The Typical Job Interview
The purpose of the typical job interview is to screen a handful of applicants who have made the final cut after a lengthy process of weeding through hundreds of resumes or job applications to select qualified candidates. If you are called for a job interview it means that the employer believes you have the basic skills and experience required for the job; however, he wants to see you in person so he can learn more about you, your personality, your appearance, your demeanor and your ability to do the job. Depending on the employer you could be competing against as little as three or as many as 30 other applicants. Don't be surprised if you are called for a second or third interview, particularly if you are applying for a position with a large company.
Most job interviews follow a standard format:
(1) Greeting and small talk to put you at ease and break the ice. The interviewer may give you a preview of what will occur during the interview.
(2) The employer may give you a brief overview of the position or additional information about the organization.
(3) You respond to questions. If it's a good interview, this is the longest segment and you should do most of the talking.
(4) You ask questions of the interviewer. Have at least five or ten questions prepared beforehand.
(5) The interviewer closes the interview and explains the next steps in the process. Be sure to thank the interviewer for his or her time.