The Ultimate Guide to the Interview Process

On average, the job interview process lasts approximately 23 days. In the grand scheme of things, this isn’t very long. But it can feel like a lifetime for both the interviewer and the interviewee. At HIRECLOUT, we try to make the process a bit easier by matching the perfect candidates with the right job, ensuring you’re already on the path to success.

When getting ready for the interview process, there are a lot of things to keep in mind, from deciding on hiring criteria to plan out various types of interviews. Explained below are some key things interviewers ought to know as they prepare to sit down with potential new hires.

What Is the Interview Process?

The interview process is a multi-step process that every hiring manager must go through when preparing to bring on new employees. It’s comprised of several stages, including the following ones described below.

Decide Who You’re Trying to Hire

Interview process guide


When getting ready to add new members to the team, the first step is deciding who to hire.  Hiring managers must define the role they want to fill and figure out what kind of person they want to bring on. This helps them make sure the new hire’s skills and personality align with the company’s mission and core values.  

Some basic things to consider when defining the role include:

  • The name of the role
  • The department of which the role is a part
  • The person to whom the new hire will report
  • The desired accomplishments for this person within their first year

Hiring managers should also think about their reasoning behind hiring someone to fill this role. What contributions will they make?

Come Up with Hiring Criteria

Hiring managers must also think about their hiring criteria for a specific role. These are the factors they’ll take into account when evaluating each candidate to see if they’re a good fit.

It helps to begin by identifying general hiring criteria. This includes things like location, visa status, hard skills, and soft skills.

Next, managers can move on to more specific criteria required for a particular role. This might include things like certain personality traits or advanced qualifications. When you use HIRECLOUT to aid in your search, we will use these criteria to narrow down the talent search, making sure you are speaking with the best candidates for the job. 

Design Your Interview Process

Planning an interview process


Managers should also design their interview process before it begins. This helps them ensure that they ask the right questions and give each candidate a fair shot.

Some factors to consider when designing the interview process include determining how many interviews to conduct and what criteria will be evaluated during each interview. The first interview might cover general criteria, for instance, and follow-up interviews will dive deeper into specific skills and personality evaluations.

Interview Process Steps

When designing the interview process, there are some key steps that every hiring manager should take. 

Recruiter Phone-Screen

A phone screen is often the first phase a candidate must pass during the interview process. It gives hiring managers a chance to learn about the candidate’s skills and get a sense of their personality before investing more time in interviewing them.

Skills Assessment

Next comes the skills assessment. This involves a series of behavioral questions all geared toward helping managers find the best fit for each available role within the company.

Skills assessment questions can be geared toward specific hard or soft skills. The assessment can also be used to evaluate personality and values to see which candidates ought to move forward to the next series of interviews.

The In-Person Interview

Often, candidates go through several in-person interviews before it’s decided that they’re a good fit for the position. The following are some examples of in-person interviews one might conduct:

Interview 1: Culture Fit Interview

As the name suggests, this interview is all about determining whether or not a particular candidate fits into the workplace’s culture.

It assesses how well candidates’ personal values align with the values of the company. It gives interviewers a chance to find out what motivates the candidate and decide if those motivations are in alignment with what the company prioritizes most.

Interview 2: Panel Interview/Candidate Presentation

Next is a panel interview or candidate presentation interview. During this interview, the candidate sits down and talks to a few members of the team, rather than just one hiring manager.

This gives the team an opportunity to see what it will be like working with this person. They can assess how well they fit in and whether their knowledge and experience are complementary to that of the existing team members.

Interview 3: Hiring Manager One-on-One

Finally, there’s a one-on-one interview with the hiring manager. 

This is a more intimate interview and provides the hiring manager an opportunity to learn more about the candidate on a deeper level. It’s a chance to learn a bit more about the accomplishments listed on their resume, their work style, and maybe even more about their personality.  A candid back-and-forth conversation will allow the candidate to open up more than they might have in a panel discussion. 

Interviews aren’t just for the hiring manager. Interviews also give the candidate a chance to evaluate the company.

Effective Interview Questions

Finding your ideal candidate in an interview requires asking the right questions. . Here are some essential, effective interview questions every manager ought to ask:

  • What about this position and company are you most attracted to?
  • What did you like best about your previous job?
  • Can you tell me about a difficult work relationship you’ve had and how you overcame the challenges it presented?
  • Can you tell me about a deficit in your career that you’ve had to improve upon or overcome? How did you improve?
  • What are the most satisfying accomplishments you’ve had in your career so far?
  • What questions do you have for me?

This last question is especially important because it helps managers gauge a candidate’s interest and priorities. 

Related: 20 Questions You Need to Ask When Hiring a Software Engineer

Prepare for the Interview Process Today

The idea of getting ready for the interview process can be daunting at first. With the right plan and preparation,  interviewers can set themselves up for success.  Planning ahead can ensure that everyone gets through the process in the most seamless and successful way possible. 

Ready to fill a role the right way? Contact HIRECLOUT today to find out how we can make the hiring process more efficient than ever before. Find the perfect candidate today and make your team stronger! 

Related: 7 Reasons to Work with a Hireclout Recruiter