The interview process is divided in three broad phases, which depend on each other: The Pre-Interview phase, the Interview phase and the Post-Interview phase. Below I’ve outlined a typical interview process from both sides: the candidate, looking for a job, and the interviewer, who is looking for the right person to do the job.
1. Pre-Interview Phase:
This interview process phase occurs before the actual meeting:
- A company posts a job opportunity online or in a newspaper stating the requirements for the job.
- Candidates who are interested in this job, will apply by sending their resume.
- The hiring company will scan the resumes and will select a few which seem to match the outlined requirements best. If the company is large, than their recruitment team will carry out this activity, otherwise the HR department or hiring manager will perform this task. Once the best resumes have been selected, it will be handed down to the recruiting manager.
- The hiring manager will review and analyse the resumes and assess their fit to the open position. He or she will high likely google the candidates name on the Internet to find out more about them. For example: if an internet search finds many social media photos on the internet – than this might be a good sign for a sales job, but it might not be the best impression for an accounting job. The hiring manager / HR department will then arrange a meeting with the candidate.
- Once the candidate has been contacted for an interview and the meeting time and place has been arranged, the interview preparation will start. The candidate will start researching the hiring company and practice possible interview questions. For an office job it is recommended to have your clothes dry cleaned beforehand.
2. The Interview Phase:
This interview process phase is where the candidate and the interviewer meet for the first time: in person, via telephone or videoconference. The meeting can be as short as 20 min or can take up to 90 min. Some companies request multiple interviews for higher paying positions e.g. up to seven interviews for a CFO or CEO position.
- The interviewer will ask a mixture of questions in order to understand if the candidate has the right skills and knowledge and if the candidate will fit into the team the vacancy is in. He or she will also assess the person’s attire and personality based on body language.
- The candidate will need to answer all questions. At the end of the interview the candidate will get the opportunity to ask questions in order to understand the future work environment.
3. Post-Interview Phase:
This is the last phase of the interview process. This will typically involve the following:
- The interviewer will form an opinion on the candidate’s performance and will notify the HR department.
- The candidate might send a Thank You email or note to the hiring manager to re-iterate his or her suitability for the job. If candidates have similar strengths than this might be a competitive advantage as it shows politeness and consideration for the interviewers time.
- If the job was posted through a recruitment agency, both the interviewing company and the candidate would need to contact the recruiter and update them on the outcome of the interview.
- Once all candidates have been interviewed, the hiring manager will select the best candidate. The HR department will then perform a reference check and will notify the candidate on its success.
This concludes a typical interview process. Slight variations are possible.
The Cost Of Hiring An Employee:
The interview process is quite costly. On average, the hiring company will spend up to 150% of the candidates salary in order to bring him or her on board (Institute for Research on Labor and Employment at UC, Berkley).
The interviewers spend time reviewing and attending interviews. They also spend time reviewing their choices and speaking to recruiters and HR about what kind of person they want in the role. Additional to this is the time involved in getting the new recruit up to speed on all the different areas of knowledge they need in order to perform in this job.
It can turn out to be even more costly if the candidate is not the right cultural fit or does not have the right skills or knowledge to do the job. The worst-case scenario for the hiring company is that the new recruit is unsuitable for the role and needs to be replaced with a new candidate in order get the required work done (and this actually happens more often than companies admit). Therefore, it is key to find the right person for the job in the first place.
This concludes the interview process section. To continue, please go to the Prepare for an Interview site…