Interview Phases: What to Expect

The first interview is a screening interview that will determine whether you are invited for a second interview, or you are disqualified from the job-selection processes. It is an opportunity for you to present your qualifications and express your enthusiasm about the position; this process typically lasts about 30 minutes. The screening interview is usually conducted by a friendly, encouraging individual who is trained to follow a fairly structured line of questioning. His or her main job is to make a recommendation about your candidacy.  Sometimes, the screening interview is held over the phone or on the internet.

The second interview is more in-depth, and it is usually conducted by the person who has the authority to recommend an applicant for the job. This interview will require you to respond to specific job-related questions.

This interview may involve a tour of the organization and meetings with other employees. The interview can range in length from about 60 minutes to a full day. An in-depth interview may involve interviewing with one person or with several different people in a series of one-on-one meetings.  It could involve interviewing with a group of potential co-workers.

When you are arranging the interview, be sure to ask what the schedule will be and with whom you will be meeting. In a group interview, it is best to answer each interviewer’s questions in turn. Also, it is important to maintain eye contact with the individual whose question you are answering. Make an extra effort to occasionally make eye contact with all of the individuals involved in the group interview.

Keep in mind that you are being interviewed and observed throughout the time that you are visiting the organization, not only during the formal office interview. Do not say or do something inappropriate when you think you are no longer being interviewed; it will be seen as unprofessional.

Prepare yourself for multiple interviews; it is not uncommon to have up to five interviews for senior-level positions.

Remember that you are involved in the interview process from the moment you arrive until the time you depart.

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