Understanding the three stages of the job interview

Understanding the three stages of the job interview

Not unlike stories, interviews have three definitive stages – a start, middle and end. Here, we outline the three stages and the best way to manage each stage to ensure you can determine whether the candidate really is the right person for the job.

Stage 1: Interview introduction

Greet the candidate, outline your position in the organisation and try to build some rapport with the candidate to ensure he or she relaxes and communicates freely with you.

Open with an icebreaker question or statement and then explain what you will cover in the interview. Remember: As the interviewer, you are the ambassador – the face – of the company. First impressions leave a lasting effect.

Discover more job interview tips

Stage 2: Interview body

This will be the most time-consuming part of the interview, so it’s important to ensure you make an effective evaluation of the candidate. Make sure the interview questions you include cover education, qualifications and work history.

And remember to ask open-ended questions – the who, what, why, when, where and how! Let the candidate do the talking and be a good listener.

Stage 3: Closing the interview

It’s important to do the following when closing an interview:

Answering questions: Give the candidate the opportunity to ask any questions relating to the role. This will give you insight into the candidate’s thought processes and show their initiative.

Explain processes: It’s important, and fair, to let the candidate know what the next stage of the recruitment process will be and also to provide a time frame.

Give feedback: A good interviewer always gives the candidate honest and appropriate feedback. It’s imperative to close the interview on a positive note, as it’s the last impression the candidate will remember. Walk the candidate to the door or lift, and always thank them for their time.

By following these three stages, you should confidently conduct interviews that give you good insight into whether the candidate is the right fit for the job.

For more on finding the ideal candidate, read Qualifications vs. experience: What to look for in a candidate.

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