Attending interviews can be a stressful experience, but it can be even worse when you’re not quite sure what sort of interview awaits you! The interview process is generally split into multiple stages. The interview process could be over in as little as one interview, or it may roll on into four stages. It all depends on the type of role you’re applying for and the company.
To help you understand the interview process, we’ve broken down the various different interview stages.
6 stages of the interview process
1. Online assessment
Online assessments are the first port of call in the interview process for many companies. Online assessments usually take place after the initial application has been processed and is used as a way of screening candidates, usually without there being any human to human contact. An online assessment can test various hard and soft skills from leadership to numeracy and critical thinking. This is most commonly used as the first screening stage by large corporations who receive hundreds, if not thousands, of applications per post.
2. Group interview / assessment day
Group interviews/assessment days take place in the early stages of the interview process. They are a way of assessing a wide variety of things from practical skills, competency, teamwork, culture fit and leadership. Throughout the day, you might be given presentations, tests, role plays or team building tasks. You may also have a short interview to assess your suitability to the role.
Telephone interviews are usually between two people and take place before you’re invited in for a face to face interview. They usually last anywhere between 15-30 minutes. You can expect to cover basic interview questions like ‘Tell me about yourself’ and ‘What interests you in this position?’. However, some companies take the telephone interviews a step further by asking competency-based interview questions. If you have an upcoming telephone interview, always ask the company for any information with regards to the style of the interview beforehand.
4. First stage interview
The first stage interview usually takes place with one or two hiring managers. It usually lasts anywhere between 45 minutes to 1.5 hours and it’s normal for there to be 6-10 candidates at this stage. During this interview, expect to be asked all the most common interview questions, competency-based questions, and be sure to prepare questions to ask the interviewer.
5. Second interview
If it’s a three stage interview, the second stage usually takes place with your direct line manager and another senior member of staff. The second interview can sometimes contain some practical element like a trial shift or assessment.
6. Final interview
Congratulations! You’ve made it to the third and usually final stage of the interview process. During the final interview, you can expect to meet with the company founder or CEO. Expect to answer some tough questions and, equally, ask some thoughtful questions in return. You may be offered a position during this interview, so be prepared for that. Don’t worry if you’re not offered a position on the spot – sometimes companies take a day or two to offer the position over the phone.
Stick with the process
Although interviewing can be a lengthy process, we’re here to remind you to take it one step at a time to avoid overwhelming yourself. Just prepare for each stage of the interview experience as and when it arises. Focus on putting one foot in front of the other and you can’t go wrong!
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