A first job interview is generally the first step in the hiring procedure. Also termed as a first-round interview, a first job interview is a way for the interviewer to find only the most qualified candidates for the job.
Many first interviews are far less thorough than second or third interviews. It is because they generally serve to screen initial applicants. These first interviews, termed as screening interviews or first-cut job interviews are often the first of multiple interviews. Usually, a screener (often a company employee or outside recruiter) will interview many applicants and will decide which candidates is the best fit. He or she will then give a smaller list of candidates to the employer, who will conduct interviews with this smaller pool of applicants.
Unlike screening interviews, few companies only hold one round of interviews when hiring, or the employer might lead all interview rounds, rather than hiring a recruiter or employee. In this case, the first interview might be prolonged and more intensive.
Types of First Job Interview
First job interview take place in many different places, and in several forms. Some might be phone interviews. In a phone interview, a recruiter or hiring manager will ask the job candidate a series of questions over the phone. An employer may also conduct the first interview over video or Skype. Because interviewing can be costly, and the first round of interviews may include many people, phone, and Skype interviews permit employers to save money.
Other first interviews are conducted in person. These interviews generally take place at the work site or office, but they may also occur at an independent employment services office, a college career office, or a job fair.
Some first interviews also involve a skill-based test to confirm that you have the required skills for the job. These are called talent assessments or pre-employment tests. You might be inquired to complete one of these tests online or in person.
Tips for First Interviews
- Take it seriously. Some individuals do not worry much about the first interviews, specifically if they are screening interviews. It is because they consider the first job interview will be quick and very easy. Sometimes people also believe Skype or phone interviews are less important. However, it is always important to put your best foot forward. Prepare for every interview, and always be professional.
- Research, the company. To prepare for the interview, review the job listing and the history of the company. It will help you answer questions about the job and the company, and will demonstrate that you are prepared.
- Practice your answers. Along with studying the company, practice answering common interview queries. Whether it is a phone, in-person, or webcam interview, you always want to come off as polished and professional.
- Indicate your enthusiasm. Even this early in the interview process, you need to emphasize your enthusiasm for the company and the job. At this point, the employer is likely looking at a number of candidates, and you want to do what you can to make yourself stand out. Indicating passion and interest in the job is a great way to get noticed.
- Follow up. Even for a first job interview, you should send a thank you letter to the interviewer for taking the time to meet or speak with you. Mention something specific about your interview in the letter so that he or she remembers you.
Second Round Interviews
Often, your first job interview will not be your last. Several companies interview candidates at least twice. Sometimes the first interview is on the phone, and the second is in person. The second round of interviews will be with merely the most qualified candidates from the first round of interviews.