Steps in the Job Interview Process

The job interview process can be lengthy. Being interviewed once and getting a job offer is typically a thing of the past. Today, many companies have an involved interview process starting with screening interviews, followed by in-person interviews, second interviews and even third interviews.

Here's information on each step in the interview process, along with advice on the best way to handle each type of interview as you progress up the interview ladder towards a job offer.

Screening Interview

Copyright Brad Killer

A screening interview is a type of job interview that is conducted to determine if the applicant has the qualifications needed to do the job for which the company is hiring. A screening interview is typically the first interview in the hiring process if the company does not start with open interviews. More

Phone Interview

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Employers use phone interviews to identify and recruit candidates for employment. Phone interviews are often used to narrow the pool of applicants who will be invited for in-person interviews. More

First Interview

Behavioral Job Interview. Copyright Alexander Raths

The first in-person job interview is typically a one-on-one interview between the applicant and a hiring manager. The interviewer will ask questions about the applicant's experience and skills, work history, availability, and the qualifications the company is seeking in the optimal candidate for the job. More

Second Interview


A second interview can be a more in-depth one-on-one interview with the person you originally interviewed with or it can be a day-long interview that includes meetings with company staff. You may meet with management, staff members, executives, and other company employees. More

Third Interview

Image Copyright Steve Cole

When you have made it through the first interview, then a second interview you might think you're done with the interview process and you'll soon find out whether you'll be receiving a job offer. That's not necessarily the case. You may have to participate in a third interview and possible more interviews after that. More

Dining Interview

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Dining with a job applicants allows employers to review your communication and interpersonal skills, as well as your table manners, in a more relaxed (for them) environment. Depending on the interview process of the company you're interviewing with and the type of job you are applying for you may be invited to an lunch or dinner interview. More

Final Interview

Copright Getty Images Siri Stafford
The final interview is the last step in the interview process and the last interview you find out whether or not you will get a job offer. Here's information on preparing for a final interview and advice on how to handle a final interview. More

Interview Questions and Answers

Copyright Alison Doyle
Regardless of where you are in the interview process, it's important to practice interviewing and to be prepared for the typical interview questions you'll be asked during each step in the process. It's also important to have questions ready to ask the interview. More

Follow Up After Each Step in the Interview Process

Copyright Alison Doyle

Even though it may seem like a lot of work, especially when you have gone to multiple interviews, it's important to follow up after each step in the interview process. In fact, the most important thing you can do is to follow up and reiterate your interest in the position and to thank the interviewer for taking the time to meet with you. More

Background Check

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You may receive a job offer contingent on a background check and/or a credit check. Or, a background check may be conducted prior to a company offering a job. What the company learns during the background check could result in you not getting a job offer or in the job offer being withdrawn. More

Job Offer

Copyright Alison Doyle

When you have made it through the sometimes grueling interview process, the final step will be a job offer. Before you accept, it's important to evaluate the compensation package, consider whether you want to make a counter offer, and then accept (or decline) the job offer in writing. More

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