The interview process can be a lengthy process, with multiple stages and varying types of interviews which you may encounter.
By understanding the stages of a job interview you will be better-equipped to manage your own expectations, along with preparing yourself for what each stage may require.
The number and types of interviews will vary based on the organization you are applying at, but generally speaking the stages of a job interview will be logically sequenced.
The stages of a job interview from a company perspective are:
This is where the hiring manager and/or Human Resources will review applications they have received for a job posting and place their top candidates on a shortlist to contact. This will be based on your resume, application, and any online presence you may have such as a website or social media sites.
2. Screening Interview
A screening interview is to ensure all details of an application are still correct, the candidate is still available for the role, and their qualifications and experience are truthful. It is also to get a gauge of an applicant’s personality and how they present themselves.
3. Phone or Skype Interview
Phone or Skype interviews are increasingly common for hiring managers to help narrow down their choice of candidates and who will be offered a face-to-face interview whilst saving them time. It is still critically important to perform well in these from a job-seeker point of view, as it will determine if you move on to future stages.
4. First, In-Person Interview
Of all the stages of a job interview, process, this may be the most nerve-wracking. Don’t think of it as a negative or scary thing though; it is your best opportunity to make a strong impression on your potential new boss and company and showcase how great you are for the job.
5. Second, In-Person Interview
A second interview is a good sign that the hiring manager saw a good fit with your skills and experience and what they are looking for. If you are invited back to a second interview it will likely be with a more senior manager than the first to ensure you are aligned to the organisation’s greater vision and goals.
6. Third or Final In-Person Interview
By the third (or more) interview, you should be getting to the end of the in-person interviews. They may be with another senior leader, or even additional staff members who will be your team members if you were offered the role.
7. Talent Assessment or Personality Type Quizzes
After going through the above stages of a job interview, you’re likely hoping for an answer on whether you have been successful in your application or not. Some companies will conduct personality type or talent assessment quizzes at this stage. Unless it is for a certain level of aptitude required for the role, such as bilingual fluency or financial acumen, these tests are less about how ‘smart’ you are, but more about uncovering the way you work and what type of environment you thrive in. It helps hiring managers see if you will fit into the culture of the team and organisation you are applying for.
8. Background Check
Your potential employer may conduct any number of background checks. They could verify your qualifications with your educational institutions listed, conduct police or criminal background checks if your role requires it. It is a fairly normal exercise, especially for large corporations or those with sensitive information, so if you don’t have anything to hide, don’t worry.
9. Reference Checks
Hearing from people you have worked with in the past is a great way to have your application stand out and a great way for your future employers to feel comfortable moving forward with your application. Be sure to give references from past colleagues who will only give a positive review. They may have offered it in the past, but be sure to double-check with them and give them the courtesy of a warning that it may occur for the particular role you are applying for. Be ready to give a number of types of references for example, managers, senior leaders, team members, and those who reported into you.
10. Job Offer
After moving through all stages of a job interview you will hopefully receive a formal offer.