Mastering Pre-Screening Interview Questions: A Comprehensive Guide


In today’s competitive job market, employers are always on the lookout for the best candidates. One tool they frequently use is the pre-screening interview. This preliminary step in the hiring process helps employers to quickly identify potential candidates for a role. Being prepared to answer these questions effectively can be a significant factor in progressing to the next round of interviews.

Understanding the Pre-Screening Interview

The pre-screening interview is typically the first interaction between the candidate and the employer. It is a method used to evaluate a candidate’s qualifications and fit for the job before moving on to a more in-depth interview. The pre-screening interview is usually conducted over the phone or through online platforms and is used to filter out candidates who do not meet the basic requirements of the job.

Common Pre-Screening Interview Questions and How to Answer Them

There are a variety of questions that can be asked during a pre-screening interview. The following are some of the most common ones, along with strategies for answering them effectively.

1. Can you tell me a little about yourself?

This question provides an opportunity for candidates to highlight their qualifications, experiences, and skills relevant to the job. Candidates should focus on professional achievements and career goals rather than personal information.

2. Why are you interested in this position?

Employers want to know that candidates are genuinely interested in the role and the company. Candidates should demonstrate their knowledge about the company and explain how the role aligns with their career goals.

3. What are your salary expectations?

It’s crucial for candidates to research average salaries for similar roles in their industry and location. Candidates should provide a range rather than a specific figure and express their willingness to negotiate.

4. Can you explain this gap in your employment history?

Honesty is the best policy when addressing employment gaps. Candidates should briefly explain the reason for the gap and emphasize what they did during that time to improve their skills or knowledge.

5. Are you willing to relocate/travel?

Candidates should answer this question based on their personal circumstances and preferences. If they are open to relocation or travel, they should confirm this. If not, it’s important to express this honestly.


Preparation is the key to acing any interview, including the pre-screening stage. Understanding the purpose of the pre-screening interview and being ready to answer common questions can significantly improve the chances of being invited for a further interview.

Remember, the pre-screening interview is not just for the employer to learn about you, but also for you to learn about the company. Use it as an opportunity to ask questions and determine whether the role and company are a good fit for you.

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