What Are the Top 5 Most Common Stages of a Job Interview?

PICTURE THIS: After applying for a new job opportunity, you receive a request from a staffing agency to interview for the position. You begin to feel your heart rate increase and a wave of excitement and anxiety flows over you. What’s next?

Preparing for an upcoming job interview can be a stressful and daunting process. Whether you’ve completed numerous interviews throughout your lifetime or are just beginning to understand the process, knowing how to prepare and what to expect can be difficult. However, it doesn’t have to be! We’ve gathered the Top 5 Most Common Stages of a Job Interview so you can put your worries to rest, prepare your answers, and ace the meeting!


STAGE 1: Introductions

Once you’ve arrived at the interview location – whether it’s in-person or you’re meeting with the recruitment agency digitally, you’ll be introduced to the individual(s) who will be interviewing you. This usually lasts for around two to three minutes. A pro-tip? Start off strong and confident by offering a firm handshake, and maintaining good eye contact when conversing. If you’re meeting digitally, make sure you’re speaking loudly and have a smile on your face – remember, this is the moment to make your first impression!


STAGE 2: Making Conversation

As you’re settling in, oftentimes there is some polite small talk between you and the job recruiters. Again, this usually lasts for about another 2-5 minutes. This stage is an important part of the process, because it helps you to develop rapport with the interviewer or employment agency. They may ask you some general questions to get to know you better, and assess your personality to see if you’d be a good fit for the role. These few minutes can help to establish a more relaxed and comfortable environment, as you are no longer strangers.


STAGE 3: Q + A

Stage 3 is the main stage of the interviewing process. Taking up the majority of the conversation, the duration of this stage can range from approximately 20 minutes to 40 minutes, depending on the length of time your interview was scheduled for. The job recruiters will then begin to ask you a set of questions. Depending on the position, they may ask questions about previous job experiences you’ve had, and ask you to highlight the lessons you’ve learned throughout your roles. Additionally, they may ask scenario-based questions, such as “tell us about a time when you had to relay tough information to your colleague?” or they may ask you to tell them about a time where you showcased leadership skills. In this portion of the interview, try to focus on the qualities you possess that you think would be ideal for the position, and discuss the ways in which you believe you would benefit the employer and organization.


STAGE 4: Your Questions

Once the recruitment team  completes their round of questions, they will ask if you have any questions for them. To show that you are genuinely interested in and engaged with the position, you’ll want to ensure that you have about three questions that you are prepared to ask. As they provide their responses, you can take this opportunity to write notes. This takes your commitment to the role a step further, and shows the interviewer(s) that you are serious about the role.


STAGE 5: Closing

Congratulations, you’re almost done! Take the last few minutes to reiterate your excitement and interest in the position, and emphasize your positive, hard working attitude. This is the perfect moment to thank them for the opportunity, and for meeting with you today. Once again, you may offer the recruitment team or interviewer a handshake, or simply smile and maintain your confidence with attentive eye contact. Upon your exit, give yourself a pat on the back – all of your hard work and preparation paid off, whether you are offered the position or not, your confidence will only increase when you arrive at your next interview for a future position.


That wasn’t so bad was it? With adequate preparation and visualization, you can settle your fears and anxieties by walking yourself through the process itself. While doing this, envision yourself acing the interview – oftentimes, this helps to increase your confidence, and leads to a successful outcome in real life!