One of the best things you can do when hiring is to perform a pre-screening interview. It helps you weed out unqualified or uninterested candidates so you can invest your time in getting to know those that have massive potential.
Besides, resumes make great first impressions but don’t always tell the full story. Phone interviews give you a glimpse of their interpersonal skills, too!
Here are the 5 types of questions you can ask to screen candidates and identify your next star employee:
1. Cover the basics
Do yourself (and the candidate) a favour by starting the conversation off with something simple and easy. There is no need to dig too deep just yet.
Open the conversation by asking them questions about themselves and see whether they satisfy your most basic requirements. If you have an urgent deadline to fill a position, it’s never too early to ask the candidate when they are available to start.
Get the non-negotiable requirements out of the way so you don’t end up wasting time on candidates that won’t be available to join you.
Begin the conversation with any of these questions:
- “Tell me about yourself.”
- “Why are you looking for jobs?”
- “What are you looking for in this position?”
- “Can you tell me about your educational / work background?”
- “When are you available to start working?”
2. Gauge the candidate’s interest
After determining whether they meet the basic qualifications for the role, you can then assess their level of interest in the job and the company.
Some foolproof questions include:
- “What drew you to apply for this position?”
- “What do you understand about the responsibilities this position require?”
- “What do you know about our company?”
- “Why did you choose to apply to our company?”
- “Are you familiar with what we do/sell?”
Quality candidates do their research and have a general understanding of what the position entails. If they aren’t sure and are keen to learn more, they will use this chance to implore further with you.
Be on the lookout for the kinds of questions they ask you – it can tell you a lot about their plans for the role!
3. Work Environment and Style
It can be a huge help to learn about the candidate’s work style and the working environment they’re looking for from the get-go. You’ll immediately have an idea whether they’ll be the right fit for your company’s working environment.
On the other hand, if it isn’t an exact match but you see potential, put a pin in the conversation and explore it in the next stage of the hiring process.
Some questions you can ask are:
- “What does an ideal workday look like for you?”
- “What type of managing style works best for you?”
- “What is your working style like?”
- “What working environment do you thrive in?”
- “In your opinion, what do you think a team needs to be successful?”
You can also take this opportunity to educate the candidate on the work environment and working style at the company so they’ll know what to expect.
4. Personal Goals and Motivations
Nothing beats having a driven employee that’s determined to achieve the goal you set out as a company. To do this, both parties need to ensure their missions align. A pre-screening interview can make it easier for you to identify potential hires that share similar goals.
Discover what drives the candidate with these questions:
- “What type of work excites you?”
- “What personal goals are you currently working towards?”
- “What do you hope to achieve in this position?”
- “What do you enjoy about your current role?”
- “What motivates you to give your best work?”
Finding out what motivates the employee to perform is key information you can keep in mind for when you do end up hiring the candidate.
5. Salary and Employee Benefit Expectations
Some candidates may shy away from answering questions about salary and employee benefits head on but if you have little room for adjustments to your hiring budget, it may be beneficial to get it out of the way.
Candidates will appreciate knowing earlier on if your company has the salary or benefits they are looking for to meet their needs.
Cut straight to the chase with these questions:
- “Are there any company benefits that are important to you?”
- “What are your salary expectations?”
Employer tip: If you have plans to expand your company benefits in the future, asking these questions will give you a look into what the job seeker market is looking for!
Or just skip the phone interview and let Aivi do the work for you.
If you are an employer hiring on Hiredly, you’ll have access to Aivi – our AI-enabled automated chatbot that does the pre-screening interviews for you!
This feature comes with every job you post on Hiredly so you no longer need to set aside time to physically call candidates yourself.
How Aivi works:
Aivi is activated using ‘Virtual Interviewer Tokens’. Once the token is applied to a job, Aivi automatically launches virtual interviews with up to 50 candidates. If the average phone interview takes you 15 minutes, you just saved 750 minutes on phoning candidates one by one!
How Aivi helps you screen candidates:
- Save time with our preset questions.
- Gauge the candidate’s interest from the way they respond to Aivi’s questions.
- Learn information about the candidate not available on their resume.
- Use the customizable question slot to ask a unique question, lead candidates to a skill test or request for portfolios.