This website uses cookies. By continuing to browse the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Click here for more information.

Job Search

Graduate Marketing OfficerGraduate Marketing Officer
West Midlands 26/11/2017

Graduate Direct MarketingGraduate Direct Marketing
West Midlands 24/11/2017

Strategic AdvisorStrategic Advisor
London 13/01/2018

School Direct Teacher Training ProgrammeSchool Direct Teacher Training Programme
East Anglia 06/01/2018

Teach in ChinaTeach in China
Rest of the world 31/03/2018

Getting past the gatekeeper: How to ace pre-screener interviews

Getting past the gatekeeper: How to ace pre-screener interviews

Before you are invited to meet an employer face-to-face, the chances are you will be asked for a ‘pre-screener’ interview to ensure you are right for the company.

These can take a number of forms so we asked Andrew Underwood from Job Doctor to share his top tips for each. Telephone interviews In a recent CIPD survey, 50% of employers said they use telephone interviews as part of their initial selection process.

They fall into two types:

  • The motivational screening interview where the interviewer is trying to understand more about you as a person; or
  • The competency based interview where you are asked to recount examples to demonstrate your ability and experience in a particular area

Competency based interviews are very ‘direct’ in nature and it is likely each of your answers will be given a score. Remember that you will be judged not just on your experience, but also how well you convey your ideas.

In preparation, try and identify the skills they will be looking for. Common skills include:

  • Team work
  • Working under pressure/to target/to deadlines<\li>
  • Managing your own workload
  • Communication skills
  • Customer service
  • Problem solving 

For each of the skills you identify as necessary for the role you are applying for, think of an example where you have demonstrated that skill.

Skype Interviews

Skype interviews are becoming increasingly common. As potential employers are able to see you, it is really important you do a trail run in advance. Think about:

  • Lighting – you don’t want to end up looking like Uncle Fester!
  • Movement – try not to gesticulate too much as this can cause the screen to blur which is off-putting for the interviewer
  • Eye contact - this is just as important via Skype as it is in person!
  • Your outfit – don’t be tempted to wear tracksuit bottoms. If you have to stand up for any reason this could cause a lot of embarrassment!

Graduate Video Interviews

Essentially a ‘video selfie’, these are a relatively new addition to the recruitment market. Instead of an interviewer calling or Skyping you, you are asked to log into a website and answer set questions by an avatar. You answers are recorded via the camera on your computer for interviewers to review at a later date. Often there is a 60 second time limit for each answer.

Questions about the company often crop up. For example:

  • Why did you apply?
  • What do you know about our industry?
  • What do you particularly like about the company?


For further advice, download Job Doctor’s free interview guide 

Please share

Careers Advice

Careers Advice

Where to begin?

Undecided about what to do next after university? Don't panic GradJobs will help you! It is important to remember that you are not alone – there are many who don’t have any idea what to do after graduating.If you are unsure which career is right for you, or simply not sure where to start on your job hunt, then head to the Advice Clinic at the National Graduate...


Careers Advice

Interview Advice

You’ve made it through the first round and you’ve got an interview! Yet, it’s nerve-wracking going into a room and getting grilled to prove how you are the best candidate for the role. To create the right impression and make a positive impact at interview stage, there are a number of things you must take into consideration and prepare for...


Careers Advice

Applying for a Job

From the perfect CV to cover letters, online applications, recruitment agencies, psychometric testing, job AND assessment centres, applying for a job can sometimes seem a little daunting, and that’s before you’ve even secured an interview! Follow our step-by-step guides and handy tips from industry professionals to make you stand out from your...


Recruitment Exhibition

How the National Graduate Recruitment Exhibition can aid your job hunt

How the National Graduate Recruitment Exhibition can aid your job hunt

For many graduates, looking for their first job can be a daunting and unsettling process – not only are you moving away from university and the community that you have built but you are also having to take that first step into the working world...


Career advice videos

Online aptitudes tests

Are you prepared to tackle the intense recruitment process ahead of you? Get a head start on your peers by taking a psychometric aptitude test! Get full access and learn how to increase your chances of passing the tests successfully.

Take an aptitude test today >> 



Not registered yet?

You can opt to:

  • Search and apply for jobs online
  • Register for the National Graduate Recruitment Exhibitions
  • Receive personalised job alerts
  • Upload your CV for recruiters to find you


Why register?

GradJobs - Login

Please login or register

If you have a GradJobs account sign in below:

Forgotten your password?