How to Ask Your Candidates the Right Pre-Screening Questions

There are lots of wonderful people out there, but not all of them will be a perfect fit for your job opening. Instead of wasting time by inviting every candidate round for a chat, sift through your applicants to find the perfect fit with some key pre-screening questions.

Pre-screening is the process of informally interviewing applicants with a series of questions, before you invite them a formal interview. These pre-screening questions are essentially the gatekeeper and talent-seeker of your hiring process — but it’s not just what you ask, it’s how you ask it.

What to Ask

When pre-screening you’ll want to ask both housekeeping and role-specific questions. We’ve broken down these categories to help you narrow down the applicant pool and find the talent your business is looking for.

1. Housekeeping Questions

Housekeeping questions can be tedious, but they’ll ultimately save you time in the hiring process. You’d hate to get to the interview and not be in agreement with the applicant on salary, or find out that a candidate for a driver position doesn’t have a licence. If you’ve gotten that far without addressing those fundamentals, you’ve wasted both parties’ time.

It’s important to keep in mind that applicants are constantly applying for different positions when job searching. Don’t assume that candidates remember everything in the job spec or advert. Try asking questions like these:

  • Do you have a reliable way to get to work?
  • Are you able to travel if necessary?
  • Are you aware of the hours and willing to commit to them?
  • Are you happy with the salary?
  • Are you comfortable with the pension?
  • Are you happy with the healthcare and who it will cover?
  • Are you comfortable with the requirements of this job?

Pre-screening questions will help eliminate applicants who aren’t qualified or suited. It may seem like you’re eliminating potential talent, but realistically, you’re weeding out bad-fit applicants.

2. Role-Specific Questions

You’ll also want to ask your applicants questions related to the role during the pre-screening process. A good practice is to simplify some questions that you would ask in a competency-based interview or assessment. If they do well with the simplified versions, then they’ll likely do well in the interview.

Here are some generic examples, though you should get more specific for each role:

  • You’ve read the job advert — what skills do you possess that would make you successful in this role?
  • What’s your motivation for wanting to join us at (Company Name)?
  • Culture is important to us at (Company Name) — how do you feel you’d mesh with and add to ours?

These pre-screening questions will give you a good sense of which applicants possess the skills, motivation and culture fit you’re looking for.

How to Ask Those Questions

How you’re asking these questions is just as important as the questions themselves. For example, when asking housekeeping questions, consider the cultural norms. In Germany or Ireland, candidates might want to hear the salary right off the bat. In the UK you might need more general chatter to kick off the conversation. In other words, consider what the candidate is looking to hear, and ask your pre-screening questions accordingly.

That hints at a key aspect of recruiting: when you screen candidates, they’re also screening you and your company. That’s true even in these early stages. It may be informal, but it’s still important that you position your brand well and engage your candidate to spark their interest.

At the same time, try not to include any information that’s irrelevant to the role — you don’t want to waste anyone’s time. In general, it’s good practice to keep the pre-screening process light. Imagine you’re conversing with the applicant casually at a networking event. After all, to pre-screen is to informally interview.

Pre-Screen Efficiently

Pre-screening is essential to your hiring process, but doing it manually can take copious amounts of time. Enlisting an applicant tracking system (ATS) can help you pre-screen efficiently by narrowing down candidates automatically. This can drastically cut down pre-screening time and use sophisticated software to inform you of which applicants to call. With an ATS, you’ll ultimately end up with better applicants.

Pre-screening with an ATS can benefit your business by pre-screening faster, cheaper and more effectively. Make sure to enlist an ATS with these capabilities:

  • Recruitment pipeline management
  • Automated alerts for new applications
  • Basic and advanced candidate search options

If you know what to ask your candidates, how to ask those questions and how to do it all efficiently, you’ll be well on your way to streamlining your pre-screening process. To learn more about the benefits of adopting an ATS, check out this blog post!

New call-to-action



79 thoughts on “How to Ask Your Candidates the Right Pre-Screening Questions

  1. you’re in point of fact a just right webmaster.

    The web site loading pace is amazing. It seems that
    you’re doing any unique trick. Furthermore, The contents are masterwork.

    you have done a great job in this matter!

  2. I can not think this is occurring to me. I really did not anticipate to see such a wonderful blog site. Your article is quite possibly arranged. Every single time I see such a best message, I take pleasure in it. I thanks for offering me a beneficial experience. I wish you are constantly delighted as well as healthy and balanced.블랙잭사이트

  3. Nice post. I learn something more challenging on different blogs everyday. It will always be stimulating to read content from other writers and practice a little something from their store. I’d prefer to use some with the content on my blog whether you don’t mind. Natually I’ll give you a link on your web blog. Thanks for sharing.스포츠토토링크

  4. I’ll immediately grasp your rss as I can not to find your email subscription link or newsletter service.
    Do you’ve any? Kindly let mme know so thatt I may just subscribe.
    Thanks.

    Also visit myy web page – pmp sample questions (Mai)

  5. It’s truly very difficult in this busy life to listen news on TV, thus I nly
    use world wide web for that reason, and take the most recent information.

    Also visit my web blog: cisco ccie security (Felica)

  6. Thanks on your marvelous posting! I seriously enjoyed reading it, you could be a great author.I will be sure to bookmark your blog and may come back at some
    point. I want to encourage yourself to continue your great posts, have a nice weekend!

  7. Thanks, I hve jjust been seearching ffor info approximately
    this topic for ages and yours is the bst I’ve discovered till now.

    But, what in regards to the conclusion? Are you sure about
    the supply?

    My blog post … ccie security (Jenna)

  8. We aare a bunch of volunteers and opening a brand new scheme
    in our community. Your site provided us with helpful information to work on. You’ve performed a formidable process and our entire neighborhood will probably be thankful to you.

    Here iis my webpage :: californian driving exam (culturs.org)

  9. I was curious if you ever considered changing
    the page layout of your site? Its very well written; I
    love what youve got to say. But maybe you could a little more in the way of content so people could connect with it better.

    Youve got an awful lot of text for only having one or two images.

    Maybe you could space it out better?

  10. Hmm is anyone else experiencing problems with thhe images on this blog loading?
    I’m trying to find out if its a problem on mmy end or if
    it’s tthe blog. Any responses would be greatly appreciated.

    my homepage … ccie training (Jens)

  11. Wonderful goods from you, man. I have understand your stuff pdevious to
    and you’re just extremely magnificent. I actually like what you have acquired here, certainly
    likie whnat you are saying and the way in whiuch you say it.
    You make it entertaining and you still take
    care of to kee it smart. I cant wait to read far more from you.
    This is really a wonderful website.

    Here is my blog: ease pmp exam (stced.org)

  12. We’re a gaggle of volunteers and starting a brand new scheme in our
    community. Your web site provided us with useful info to work
    on. You have done a formidable task and our whgole
    neighborhood might be grwteful to you.

    Also visit my webpage cpc exam questions (Suzanne)

  13. Hmm is anyone else encountering problems with the images on this blog loading?

    I’m trying tto figure out if its a problem on my end or if it’s the blog.
    Anyy responses would be greatly appreciated.

    Also visit my web blog … barr exam preparation, Isiah,

  14. Hi there, its fastidiouus piece off writing on the topic of
    media print, we all understand media iss a great source of
    data.

    Here is my web site … practice exam (Son)

  15. Thanks, I have recently been seartching for info about this subject for ages and yours is the greatest I have fkund out
    so far. However, what concerning the bottom line? Are youu certain in regards to the source?

    Here is my webpage – cisco ccie security (Alphonso)

  16. Excfellent goods from you, man. I have understand your stuff previous to and you’re
    jujst extfemely fantastic. I really like what you have acquired here, certainly like what you are saying aand the way in which
    you say it. You make it enjoyable and you still
    care for to keep it smart. I cant wait tto read far more from
    you. This is realy a great site.

    Have a look at my blog post; cisco exams (Gonzalo)

  17. We are a group of volunteers and opening a brand new scheme in our community.

    Your sige provided uus with valuable info to work on. You have done a formidable activity and our whole neighborhood shall
    be grateful to you.

    Also visit my webb site … bar exam prep – Willian

  18. Excellent goods from you, man. I have understfand your stuff previous to and you are just too magnificent.
    I actually like what you’ve acquired here,certainly
    like what youu are saying and the way in which you say it.
    You mske it enjoyable and you still care for too keep it
    sensible. I can’t wait to read far more from you.
    This is actually a wonderful web site.

    Also viseit my web-site … time management (https://moonexam.com/)

  19. May I simply just say what a comfort to
    uncover somebody that truly understands what they’re discussing
    on the net. You actually understand how to bring a problem to light and make it important.
    More and more people really need to check this out and understand this side of your story.

    I can’t believe you’re not more popular because you most certainly have the gift.

  20. Thajk you for the auspicious writeup. It in reality was once a enjoyment
    account it. Glance complex to farr delivered agreeable from you!
    However, how can we keep in touch?

    Feel free to surf to my webpage – car repair dvd (Tod)

  21. Firtst of all I would like to say terrific blog!
    I had a quick question that I’d like to ask if you don’t mind.
    I was interested too know how you center yourself and clear our thoughts
    prior to writing. I have had a hard time clearinng my thoughts iin getting my thoughts out there.
    I do enjoy writing however it just seems like the first 10
    tto 15 minutes tend tto be lost simply just trying to figure out how too begin. Any ideas or hints?

    Many thanks!

    Feeel free to surf to my page … car doesnt start (Maggie)

  22. With havin so much content ddo you ever run nto
    any problems of plagorism or copyright violation? My website has a lot of unique content I’ve eithher written myself or outsourced but
    it looks like a lot of it is poppinng it up all over
    the internet without my agreement. Do you knoow any techniques to help reduce content from being stolen? I’d
    definitely appreciate it.

    Here is my web blog genie z3020n wiring Diagram (https://diagram4schematic.com)

  23. Hi! This post could not be written any better! Reading this post reminds me of myy previous room mate!

    He always kept talking about this. I will forwarfd this post to him.
    Fairly certain he will have a good read. Thanks for sharing!

    Review my blog: home electrical repair (Terese)

  24. Its like you read my mind! You seem to know so much about
    this, like you wrote the book in it or something. I
    think that you can do with a few pics to drive the message home a little bit, but instead of that, this is great
    blog. A fantastic read. I’ll certainly be back.

  25. Hmmm it seem like your blog ate my first commenbt (it was exyremely
    long) so I guezs I’ll justt ssum itt uup what I wrrote aand say, I’m thorouughly
    enjoying yokur blog. I as well am an aaspiring blog bloggger but I’m still new too thhe whole thing.
    Do you have anyy tips for newbie bloog writers? I’d really appteciate it.

  26. Hey! Thiis is my first visit tto youjr blog! We are a collection of voluteers
    andd starting a new initiatie in a comunity inn the same niche.

    Your blog provided uus useful information to work on. Yoou hav don a marvellous job!

  27. I’ll right awqay grqsp your rss feed ass I ccan noot too find your ejail subacription hyperlijk oor e-newsletter service.
    Do yoou have any? Kindly permiit me recoognize inn ordxer tha I may just subscribe.
    Thanks.

  28. Attractive elkement of content. I just sstumbled upon yourr log aand
    inn accession capital too cllaim that I accquire actuallky enjoyed account your webblog posts.
    Anyway I will bbe subscribinng for your feeds and evenn I fulcillment you
    accesss constantly rapidly.

  29. obviousely likee your web site buut youu ned to take a look att tthe spelling onn ssveral off your posts.
    A number of thhem aare rife wikth selling problems and I finmd iit very bothersome
    too tell thee truth howevwr I’ll surely come bacfk again.

  30. Juust want to say your article iss aas astonishing. Thhe clqrity iin yiur post is just spectacular and
    i can assume you’re ann exper on thiis subject. Fine wuth your permissipn let
    mee tto grab youhr RSS feed tto kep uup tto date wifh forthcoming post.
    Thanks a million and please keep upp thhe gratifying work.

  31. I blog quite often aand I reallly thank you for yor content.
    This great article hass rally peaked my interest. I am going too take
    a note of your website and keesp checking for new information agout once
    a week. I subscribed tto yoir RSS feed as well.

  32. It’s perfect time tto make soje plans ffor tthe future and
    iit is time tto bbe happy. I’ve read thjis post
    and iif I could I want to suggest yoou some intreresting thijngs
    orr suggestions. Perhaps yoou can wriite ext artiicles referring too tis article.

    I want too rread even morte tgings about it!

  33. With havin so much content do you ever run into any issues
    of plagorism or copyright infringement? My website has a lot oof exclusive content I’ve eirher cresated myself or outsourced but it looks like a lot oof it
    is popping it up all over the internet without my permission. Do you know any solutions to help stop content from being stolen? I’d definitely appreciate it.

    Feel free to surf too my homepage – home security (Ella)

  34. Thanks for some other informative web site. Where else may just I get that kind of information written in such an ideal approach? I have a undertaking that I am just now operating on, and I’ve been on the glance out for such information.

Leave a Reply