There’s no denying that interviews can be a nerve-wracking experience. Job candidates feel the pressure to meet the interviewer’s expectations. But here’s the good news: the best way to boost your chances of success is to familiarize yourself with the interview process before your turn in the hot seat. By preparing beforehand, you’ll be ready to impress the interviewer and boost your chances of landing the job.
Keep in mind although each role has different requirements, the recruitment process is essentially the same. Whether for a human resources job, payroll, workforce administration or benefits administration, most of the interview processes share some common elements.
Here’s a look at what it’s like to do a pre-screening interview with UCPath, from definitions to common questions to tips for success.
What Is a Pre-Screening Interview?
Many organizations rely on pre-screening in the recruiting process before inviting a candidate to an actual interview. This exercise is an excellent opportunity to ask more detailed questions to see if an applicant meets specific position requirements. A successful pre-screening call could determine if the employer offers an in-person interview with a hiring manager.
The Purpose of a Pre-Screening Interview
The point of a pre-screening interview is to learn and gather more information about a candidate to determine if they meet the minimum qualifications for the position. It typically combines general employment questions and some questions specific to that role and department.
Types of Questions to Expect
While there is no set script for a pre-screening interview, expect to cover such questions as:
- Previous work experience and/or educational history
- Short and long-term career goals
- Why the candidate wants to work for UC
- Technical questions about the specific role
- Anecdotes (behavioral) (provide an example of a time when …)
- Salary expectations
- Review of worksite requirements for the specific role
- Expected office location (hybrid, remote)
The Digital Interview Process
So how exactly does the interview process with UCPath work? Candidates will:
- You’ll receive an email with instructions to complete a digital interview containing a position-specific link with an expiration date
- Click the link to open the screening portal
- Watch the “What to Expect” video for step-by-step guidelines, best practices, and tips, or visit this blog for guidance on technology, dress and more
- Select “Get Started” to start the interview via the Interview Stream platform
- Use the 30-second practice period to polish the answer before they record their responses
- Answer a series of questions on the screen via audio recording (no video is recorded)
That covers the basics of the process. But what steps can job candidates take to maximize their chances of landing the job?
6 Pre-screening Interview Tips
Just because the pre-screening interview doesn’t take place in person doesn’t mean preparing ahead of time is not essential. Here are a few tips for making the best impression.
1. Be Prepared
Candidates need to understand the job description. Always research to ensure a complete understanding of the University of California system and UCPath. Write out responses to the questions above to avoid thinking on the fly.
Prepare an appropriate setting. Choose somewhere quiet, with no distractions and background noise. Avoid coffee shops or crowded places, and silence phone and computer notifications. Check tech to ensure your device is fully charged and has a strong internet connection.
2. Research the Company
You should have a solid understanding of the company’s mission, values and goals before you even step into the interview room. Not only will this help you answer questions more confidently, but it will also show the interviewer that you’re truly interested in the company and the position.
3. Apply to Jobs That Best Fit Your Qualifications
Applying for numerous job positions you’re not entirely interested in or qualified for can hurt your chances of landing a job. Especially if you’re applying to multiple jobs at the same organization or even department. Targeting your applications to the most desirable positions you’re genuinely interested in and qualified for is crucial. It will save you time and energy while increasing your hiring chances. So, narrow down your choices.
4. Tailor Your Resume and Cover Letter
Take the time to research the institution and the job position to understand the requirements and expectations. Then, use this information to craft a tailored resume and cover letter highlighting your relevant skills and experience. This approach will show the hiring manager that you’ve done your homework and are genuinely interested in the position.
5. Don’t Talk Poorly of Your Previous Employers
One aspect of a job interview that can be challenging to navigate is discussing your current or previous employment experiences, especially if things ended poorly. What you say in an interview is as important as who you speak about. Speaking poorly of past employers can create a negative impression of you and your work ethic. Instead, focus on the lessons you’ve learned and skills you’ve acquired while working with them if the interviewer asks about a challenging work experience. This approach will demonstrate your professionalism and positivity to potential employers.
6. Be Engaged
When you’re in a job interview, engaging and actively participating in the conversation is essential. One way to demonstrate your interest in the position is to ask thoughtful questions about the company, the role and the hiring process. Asking job-specific questions shows the interviewer that you’ve researched and are genuinely interested in learning more about the job and the company.
What to Expect After Submitting the Pre-screening Interview
So, what happens next? Here’s a rough overview:
- Candidates will be contacted by a recruiter with an update on their status
- Candidates will receive a notification of whether they move on, usually within two weeks
- If they move on, the next step is the panel interview of a diverse group of members (including the chairperson and subject matter expert)
- This will include more granular questions, including behavioral and technical topics
- It is a two-way interview, so candidates will also learn more about UCPath
- The top two or three candidates (on average) move on to meet with the hiring manager
Pre-screening Interviews: Final Thoughts
Pre-screening interviews allow employers to learn more about you and assess whether you fit the position well. To prepare for a pre-screening interview, research the company and practice answering common interview questions. Remember to present yourself professionally and positively, and be honest about your qualifications and experience. If you successfully pass the pre-screening interview, you’ll move on to the next stage of the recruitment process.
Ready to apply for that stellar job through UCPath and kickstart your career? Apply today!