Critical Pre Screen Interview Questions - Glassdoor for Employers
The Art of the Prescreen: 5 Critical Questions

The Art of the Prescreen: 5 Critical Questions

Before you even start your interview process, it's critical to do a round of pre-screen interviews - whether by phone or video conference. And while pre-screen calls may sound like a time suck - taking up valuable time you don't have as you search to fill open roles - they can be key to saving you time later and ensuring you ultimately hire the right candidate for the specific role. 

Well-executed pre-screen interviews can include just a few questions and effectively weed out candidates who aren't the right fit before you call them back for a more rigorous interview. After all, when you're busy, there's nothing more frustrating than bringing in a delightful, qualified candidate only to realize there's a clear roadblock for going further in the process, such as a disparity in compensation expectations, skill set, or miscommunication about job location.

At Glassdoor, we cut right to the chase in our pre-screen interviews to make sure everyone is largely on the same page before we roll out the red carpet to welcome a potential candidate for a more in-depth interview. Want to know how we pre-screen job candidates? Here are five critical questions to ask.

Glassdoor's Essential Pre-Screen Interview Questions

1. Are you comfortable with our location?

Different companies and even different roles within a company have vastly different expectations or requirements about being onsite. Some positions lend themselves to a flexible schedule - and some do not. A candidate may have seen Glassdoor reviews reporting a great remote-work capability for a specific team, but doesn't realize that perk doesn't apply to the team for which they'd like to join. 

Similarly, your candidate might know your corporate headquarters are in New York and assume the work will be there - but it turns out that their team is located in Hoboken. Use the pre-screen interview as an opportunity to make sure your candidate knows exactly where your group's physical office is and what the expectations are around his or her presence.

Related: Employer Interview Preparation Checklist 

H3: 2. What compensation range are you targeting?

Don't ask your candidate about his or her current compensation; that's been shown to play into the pay gap due to gender bias. And in some cities, asking about salary history is even illegal. But we like to ask early on what compensation range the candidate is targeting. 

Make sure that you clarify how exactly your company values the total compensation package, including stocks, benefits, and bonuses. Salary transparency from the get-go helps you establish that you're in the right ballpark with potential hires before bringing them onsite for an interview.

Companies who care about their employer brand and their ability to draw top talent spend a good deal of time getting everyone prepped and ready to make a great impression. So if the compensation is off kilter, it's a waste of time for everyone.

3. Why do you want to work here?

Informed candidates who research jobs and companies on Glassdoor are more likely to be hired than candidates from other sources. That's because they have not only educated themselves on the company and the role, but they have also familiarized themselves with your company's business sector and they've self-selected a role that's right for them. 

By asking candidates why they want to work at your company, you uncover how market-savvy they are and how aligned they are with your company's mission and goals. 

Understanding exactly why they want to work for your company serves a secondary role, too. If you progress in your process and find that you're competing with other companies to bring on a highly qualified candidate, understanding what motivates and drives them becomes an important tool for negotiation. As a recruiter or hiring manager, you can research the other company where they have an offer and determine what you can offer that they can't.

4. How do you see yourself applying your unique skills to this job? 

Knowledge of the role is the most critical piece of being an informed candidate, so tailor your questions to find out how well the candidate understands the role and why he or she feels it's a fit. 

If the applicant is unable to get specific about his or her experience with a critical tool or approach, it's a good sign that the match isn't ideal. If they are able to speak passionately about how they were able to quickly master another similar process or methodology in the past, then you may have a very coachable and committed candidate on your hands. Take their skills and experience seriously, but don't discount your instincts: This is one place they will serve you well.

Related: 11 Interview Questions Facebook Asks & You Should Too

5. What are you looking for in a manager?

As a recruiter or hiring manager, you know who the employee is that will oversee the open role and exactly what management style he or she has. Asking your applicant for specifics about what they like in a boss can help you close in on the type of hire who will thrive in this job.

As you evaluate responses and choose the best candidates to bring in, remember to follow-up with rejected candidates in a timely fashion. Then, get ready for the interview process - keeping in mind that candidates are always evaluating you, too.
Need help matching qualified candidates to your company's open roles? Contact Glassdoor to see how we can help.