your salary expectation and the suitable time for your work environment. There are many ways to conduct screening interviews. It can be done in person, via video chat, or mobile phone because in this process only basic questions are asked from the candidate. If a candidate passed the screening interview round only then they are allowed to move on to the next interview round.

Screening Interview for HR:



In the initial screening phase of a hiring process, candidates are asked a set of HR interview questions by the HR professional. The main motive of these questions is to access the candidate’s basic skills in the position and to clarify all aspects of their application and resume.

Some Top Questions Asked in HR Interview:

Ques 1. What made you think about this position?

This question is designed to access the candidate’s interest in the role. Do they really want to get selected for this specific job, or do they just collectively apply for all the job positions?  Candidates must reveal that they are focus on this application only.

Ques 2. What experience do you have that would be relevant to this role?

This question is asked so that the recruiters can assess, candidates truly understand the needs of the position and believes that they are qualified for it.  The best candidates would be able to easily explain the relationship between the previous experience and the job ad.

Ques 3. Tell me about your experience in …

Although, it is similar to the previous question it asks about the necessary aspects of the role. For example, if a company wants to hire a copywriter, they’ll ask questions about the candidate’s experience in different types of writing or editing.

Ques 4. Why are you leaving your current job? / Why did you leave your previous job?

The best candidates will answer good reasons for leaving the previous position. Being negative or speaking badly about your employer is a red flag. Obviously, there’s a trade-off: honest candidates usually give an honest answer, and sometimes, their former employer is really at fault which leads to the end of their employment relationship. Among these HR interviews, the most important thing is attitude and that to a positive one. For example, candidates can reasonably mention that they left their previous job because their employer didn’t pay the workers at a  fair market price. However, if they make a long speech about their former employer’s fraud, it will be a red flag.

Ques 5. Describe the workplace where you’ll be most happy and productive.

This can take other forms as well, such as “What can we do to keep you happy if you were hired?” or “ Do you like your current job that you’d like to find here as well?” its objective is to evaluate if the candidate is suitable as an employee of the company or not. Usually, there is no right or wrong answer. It all depends on whether every candidate is suitable for a particular company or not.




Stages of a screening interview

There are three stages in screening interviews which are as follows;

  • Pre-screening interview: A pre-screening interview is a fast review process that helps the interviewer to know a bit about the candidates before they begin the actual process. In this, the interviewer is interested in knowing about who you are, your education qualification, and previous work experience. The interviewer possesses a sequence of open-ended and closed-ended questions. A pre-screening interview helps to save time and improve the efficiency of the hiring process. It gives the candidate a clear idea of the role they are applying for and also to the interviewer about the candidate if it fits in the work environment or not. The main examples of pre-screening interviews are questionnaires, videos, and phone calls.
  • Screening interview: After the pre-screening interview, the next stage is the actual screening interview. It is a method of determining whether or not an application meets the requirement for a specific job role or project. Moreover, it is a kind of suitability test that helps the interviewer to find out which candidate best fits the job requirements as well as the work requirements of the company.
  • Post-screening interview: The last stage is called the post-screening stage. This stage mostly helps the interviewer in hiring the right candidate for their job profile. However, it is a kind of formality because the interviewer has already shortlisted the candidates on the stage, this is a kind of cross-check for the second stage to see if everything works well with the candidates. At this point, the candidates are able to meet with other members of their team with whom they have to work, this is done so that they can know each other well.

How does a screening interview works?

Once you receive a call from the company regarding the screening interview, they will set a suitable time for a face–to–face interview. You need to be very precise and specific in the screening round. They demanded the person to be more divisional and functional. Mostly, it is done to shortlist the candidates for the next round of the interview process.

HireVue Hiring Platform: Video Interviews, Assessment, Scheduling, AI, Chatbot | HireVuehttps://www.hirevue.com/

Types of questions that are asked during the screening interview are as follows: –

  • Brief introduction about yourself: In this, you need to talk about yourself, your family background, education qualification, work experience, and your adhered skills and specialties. You are asked questions about your life and future expectations and your goals in life and your plans to achieve your goals. This is kind of a personality check which is done by the employer to see if you are a suitable candidate for the position and the company environment.
  • Work history: You must make sure that whatever is mentioned in your resume should match with what you speak. Your resume should be true and accurate. It should reflect your personality and the type of person you are. You need to tell them about all your work experience. Your time frame for work in all the previous companies and why you left those jobs and why you considered yourself to be appropriate for the job field. You must also mention the skills and experience you have gained in your previous jobs.
  • Salary expectations: An interview is definitely going to ask you about your salary expectations, you must prepare yourself in two to three ways to answer this question. You must make sure that your answer should not give a false impression to your listener. However, you must tell them a range of numbers for your salary requirement rather than a specific number.
  • Why you are interested in the position: You need to be more specific and precise in answering this question. It is a kind of critical thinking. One wrong answer can make your listener think twice before selecting you for the next round.
  • Acquired skills questions: Mostly the employers ask you about your skills and what kind of software you used in your previous workspace. For example: – They can ask you if you had any experience with the quick book earlier. Maybe they are looking for a candidate who possesses knowledge and skills regarding such software.

Pre-Screening Interview:

Before entering the interview stage, the application must through a pre-qualification or pre-screening process. This is to make sure that they meet the basic requirements of the position and you don’t waste time passing unqualified candidates through an extensive face-to-face interview. Shortlist interviews are widely used by companies, and your hiring process can greatly benefit from combined shortlist interviews.

<b>Pre-Screening:</b> Employer sets pre-screening questions for jobseekers to answer


Pre Screening Interview Questions:

1.What about your current and past work experience make you a great fit for our role?

A candidate’s previous jobs and career achievements will have a major impact on their suitability for the vacant position. It is almost impossible for you to hire people from other industries than someone with 20 years of experience in your field.

2. What type of work environment do you prefer? Management style?

In the screening process, by understanding how people like your work environment, you can understand how they fit into your workforce. If you know the company they used to work for, you may have an understanding of their past background. But it also helps to ask what type of environment they like and what they have experienced.

3. Have there ever been situations where you failed to meet a deadline? What happened? What would you do differently if given the chance?

For new employees,  another important factor you need to consider is how they deal with stress and deadlines. Different employers have different requirements for dealing with projects that are about to expire, as well as how to submit assignments.

4. What does your typical work week look like in terms of responsibilities? How have these responsibilities changed over time?

Before choosing a candidate, you will want to know if you are qualified for the job responsibilities you are applying to fill. Use pre-screening questions to understand what experiences your candidate has accumulated.  Nowadays, the position doesn’t make much sense, because the company has different requirements for the same position. Don’t ask about a person’s previous position, but let them define the roles and responsibilities they were responsible for in their previous job.

5. Do you prefer working with a team, or are you better by yourself?

Some people like to work in a team while others like to work alone. Before, taking the time for a face-to-face interview, it’s best to understand which approach your candidate prefers. If a candidate works alone in an IT department, they may struggle to switch to collaborative roles among multiple team members who must work together every day.




Pre-screening interviews are short interview questions for potential candidates to determine if they meet the criteria for the vacant position. If the pre-screening conversation goes well, the candidate is brought to a face-to-face meeting. But these short questions can help to narrow our talent pool to the most qualified candidates, so you can cut down on the time to interview new applicants.


Tools used for screening interview:

The tools that can be used for screening interviews are as follows:

  • Mobile phones: When performing a screening interview, your smartphone or ordinary phone is a vital tool. A candidate can use their phone to take notes, track time, or do research during a face-to-face interview.
  • Use of computers and laptops: Using computers and laptops to perform a screening interview is most reliable for everyone. When you use video conferencing platforms on your computers and laptops, everyone receives a better user experience.
  • Audio speakers: It is another most reliable tool for audio and video conferences because it prevents all kinds of glitches and audio problems. These days, wireless audio speakers are also available.
  • Workspace: Mostly, the face-to-face interviews take place in the workspace which involves a candidate and an interviewer. The workspace environment should be clean, comfortable, and easily accessible. If you do not have access to a pleasant workstation, then you can conduct the interview over the phone or by video.

How to ace screening interviews?

As we know that interviews are done to help companies find out the best suitable candidate to fill out the required position in the company. At the time of the interview, the employees need to present themselves with the best they got. The interviews also help the employers to get an impression about your expectations from the job. A screening interview is the first step in the hiring process. An employer cannot proceed with the candidate without fulfilling this round. However, there are several ways which you can use to master yourself in the screening interview.

  • Rather than ignoring the things, try to be more professional and specific: As a candidate, you should take the screening interviews seriously because this is the first step in the hiring process. If you are not able to create a good impression on your employer, then he may not hire you. Try to consume the things at that time and answer specifically to the questions asked.
  • Create an impression: Try to show them the best you got and this will help in building up your impression in front of them also they will get a clear check on your personality and the type of person you are.
  • Review the job profile: A candidate must review the job profile before applying or before an interview round. They must know about the requirements of the company and whether they match with the requirements of the company or not.
  • Building up rapport: A communication is adequate when the listener and the speaker are actively participating in it. You must make a balance between the words you speak and there should not be the usage of certain words which are difficult for your readers to understand.
  • Taking the control of things: There are some basic manners that create a good impression on your employer at first glance. You must wish them with a smile and be confident in front of them. Try not to be nervous and shy. Always speak the truth and maintain proper communication and eye contact with them. Prepare yourself before the interview by finding out your strengths and weakness and using them as a key in your plan.

HR Interviewing 

You have delayed it as long as possible, but now you have to hire. So far your team has taken care of everything, with a little help here and there, but you drive too much alone. You have too many fires to put out; you need more people, good people, to deal with the gestation of some internal conflicts, welfare requirements, and/or compensation requests and compliance (and you can also get some help in strategic planning as well).

How to interview someone in the HR Industry

Ideally, you want this person to come in, read your thoughts, make your life easier and more reliable. Anyone that you interview must have the minimum qualifications, let’s suppose you have jumped that hurdle; Now unless you are a mind reader, you will need some help to ask the right questions to determine who has the passion, the desire, and the courage to be the best candidate.

Here are a few of my favorite interview questions and why.

1. What do you like about human resources? Why do you want to be a human resource professional?

This question describes that they want passionate people! They want someone who loves this profession, not just for the salary. They don’t want anyone mailing it and feel proud rather, they expect the HR innovators to use the latest trends to help achieve the goals.

2. Tell me about a time you made a mistake and what was the resolution and outcome?

This question is really about responsibility. You need an honest person who is not afraid of past mistakes and the correct measures they applied to ensure that it happens again and the lesson is learned. It is natural to make mistakes at work. No one is perfect; so if the candidate says, “ I don’t make mistakes, or I can’t think of any, or I have so much experience that I don’t make mistakes” –  that is a FAIL.

Some tricky questions are also asked such as:

1. What person living or dead would you most like to have dinner with?

This question is a problem and bothers me a lot because it leads the candidate to a situation where they can be discriminated against. You want to stay away from entertainment icons, religious leaders, and athletes. For example: If we think of Jesus Christ or Elvis Presley or Michael Jordan, but the interviewer may not like any of these leaders; Now you are not in “shape”. Candidates, if you encounter this problem, I recommend going with your family member.

2. Tell me something that you probably shouldn’t tell me. 

In my opinion, there is no point in this question. This again leads the conversation to something inappropriate such as, “There are some simple people here.” Candidates, please consider bringing back the conversation related to work, such as, “I’m a huge fan of Mac. What type of computers / operating systems does the office use?” For an HR Position, you need to make sure you are searching for people who are passionate about the work because it reduces the risk of getting frustrated and quitting. You want someone who is knowledgeable and resourceful. You need someone who is confident in both the skills and experience because situations change quickly and a person who is open-minded and can adapt himself/herself to the environment quickly is always preferred first as compared to others.



Traits of a Talented HR Professional | by Amelia Jackson | Medium


Tips for HR professionals:

  1. Have a vision: It is important to know what you want to achieve and why. Don’t wait for your organization to define what HR should be. There are so many examples that are available and can be found after doing some research. Make it your business to know what’s possible. Research everything you can find and connect with others to become your own expert. If you are being interviewed, state your objectives and If you are already working, please describe them whenever you get an opportunity. Discuss your ideas with your leadership team to get their input and support.

2. Be a strategic thinker: Every organization needs an HR leader who understands the company’s aims and objectives and supports them. At Wynn, we hope that HR is more than just a department. That meant employees at every level should know and understand their part in supporting the culture and Human Resource philosophy.

3. Be a full partner: I often hear that HR just wants to feel the power of the position. Guess what? You have to earn it. This means people see you as a clear thinker, a good leader and a smart business person, all of which is needed to be successful in your career. Here’s how:

  • Collaborate individually with each department head in order to understand their needs and expectations from HR. Collaboration is the best way for HR ideas and practices accepted and implemented in your organization.
  • Spend time working across departments, leading focus groups, running trial programs to assess the acceptance and usability of your ideas, and starting an advisory group to provide information to your planning process.

4. Inspire others: The word I mostly use to describe my HR style is inspirational. HR professionals represent “the rules,” and we are often seen as technocrats or policy experts, somehow disconnected from the real world of organizational needs. Of course, this works, but the more you inspire others to understand how and why human resources are required, and how we can work to their benefit, the more you become a recognized leader in your organization. If you have passion, there will be passion in your corporate culture will have passion. Otherwise, it will be just another job for you and the people working for your organization. This is not fun at all and is not the kind of leadership that is required by HR professionals in the present time.




  • Screening: Includes questions like qualification, salary requirement etcetera
  • Pre-screening: General questions are asked to determine the personality, the background of the individual
  • Post-screening: After screening interview when applicant shares the qualification details with the manager.



How to ace screening interviews – 7 tips for success | edu CBA. (2021, April 29). EDUCBA. https://www.educba.com/how-to-ace-screening-interviews/

What is a screening interview? (n.d.). The Balance Careers. https://www.thebalancecareers.com/what-is-a-screening-interview-2062094

Blog, F. (2020, October 7). Screening interview: Types, + [Question examples]. Create Free Online Forms & Surveys in 2 Mins | Formplus. https://www.formpl.us/blog/screening-interview#:~:text=%20Types%20of%20Screening%20Interview%20%201%20Phone,interviews%20that%20is%20mostly%20used%20to…%20More%20


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