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Interview Process

Steps in the Job Interview Process


The job interview process can be lengthy. Being interviewed once and getting a job offer is typically a thing of the past. Today, many companies have an involved interview process starting with screening interviews, followed by in-person interviews, second interviews and even third interviews.

Here's information on each step in the interview process, along with advice on the best way to handle each type of interview as you progress up the interview ladder towards a job offer.

Open Interview

WASHINGTON, DC - MARCH 28: Men seeking employment talk with representatives from Clark Construction during a job fair at the Arena Stage at the Mead Center for American Theater March 28, 2014 in Washington, DC. Fifteen organizations and businesses from the Washington Metro area participated in the job fair which was sponsored by Arena Stage and DC Council Member Tommy Wells, who is running for mayor of the district.
Chip Somodevilla / Getty Images
An open job interview is an interview for employment where companies accept job applications during a ranges of times when all applicants who are interested in applying can attend. The company conducts on-the-spot interviews rather than scheduling individual interview appointments with candidates. If the company advertises open interviews, this will be the first step in the interview process.

Screening Interview

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A screening interview is a type of job interview that is conducted to determine if the applicant has the qualifications needed to do the job for which the company is hiring. A screening interview is typically the first interview in the hiring process if the company does not start with open interviews.

Phone Interview

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Employers use phone interviews to identify and recruit candidates for employment. Phone interviews are often used to narrow the pool of applicants who will be invited for in-person interviews.

First Interview

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The first in-person job interview is typically a one-on-one interview between the applicant and a hiring manager. The interviewer will ask questions about the applicant's experience and skills, work history, availability, and the qualifications the company is seeking in the optimal candidate for the job.

Second Interview

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A second interview can be a more in-depth one-on-one interview with the person you originally interviewed with or it can be a day-long interview that includes meetings with company staff. You may meet with management, staff members, executives, and other company employees.

Third Interview

Image Copyright Steve Cole
When you have made it through the first interview, then a second interview you might think you're done with the interview process and you'll soon find out whether you'll be receiving a job offer. That's not necessarily the case. You may have to participate in a third interview and possible more interviews after that.

Dining Interview

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Dining with a job applicants allows employers to review your communication and interpersonal skills, as well as your table manners, in a more relaxed (for them) environment. Depending on the interview process of the company you're interviewing with and the type of job you are applying for you may be invited to an lunch or dinner interview.

Final Interview

Copright Getty Images Siri Stafford
The final interview is the last step in the interview process and the last interview you find out whether or not you will get a job offer. Here's information on preparing for a final interview and advice on how to handle a final interview.

Interview Questions and Answers

Copyright Alison Doyle
Regardless of where you are in the interview process, it's important to practice interviewing and to be prepared for the typical interview questions you'll be asked during each step in the process. It's also important to have questions ready to ask the interview.

Follow Up After Each Step in the Interview Process

Copyright Alison Doyle
Even though it may seem like a lot of work, especially when you have gone to multiple interviews, it's important to follow up after each step in the interview process. In fact, the most important thing you can do is to follow up and reiterate your interest in the position and to thank the interviewer for taking the time to meet with you.

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