HR Glossary / Job Interview

A job interview is a formal meeting between an employer and a candidate to assess whether the latter’s skills and abilities are suited to a given position at the company.


What is the purpose of the job interview?

The purpose of the job interview is to assess the fit between the candidate’s abilities and the needs of the position to be filled.

Some recruiters also take advantage of job interviews to assess the candidate’s personality and soft skills.

What are the different types of job interviews?

There are 3 types of job interviews:

  • The phone interview: Verbal conversation between a recruiter and a candidate. A phone interview can validate certain information with the candidate before planning a more in-depth meeting.
  • The individual interview: Face-to-face meeting between the recruitment team and the candidate. This interview can be structured according to the recruiter’s preferences and conducted in person or by video conference.
  • The group interview: Face-to-face meeting between the recruitment team and multiple candidates at the same time. Group interviews let recruiters save time in the recruitment process.

How does a job interview work?

There are 5 steps to a job interview:

  1. Welcoming the candidate: The recruiter introduces themselves to the candidate and invites them to have a seat in the room where the interview will take place.
  2. Introduction of the candidate: The recruiter asks the candidate to introduce themselves and talk about their professional background and skills.
  3. Presentation of the company and the position to be filled: The recruiter introduces the history and culture of the company, and explains the job in greater detail.
  4. Discussion of the candidate’s experience: The recruiter asks the candidate more specific questions to appraise their skills and knowledge.
  5. Conclusion and wrap-up: The recruiter asks the candidate if they have any questions and brings the interview to a close.

The job interview is typically the final step in companies’ recruitment process. During this stage, managers usually conduct an interview with several candidates.

How to prepare for a job interview as a manager

To prepare for a job interview, there are several things managers must do, including:

  • Determining the interview structure
  • Drawing up a list of questions to ask and topics to discuss with each candidate
  • Devising recruitment tests, if applicable
  • Analyzing each candidate’s resume and cover letter
  • Noting down the points to check with each candidate

What are some examples of questions to ask in a job interview?

The most common questions asked during a job interview include:

  • What professional achievement are you most proud of?
  • What kind of work environment are you looking for?
  • What do you know about the company?
  • Why do you want to change jobs?
  • What are your career goals for the next 5 years?
  • Can you tell me a bit about yourself?
  • What are your main strengths?
  • What are your main weaknesses?
  • Have you ever had a conflict with your boss? If so, how did you manage to resolve it?
  • What kind of boss are you looking for?
  • What was the best constructive criticism you ever received?
  • Can you tell me about your hobbies outside of work?
  • What would be your desired salary?
  • Do you have any questions?

What’s the difference between a job interview and a career-development session?

The difference between a job interview and a career-development discussion resides in the purpose.

A job interview is used to evaluate a candidate’s ability to fill a position. For its part, a career development session is intended to support an employee with their professional evolution.


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