Getting to the Real Interview: 4 Key Areas to Focus on in a Screening Interview

November 16th, 2009 by lewis

By Seattle Interview Coach Staff

If you’ve gotten an interview request from your resume submission, congratulations! However getting called is usually only a first step. The first interview is usually a screening interview to go over your resume and dive deeper into your experience and motivation for the role. Very often organizations will invest a short time (15 minutes to a half hour) to gauge a candidate before making the investment for face to face interviews. Here are four tips to maximize your chances to be brought in for a formal interview.
1. Have you done this job before?
Is this a role that you are currently doing or have done in the past? For example, if the opening is for a product manager, have you been a product manager before? Have you performed that role even if it’s not the title you may have held? This is your chance to show what you’ve done before and how it matches the role.
2. Have you worked in this industry?
Do you have experience in the industry that you’re seeking? For example you want a job in Xbox. Have you worked in the computer gaming industry before? If it’s a role on the hardware side, do you have experience with gaming hardware? This is your chance to demonstrate knowledge of the industry that you want to work in. You can showcase your knowledge of where the industry is going and your knowledge of the important issues and challenges ahead.
3. Do you have “Same-as-skills?”
Do you have comparable skills that apply to this role? If you’re a software developer, have you developed with the same tools and technologies needed for the role? Here’s your chance to explain how your skills fit the role and how you would do the job.
4. Passion
Are you excited and enthusiastic about this role? Can you convey how this role is a dream job for you? Is this an industry you are excited about? This is your chance to explain why you want the job. Don’t under-estimate this last one because interviewers want to see someone who really desires the role.
It’s desirable for a candidate to demonstrate strength in all four of the above, but often a gap in one can be compensated by strengths in the others. So when going into your next interview, think about how to present yourself strongly along these four areas.

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