Screenings vs Interview… Sometimes the recruitment process can get a little confusing and overwhelming for a candidate as they begin their journey with a new role, with invitations to phone screen, screening interviews and then all going well, interviews.

So for those unsure or just starting their job search, we wanted to help you understand a little more about what it means when you’re invited to a screening interview and what you can expect.

A ‘Screening’ is not an official interview – this early first stage in the recruitment process, typically following an application – usually does not involve the hiring manager that you’ll hope to meet later on down the interview process.

It is most often a stage held by those conducting the search for the employer, so it could be done by a recruitment consultancy, or it can be conducted by an in-house HR team directly from the company you have applied for. They conduct a round called Screening, with the goal of finding the most suitable applicants to bring forward for an interview.

The purpose of an initial screening is to help understand a little more about you, your experience and your ambitions as a candidate and talk through your suitability for the role. The initial screening is usually conducted over the phone for the first conversation or occasionally through video conferencing, and you can expect questions about your work experience, skills, and motivations

With the growth of virtual interviewing and video conferencing in the modern-day hiring process, it has now brought with it a new addition to the screening process, a recorded screening interview. This is where the hiring team may invite you to record a screening interview with them to accompany your CV and application and help the hiring manager get a better understanding of who you are behind the CV!

The questions will be very similar to that of your initial conversation, and this stage is by no means a first interview, typically lasting only 10-15 minutes once recorded.

It is, in every way, a more modern version of a cover letter; it accompanies your CV to help the hiring manager understand why you applied, why you feel you meet the requirements for the role and a little more about you as a person.

Whilst, not a formal interview, it is the ‘First Impressions’ for those who will be interviewing you further down the process, and so we would recommend a few top tips to help make sure you give a confident and successful Screening Interview.

  • Research the company you have applied for.
    • Adding touches of understanding for the brand and why you genuinely chose to apply there will help strengthen your application.
  • Dress smart.
    • ‘It may not need a full suit, but this first impression will last, so make sure you are dressed smartly and professionally as you would for a business call.’ –Kay Ritchie, Senior Recruitment Consultant at Noble Futures
  • Avoid distractions.
    • If recording a video or even a recorded phone screening, avoid anything that could cause a distraction. Keep a clean and simple background and try to come out of a noisy public space to reduce background noise.
  • Angles.
    • If it is a video interview, ensure you have a space to safely and securely set your phone, laptop or tablet. Holding the phone up, like in a video call, can come across as rushed and unprofessional, so secure yourself a calm quiet corner to set up your devices.
  • Review the Advert or Job Description
    • ‘Ensure you have a thorough understanding of the Job Description and pick out the key areas where you have transferable skills, ready to impress’ – Laura Smith, Recruitment Consultant at Noble Futures

If you’d like to know more about the recruitment process or how to make the most from your screening interview, then please contact the team at Noble Futures and we would be happy to help! You can call us on +44 161 820 3510 or email us at [email protected]