When does a job interview really start?

It’s a simple question, right? A job interview obviously starts when the interviewer asks you their first question.


A job interview actually starts much earlier than this.

So when does a job interview really start?

Remember that the purpose of a job interview is to evaluate your suitability for a particular job. If you are responding to a job advertisement the moment that you make contact with the employer is the moment that the evaluation process begins. First contact could be via phone, email, letter, social media or in-person. Once you have made first contact you are already being evaluated and the interview process has begun.

Furthermore, with the rise of social media (e.g. LinkedIn) employers can find information about you without you often realizing. Employers increasing use LinkedIn to headhunt senior professionals. In these cases the interview process could have already begun without you ever having submitted an application. If you want to be considered in this way then make sure that your social media profiles present you in the best possible way.

Why is it important to know when a job interview begins?

It is important to know when a job interview begins so that you can prepare and present yourself in a way that gives you the best chance of obtaining a job.

For example, many people fail to include an introductory email when sending job applications by email, mistakenly thinking that they will only be evaluated on the information attached in their CV and/or application letter. The truth is that employers evaluate the entire communication. If you fail to include a relevant email subject or even worse simply FWD your application to multiple employers then your chances of being successful are significantly reduced. The interview process has begun and you will have been unsuccessful.

Another common mistake is failing to respond professionally to communications with the employer and failing to act politely and professionally towards other company employees such as security guards and receptionists.


Understanding when a job interview really starts can help you to present yourself in the best possible way and can significantly improve your chances of gaining employment.

Further Information

To find more interview tips and career articles visit: Careers Advice

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To search for the latest jobs in Zambia visit: www.gozambiajobs.com