How to Ace Interview Screenings

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Whether it’s a phone interview, video interview, or background check, most employers screen potential candidates. This helps employers determine whether it’s worth sending an individual to the next round of interviews.

A job interview screening is one of the first steps of the hiring process for employers. It usually consists of a series of questions that help hiring managers decide whether a candidate is a good fit and honestly submitted their job application.

If you’ve recently applied for a job and a hiring manager has mentioned getting in touch with you, it’s a good chance they’re going to perform a candidate screening. Here are four tips to help you prepare for and stand out during the interview:

Tip #1: Prepare yourself for screening calls

During the screening interview, a hiring manager is likely to ask questions regarding your job history, salary history, transferable skills, and inconsistencies on your resume. They might also ask you about how you found their company and why you applied for the job.

You should also expect to answer some personality questions and questions regarding your soft skills. These questions are designed to help hiring managers determine whether you’ll make a good cultural fit or not.

The last thing you want is to stumble during a phone call with a recruiter or hiring manager. Be sure you are able to answer all of the hiring manager’s questions clearly and confidently.

Tip #2: Inform your references you’re applying for jobs

According to CareerBuilder, 80 percent of employers contact references provided by candidates. Unfortunately, two-thirds of employers said, when they contacted a reference, the individual didn’t have anything good to say about the candidate.

To pass the screening process, it’s essential you provide references who can give you a genuine recommendation that will help you impress employers. It’s also a good idea to inform your references that you’re applying for jobs and they should expect to hear from an employer for references.

Tip #3: Clean up your social media profiles

Two-thirds of employers use social media to gauge a candidate’s professionalism. In addition, 51 percent of employers use social media to see if a candidate makes a good cultural fit, and 45 percent use it to learn about an individual’s qualifications.

When you begin your job search, make sure you remove anything from your online presence that could cost you the job. Some common reasons employers decide not to hire candidates based on their social media profiles is they post inappropriate online content, they bad mouthed a previous employer, or lied about their qualifications.

Tip #4: Learn your resume inside and out

During a screening interview, you can definitely expect hiring managers to ask about the nitty gritty details on your resume. Most of these questions are designed to find out if a candidate lied on their resume.

For example, let’s say an employer asked about why your GPA is higher than the number on your college transcripts. This discrepancy might send a red flag to employers.

One of the best ways to ace a job interview screening is to be completely transparent and straightforward with your answers. This will help hiring managers decide whether they should move you on to the next round of interviews.

What tips do you have for interview screenings?

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Val Matta
Val Matta
Val Matta is the co-owner and leader of business development at CareerShift, a comprehensive job hunting and career management solution for companies, outplacement firms, job seekers and university career centers. You can connect with her and the CareerShift team on Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter, LinkedIn.