Implementing Background Checks and Pre-screening into Interviews

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Implementing Background Checks and Pre-screening into Interviews

Most organizations perform some background checks and pre-screening before individuals walk into their first interview. This is necessary for most and sometimes mandatory. But, how do you use that data to improve the quality of your interview?

In most cases, recruiters can analyze data from background checks and prescreening to ask better questions, get more information, and form a better opinion of who the candidate is.

Perform Comprehensive Pre-Screening

Pre-screening should include background checks, contacting references, and so on. It should also incorporate personality and competency tests to see who the person is, what they can do, and how they will do it.

While not every role will require comprehensive screening, doing so will allow interviewers to create a more comprehensive picture of who a person is before they come into the interview. You should (at the least) test for personality and soft skills such as communication or EQ, which can be delivered in several tests or rolled into one.

Ask Questions Related to Assessments

Most assessments will turn up information that can lead to further questions. Reviewing assessments like answers given by previous employers and background data will allow you to form pointed questions that can help you learn about a candidate. For example:

  • Reference data: “So, we called your previous manager at your last job and he said you’ve had some issues with conflict in his team, what’s your side of that?”
  • Background data: “What convinced you to switch from marketing to finance? Are you happy with that choice?”

Why should you create specific questions around background results? Generic questions based on responses often don’t tell you a lot about an individual, their choices, or why they are in your office. Instead, you’re likely to get very prepared responses. Asking specific questions about data they’ve given you, in line with the information you need, will help you to improve the total result of your interview.

Question Prepared Answers

Candidates now have the tools to prepare for nearly any type of interview, often based on the organization. Having behavior and competency information for a candidate gives you the opportunity to actively question prepared answers based on those assessments.

For example, if a candidate suggests they would respond in a specific way, you can ask how that compares to their test results showing X behavior. This can force an individual to give more honest answers, because they won’t likely have time to prepare for this sort of questioning. Nearly everyone expects they’ll be asked “How would you respond to X situation”, but following their answer with something like, “Your personality profile suggests you prefer to avoid conflict, how do you manage that in a situation like the one we’ve just gone over?” would prompt an answer that hasn’t been prepared for.

Integrating assessment and personality testing into the interview process will give recruiters an easier way to determine who an individual is, how they react, and what they can do. It also allows recruiters to see how well that data matches up to personality shown during interviews, so they can create a bigger picture with more data to make a final assessment.


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