Femtosecond-laser pulse driven non-adiabatic spectroscopy and dynamics in molecular and condensed phase systems continue to be a challenge for theoretical modelling. One of the main obstacles is the "curse of dimensionality" encountered in non-adiabatic, exact wavepacket propagation. A possible route towards treating complex molecular systems is via semiclassical surface-hopping schemes, in particular if they account not only for non-adiabatic post-excitation dynamics but also for the initial optical excitation. One such approach, based on initial condition filtering, will be put forward in what follows. As a simple test case which can be compared with exact wavepacket dynamics, we investigate the influence of the different parameters determining the shape of a laser pulse (e.g., its finite width and a possible chirp) on the predissociation dynamics of a NaI molecule, upon photoexcitation of the A(0(+)) state. The finite-pulse effects are mapped into the initial conditions for semiclassical surface-hopping simulations. The simulated surface-hopping diabatic populations are in qualitative agreement with the quantum mechanical results, especially concerning the subpicosend photoinduced dynamics, the main deviations being the relative delay of the non-adiabatic transitions in the semiclassical picture. Likewise, these differences in the time-dependent electronic populations calculated via the semiclassical and the quantum methods are found to have a mild influence on the overall probability density distribution. As a result, the branching ratios between the bound and the dissociative reaction channels and the time-evolution of the molecular wavepacket predicted by the semiclassical method agree with those computed using quantum wavepacket propagation. Implications for more challenging molecular systems are given.