Everything You Need to Know About Prescreen Interviews

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Everything You Need to Know About Prescreen Interviews

everything you need to know about prescreen interviews

When you apply for a job, there are a few behind-the-scenes stages before you get officially invited to an interview.

First, the recruiters look at your resume and motivational letter to decide if you’re a good fit for the position. If yes, you can expect to receive a short phone or video call from a recruiter.

This is called a prescreen interview, and its purpose is to briefly assess the candidates’ skills and qualifications to confirm that they are a good match for the job.

In this article, we explain what a prescreen interview is, what questions you can expect, and how to present yourself in the best light during this call.

What is a Prescreen Interview?

A prescreen interview is a short phone or video call between a candidate and a recruiter.

This call aims to determine whether the candidate is a good fit for the job based on their qualifications and skills.

Prescreen interviews can be conducted by either the employer or a recruiter. Employers may use prescreen interviews to narrow down the pool of candidates, while recruiters may use them to get to know the candidate better and determine if they are a good match for the position.

During a prescreen interview, the recruiter will ask the candidate questions about their experience and qualifications. The candidate will also have the opportunity to ask questions about the job and the company.

If both the recruiter and the candidate are satisfied with each other, then the candidate will be invited to an official interview.

The great news is that you can prepare for a prescreen interview by researching the company and the position and practicing your answers to common interview questions. Here’s how to do it!

How to Prepare for a Prescreen Interview?

The best way to prepare for a prescreen interview is by doing your research. This means learning as much as you can about the company and the position you are applying for.

Here are a few other tips to keep in mind:

  • Prepare to give more information about your work history and how it pertains to the new position.
  • Be able to answer a question about why you want to leave your current job or why you would like to join the company.
  • Know your expected salary range is – it’s very likely that you’ll be asked about your salary expectations.
  • Incorporate how to discuss your professional development goals quickly.
  • Prepare your questions about the company/position you would like to ask the interviewer.
  • Additionally, you should practice your answers to common interview questions. This will help you feel more confident and give you a better chance to impress the recruiter.
  • Not sure which questions to expect during a prescreen interview? Don’t worry; we got you covered!

Prescreen Interview Questions – What to Expect?

During a prescreen interview, you can expect questions regarding your previous work experience, skills, achievements, and responsibilities and questions regarding your personal career and development plans.

Here are some common prescreen interview questions that you can expect:

  • What about your current and past work experience make you an excellent fit for our role?
  • What goals do you have for your personal development?
  • How does this position help move you toward your goals?
  • What does an ideal workday look like for you?
  • Do you prefer working with a team, or are you better by yourself?
  • Did you have many deadlines to meet in your previous positions?
  • Do you have experience with multiple deadlines due around the same time? How did you manage your time?
  • What skills would you bring to the job?
  • Tell me about one of your most significant career accomplishments so far.
  • When can you start if you’re hired?

Last but not least, remember that an interview is a two-way street. Prepare your questions about the company and the positions, so you can be entirely sure that the position is the right choice for you.

Questions Candidates Can Ask During Prescreens

Not sure which questions to ask the interviewer. Here’s a list of questions you can ask or use as an inspiration for your own questions.

  • Can you explain the day-to-day responsibilities this job entails?
  • What are some of the challenges you’ve seen people in this role or on this team encounter?
  • What would my first week at work look like?
  • Can you tell me about the team I’d be working with?
  • Do you have a mentor system in place?
  • How are employees recognized for a job well done?
  • How would you describe the company culture?

Even though prescreen interviews are relatively short, you will have enough time to ask a few questions. Also, during this short time, you may make some mistakes that could cost you the job. Here’s how to prevent that from happening!

Common Mistakes During Prescreen Interviews

While preparing for a prescreen interview, it’s essential to avoid making mistakes that could cost you the job. Here are some of the most common mistakes candidates make during prescreen interviews:

Not being prepared: One of the most common mistakes is not being ready for the interview. This means not researching the company and the position and not practicing your answers to common interview questions.

Not being honest: It’s essential to be honest during a prescreen interview. Lying about your qualifications or experience could only hurt you in the long run.

Badmouthing previous employers: Another mistake is badmouthing your previous employer. This makes you look unprofessional and difficult to work with.

Failing to ask questions: Asking questions shows that you’re interested in the position and the company. Failing to do so can make you seem uninterested and unprepared.

Asking questions about benefits only: It’s okay to ask about salary range during a prescreen call. However, asking questions about salary and benefits only might present you in a bad light – as if you’re only interested in what the job is paying, not contributing to the company.

Refusing to provide references: It’s not uncommon for interviewers to ask for references so they can get a better insight into your job performance. Refusing to do so might seem like a red flag to the interviewer.

How Can Popcorn Recruiters Help You? 🍿

Popcorn Recruiters is a recruitment agency with a significant difference: we’re border-less. Located in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina, we are in touch with ambitious and talented professionals across Europe. With a deep pool of IT and foreign-language speaking talent, our Popcorn Recruiters are leading the way to successful matches.

As a recruitment agency, our goal is not only to meet the needs and demands of our clients. We also look out for our candidates and make sure they find their ideal employer.

Once you apply to one of our open positions and join our talent network, we become your representatives – something like your personal agents.

First, we’ll have a chat (that is a brief prescreen interview) to get to know you better – your needs, skills, interests, and requirements. Then, we’ll match you with a company we know you’ll fit in with perfectly, help you prepare for the interviews, and help you land that job!

Sounds good? Drop your CV and we’ll get in touch!