Typical HR Screening Questions and How You Can be Different

Recruitment Process

Posted by IntroMagic Team on April 19th, 2021

Regardless of the vacancy that you are trying to fill, some HR screening questions are usually asked in every interview or discovery call.

They’ve become so commonplace that even interviewees have perfectly tailored responses to these questions. And while that’s not essentially a bad thing, it can, at times, prevent you from authentically gauging a candidate’s suitability.

Also, the more interesting and different your questions are, the more of a lasting impression you’ll form in the minds of candidates.

best HR screening questions

In this post, we’ve listed some of the regular HR screening questions and prompts that interviewers turn to for talent acquisition and also shared some tips on how you can make them your own by tweaking them.

Tell Me About Yourself

This one sets the ball rolling and helps you get an idea about the candidate’s overall identity. It’s not just the information that is valuable but also the factors that the candidate chose to highlight. They reflect the individual’s perspective and priorities.

One way you can pose this prompt differently is to say something like, “Tell me about an instance in your life that has played a significant role in moulding you.” or “What is it about this field that motivates you?”

What this approach does is it zooms in on one aspect of the candidate’s life and brings clarity about their mindset.

Your talent acquisition endeavours should shed light on the candidate’s personality. And that’s exactly what this prompt does.

personalised interview questions

Why Do You Think You’re a Good Fit For The Role?

It is also known as the question where most applicants try to bring out their key strengths and correlate them to what the position requires.

No HR screening is complete without this question because ultimately you want to assess whether the applicant is confident in their capabilities to excel at the job.

If you are using a video interview software and you were prepared to ask this question, perhaps reconsider some alternative ways of finding out what you want to know.

A prompt such as “Demonstrate how you have used your key strengths to handle an incident at your previous workplace.” gives the interviewee the chance to pitch themselves without being too vague or generic.

It is easy for anyone to say they have “strong communication skills” or that they are a “team player.” But when you urge the candidate to showcase just how they’d use their skills, it encourages them to think from a problem-solving angle.

best interview questions to ask

Where Have You Worked Previously?

Understandably, you’d want to know if the candidate has any prior work experience that may or may not be relevant to the position they are pursuing.

But such a HR screening question, asked during talent acquisition activities, tends to place the onus on the applicant.

Instead of giving the impression that a candidate’s worth boils down to which company they have worked at previously, pose a question that makes them reflect on any training or experience they’ve had that overlap with the roles and responsibilities associated with the position.

You could ask, “Do you have any formal training or experience working for any organization whether full-time, part-time or freelance?” 

This question gives applicants the freedom to bring up their academic and/or professional qualifications in a manner that they are satisfied with and that helps you understand their background.

What Are Your Expectations About This Opportunity?

This is one of the most common HR screening questions that you tend to get. It is a simple enough question where interviewees may talk about being able to “grow in the organization”, “learn new skills”, or “experience a new niche.”

If you want to assess whether they’d fit in with your organizational culture, ask something along the lines of, “What does a day at your dream job look like?” or maybe even “Why do you feel you could be happy working for us?”

Such questions deep dive into the candidate’s aspirations. After all, you don’t want to hire a person who is looking to merely put in the required hours without any passion for the work they are doing.


To elevate the quality of your HR screening results, try out some of these alternate prompts and questions.

The thing that is common across them all is that they leave little room for generic answers and add a lot of clarity to the discussion. You’ll get to know exactly how valuable the candidate could be, and the candidate leaves the (virtual) room having had an insightful discussion.

By using our video interview software, you can personalize the questions and find the perfect candidate.

Register on IntroMagic for free.

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IntroMagic is a company started with the mission of
enabling every candidate to find their dream role by
putting their best face forward. We also aim to help
recruiters find the best candidate by enabling
acceptance of professional video introductions that complement the traditional resume.