Back to all news

What is pre-interview screening, and why is it important?

15 Mar 2023 | Lesson Desk Team5 min read

Before we start explaining pre-interview screening, we would like to shed some light on the challenges faced when searching for the perfect candidate for a specific job. Recruiting the right candidate for a job is critical to organisational success. Unfortunately, finding and hiring the right person can be complex and challenging. The process typically involves a large pool of potential candidates. Furthermore, these candidates have varying qualifications, experiences, and skill sets. Sorting through the resumes and applications of potential candidates can be time-consuming and difficult for hiring managers. This can certainly result in a costly and prolonged hiring process.

To address this challenge, companies have begun leveraging the benefits of technology to streamline the hiring process. By incorporating digital screening tools into the recruitment process, companies can evaluate candidates more effectively and efficiently. Automation of some steps in the hiring process, such as pre-screening, can be beneficial. Because pre-screening enables the employer to identify the most suitable candidates quickly and accurately, it will save time and resources.

A well-structured recruiting process is critical to hiring the right candidate. A robust hiring process can include different stages, such as job posting, candidate sourcing, application review, candidate assessment, interviewing, and reference checks. By implementing an effective and structured hiring process, companies can ensure that all candidates are evaluated using the same criteria. This structured recruiting process will also reduce the potential for discrimination and bias.

What is pre-interview screening?

Pre-interview screening is the process of reviewing and evaluating job applicants before inviting them for an in-person interview. This screening process typically involves reviewing the applicant's resume, cover letter, and other application materials. It quickly becomes evident if their qualifications are fit for the job. During this process, the potential candidate can also answer some common questions. The interested candidate can enquire about the recruiting process, salary expectations, work style, and work environment. Furthermore, the potential candidate can share expectations regarding personal growth and career goals. All the information obtained will help the hiring manager better understand what the potential candidate is looking for.

What is the purpose of pre-interview screening?

The purpose of pre-interview screening is to narrow down the pool of job applicants to a smaller group. After going through the process, you will have a list of candidates who are most qualified and suitable for the job. Focusing on the most promising candidates can help save time and resources during the hiring process. Once the pre-interview screening process is complete, the employer can invite the selected candidates for an in-person interview. The employer can further evaluate their qualifications and suitability for the job using the formal interview.

How does pre-interview screening work?

Pre-interview screening is a crucial step in the hiring process that helps companies identify the most qualified and fit for the job candidates. This initial evaluation typically involves a review of the job application materials. Applicants typically submit their curriculum vitae (CV) and cover letter. The pre-screening process aims to determine the candidate's qualifications, skills, and experience, which align with the job requirements. This information is used to narrow down the pool of potential candidates.

The pre-screening process may include various methods, depending on the company’s needs and the job requirements. The different techniques will be discussed below.

Reviewing a candidate's curriculum vitae

One of the most common methods used for pre-interview screening is a review of the candidate's Curriculum Vitae. It provides an overview of their previous work experience, education, and relevant skills. Employers may also look for gaps in employment history. Signs of inconsistencies in the candidate's work history may raise questions about their reliability and suitability.

Reviewing a candidate's cover letter

Another pre-screening method is a review of the candidate's cover letter. It can provide insight into their writing skills and their understanding of the position and the company. The cover letter may also provide additional information about the candidate's previous work experience. Furthermore, it can highlight some qualifications that may not be evident from their resume.

Conducting aptitude and skill tests

Conducting aptitude and skill tests is an essential part of the hiring process. These tests evaluate a person's cognitive abilities, reasoning, problem-solving, and technical skills.

Aptitude tests help to identify an individual's strengths and weaknesses and provide insights into their potential to excel in a particular field.

Skill tests, on the other hand, assess an individual's practical abilities and expertise in a specific area. Employers often use these tests to evaluate job candidates' suitability for a particular role, identify training needs, and develop career paths.

By conducting aptitude and skill tests, organisations can make informed decisions about hiring, promoting, and training, ultimately leading to increased productivity, job satisfaction, and overall success.

Conducting a background check

In addition to reviewing the application materials, employers may also conduct a background check or reference check. This check is done to verify the candidate's previous work experience and credentials. The background check may include criminal record checks, credit checks, and other investigations relevant to the job requirements.

Furthermore, pre-screening may involve testing the candidate's cognitive and technical abilities to evaluate their suitability for the job. For instance, the candidate may be asked to take a skills assessment test or complete a task that simulates the job duties. Employers can identify the most qualified and suitable candidates by employing these methods. Not only will this save time and resources in the recruitment process, but it will also aid you in making better hiring decisions that align with the company's needs and goals.

Benefits of digital pre-interview screening

Over the years, technology has rapidly advanced, greatly simplifying our daily work routines. Incorporating digital screening features into our workflow can yield faster and more reliable results, with consistent criteria for measuring accuracy. This approach saves time and costs and ensures that results are accurate, enhancing the efficiency of our work processes.

Let’s take a deeper look at the benefits of switching to digital screening:

Saves time

The digital pre-interview screening process saves countless hours of manual work and improves the accuracy of results. This can save time for both the employer and the job applicant by quickly identifying unsuitable candidates and allowing more time to be spent on the most promising candidates.

Cost savings

Pre-interview screening can also save costs by reducing the number of candidates that need to be invited for an in-person interview. This eliminates hours of tedious interviews with unqualified candidates.

Instant feedback

By conducting screening tests online, you can receive automated feedback in real-time. This will result in eliminating the manual sifting through countless pieces of paperwork.

Improved hiring quality

Asking the right questions allows you to identify qualified and compliant candidates for the job, removing the risk of negligent hiring. Pre-interview screening can also help ensure consistency in the hiring process and reduce the risk of bias or discrimination.

Reduced employee turnover

Asking various questions about skills and company culture will allow you to identify employees who will thrive in their roles and at your company.

In conclusion, a well-structured hiring process is essential for the long-term success of any company. By leveraging technology and streamlining the hiring process, companies can save time, reduce costs, and ensure the right candidate is selected from the outset. Probably the best benefit is that you will promote long-term organisational success.

Lesson Desk Screening

Lesson Desk offers a comprehensive journey for employers. It consists of Screening, Onboarding, Formal training, Surveys, Peer reviews, and Exit interviews. All of the above will help employers conduct an effective and seamless recruitment and training process.

The digital Screening feature is available on the Lesson Desk Head Office portal. This digital screening feature allows recruiters to create custom screening tests and upload job vacancies to assess potential candidates. In addition to filtering through numerous CVs, this feature enables employers to evaluate a candidate's skills, aptitude, and cognitive traits. The above will aid you in determining a potential candidate's suitability for a specific job.

This process eliminates the need for manual reviews and enables employers to identify the most qualified candidates before initiating the interview process. The process is equally user-friendly for job seekers, who can easily create an online profile, complete all assessments, and upload any necessary documentation.

See our Screening feature in action and secure your free demo with one of our Learning and Development Specialists. Contact us at learn@lessondesk.com or click here to complete our online contact form.