Improving Screening Interviews: A Guide for HR Professionals

Caroline Chessia | October 26, 2023

How often are you evaluating your screening process? As one of the first touchpoints for your candidates, having an efficient and candidate friendly screening process is immensely important for candidate experience and to reduce time-to-hire.

Traditionally, the first interview is a phone screen. Although, many modern recruiters use a video screening interview, such as a live video interview or one way video interview as their first step in the interview process. We’ll walk you through each option so you know the pros and cons of each screening method.

What is a Phone Screening Interview?

Phone screening interviews serve as the initial filter, allowing recruiters to identify promising candidates with a 30-60 minute phone call. A typical phone screen takes 6 – 8 days to schedule and complete. These interviews typically involve a brief conversation between the recruiter and the candidate, often focusing on the candidate’s qualifications, experience, and initial fit for the role.

Phone screens help recruiters narrow down the pool of applicants and decide whom to invite for further assessments or interviews. However, phone screen interviews can also take up a lot of time, are prone to miscommunications and candidate ghosting, and don’t provide a great way to share candidate responses or review parts of the conversation.

What is a Live Video Screening Interview?

Live video screening interviews are similar to phone screens, but conducted over video rather than by phone. The same process is involved in planning and executing each type of interview, but video interviews allow you to see more of the candidate’s body language and personality.

Live video interviews are also a cut above phone screens because they are often recorded, which allows you to review the interview and to share with other stakeholders. Live video interviews sometimes have problems in connectivity or candidate inexperience, however you can get ahead of these issues by sending your candidates training materials as a prep for the call.

What is an On Demand Video Screening Interview?

On demand video interviews are a way to connect with candidates asynchronously. Invite the candidates you would like to interview to submit recorded responses to your selected interview questions and review their responses on your time. Candidates often complete video interview requests in less than 1 day, which can significantly reduce your time to hire. Some companies report a reduction in time-to-hire of almost 50%.

With on demand videos, you can share, rate, and re-watch interviews. You get the advantages of seeing a candidate’s body language and enthusiasm while reducing the chances of candidate drop off or miscommunication over interview times.

Ways to Improve Screening Interviews


1. Use a Video Interviewing Platform

To elevate your screening interviews, consider transitioning to a video interviewing platform. Video interviewing platforms provide a structured environment for candidates, they allow you to record and share, and you gain a more rounded sense of your candidate.

2. Automate Messaging and Reminders

The key to a smooth interview process lies in efficient communication. Automated messaging through an interview scheduler ensures candidates receive the necessary information, links, and reminders. This not only streamlines logistics but also creates a professional and organized impression on candidates.

3. Provide a Way for Candidates to Resolve Difficulties

Technical difficulties can disrupt the flow of a video or phone screen interview. To avoid potential hiccups, give your candidates a recruiter’s email address so they can reach out with any questions. Such contingencies demonstrate your commitment to ensuring a positive candidate experience.

Benefits of On Demand Interviews for Recruiters

  • Faster Screening Time: Video interviews expedite the screening process, allowing for quicker evaluations.
  • Improved Collaboration: Recruiters can easily rate and share candidates’ responses, enhancing collaboration with hiring managers and teams.
  • Screen More Candidates: Video interviews allow you to reach and therefore screen more candidates per position, ultimately giving you more options and allowing you to make the best hiring decision for your company.
  • Quickly Identify Top Contenders: The ability to rate candidates helps identify top candidates early in the process – resulting in a faster offer and increasing your chances of hiring top talent.
  • Increased Consistency: With on demand video interviews, every candidate receives the same interview questions, regardless of which recruiter they are assigned to -reducing any risk of inconsistency in your interview process.


Elevate your Hiring Process with the Best Screening Software

Screening interviews are evolving, and HR professionals have various tools and strategies at their disposal to enhance their effectiveness. Embracing video interviewing platforms can accelerate the hiring process and elevate the candidate experience.

Using the right tools, recruiters can significantly improve their screening methods, saving time and resources while identifying top talent. interviewstream has been serving HR teams for over 20 years. See what a difference we can make in your hiring process– fill out this form to set up a chat with us today.

About The Author

Caroline Chessia is the Marketing Operations Specialist at interviewstream. She loves color-coordinated graphs, hiking in the mountains, and every dog she meets—especially the Golden Retrievers.


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