The ultimate goal of an interview is to get hired. Before you do receive an employment offer, however, you will probably need to go through a series of interviews. The first interview is considered the screening interview and these are usually brief, perhaps 30 to 60 minutes. You will need to make a good impression during this interview to get invited back for subsequent interviews.
The screening interview is a chance for the interviewer to describe the company and the position. The second interview generally is long, may be with different people, and will generally last anywhere from 60 minutes to the entire day. This interview may include testing, a variety of questions, lunch or dinner, a tour of the company and you will probably be interviewing with several people. After the second interview you will understand the company, the job responsibilities, and enough information to decide on the position if it is offered to you.
The Warm Up is generally a predictable summing up session. The prospective employer will assess the way you greet, the firmness of your handshake, and the way you are dressed. This will be a lasting first impression. An interviewer may ask you common questions about shared interests, the weather or your travel plans. Some interviewers may begin the interview process by asking you to talk about yourself. This is your opening to briefly and concisely describe your background, skills, and interests.
The next step is normally information exchanging. You will be asked questions and learn about the employer. The second interview or information exchange will include questions from why do you want to work here to what are your strengths and weaknesses. You will also be asked your long range career goals and questions about your past employment, education and job experiences. There may be questions about your resume that the interviewer will want cleared up before moving on to bigger interviewing questions. Be prepared for this interview, look up interview questions online. Practice answers in front of family or friends or even the mirror. Be confident in emphasizing your qualifications and skills. Above all, be positive.
The Wrap-Up portion of the interview will include the employer asking if you have any further questions. Always ask questions that are pertinent to the company and the job position. This demonstrates your research and emphasizes your interest in the position. Questions regarding the employers use of new technology or practices related to your field will give the employer an opportunity to judge you on your interest. During this interview, do not ask about benefits or salary unless the employer broaches the subject first. These are questions that can be asked when you are offered the position. Always wrap up the interview by thanking the interviewers for their time. Be positive and summarize your qualifications, and reiterate your interest in the position. The last impression you leave will give the potential employer something to remember you by, and may give you a step up from other candidates.
The most important steps to remember after the screening interview is the warm-up and your first impression, the information exchange where you express your qualifications and answer questions, and the wrap up where you ask questions and summarize your abilities. This is a good time to thank the interviewer for their time and efforts on you behalf. This thank you, however, does not replace a formal written thank you sent to the interviewer (s).