How to conduct better Pre-screening interview for entry-level candidates
- June 7, 2021
- Posted by: Ishani Singh
- Category: Recruitment
When recruiting entry-level candidates – you get a bucket full of applications, and that’s a peculiar problem. You can’t forward all of them to the next round, but only the qualified ones, right? This is why brief pre-screening interview for entry-level candidates (with the right questions) are so important for you.
A 10-minute Pre-screening interview over a phone call helps you assess the potential candidates. It is nothing but a list of questions that’ll allow you to know them better to prepare a list of qualified candidates to send to the next round or to forward to the client.
Why should it be a part of your strategy?
Entry-level candidates are everywhere, and most of them have had little or no corporate experience (partly because of the pandemic). To handpick those who are motivated and a good fit for the role can be tough without a pre-screening interview. It makes your job easier and saves a lot of precious time.
This quick chat gives you a lot of information, which can tell you which vacancy is good for him (if not this one). Thus you get supporting material for present/future recruitment.
When a candidate speaks to you before the main interview, she is a lot more relaxed and confident. This makes the real interview a smoother ride for her. All of this contributes to a better Candidate Experience.
One big challenge is that you can’t ask these candidates the same questions as for middle-level or senior-level peeps. Moreover, the questions you ask in pre-screening interviews should be at the surface-level.
Sample Pre-screening interview question list
Interview questions for entry-level candidates remain somewhat the same. These are more focused on their academic records, internships, or unrelated working experience. Apart from that, the pre-screening interview questions are surface-level covering topics like their goals and aspirations.
You’d want to pay attention to the following 3 aspects –
This type of question allows you a peek into the candidate’s professional side. You can assess his answers to get a fair idea of his reflection skills and confidence. Here are some examples –
- Give me your brief introduction
- What are your top 5 strengths? Tell me about a professional incident where you’ve accomplished something due to each of them.
- What are your 3 weaknesses? How can you overcome them?
- What was the biggest challenge that you’ve faced?
- How do you describe your working style?
You’re looking for someone who’ll fit well in your team. This person should help your company grow (ideally also grow with it). So, it’s crucial to understand if the company’s work culture would suit them. The following questions can help you determine this –
- How do you like to be managed?
- What characteristics of work culture would help you enjoy your work?
- What career accomplishments would allow you to thrive further in this job?
- How do you keep yourself motivated during work?
Job aspirations/ expectations
Some entry-level candidates may be unable to grasp the role they are applying for, due to limited work experience. Most candidates would have done their research about the role and the company, and they’ll know what to expect. But still, this type of question will ensure that you’re not shortlisting candidates who’d drop off due to differences in expectations.
Here are some sample questions –
- What is your salary expectation?
- Are you willing to travel for work?
- What are you looking for in this job?
- Why are you looking for a shift?
- Are you available to work on weekends?
To wrap up, a Pre-screening interview for entry-level candidates is a brief 10-15 minute phone call or even a short questionnaire to give an idea about a candidate before making the list to pass on to the next round/ to the client. For entry-level candidates, this short interview allows you to know more about their background, cultural expectations, and goals. Answers to these questions help you make your judgment.
Ishani works as Manager – Social Media & Strategy Big Ideas HR Consulting Pvt. Ltd. and also as a Freelance Digital Marketer. She has a knack for problem-solving and also enjoys writing. She loves to share her views and knowledge with the readers by the medium of her blogs.