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Two women and a man sitting on opposite ends of a table, in the interview process

Steps of the Interview Process

by | May 26, 2021 | Business, Recruiting

At the start of a job search, the interview process can seem daunting. But, most of them follow the same steps. These are the steps and how to be successful in each step in the hiring process.

Job Description

Man's hands typing on a Macbook computer.

The job description is what is posted on a job site. It is important to have a good job description to recruit top talent job seekers and find the best candidate. If a job description does not accurately describe a position, it can lead to a high turnaround in employees in the position. 


Man sitting at a desk, looking frustrated at his laptop.

Once a job applicant reads a job description, they will choose to put in an application or not. At this point, they will submit a resume and cover letter. There will also be options to add additional materials. Most companies will ask for job applicants to submit answers to role-specific and company-specific questions. 


A man outside talking on the phone.

After a job applicant submits that information, a recruiter and hiring team will review the application. At this point, they will screen things such as background checks, references, portfolios, social media, and LinkedIn profiles. 

The most important thing in this process is that the hiring team is looking to confirm an applicant’s information like education, skill level, location, and previous experience. Sometimes this requires a short phone call with the job applicants.

Then, they choose who to select for the first round of interviews. 


Two desks set up across the table, in an interview setup

Steps of the Interview


The introduction is where you make the first impression. This time is for stating your name and shaking hands. Also, a lot about a job candidate can be told from their body language. So, it is important to consider and practice body language.

Small talk

When meeting with an interviewer, they will begin with small talk and possibly questions like “how are you?” The general idea of this is to hold a comfortable conversation. Do not bring up any topics that not appropriate for the workplace. 


Questions and Answers

In most cases, interview questions can be pretty predictable. There are many common interview questions to prepare answers for. Then, other questions fall into specific categories. To prepare for the questions, it is a good idea to prepare by doing a mock interview


This is when the interviewer will ask the interviewee if they have any questions. An interviewee should always ask questions back. This shows that they are critically thinking about the role, and usually prepared questions beforehand. After that, the interview will conclude.

Following an interview, an interviewee should send a thank you letter, card or, email to all interviewers. 

For most jobs, having a first interview and a second interview is normal. This is because the selection process is tedious. Interviewers want to ensure they are choosing the best new hire for the role. Although some do have three interviews. Anything beyond a third interview is uncommon. 

Types of Job Interviews

Every job interview will have its own style. They can vary in structure, medium, format, and question types. 


A job interview can follow different structures. Those structures are unstructured, semi-structured, and structured. Typically, job interviews will be structured. But, if you encounter an unstructured or semi-structured interview, it can feel more casual. It is important to remember to stick to the topic and continue to speak about your skills and experiences that are important for the role. 


A job interview can be conducted on different mediums. The most common format is in-person interviews or face-to-face interviews. This is where the interviewee comes into the office and that is where the interview is conducted. But, there are other forms such as phone interviews and video interviews. 


There are a few different interview formats. It can be a one on one, panel interview, or group interview. A one-on-one interview is with one interviewee and one hiring manager. A panel interview consists of one interviewee and multiple team members at the company. A group interview is with multiple job candidates and usually one interviewer. 

Types of Questions

The question types are not always clear. But, most questions will either be behavioral questions, situational questions, or cultural fit questions.

To be successful overall in a job interview, tune in to this episode of The Internship Show. 

Skills Test

A woman looking at her laptop, chewing on a pencil.

After an interview or a round of interviews, a hiring team wants to know that you have the competencies to do the tasks at hand for the job. 

The hiring team will give you a test or request a demonstration of your skills. For example, a software engineer may have to create a code. While a graphic designer may be asked to complete a graphic based on a set of instructions. 

If asked to do a skills test in the interview process, this is a good sign but does not always mean you have scored the job. During this step of the interview process, continue the communication with the hiring manager and complete the skills test to your best ability. 

The Hiring Decision and Job Offer

Two male hands shaking.

This is the final step of the interview process. The final candidate who was chosen is informed and offered the position. They have the option to decline, accept, or negotiate.

The proper etiquette for companies is to let those who were not chosen to be informed as well. Not doing so leaves people frustrated and ignored by the company. 

For more specific types of job interviews like marketing interviews and human resource interviews, read the Scholars blog articles. For exclusive information to get an entry-level job or an internship, tune into The Internship Show

About Scholars

Scholars helps companies build engaging candidate experiences at scale. Create personalized journeys for all of your candidates from application through onboarding.

About Scholars

Internships and early-career jobs are unlike any others. They are often accepted months, if not years, in advance of the start date leaving plenty of time for candidates to change their minds and decide to work elsewhere, costing your team time and money.

There are two ways that have been proven to decrease renege rates for any company: keeping candidates engaged by sharing personalized information and helping them make connections with their future teammates. Companies use Scholars to accomplish both of these at scale.