Screening job candidates: Video and phone interview questions

Video and phone screening interview: Your opening before the questions

The following is an example of how to open a video or phone screening interview with a potential job candidate.

“We have received your resume applying for the __________ position. We are using this initial interview to get some additional information from you to determine if there’s a potential fit with our needs and to assess if we would like to advance you as a candidateto the next stage of our interview process.”  

You may find it helpful to use a table such as the following to log the details of the screening interview with a job candidate.

Candidate: Vacant position:
Phone: Department:
Email: Hiring manager:
Date: Interviewer:
Overall assessment:
Recommendation for in-person interview:    YES or NO

Video or phone screening questions for job candidates

  1. What prompted you to apply for this position?
  2. Briefly describe your job history. (This will help you to determine the candidate’s reasons for leaving past jobs.)
  3. Describe a typical day in your current job.
  4. What do you find challenging about your current position? How do you overcome such challenges?
  5. What qualities make you a strong contributor?
  6. What kind of work culture/environment do you thrive in?
  7. Where does our startup’s job opening fit within your career plans?
  8. What are your salary expectations?
  9. This job is onsite/in office on a full time basis. Are there any challenges that wouldn’t allow you to be in the office full time?
  10. What stage are you at in your job search? What else do you have on the go right now?
  11. If you were selected for the position, when could you start?
  12. Describe your availability for an in-person interview.
  13. Do you have any questions for me?

Video or phone screening interview: How to close

The following are examples of how to close a video or phone screening interview.

“Thanks for your responses. We have several other applicants to speak with before we proceed with setting up in-person interviews. We will get back to you with our decision within (add timeframe)”


“We would like to now schedule you to come in for an in-person interview.”