How Interviews Work

By Tiara

An interview is an informal conversation between two people of different sizes (one person talking to another). The term “interview” comes from the Latin word for question, inquire.

Interviews have three main parts: topic, questions, and answers. Depending on the job position, these can be organized in various ways. For example, you might be asked about your strengths as a leader or if you've done similar jobs before.

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Interviewers want to get a feel for how you respond under pressure, whether you show enthusiasm, keep calm, and so on. They also look for inconsistencies in your responses – maybe you say one thing but mean something else.

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Tell them about yourself

how interviews work

A good interviewer will ask you how your career progressed so far, what types of experiences you have that make you feel confident in your skills, what projects you are currently working on, and if there’s anything people can learn from you.

These questions are not only to find out more about you as a person, but they also help the employer determine whether or not they would be a fit for their company. If you’re passionate about something and able to describe it, then it shows that you are invested in it.

Interviews should also include some kind of open-ended question to gauge how well you talk under pressure, how you respond to different situations, and if you show an interest in other areas beyond just work.

Interviewers want to know if you'll take initiative and do things on your own, you're organized, you manage your time, and if you contribute to the workplace outside of paid responsibilities.

Be honest

how interviews work

As mentioned earlier, employers look for many different things when they hire someone. They want to make sure you are an organized person, that you take commitments seriously, and that you put in the effort necessary to achieve your goals.

But what most people don’t realize is that hiring decisions can be influenced by something other than these traits – like how you answer a question.

Interviews give candidates the chance to show their skills and behaviors under pressure, so it makes sense that they’re paid attention to. And since there can be dozens of applicants per position, even tiny discrepancies may matter much to the outcome.

That’s why being honest during interviews is so important.

It demonstrates that you are aware of the importance of honesty and that you can be trusted with it. It also shows confidence, which is attractive to employers.

If you’ve got nothing better to say than “I worked hard my whole life until I had enough money to retire!” then maybe think twice about applying as an employee.

Follow up after the interview

how interviews work

After an interviewer invites you into their office for a job, the next thing they will do is typically have you fill out some paperwork or formalities like a contract.

Then, they will probably ask if there are any questions you had while interviewing them. This is so they can make sure they are not leaving anything important out!

Next, they may try to get your opinion about the company and whether you feel it was a good fit. If they seem interested in your thoughts, that’s great – but never agree to work for someone just because they asked around about them.

If they don’t sound very professional or aren’t clear about things, walk away and look else where. You want to be able to trust the people who matter most to you- yourself, and then reevaluate how you handle interviews.

Dress the part

how interviews work

When an interview actually happens, there’s always a little bit of nervousness involved. You might feel some butterflies in your stomach, you could get sweaty, and even though everyone is not guaranteed to be hired, most employers look for people who are well-prepared and confident.

When it comes down to it, however, what really matters is how you present yourself. If you dress up like you're going to a hip nightclub, that's going to make someone think something isn't natural.

If you dress professionally but lack poise, then that sends a signal as well – we can’t tell if you're smart or not because you don’t seem like it.

Dressing casually doesn’t send the right message either. People will assume you can’t afford good clothes, that you don’t take care of yourself, and/or that you aren’t intelligent. All of these things negatively affect your image.

Make a plan beforehand

how interviews work

A good way to prepare for your interview is to make a list of questions you’re likely to be asked. By knowing what to expect, you can more easily identify important questions and structure your answers accordingly.

You should also research some basic facts about the company and position being interviewed for. This helps prove that you have done some homework and establishes you as an informed candidate.

In addition to asking direct questions, you can also use indirect ones to gain insights into the organization and job role. For example, if there was a recent merger at the workplace, ask how people were able to work together effectively.

By putting yourself in their shoes, they may tell you things like how teamwork is valued or whether anyone else had similar experiences.

Give the person interviewing you feedback

how interviews work

When an interviewer asks you about your past experiences, or what they are looking for in employees, it is called a “constructive interview”. These types of interviews should be given with genuine interest so that the listener can get valuable information from you!

Interviews with potential employers usually consist of three main parts: talking about yourself as a person, asking questions related to the position, and some small group discussions. All three parts have different rules, norms, and expectations depending on the job and the employer.

As a candidate, you will need to do some research ahead of time to know these rules, norms, and expectations. This way you are not caught off guard when the time comes to speak with someone new!

In this article we will talk about how to give effective feedback during a workplace interview.

Be proactive

how interviews work

As we discussed, interviews are an integral part of anyone’s career that wants to advance. They may seem like a scary or intimidating thing at first, but I would urge you to get into the habit of having them more frequently and under different circumstances.

By being pro-active about interviewing yourself, you will be preparing for it and teaching your self how to best interact with others on a personal level. This will make the experience much less anxiety ridden!

Interviews can also help you in your job search as candidates look for people who they feel comfortable around. Who knows? You could meet someone that ends up changing their life forever!

Remember, if you are nervous before an interview try talking through what topics matter most to you and what questions you have prepared.

Practice interviewing

how interviews work

After you are hired, your career will really take off if you invest time in preparing for the workplace. The more prepared you are for an interview, the better!

That means practicing your question and response with us (or even writing out questions to ask someone) before you actually have an interview. It also means being familiar with the company you’ll be working at and knowing what they do.

By investing time into learning how to interview and the job market, you’ve got a lot of resources at hand to help you find employment. And we all know that finding employment can feel like chasing after a elusive greased goose!

We could not agree more. That is why here at The Career Team we have a new motto: ‘Give me five minutes and I’ll get you the job.’

Our mission is to assist our clients in achieving their goals by offering effective services that focus on professionalism and client satisfaction. We believe in hard work and dedication to achieve success and it shows in our actions.

The best way to learn how to interview is through practice, so we invite you to try one for yourself today.