Employers follow different hiring processes, which typically start with a screening interview. These help an interviewer identify qualified candidates, and they often hold over the phone. Improve your chances of securing a second interview by knowing which screening interview questions to expect and planning your responses. In this article, we discuss the most common screening interview questions and provide example answers to guide you in crafting your own.
Interviewers typically start screening interviews with questions about your background to learn more about you. Use this question to explain your work experience, what you’re currently doing, and why you’re a qualified candidate. While you may mention personal details, focus on professional qualifications and achievements when summarizing your background.
Example answer: “My passion for music started when I was a child. My dad had a grand piano, and I enjoyed playing my favourite songs on it. I knew early on that I wanted to pursue a career in music. So, I enrolled in a music program and earned a bachelor’s degree in classical music four years ago.
After my undergraduate, I worked in various music teacher positions and joined the local symphony orchestra. My work experience taught me how to teach music in a fun and engaging way, and I developed my teaching skills by engaging in volunteer work. Currently, I work as a music teacher in a high school. I’m excited about this music teaching position and eager to join the department.”
Employers ask this question to find out what makes you unique. Hold their attention by discussing your skills and character traits. Ensure you mention qualities that relate to the role.
Example answer: “I’m ambitious and driven. I like to keep track of my goals and measure my progress. Over my career, demonstrating these qualities helped me stay committed and complete tasks ahead of time. In my previous role, I was promoted three times in two years.”
Employers ask this question to find out what motivates you to find a job. If you currently have a job, give a reason that focuses on your career. For example, you may be looking to work on more exciting projects.
Example answer: “I’m looking for opportunities to start my career as a physical therapist. I gained valuable work experience carrying out treatment plans as a physical therapist assistant and feel I’m ready to take the next career step. Recently, I earned a doctorate in physical therapy. I’m confident I can contribute towards this establishment’s goals and touch more lives as a physical therapist here.”
„These questions help an interviewer identify qualified candidates, knowing which screening interview questions to expect and planning your responses improve your chances of securing a second interview“
This question helps employers identify candidates who have a genuine interest in the position. When answering, outline details in the job description to explain why you applied. For example, this could be specific job duties, information about the company, or something about the job that aligns with your personal or professional goals.
Example answer: “I applied for this position because I’m inspired by your company’s mission to make our environment sustainable. I spent the last few years working with companies that have similar missions and used that time to expand my knowledge and build my skill set. Your company’s reputation for providing career development opportunities also appeals to me.”
This question helps a recruiter understand your current work situation. Remember to be positive when discussing previous or current employers..
Example answer: “At my last job, I enjoyed applying my creativity when working on design projects. Thinking of creative designs comes naturally to me. While I’m grateful for my time at my current organization, I feel it’s time to advance into a role where I can apply my talent and skills more and continue to grow as a UI/UX designer.”
This question evaluates whether you researched the company. It also offers an opportunity to describe what motivates you and how your core values align with the company’s. When answering this question, use the information you found about the company. For example, you might be excited about their industry growth or interested in a product or service.
Example answer: “After starting a career as a video game tester, my ultimate goal was to work for a company that released quality games and helped its employees achieve work-life balance. I read your recent social media post about encouraging employees to work from home. Your company seems to operate a collaborative work environment, and I’m looking for a career that promotes feedback and employee growth.”
Employers use this question to know what information they need to provide you with. It can also show whether you reviewed the job description and researched the company. Discuss the job duties, responsibilities, and requirements.
Example answer: “From the job description, I understand that this engineering associate position involves developing and designing engineering plans and systems. I also understand that you require the engineering associate to supervise assigned projects and enforce safety standards of the Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety, for which I’m trained. Can you tell me more about this position and the team’s needs?”
Determining what motivates you and what you’re passionate about helps interviewers decide whether you might be the best candidate for the position. Explain what makes you put your best in each task and consider how your passion aligns with the job.
Example answer: “I’m passionate about capturing moments as they occur. In my experience as a photographer, everyone can relive events by taking and keeping photos. Nature inspires me, and I feel I make a positive difference by putting a smile on people’s faces.”
Interviewers typically ask this question when they consider you a serious candidate for a role. They may also be looking to fill the position quickly. Before the interview, consider when you can start and any factors that may affect your start date. For example, consider whether you submitted your resignation letter or gave your current employers a two-week notice.
Example answer: “I’m available to start two weeks after I receive a job offer. This would allow me to give my current employer enough notice and prepare for the new role.”
This question helps potential employers understand what hiring stage you are in with other companies. It also helps them determine how quickly they should move with the hiring process. While you should answer honestly about your job search, you don’t need to provide details. Show enthusiasm about the job opportunity and present it as your first choice.
Example answer: “I feel this job fits what I’m looking for and aligns with my skill set. However, I’m interviewing with two other employers.”
This question helps the interviewer determine whether your salary expectation aligns with the budget. When answering, it’s best you provide a range to show you’re flexible. Ensure you’re comfortable earning the lowest number in your range and provide a specific amount you expect to earn. More salary negotiations would come once you receive an offer.
Example answer: “My ideal salary for this position is between $50,000 to $60,000. I feel this amount is appropriate for my experience level and skill set.”
By asking this question, employers want to see whether you would fit well with the supervisor assigned to you. Express your preference and communicate whether you’re flexible about management styles.
Example answer: “Over my career, I have found I prefer to work with a collaborative, trusting manager. I enjoy having quality time with my manager to discuss aspects for improvement and brainstorm ideas for new projects.”
This question offers you the opportunity to describe why you are the ideal candidate for the job. Discuss your skill set, experience, and educational qualifications and how you can bring value as an employee.
Example answer: “I’m an experienced nurse with professional accomplishments that make me a good fit for this job. At my last job, I received funding to complete a research project on proactive nursing practices. I also worked as the nurse liaison at a general hospital in my province, where I communicated with the hospital’s leadership. Since I started my nursing career, I try to engage in volunteer work every week and develop my ability to provide medical care. I feel my skill set, experience, and achievements make me an excellent candidate for this role.”