Automated Phone Screening: What to Expect


automated phone screening

Even in an increasingly automated corporate environment, something that job candidates are surprised to encounter is an automated phone screening process.

Some companies are experimenting with automated phone screenings, as well as pre recorded video interviews, as ways to save on labor costs. By having an automated system for early stage screenings, companies can save a recruiter from having to use their time to vet candidates, and can screen candidates more efficiently.

As a candidate, an automated screening is likely a new experience and you may be wondering what an automated phone screening is and how you should approach it.

To that end, we sourced responses from a variety of career experts that answered common questions around automated phone screenings and how you can ace that part of the job interview process

Let’s dive in.

What Is an Automated Phone Screening?

phone call

An automated phone screening is an initial step in the job application process that many companies use to efficiently evaluate and shortlist candidates for further consideration. Instead of a traditional phone call with a human recruiter, candidates interact with an automated system that presents pre-recorded questions. These questions typically cover various aspects of your background, skills, experience, and motivations.

As you respond, your answers are recorded and later reviewed by the hiring team. Automated phone screenings help employers save time and streamline the initial selection process, allowing them to identify the most promising candidates to move forward in the hiring process. To succeed in an automated phone screening, it’s important to prepare thoroughly, maintain a clear and concise communication style, and effectively showcase your qualifications and enthusiasm for the role.

The above content was provided by Matthew Warzel, CPRW, President, MJW Careers, LLC.

What to Expect From an Automated Phone Screening?

reference check call

From an automated phone screening, candidates can expect to encounter recorded messages or automated prompts that guide them through various questions.. These questions typically cover work experience, skills, availability, and qualifications. Candidates should be prepared to provide concise and relevant responses, as there’s no real-time interaction with an interviewer.

The above content was provided by Melissa Terry, HR, VEM Tooling.

What Questions Are Asked in an Automated Phone Screening?

do i call into a phone interview

The questions that are asked in an automated phone screening are similar to those in an initial screening call with a recruiter. 

Royal Hernandez, HR Manager, Starandlink, provided a set of example topics that you should be prepared to discuss in this type of an early stage screening:

  • Introduce yourself and explain your interest in the position.
  • Highlight strengths and weaknesses as a professional.
  • Address stress handling, pressure management, and meeting deadlines.
  • Describe teamwork approach and conflict resolution abilities.
  • Explain problem-solving strategies and decision-making approach.
  • Articulate short-term and long-term career aspirations.
  • Discuss salary expectations and availability.
  • Prepare thoughtful questions for the interviewer.

How to Prepare for an Automated Phone Screening?

job offer over the phone

Generally, your preparation for an automated phone screening should be similar to if you have an interview scheduled with an action person.

Danilo Godoy Founder, Wahojobs offered the following tips for how to prepare for an automated phone screening:

  1. Know your stuff: Understand what you’re applying for and why you’re the right person.
  2. Rehearse: Practice makes perfect, even with robots!
  3. Find a quiet spot: Background noise and robot interviews don’t mix well.
  4. Keep it cool: Pretend you’re chatting with a friend who happens to sound like a computer.

These calls might seem odd, but they’re just a step in the journey. Take ’em in stride, and you’ll be chatting with a real human in no time.


While an automated phone screening may seem like an odd experience, it should be treated similarly to if you were interviewing with an actual person.

Take the time to prepare for the interview, answer the questions thoughtfully, and follow up with a thank you note to the person that scheduled the interview with you and you’ll position yourself well to advance in the interview process.

About the author

Dan Slocum

Dan is the founder of Best Fit Work and is a business professional with over 10 years of experience. He has been a hiring and people manager on multiple occasions, and has also gone through the hiring process himself at a variety of different companies. Dan writes to share content, tools, and resources to help people discover and thrive in their own best fit work.

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