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5 Key Ways To Succeed In A Recruiter Screening Interview

While it often takes place before even meeting a hiring manager, the recruiter screening interview can be a crucial step in securing a job. Here are five tips for success

Tue May 23 2023

Just graduated from your MBA? You might be finding the subsequent job hunt hard going. 

That’s not surprising: experts say it can take as many as 10 applications for around half of job seekers to receive an invitation to one or two job interviews. And more than a third don’t get invited at all––even after 10 attempts.

Job hunting can be so stressful it has given rise to what’s known as ‘job hunting anxiety’. But if you are struggling with the process, the good news is there are a number of things you can do. 

The basics include creating bespoke resumes for each job you apply for, containing keywords from the job description. This helps get your resume past an applicant tracking system (ATS), and into the hands of a real person.

Another useful tip is to always include a cover letter, as this can demonstrate to recruiters your communication skills, as well as your previous experience. 

A third and crucial element to remember is a recruiter screening call. If you’re applying to large financial institutions, for example, it’s very likely that you will speak to a recruitment specialist before you ever get facetime with the role’s hiring manager.

The screening call is therefore an important part of the hiring process. Here’s how to make it work for you.

1. Take it seriously

A fatal error many candidates make is to assume that an initial screening interview call is a quick, low-stakes chat. 

While not a formal interview with a hiring manager, you should take a recruiter screening call seriously as it’s the first step in the process which can significantly impact your chances of getting a follow-up interview. 

2. Understand what it’s for

The purpose of a screening call is for recruiters to get a sense of your qualifications, experience, skills, and personality. All of these factors help them determine whether you are a good fit for the position and the company. 

Because this call serves as a way for recruiters to narrow down the pool of candidates and identify those who meet the basic requirements for the job, it’s really important to get it right.

3. Be prepared

Sounding offhand and unprepared is the quickest way to ensure a recruiter sends your application straight to the rejection pile. Treat this call as you would any other interview: conduct yourself with a professional and positive attitude and prepare well in advance. 

Research the company, find out what it does, and gather key information to show you’ve done your homework. Has it recently had a funding round or a big product launch? Find out.

4. Understand what you’ll be asked

During a screening call, you’re likely to be asked about your education, work experience, skills, and achievements. Have your answers prepped and ready to go, with examples that showcase your relevant skills.

You could also be asked at this stage about salary expectations, availability, and your reasons for wanting a new job, so have answers ready for these questions.

5. Put your best foot forward

While recruiter screening calls are typically relatively short, you may also be asked questions that the recruiter will use to evaluate your personality, communication skills, and overall fit with the company culture. 

Companies want to recruit hires who are capable of doing the job, but increasingly it also matters that you will be a good fit within the team and the company. During the screening call, take the opportunity to show how you can contribute to the company culture. 

Ready to apply for a new job now with renewed energy? 

The BusinessBecause Job Board is a great place to start your search. Discover thousands of jobs and great companies to work for, like the three below: 


Well known for the strength of its graduate offer, Accenture actively looks for those with an advanced degree/MBA program, who are looking to kick start their careers. Explore analyst development programs and available entry-level opportunities here.


A leading global provider of audit and assurance, consulting, financial advisory, risk advisory, tax, and related services, starting your career at Deloitte is a great idea. Discover its eight graduate programs, each focused on a different kind of role, and see all open roles here.

Goldman Sachs

Early stage careers are a focus at Goldman Sachs, where there is a New Analyst Program on offer. It’s a full-time program for final year undergraduate and graduate students, getting you familiar with both the company and the work. See all jobs at the firm now.

To kick-start your business career, discover thousands of open roles on the Business Because Job Board today

This article was written by Kirstie McDermott