Wednesday, January 16, 2013

What to Expect on a Screening Interview

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Large Organizations will usually subject their prospective employees to a two-step interview process. The first one is a screening interview and the 2nd a selection. Screening interviews serve to weed out all the applicants except the truly qualified. These live interviews can take place at the place of employment, a job fair, a college career service or an employment service.

You will notice that more and more companies rely on technology such as telephone or online webcam interviews to screen those applying. This is done as a cost-cutting method to make sure they have the best candidate before investing too much time.

The person handling the screening is usually someone from human resources or even a third-party independent recruiter. He or she will quiz all the applicants and either dismiss them or move them on to the next phase. The individual who makes the final selection is usually the boss or department manager to whom the new employee will report to.

Keep in mind that the screeners are more experienced in the interview process than the selectors since they have normally studied and practiced interviewing strategies. In fact, serious screeners look at their craft as an art form. Their aim is to gather facts from you and to keep out prospects that aren't qualified at all or who are qualified, but have a bad employment history. These screeners are professionals at finding out your weaknesses as well as any reasons why you should be kept out of their company.

But take note that screeners are there to determine whether you have the minimum qualifications for the position or not. They want to have questions answered regarding your job history, your salary history and requirements, whether you can do the job or not, work history gaps. They will quiz you to see any inconsistencies on your resume and find out about your character - what kind of person you are. Are you trustworthy, reliable? Are you a team player. They are usually concerned with one thing, are you qualified? They try to come to this conclusion by reviewing your experience, skills, education and track record.
Screeners are basically gatekeepers who want to avoid being criticized for letting in the wrong person. They are looking for straight facts, so it is wise to keep your answers straightforward and to the point. Save the song and dance bit for the selection interview. As long as you don't give the interviewer huge reasons to show you the door, you should expect to move you right along.

Don't be apprehensive if feel for some reason you and the screener don't see eye to eye on everything. Remember, they are in human resources and as long as you are not vying for a position in that department, you should be safe. You don't have to work with that person directly. Remember, give them just the facts!


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