The Job Interview Process


The job interview process can be a frightening prospect for many people.

Fear of the interview is one the reasons why some people don’t move on in their career, or change their job.

Yet it needn’t be this way. If you know what to expect, you are obviously in a much stronger position to prepare for a job interview

Armed with this information you can also make sure that you’re doing all the right things to help you win that job.

Here the whole job interview process will be outlined for you, in detail…..

  • What happens
  • Why, and….
  • What you need to do

The Job Interview Process

What’s The Standard Approach?

There are many different approaches to job interviewing used by employers.

For example, if you are applying for a job in a small to medium sized organisation, your job interview might consist of an informal chat over a cup of coffee.

In larger organisations, and in government departments, job interviews are usually more structured. You can expect a formal interview, often with a panel of interviewers being involved.

So……what I want to do here is to ensure that you’re aware of what to expect in a highly structured interview, as it is this type of interview that many people find the most daunting.

The toughest of interviews however, are in fact unstructured interviews conducted by a poorly trained interviewer.

Why? Structured interviews tend to follow reasonably predictable patterns. This means you can prepare for them fairly well.

In an unstructured interview it’s impossible to predict what might occur….you’ve just got to go with the flow of the interview!

The Job Interview Process

Why Do Employers Conduct Interviews?

The most basic reason is that an employer wants to do everything they can to ensure they are making the correct choice in whom they hire. Therefore, they want to see you, and hear you……close up, in the flesh!!

Hiring a new person can be an extremely expensive exercise. Consider what the costs might be:

  • The costs of advertising the position, and fees paid to professional recruiters (if relevant)
  • The cost of time, and lost productivity of the people involved in the selection process
  • The cost of training and inducting the new person
  • The loss of productivity until the new hire is up to speed

Depending on the level of seniority of the person being hired, hiring costs can range from at least several thousand dollars, to well over $100,000. The employer does not want to make a poor decision!

So…..a job interview provides that important face to face opportunity for an employer to make assessments about your suitability.

Job Interview Tips

InĀ  terms of the job interview process, the decision to hire you will be based on how, and how well you communicate that you have:

  • Relevant and required kills and knowledge, that you have the right sort of capabilities to do the work, and/or the ability to learn how to do the job.
  • Strong motivation to do the job, solid reasons for applying for the position, and an appropriate attitude and approach to your work and career.
  • Personal attributes and an interpersonal style that ‘fits’ with the organisation and work team culture that you’ll be joining.

While you will be giving verifiable facts about your skills and knowledge, and career highlights in terms of your accomplishments, much of the decision making about your suitability is likely to be more subjective than objective.

This is why your job interview preparation is so critical in the job interview process.

It’s also why you must pay attention to your job interview skills which relate mainly about how you communicate.

I’ve heard experiences recruiters and interviewers say that they made their mind up about who they would hire in the first few minutes of the interview, based on things like:

  • Personal appearance and grooming
  • Eye contact
  • Tone of voice
  • Firmness of handshake
  • Facial expression, and so on…

You have control over all these things in the above list. They might seem little things, but they are critical to a successful outcome from your interview.

This page on answering interview questions explores in detail a range of communication techniques to help you build rapport with the interviewer/s.

The Job Interview Process – Summary

If you haven’t had a lot of experience in job search, and in doing job interviews, the job interview process can often be quite confusing.

Some employers are better than others about keeping job applicants informed about their application, and the interview process.

Don’t be frightened to ask questions about the job interview process, for example:

  • “Can you describe the selection process for me, such as, how many interview might I expect to complete if my application is successful?”
  • “How long is this first interview likely to be?”
  • “Will there be a panel of interviewers, if so how many, and who will be on the panel?”

Finding out what is likely to happen, and when, is all part of your preparation for the interview.

When you understand the job interview process, and what is likely to be happening at each stage you are in a much better position to prepare for it.

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