The screening interview is typically conducted by a personnel representative in person or by phone to determine if you have the basic requirements for the job. If successful, you’re referred to the next stage: an interview with the hiring manager(s).
Combined Screening and Employment Interview
Many employers screen your resume and cover letter and conduct just one interview. The interviewer first explores your academic background and experience, then proceeds to a more in-depth assessment of your suitability for the job based on attitude, motivation, and past performance. The hiring manager frequently conducts this interview.
A panel interview is where more than one representative of an organization conducts the hiring interview. Ideally, the group consists of no more than three people. But some job seekers describe experiences of being interviewed by as many as ten or twelve, which tends to happen more often in the not-for-profit sector where an entire board will participate in the process rather than delegate selection to a smaller ad-hoc committee.
What is critical here is to be prepared for almost anything. When scheduling the interview, ask for the names and positions of the people who will interview you and write them down. If successful, you’ll want to identify and relate to your direct report. At the start of the interview, be sure to be seated and where you can make eye contact with all panel members.
Serial interviews are not uncommon in larger organizations. If you succeed at one level, you will meet with another individual or panel for the next stage.
You might have anywhere from three to eight different interviews. Some may take place in informal settings such as in a restaurant over coffee or dinner. Or you may be asked to tour the physical plant where you will meet company personnel. Throughout the process, they will scrutinize you to determine how well you will fit into the organization.
You may not be meeting someone in person. Some employers have job seekers respond to a list of questions on video before inviting them for a second interview in person. Or, using video teleconferencing, the company queries the job seeker live from a different location. For example, you may be interviewed in Edmonton by an interviewer in Toronto. Both parties seated at computer terminals equipped with cameras and sound equipment will provide an opportunity for employers and job seekers to meet without the cost of travel.
The technology for video interviews and video conferencing is available but not yet in everyday use. But like everything else electronic, its use will only increase in time.
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