What is a screening interview?
Find out what a screening interview is and how they can make your recruitment process more effective
Recruiting staff to a new opening can be quite a taxing process for your business. In the current professional climate, employers can receive hundreds of applications for just one role making the procedure even more daunting for all involved - including your candidates.
On top of this, recruitment can be expensive and time consuming and now businesses are looking towards new methods to make the process much more efficient so that their new staff fulfil their businesses needs.
One recruitment method many businesses are adopting is by holding screening interviews. There will always be jobseekers who are not suitable to the role they have applied for but a screening interview can save a business both time and resources. So, just what is a screening interview?
Screening interviews are exactly what they describe - a preliminary interview in a variety of formats designed to screen all applicants for their initial suitability to the role. It also helps to assess their transferable skills, their employment history and any issues surrounding their CV that may suggest whether they would be successful in the second stage of a recruitment process.
Methods for screening interviews can include:
Telephone and online screening interviews
Many businesses are seeing the cost effectiveness of using technology for screening interviews and the use of phones and webcams as well as online intranets, questionnaires and tests can ensure that the first part of recruitment is speedy, economical and productive.
Online tests are good ways of getting simple answers to specific questions from candidates without any bias or distractions and can be tailored to individual businesses. For example, if the role depends on good mental arithmetic, quick mathematics tests can really root out those who will not succeed in the role leaving behind those who are the most qualified.
Interviews, group meetings and panel interviews
These allow for screeners to:
- Assess candidates on a face-to-face basis
- Gauge a person's personality whilst being interviewed
- Discuss any issues on their CV which could decide whether they are likely to be successful or not
- Give the candidate a brief overview of the role
They can be brief and informal so to allow quick engagement with the role and its requirements. Group screening interviews are also a good way of assessing large numbers of candidates in one go, determining their teamwork skills, their competitiveness and their ability to deal with others.
All of these types of interviews can be undertaken by members of your businesses human resources department or by third party recruiters who specialise in screening interviews. If you plan to run your own interviews then make sure you read our article on 7 foolproof interviewing techniques first.
The main aim of screening interviews is to reduce the number of applicants for a position to those most qualified and likely to be successful in the role. This streamlines the rest of the recruitment process and saves your business resources in many different ways, not just economically but also in reducing the burden of hiring staff that are simply not suitable for the role but only discovering six weeks into their employment.
Ultimately, screening interviews exist to find the best person for the job and make sure they are hired.
Or head back to our employer advice section for more information.