When you apply for a job, you can reasonably expect to go through a series of screenings before you actually sit down face to face with someone from the company you are applying to join. The process varies from company to company off course, but first up you should be prepared to go through some Resume Screening Software.
Many companies ask for resumes to be submitted online or have an online application process. If this is the case you can bet your resume or application will go through some form of resume screening software as the first part of the interview process. The software will look at keywords, formatting etc..to see if you meet the criteria for the role and therefore deserve further attention.
Once your resume makes it through, it is quite common for the recruiter to conduct a pre screen interview over the phone. The pre-screen interview will typically run for around 30 minutes and is designed to:
- Confirm you have the right job skills
- Test your communication skills
- Get a read on your attitude and outlook
- Clear up any questions they have about details on your resume
- Test your cultural fit
It’s important to understand what the recruiter is trying to do during the 30 minute pre screening because that will influence how you answer the questions you are asked. When you think about what the recruiter is trying to understand, the questions they ask you will actually make a lot of sense.
Before the recruiter gets to the more specific questions about the role, they will ask you the following 2 ‘fishing’ questions. These are screening questions designed to get more information out of you so be careful how you answer them.
1. Do you remember applying for this role?
This is designed to see if are truly interested in the role or if it’s just one of a hundred other jobs you have applied for. Always reply with something like:
- Yes off course I remember applying, I was particularly excited about the role because it offers me the chance to….
- Yes off course I remember applying, I was particularly excited about the company because it is perfect for my short term and long term goals…
2. Where are you at with your job search process?
They ask this question to see if you will tell them where else you have applied. This tells them how much competition they are facing and how desperate you are to leave your current role. Your answer should not give too much away, instead try and make it about the role. Something like this is good:
I am actively looking at a small number of roles that suit my career goals. It is more important to me to find the right role and company where I fit in culturally and have the opportunity to grow and develop. This is much more important than rushing in and accepting any offer that comes along.
Assuming you answer these 2 questions well, you will be asked a series of questions about the role itself and your future. Have a look at our post on the 5 most common questions recruiters ask during a pre screening interview. There are lots of tips and examples on how to answer each one.