It may sound like a no-brainer, but before you go for a job interview, it’s always a good idea to know who you'll be meeting with. It could be one person, or it could be quite a few people. That depends on the role, the employer, and how the organization hires new employees.
Given the limited resources for hiring new staff and the costs associated with bringing in new employees, employers are extra careful when it comes to hiring. This has translated into adding more layers to the screening process, including the inclusion of more staff in the interview process.
Knowing who you’ll be talking to, whether it’s in-person or remotely, will make the process easier. You’ll be able to learn a bit about them and prepare more effectively for the interview.
Here's what to do if you haven’t been advised about who you’ll be meeting during your interview.
Who Conducts Job Interviews
It’s always a good idea to make an effort to learn who will be included in the interview process so you can anticipate the concerns of those interviewing you and prepare accordingly.
Depending on the size of the company and the role, you might be meeting with a human resources (HR) representative, your prospective manager, and other employees of the organization. It could be a one-on-one interview, or you could be interviewing with a group or panel of interviewers.
Employers will often have an HR recruiter conduct an initial interview to determine if a candidate is genuinely interested in the position and a good fit for the company. This makes sense, because if you're not a good fit, the organization won't want to waste the time of their employees—or your time. These screening interviews are often conducted by phone, video, or even email.
How to Ask Who You'll Be Meeting With
There are several ways you can try to figure out who you’ll be interviewing with.
Ask Your Contact at the Company
The first option is to ask the person who is scheduling the interview for the names, titles, and roles of any interviewers while you are making arrangements for the interview.
Call or Email to Confirm
Calling or emailing to confirm the interview gives you another opportunity to ask if you weren't informed when the interview was scheduled.
Try to Get More Information
You can also ask for an overview of the hiring process, so you get a sense of how many interviews the employer typically conducts before making an offer, and company policy regarding which staff members generally attend interviews.
For senior management positions, the employer may engage a recruiting firm to conduct an initial screening and recommend candidates.
When You Can’t Get the Details
Don’t worry if you can’t get the details ahead of time. If you’re interviewing in person, you can check with the receptionist or the person who greets you when you arrive.
For both in-person and remote interviews, your interviewer will introduce themselves at the start of the interview. Jotting down the name and job title of the person will make it easier to use their name during the interview, and you’ll have the information you need to send a thank-you or follow-up note afterward.
Who You’ll Meet at Follow-Up Interviews
After your first interview, you’ll most likely meet with more staff. Typically, the prospective supervisor and department manager will be in attendance for a follow-up interview.
At these meetings, employers will often include employees who hold the same job, or a similar job, to the one for which you are interviewing. Though it might seem like their primary purpose is to educate you about the details of the position, the staffers in attendance will be asked to evaluate you as well. The goal is to learn whether or not you fit the corporate culture and would get along with the team.
People From Other Departments or Affiliates
Representatives from departments that interface with, or are served by, your prospective department might also be a part of the interviewing team.
Occasionally, an outside entity, such as an affiliated firm, might be represented. For example, an Alumni Affairs department at a college might ask an alumni leader to interview candidates for a position in that area.
It's worth noting that some organizations will have a final layer in the process whereby the leading candidate(s) will meet with the President, CEO, or another top executive for a final look before the hire is finalized.
Send a Thank-You Note to Everyone
Whoever you meet with, it's important to send a thank-you letter to everyone who interviews you. It can be time-consuming when the interview process is multi-layered, but acknowledging someone’s time and effort to meet with you is one of the best ways to make a good impression.
A thank-you email or note can also help you stand out from the crowd. A CareerBuilder survey reports that even though employers expect them, 57% of applicants don't send a thank-you note.