A Guide To Onboarding & Interview Prep For New Employees

Job interviews and the onboarding process bring a feeling of excitement and anxiety. The good news is that your application made an excellent impression to land you an interview or job. Research shows only 2% of job applicants are chosen to attend an interview. If successful, you can expect to complete, on average, 54 activities during the onboarding process.

You may have many questions and concerns about the onboarding and interview process, and this guide might come in handy as you prepare for that day. We summarize what to expect during the onboarding process. Further, we offer tips for preparing yourself for an interview.

What is Onboarding?

Onboarding refers to introducing a new employee into an organization. It aims to help new hires learn about their job responsibilities, company culture and adapt to their work environment. According to research, 91% of new employees who experienced good business culture training feel a sense of belonging at work.

The onboarding process consists of activities and procedures that set new employees up for success to help them become more productive within the shortest time possible. Typically, the onboarding process will include:

  • An office tour
  • Introductions to key personnel.
  • A review of company policies and procedures.
  • On-job training

The goal of onboarding is to help the new employee feel comfortable and confident in their new role.

As a new hire, you will:

  • Feel welcomed into the company.
  • Have confidence and motivation to tackle your tasks.
  • Be more informed about your tasks and your working environment.
  • Feel more comfortable and connected to your new workplace.
  • Enjoy increased employee engagement.

Stages of the Onboarding Process

The onboarding process can vary from organization to organization but may have common activities. This process has four main stages: pre-boarding, orientation, training, and integration.

Stage 1: Pre-boarding

Pre-boarding is the time between when the new employee accepts the job offer and when they officially start working. The pre-boarding stage may include completing paperwork and reviewing information about the company culture and expectations. As a new employee, you can use this time to exit your previous company or shift to a location near your job.

Stage 2: Orientation

Orientation is the welcoming stage which starts on the first day on the job. Job orientation may take from a day to a week, depending on the job’s complexity and the organization. Here, new employees are introduced to the company and their team.

They can also learn about the company culture, values, and expectations for their role. During this stage, someone will show you the company’s surroundings, such as the parking lot or the cafeteria. Orientation can also include an overview of benefits and perks such as medical insurance policies and time off.

Stage 3: Training

Training is one of the most crucial stages during onboarding since it equips employees with the knowledge and skills necessary to perform their job effectively. It may include on-the-job training or mentoring from experienced colleagues.

Training will help newly hired employees feel comfortable and confident when doing their tasks. They should take this stage as a stepping stone towards their productivity and thriving the company.

Stage 4: Integration

The integration stage helps new employees become fully integrated members of the team. This means they have started to acclimate to the company culture and work environment.

During the integration process, employees can be included in ongoing check-ins with their manager and take part in team meetings and projects. They can also attend social events to help them build relationships with their colleagues.

Tips for Ensuring You Get the Most out of Your Onboarding Process

The onboarding process helps new employees transition into their new roles and should not be as nerve-wracking as it’s always hyped. You only need to put more effort into the process, and everything will fall into place. Here are some tips to help you go through your onboarding effectively.

During Pre-boarding

  • Before you start, thoroughly research the company and its products and services.
  • Be bold and ask questions, especially regarding the company and its culture.
  • Complete all your paperwork in advance before the start date.

During Orientation

  • Take notes to help you remember important information and processes.
  • Make an effort to introduce yourself to colleagues.
  • Ask questions to help you become accustomed to the new environment.

During Training

  • Be ready to learn new skills and approaches.
  • Take advantage of the learning resources.
  • Be ready to be corrected by your trainers or peers.
  • Ask questions, especially in areas you don’t understand.
  • Seek feedback from your manager to ensure you’re doing the right thing.
  • Put more effort into your learning, as this stage will define how well you can perform your tasks.

During Integration

  • Ensure you attend team meetings and events to help you interact with your colleagues.
  • Never stop asking questions; they can help prevent mistakes when performing tasks.
  • Offer to help with projects to show your skills and interest in the company’s success.

Interview Preparation

The interview process allows employers to assess candidates’ qualifications, skills, experience, and personalities to determine whether they can fit the company well. Interviews differ depending on the organization and the role. Typically, job interviews include:

  • Application Review: The team responsible for hiring reviews available applications, including resumes, cover letters, and any other testimonials.
  • Screening interview: The hiring manager can conduct a brief virtual interview to get to know the candidate. It usually takes a short time to complete. You can expect questions that address your hard skills and experience. The screening helps the recruiting team narrow down the long list.
  • First Interview: This can be done in person, virtually, or through the phone. You will meet with the hiring manager, team members, or other stakeholders during the on-site interview. The interview may include behavioral questions, technical questions, and examples to assess the candidate’s qualifications and experience. The team will also test for confidence, and communication skills, among others.
  • Other rounds of interviews: Depending on the organization and the role, additional interviews may exist, including second or third-round interviews. You can meet the department head or someone you’ll work with within the same department. There can be skills assessment and behavioral and situational questions to test how well you can handle different situations to fit the company culture.
  • Contacting reference and background checks: The hiring manager may contact your references and do background checks to verify your employment history, education, and criminal record. This important interview step can make you lose an opportunity in which you had a high potential of being hired. So ensure that you provide the correct information.
  • Job offer: If successful, you’ll be provided with a job offer that can include details such as salary, benefits, and start date.

Interview Expectations

You can expect the following during an interview, depending on the position you’re applying for:

  • Meet with one or more interviewers.
  • Answer qualifications, experience, communication, problem-solving, and teamwork questions.
  • Provide examples from your work history to illustrate your experience and skills.
  • Ask questions about the company, the role, and the interview process.
  • Discuss salary and benefits depending on the stage of the interview process.
  • Take a drug test
  • Receive feedback

Tips for Preparing for Your Interview

Preparation is key to increasing the chances of success in an interview. It can help improve your confidence and make you more comfortable during the interview. Here are some tips that can come in handy:

Research the Company

Conduct thorough research on the company to help you understand its culture and show interest.

Review the Job Description

If you’re well versed in the responsibilities and qualifications required, you can prepare for examples from your experience.

Practice Common Interview Questions

Tell me about yourself,” “Why are you interested in this role?” “What are your strengths and weaknesses?” These are the most common questions that you need to be confident when answering, and practice makes it perfect.

Prepare Questions to Ask the Interviewer

Be ready to ask questions about your role and the company.

Dress Appropriately

According to 60% of employers, dressing inappropriately can cause you a job opportunity. So ensure you have professional attire for the interview.

Be Ready for a Drug Test

Some companies require candidates to do a drug test as part of the hiring process. This may mean abstaining from drugs or being ready to take the test at the time of the interview. It’s important to understand what is required of you during a drug test.

Practice, Practice, Practice

It’s one thing to practice your interview skills and another to say it loud in front of your interviewers. You can practice with friends or family members to help improve your confidence and performance during the interview.

Take Away

Preparing yourself for a job interview boosts your chances of success. Furthermore, knowing what happens after a successful interview (onboarding process) can help you prepare for what to expect to make the process smooth. Hopefully, this guide will help you shine during your upcoming interview and transition to your next job smoothly.

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