As you know, the reason to pre-screen candidates is to save you and your hiring staff the time it takes to do full on interviews. It can also save you the expense of doing background checks, though some of you will want to get those done very early on as part of the pre-screening process.
Ideally, in a pre-screening interview, you can determine if your candidate is a good fit for your company. A candidate who would fit in with your company culture.
And how many times have you heard those two terms: “fit” and “culture”?
Probably the simplest way of looking at this would be: does an applicant seem to share the values of those currently working there?
One company may not consider values that important and, as long as employees show up on time for work and do what they’re asked to do, all is well. Well, actually that’s a value in of itself, isn’t it.
But the next company may be staffed with people who care deeply about the company’s success and consider they are part of a team, and perhaps in some cases, a part of a family.
Whatever those values are, the person doing the pre-screening should have a very good idea of them. And questions can be asked to help the “pre-screener” determine if the person they’re interviewing does in fact have those values.
Another important item that can be ascertained from a pre-screening interview: The salary expectations of the applicant. If they are way out of line with what the company can pay or is willing to pay, probably not a great idea to spend too much more time and resources interviewing the candidate. The one exception here would be the pre-screener gets a hint that maybe, just maybe, it is worth the company’s time to keep talking with this applicant. He may bring something special that might influence management to alter its salary guidelines.
So, a bit of judgement does enter here.
The main consideration of a pre-screening interview and the main skill set of the person doing this interview should focus on how you can fairly quickly get a good look into your applicant’s world. And, in so doing, determine if you should continue with this candidate or move on.
As the law varies in each area, please check with an attorney to ensure you are applying these tips within the law.
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