The Job Interview: Structure, Complexities and Flow


When you know what will happen and when in an interview, it will be another major step in your preparation for success.  Understanding structure and sequence gives great confidence and enables you to concentrate on content and process.  The interviewer’s content agenda must be handled prior to giving you an opportunity to discover specific business needs and “selling” your abilities to meet those needs.

A simple framework can help us visualize the structure and sequence during various phases of the interview:

Phase 1:

Interviewer’s Agenda Build rapport learn about your background and interests including the “Normalcy Test”

Your Agenda – Build rapport and learn about the interviewer’s background

Phase 2:

Interviewer’s Agenda – Learn about your professional skills and abilities

Your Agenda – Learn about the needs of the company and seek clarification for areas you don’t understood

Phase 3:

Interviewer’s Agenda – Continue evaluating professional skills and test for organizational fit (will you be a good match with our people)

Your Agenda – Present your competencies and accomplishments and help the interviewer understand why you are the best candidate

Phase 4:

Interviewer’s Agenda – Sell you on the merits of the company

Your Agenda –Test the strength of your candidacy and overcome any questions or objections the interviewer may have to your candidacy

Phase 5:

Interviewer’s Agenda-Build rapport and close the interview

Your Agenda – Build rapport, discover the next step(s) and close.

On top of understanding the structure of the interview and your and the interviewer’s agendas for each, it is also critical to have a good sense of the Complexities of the interview situation as well as an objective and strategy for trying to influence the Communication Flow of the interview.


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