The Secrets Behind the Interview Process


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Conducting an interview is a long and complicated process. Often times the hiring decision is made in an unexpected way. Here are some secrets that employers won’t tell you during the interview.

You didn’t get invited to interview? That doesn’t mean you are not good enough.

While it is true that employers select candidates who they think are the best fit, sometimes companies make decisions based on other unchangeable factors such as location or graduation date. A company I knew once had an immediate opening for an entry-level position, and there were over 200 applicants in a single month. Since this was an immediate opening the hiring manager filtered the candidates using two simple criteria: the person must have already graduated and the person must have at least one working experience related to the field. A lot of great candidates with excellent experience did not even get considered because they were still enrolled in school and the company needed someone who could start work as soon as possible. So don’t feel bad if you don’t get an interview at the company you want to work for. It may have nothing to do with your skills and capacity. Be confident in yourself.

The decision is usually made right after the interview.

Yes, you are told to wait a week or two for a decision. However, it’s often the case that employers have already made up their mind right after the interview. Research shows that employers only spend 4-5 minutes before they make an initial decision on whether you fit with the company. They estimate a longer time only because the company has other candidates scheduled to interview after you, and they will need to make some comparison to make sure they choose the right person. The evaluation of you is mostly done during your interview.

Performance is only one part, personality and cultural fit-in are also important.

Your performance at the interview is definitely a crucial element in determining your chances of being hired. However, employers make hiring decisions not only based on your performance. Having a good conversation with the interviewer is one thing, and determining if you are a good fit for the company culture is another. This is especially true for entry-level positions since those positions do not require a lot of experience. Cultural fit becomes key. After all, you will be working with people who you need to get along with to get the job done. So keep in mind that employers want to choose not only the best qualified, but the most suitable candidates for their company.

Written by Cathy Qiu


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