You Need to Be Aware of These 5 Pre-Interview Tools Companies Use

Nancy Anderson
Posted by in Career Advice

Companies use several methods to try to fill positions before posting a job publicly, including promoting from within, asking for referrals from employees, using a recruiter and seeking referrals from outside the company. When it comes to hiring a new applicant after these other methods fail, companies have these five tools at their disposal to whittle the field down to the most qualified applicants before interviewing top talent.

1. Applicant Tracking Systems

Large companies use applicant tracking systems to eliminate up to 75 percent of people who submit their resumes. This is because people in HR simply do not have time to sift through hundreds of resumes for a single job. ATS analyzes keywords in a resume, as set by the employer, to rank candidates based on the best resumes submitted to the company. Candidates should format a resume correctly by inputting the right keywords found in the job posting and tailoring every resume to each individual employer.

2. Personality Tests

Aptitude and personality tests offer another way employers can narrow an applicant field. These tests can show employers how a candidate may respond to real-world scenarios at work, such dealing with a problem or sticky situation that arises. Each candidate receives the same questions, and companies use them to gauge as to someone's job-related skills, integrity, ability to follow directions, cognitive abilities and emotional intelligence.

3. Face-to-Face Video Interviews

Video interviews, through Skype, Google Hangouts and other similar programs, save staff time compared to formal, in-house interviews. Hiring managers and HR get to see the candidate, gauge his personality and ask questions. Candidates should treat a video interview the same as a face-to-face interview by dressing professionally and preparing answers to common interview questions. It's also essential to make sure the video equipment works ahead of time.

4. Phone Interviews

Phone interviews are less intense than video interviews, but they serve specific purposes. Companies use telephone interviews to ascertain salary requirements, job-related skills and answers to behavioral questions. Employers may conduct more than one phone interview as they narrow down a list of top candidates.

5. Video Answers

Rather than have a face-to-face video interview, companies use video answers to questions or situations as a way to see how someone responds to questions, how a person handles video technology and how a candidate handles pressure of speaking to a large audience. Employers watch each video at their leisure and grade them on an individual basis. These videos may entail answering a few behavioral questions or simply answering, "Why are you the perfect fit for this position?" Often, these videos are less than five minutes long.

Companies use these five tools, all based on technology or telecommunications, to narrow the field of candidates. Although not perfect, they do save time and money for employers. Candidates must practice with each tool to master them ahead of applying for a job for best results.

Photo courtesy of madhumal at


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