A Full Guide to How Interviews Work
When you apply for a job, getting an interview is the first sign that you’re being considered. The interview process can be short or long, and you may get a job offer at the end if you are well-prepared and able to impress the employer. In this article, we’ll talk about what an interview is, some of its most common parts, and the main parts of a typical interview.
How does an interview work?
The interview process is a series of steps that companies use to find and hire new workers. This process has different steps and requirements depending on the industry, job, and company where you are interviewing.
How an interview works
The interview process can look different based on the needs, rules, and industry of the company. Here are some of the things that could happen during an interview:
- Screening interview: Sometimes, companies start the interview process with a screening interview to find out which candidates have the desired and necessary skills for the job. Some employers skip this step in favor of a more open interview, which is sometimes called a group interview. Most of the time, companies hold open interviews at an open hiring event where they talk to several candidates at the same time.
- Phone interview: Phone interviews are often the first step companies take to narrow down the number of applicants and decide who they want to meet in person. Even though this is true for most jobs, interviewers for remote jobs usually only have video or phone interviews to use to find the best candidates.
- Skill evaluation: For some jobs, you may have to take and pass a test to see if you have the technical skills needed for the job. For example, if someone wants to be a writer, an employer might ask them to take a grammar test or write a test piece.
- First meeting: Most face-to-face interviews begin with a talk with the person in charge of hiring. During this first meeting, the interviewer will usually ask about the candidate’s qualifications, skills, work history, and relevant experience.
- After the first face-to-face interview, the second interview is usually more in-depth to learn more about a few candidates and figure out which ones are really in the running for the job. Second interviews can be a second meeting with the same interviewer or a meeting that lasts all day and includes multiple interviews with different staff members, like executives, staff members, and supervisors.
- Even though this step doesn’t happen very often, some companies use three or more interviews before picking a candidate. Most of the time, these meetings give the people who are already working there a chance to meet the person who might be hired.
- Depending on the type of job you are applying for, the employer may ask you to join them for lunch or dinner so they can see how you treat other people and how well you can communicate in a more casual setting.
- Background check: At some point during the interview process, the employer may do a background check or a credit check. Your application could move on to the interview stage or be taken out of the running, depending on the results.
- Job offer: The last step is for the employer to give you a job offer if you did well in the interviews. This is when you would find out about the pay and other perks of the job. Before you accept the offer, you should give it a lot of thought. If you want to change something, you can make a counteroffer. After the talks are over, you can either sign a form to accept the job offer or turn it down.
How does an interview usually go?
Even though not every hiring process is the same and every interview is different depending on the job, there are some things you can expect from an interview so you can be ready for it when you get there. In a typical interview, there are a few basic steps, such as:
1. Getting started
Before the real interview starts, the person doing the interview will usually shake your hand and introduce themselves. To make a good first impression, make eye contact, shake their hand firmly, and say something like, “Hi, it’s great to meet you.”
2. Having a casual chat
Next, your interviewer may try to learn more about you as a person to see how well you get along with others and talk to them. Keep the conversation positive and look for opportunities to ask your own questions. Unless it has to do with your job or company, it’s usually best to stay away from serious or controversial topics like politics. During this time, the interviewer may choose to show you around the office as you walk to the interview area.
3. A pitch for business
One of the first things the interviewer might ask you is to tell them a little bit about yourself. In other words, they’re interested in your business. Tell them how you got to that company and anything else that makes you a good candidate for the job. It helps to practice your pitch ahead of time so that you look ready, confident, and able to talk to people.
4. How to answer questions
Depending on the company and the industry, you may be asked:
- Behavioral: Interviewers may ask you behavioral questions to find out how you handled work situations in the past and how you might handle similar situations in the future. By how you answer these questions, they can get an idea of your skills, qualities, and personality. Tell a story about how you used your strengths and skills to solve a problem at work when answering this question. Be as clear as you can.
- Situational: These questions help you figure out how well you can solve problems and think critically. Interviewers might make up a situation and ask you how you would deal with it. Look carefully at the situation they give you and think about how it’s like other jobs you’ve had. Tell how you plan to solve the problem and how it’s like a problem you’ve already solved.
- These are the kinds of questions that interviewers often ask people who want to get a job. They can range from “Tell me about yourself” to “Where do you see yourself in five years?” They could also be about the job or industry you are applying for. Before your interview, doing research on common interview questions can help you practice and feel ready.
Ask a friend or coworker to interview you so you can practice how to answer possible questions before the interview. By giving you helpful notes, they can help you look more natural and sure of yourself in your interview. You can also practice in front of a mirror to make sure that your hand movements and posture look natural and professional. You should also come up with your own questions about the job and the company. This shows that you’re interested in the company and the job, which could make a good impression on the interviewer.
5. Final remarks
Think of the end of the interview as one more chance to make a lasting impression. At the end of the interview, you should thank the person for their time and consideration and shake their hand. Don’t forget to smile and look people in the eye.
6. Keep in touch
Even though the interview is probably the most important part of the process, you can still make a good impression after it’s over. After each interview, you should send a thank-you email to the person you met with. Don’t forget to:
- Thank them again for coming to see you.
- Take this time to ask anything you forgot to ask during the interview.
- Say again how much you want to be on their team.