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The Interview Process Cheat Sheet by

process     interview     employment     personnel     hiring


The time you invest in prepar­ation for the interview processes used by organi­zations is fundam­ental to your success in being selected for a role. View the experience as an opport­unity to gather inform­ation about the position and assess the company and its people in a manner similar to how you are being evaluated. Prepare for it, clearly articulate your answers to interview questions and engage your active listening skills. Who your interv­iewers are within the organi­zation combined with what they are asking you often will provide a window into the company’s culture and how the role you are interv­iewing for will be viewed.

People have lots of different interview styles. Think about how you will respond in different circum­stances and reflect on answers to possible questions. Be prepared to discuss topics that are likely to be on an interv­iewer’s mind such as your: compat­ibility with the role; relevant skills and experi­ence; management style and interp­ersonal skills; motiva­tion, interest in the position and career aspira­tions; passion and unders­tanding of the organi­zation and their industry; person­ality and cultural fit; accomp­lis­hments and problem solving abilities; profes­sio­nalism, diligence, leadership and creati­vity; team selection and develo­pment; and personal interests and hobbies.

You should also be prepared to ask questions that will convey your unders­tanding of the organi­zation and how the role can deliver value to their strategic object­ives. These should be about meaningful issues, ones that the answers to are substa­ntively valuable to the process for both yourself and the interv­iewer.

During the search process you can generally expect four categories of interv­iews:

Four Categories of Interv­iews:

Prel­iminary Screen­ing: Often done by telephone to determine if your background and experience is a match for their vision of the role. This is a first impression of cultural person­ality fit, compen­sation level challenges and any geographic restri­ctions. The department and level of company repres­ent­ative who may conduct this initial interview varies widely. Plan to ask about next steps, timing and the overall process used by the organi­zation.

In-Depth Evalua­tion: Assesses your suitab­ility for the role and offers the company a second view of your fit for their organi­zation. This may be done by telephone, Skype or in-person depending on timing, geography, scheduling and/or recrui­tment budget.

Deep Dive: Generally on site with the hiring manager and any other stakeh­olders. It may be panel style, more than one interv­iewer and/or five to six individual meetings one-on­-one. This offers the company a collective view of whether or not you will be successful within their organi­zation.

Final Phase: Meetings with an expanded group of stake holders and/or senior executive meetings are frequently incorp­orated prior to selection of a final candidate. These sessions vary from a seemingly informal chat with the CEO to substa­ntive strategic alignment discus­sions and person­ality connec­tions with several members of the leadership team. It is possible that the employer will combine all or part of these meetings on the same day with the third phase of deep dive meetings.

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