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My Ideal Interview Process

Although I interviewed about 20 companies last year, it wasn’t until recently that I realized how important the interview process is for a company. Of course, the importance of HR cannot be underestimated either.

If the HR of a company does a good job and the interview process makes the interviewee feel cared for, in this era of open internet, the job seeker may share with friends later: Hey, I went to XXX today, their interview process is awesome! Conversely, a poor interview process can cause harm for years to come, with negative reviews one after another. Below are some practical examples, all of which are positive examples, and I will directly mention the company names. Yes, I remember the companies that treated me well when I went for an interview!

Today I want to talk to you about my ideal interview process, which can be roughly divided into three steps:

  1. Before the interview (arranging the interview)
  2. During the interview
  3. After the interview

Let’s discuss each of these three steps one by one.

Before the interview

As far as I know, there are mainly two ways to arrange an interview:

  1. Phone
  2. Email

The advantage of arranging an interview by phone is that you can finalize the time immediately without going back and forth through email. But I think there are also some disadvantages, such as the fact that job seekers are likely to interview with several companies. It is possible that when you call, they are in the middle of an interview or too busy to answer the phone.

Or like me, when I arranged a lot of interviews at that time, I had to check my phone calendar to see when I was available for an interview when he called me. Therefore, I personally prefer to use email to set the time, and if there is no response after two or three days, then I will use the phone to arrange the interview.

One thing to note is that after arranging the interview time by phone, HR must send another interview invitation letter. As mentioned earlier, job seekers may be very busy, and if they don’t record the time immediately, they won’t know where to start later. Therefore, sending a letter to notify the interview time again is a necessary and thoughtful behavior.

As for arranging an interview time by email, there are two types that I have encountered:

  1. Directly schedule a time for you, and if it doesn’t work, reply to reschedule.
  2. Pre-book several dates and time slots, and choose the available time slot yourself.

Both 1 and 2 have some obvious advantages and disadvantages for companies and job seekers. For example, if the job seeker is available on that day, then it is good to schedule the time like 1. But if the job seeker is not available, then you have to continue to exchange letters.

For 2, the company must first select several time slots that can be interviewed, which seems to be more difficult for companies with more changes. But for job seekers, 2 allows you to choose the available time slot yourself, which is very convenient. This is what muzik online does, providing many times for job seekers to choose from.

After setting the interview time, the second step is to send the interview notification letter. What kind of information should be included in the letter?

  1. Time
  2. Location
  3. Position applied for
  4. Company phone number
  5. Others

Among them, for 2. Location, depending on the company’s location, you can add more emphasis. Why? Because some companies may be in office buildings that require identification, or the location may be difficult to find. At this time, if you say more in the letter, it will make the job seeker feel very thoughtful.

For example:

Location: 10th floor, No. 689, Nanjing North Road, Taipei City (above 7-11, near Nanjing East Road MRT Station). You can enter the building directly without changing your ID. After you get off the elevator on the 10th floor, turn right and ring the bell to say that you are here for an interview.

This is much better than just saying the location in the notification letter, right! This is how muzik online’s interview letter is.

Then in the 5. Others section, you can explain more related information about the interview, such as:

The interview process takes about an hour, and the first ten minutes will allow you to fill in your personal basic information. We will print out the resume you sent before, so you don’t need to bring it. But if you have any documents or achievements that you think can add points or prove your abilities, please bring relevant materials.

I think it’s very thoughtful to help job seekers print their resumes. It shows that the company values this resume.

That’s about it for the part related to job seekers. Next, let’s talk about what the company should pay attention to:

  1. Before the interview, the interviewer should read the job seeker’s resume a little bit.
    I think this is quite important. If the job seeker has to prepare, shouldn’t the interviewer prepare too? At least take a look at his resume first, so that the questions asked later will be more in-depth and can directly get to the point. And the job seeker will know: Oh, he has read my resume.

For example, my resume always includes a personal blog (actually here XD). If the interviewer has come to visit before I go for an interview, I will feel super touched, a feeling of “you are too thoughtful”.

During the interview

Finally, the day of the interview has arrived. First of all, there are several situations that I think “absolutely cannot happen”:

  1. Let the interviewee wait.
  2. The interviewer cannot find the person.

The first possibility is that in the previous step, the interview notification letter did not clearly state who to look for. Some companies may not have a switchboard or a dedicated receptionist, so who do you ask the job seeker to look for? It is best to write clearly on the notification letter, for example: After arriving at the company, tell the colleague closest to the door that you are here for an interview. This way, at least he knows who he should look for, instead of leaving the job seeker at a loss.

What else is there: The manager is in a meeting, can you wait for a moment? If it’s within ten minutes, it’s okay, but if it takes too long, it’s not good. This is also disrespectful. The manager has a meeting today, so why come to me for an interview at this time? Can’t you make an appointment an hour or two later? Everyone knows that meetings are likely to be delayed, but this should be considered before scheduling the interview. If you’re not sure, don’t make an appointment.

I have actually encountered the second situation. “The person who was supposed to interview you today went to a meeting, so let me interview you instead.” If I remember correctly, it was something like that… When encountering this situation, it is better not to tell the job seeker and just pretend that it was originally planned for me to interview them.

If neither of the above situations occurs, the job seeker should smoothly meet with HR after arriving at the company. What should HR do at this time?

  1. Ask them to fill out information.
  2. Explain the interview process.
  3. Explain the company’s benefits.
  4. Ask if the job seeker has any questions (related to the company, within HR’s scope of response).

Almost every company has item 1, but I’m not sure if it’s a legal restriction or a convention. There are a lot of troublesome things to fill out on the form, such as family information, address, etc. If it’s just a convention, I would suggest filling out only the necessary information to save interview time. Otherwise, it’s really annoying to fill out this long form every time. (But if there are relevant legal restrictions, there is no way.)

I think item 2 is also very important. When I went to the interview event before, the HR person explained the interview process to me very professionally. It’s been a while, so I forgot the details, but it’s probably like this:

Our company’s interview process has three stages. The first stage is with me. I will explain some company benefits and related situations to you, and you can also ask me questions related to the company. The second stage is with the Android engineer, mainly discussing your technical abilities. The third stage (if you pass the previous stage) is with the CEO, which is the final stage.

For item 3, what is generally stipulated by the Labor Standards Act does not need to be mentioned, and only additional benefits are worth mentioning. Company benefits should be generously made known to job seekers. Some companies, for some reason, just don’t explain them clearly. Like the company I’m currently working for: Longzhong Network, the company benefits include:

  1. 12 days of annual leave (the Labor Standards Act stipulates 7 days).
  2. Free breakfast.
  3. Subsidies for overseas travel.
  4. TOEIC credit subsidies (salary increase based on performance).

These are the contents that HR can explain to job seekers first.

After HR finishes the interview, the person responsible for the job-related duties will come to interview. The questions asked will be about professional skills. Because this article is about “process” rather than content, I will skip this part.

After the interview

After going through many difficulties, the interview finally ended. I think that at the end of the interview, the interviewer can provide more useful information instead of the old cliche “I will discuss with my colleagues and notify you later.”

  1. Notification time for interview results.
  2. Will you be notified if you are not selected?

After the interview, the most important thing for job seekers is the interview results. I think it is helpful to notify them of the above two points. Item 1 can avoid making job seekers wait for a long time. Item 2 is better than “silent rejection”, and a thank-you letter with an explanation would be better if possible.


As the saying goes: Treat others as you would like to be treated; adjust your company’s interview process to what you would like to experience. Putting the above into a summary, it would be something like this (written in the first person):

One day, I submitted my resume to Company A for the position of engineer, and a few days later, I received a reply:

Hello, we have received your resume. Our company is very interested in your professional skills and would like to invite you for an interview.
Company location: 14th floor, No. 3 Taipei Road, Taipei City (above FamilyMart convenience store, exchange certificate at the counter on the first floor, take the elevator to the 14th floor and turn right, tell the receptionist that you are here for an interview)
Position applied for: Engineer
Contact number: 02-2222-2222 (#621) Mr. Chen
Time: Please choose three time slots that are convenient for you from the following and reply to us. We will confirm and reply to you later.
11:00 a.m. on 1/1
3:00 p.m. on 1/1
11:00 a.m. on 1/4
3:00 p.m. on 1/4
5:00 p.m. on 1/4
11:00 a.m. on 1/5
11:00 a.m. on 1/6

So I chose three time slots and replied, and soon received a reply:

Hello, here is your interview information:
Company location: 14th floor, No. 3 Taipei Road, Taipei City (above FamilyMart convenience store, exchange certificate at the counter on the first floor, take the elevator to the 14th floor and turn right, tell the receptionist that you are here for an interview)
Position applied for: Engineer
Contact number: 02-2222-2222 (#621) Mr. Chen
Time: 11:00 a.m. on 1/1
The interview process takes about 1 hour. The first 20 minutes will be used to fill out basic information and a written test (basic programming ability). You don’t need to bring your resume, we will provide it; but you can bring any materials that can prove your professional skills or work results.

When I went to the interview on 1/1, HR asked me to fill out information and take the written test in the conference room. After I finished, she roughly explained the company’s situation, benefits, and the interview process. For example, there are three stages of the interview in total, and finally let me ask questions. After confirming that there were no problems, the technical person in charge came to interview me.

After the interview with the technical person in charge, he said to me:

Today’s interview ends here. We will discuss whether to invite you to participate in the third round of interviews. The result will be notified to you in about 3 days, and no later than next Friday. Regardless of the result, we will send a letter to notify you.

After about five days, I received an email like this:

Hello, thank you for applying for the engineer position at our company. Unfortunately, we believe that your professional knowledge does not meet the standards for this position.
To avoid delaying your opportunities with other companies, we are notifying you with this email.
(The following official and formal language is omitted)

If a company interviews me like this, even if I am not accepted, I will still recommend this company.
This is not a matter of acceptance or rejection, but a matter of respect.

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