Structure of a Job Interview

Each interview will be different simply because of the different combination of people involved and their goals produce different dynamics. However, there is a basic structure that approximates what one can expect in most interview situations. The actual conversation and amount of time spent in each phase will vary, but the progression from one phase to another will normally follow a predictable pattern. This structure is evident from the moment you arrive at the interview site to when you learn whether or not you are right for the job.

As soon as you meet the interviewer, you start off with some small talks. also known as ice breaking. This is an important ritual. It gives both the employer and the applicant a chance to feel more at ease with each other and the situation. The main goal of this exchange is to establish rapport between the interviewer and interviewee.

It is now that the interviewer and interviewee will exchange information – with both persons posing questions as well as giving answers. The interviewer tries to size up the applicant in terms of his work abilities, level of knowledge, related experience, interpersonal skills, communication skills, motivation, dedication, loyalty, career goals, and likability. The interviewer attempts to give the applicant information about the position.
The applicant tries to male a favorable impression as he answers the questions posed by the interviewer and asks questions to probe the nature of the job.

The close, like the opening, is another time for exchanging amenities, The employer will normally thank the applicant for coming, indicate He/she enjoyed meeting with him, and perhaps indicate that the company will be making a decision soon.
This is no time to murmur your thanks and merely leave. This is your opportunity to refocus the interview towards your skills and how they fit the position as well as to determine what your next step should be.
Briefly, try to summarize your strengths as they fit the position and employer’s needs, indicate your appreciation for the time the interviewer has spent with you, but, before you leave, ask when you might expect to hear about their decision. (This could be an actual hiring decision or it may be a decision as to whom the company will invite back for further interviews.) Assuming you are given a time frame, it’s perfectly acceptable
to follow up with this question:
If I haven’t heard anything by (select the day following the date you were told a decision would be reached), may I call you to check on my status?
Usually, the interviewer will say you may call. You now have a date by which you should follow up if you have not heard about your hiring status. Be sure to put this date on your schedule to a phone call.

Later that same day, if possible, and no later than the following day, write a brief email to the employer. This is a business letter, not a social thankyou note. You can again thank the interviewer for the time he/she spent with you and indicate your continued interest in the position. You may choose to briefly restate your strengths as they relate to the position to be filled, and
say that you look forward to hearing from him/her on (fill in the date she indicated they would have reached a hiring decision).
at the close of the interview, you asked whether you could call the interviewer to check on your status if you hadn’t heard by a certain date.
When that date arrives, if you haven’t heard, Call. You already set the stage for the call at the close of the interview, now follow through.
You have nothing to gain by not making that call. By calling, you let the interviewer know you are still interested and you have the tenacity to follow through. If a decision hasn’t been made, you may score a few points in your favor. If a decision has been reached and someone else has been offered the job, even if you are disappointed, you are better off knowing, since you can now concentrate your efforts on other positions.

Thank the individual, and ask to be remembered for future openings they may have that would utilize your skills.

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