What to expect when you start your job search

Job search what to expect

If you’re new to the recruitment process or re-entering the jobs market after a long stint away, it’s natural to either be unaware of how you get from application to your first day, or tentative about how businesses have changed their hiring processes. Recruitment differs greatly, depending on the employer and industry, but there are some standard stages that you need to know about, which we’ve listed in this handy guide.


The most common place to find the latest job roles, apprenticeship positions and work experience opportunities is on a jobs board. It’s important to tailor each application to the job specification to make it through recruitment keyword filters. Apply as soon as you can, and keep your documents short and concise. Look for company details in the application so you can send a follow-up email three to five days after application.


Online applications are directed to whoever is managing the role. They will assess your CV and cover letter against the job description to ensure you’re a suitable candidate. Screening also refers to social media searches of candidate pages on popular platforms, like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

This stage can take a few weeks or a few months, depending on the seniority of the position and how many people need to approve candidate appointments.

Aptitude testing

Aptitude tests, also known as psychometric tests, are becoming an increasingly common feature in the recruitment process. Recruiters test candidates to pick up on traits which they may not necessarily spot during an interview.

As a general rule, the larger the company, the more likely it is to use these tests. Testing can differ greatly, depending on the role. The most common types are verbal, numeric, language and literacy tests, abstract reasoning and technical tests. Testing is often conducted in the early stages of the recruitment process to identify candidates with the right personalities and skillsets.

First interview

Not a lot has changed when it comes to a first interview. It’s still a great way for a business to find out how you interact with others, your professionalism and personality under pressure, and whether you are an enthusiastic candidate or someone just looking for work. Your CV will have shown off your expertise, so a hiring manager will want to know how you are as a person, as well as how up-to-date you are with your industry and the company. Just think of these three interview Ps: Preparation, Presentation and Personality.

Second interview

Hiring managers roll out a second interview to whittle down the field, so you will be competing with either a single candidate or a select few – no pressure! The company will pay close to attention to consistency in responses, personality and the way you interact under pressure. Senior managers will often be brought into the room to sit in on the meeting, and you may be asked to stage a quick presentation as a final test.

Phone interview

Alternatively, you may be asked to conduct a phone interview if a face-to-face meeting isn’t possible for time or geographical reasons. Expect to be asked the same as every other candidate, with a few pros and cons. If you suffer from nerves, the extra autonomy of a phone interview can work in your favour; but it can be difficult to strike up a friendly conversation, so clear and concise communication is key. Phone interviews can turn into quick-fire exchanges, so don’t get too comfortable at home as you will be required to think on your feet. 

Selection and rejection

You’re more likely to receive feedback if you applied in the first few days, but, due to high volumes of applications for a position, you may not hear back from the business in the early stages. Once you reach the later stages, you should expect a call or email within a week of an interview, and a phone call if you have been successful.

Jobseeker behaviour has changed dramatically over the past few years alone. In today’s competitive jobs market, candidates expect more information which can they digest at a glance. That’s why LoveLocalJobs.com has created a number of candidate-friendly features for managing and accessing the latest job posts and local news. Create an account today to improve your job seeker experience.

Back to News & Advice