Does an onsite interview indicate that a company wants to hire you? How is it different from a technical phone interview?

  • 1
    Is this onsite interview following on from a phone interview? Or the first step after sending your application? Or are you just speaking generally, not about a specific situation? – Carson63000 May 13 '14 at 12:36
  • 1
    IMO, getting to the onsite just means you are not a total loser. The phone screen is just that a screen. It is used to weed out the worst of the worst. We have wasted a lot of time by bringing in candidates for the onsite because they were local and it was easy. I have also been to onsite interviews and not gotten the job. – Bill Leeper May 13 '14 at 16:13

An onsite interview indicates nothing more than the prospective employer wanting to interview you onsite. Hiring is the end result of the interview process. And until the hiring process plays itself out and you get an offer, you can't really say anything more definite than the prospective employer is still interested in talking to you.

The most obvious difference between a phone interview and an onsite interview is that the onsite interview takes place face to face. Although the fact that Google hangout is now available is that phone interviews can actually face to face video interviews. The phone interview is the first screening interview. If you don't pass the phone interview, you don't get to the next stage, which is the onsite face to face interview. And obviously, the onsite face to face interview is more in-depth and involves more interviewers than the phone interview.

Again, the only way you get hired is when you complete all the steps. There is no such thing as getting an offer after having completed all the steps except one :)


Does an onsite interview indicate that a company wants to hire you?

Yes though I'd argue depending on what happens in the interview and how many others are being interviewed, that want may change. This is generally the third step in the recruitment process for technical positions where the first two are the sending of the resume and the second is the technical phone interview.

How is it different from a technical phone interview?

The phone interview is done first to check some skills. The onsite interview is the next step that can include more technical questions, example problems, a tour of the place as well as give the candidate a chance to ask more questions as this is often the step before making the decision on who to give an offer of employment generally.

There can be multiple people in an onsite interview and the process can be much longer in some cases. Some onsite interviews I've had would last a few hours as I'd spend an hour with each of 3 people so that each knows a part of me and can each contribute to an overall sense of "hire" or "no hire."

Generally, the onsite interview is looking again at skills but also for fit in terms of how well would you work with others in the company. These are also more costly as there is a greater time commitment to each candidate and so the company may be more selective at this stage.


Does an onsite interview indicate that a company wants to hire you?

Every stage that you pass means you were in top x% of the candidates, or if there weren't many candidates, your skill set was good enough to pass the interview. Companies like Google have hiring rate of 5% after their on site interviews.

How is it different from a technical phone interview?

This really depends on the company, some companies might only ask your technical knowledge such as what does finalize do in Java, and then invite you to their on-site to do coding interview, some others might do the both and on site might involve talking to managers or vice-versa.


Only times I've ever had job interviews that were NOT on site with the hiring company was when it was more convenient for both of us to meet somewhere else (e.g. I was on location in another city, and the people I was to meet had a meeting with a customer in that same city).
There's no guarantee or even hint you'll be hired the moment you're invited for an interview at the company offices of the company you're applying with, no.
It just means they don't think your resume is good enough they're interested in talking to you.
And many companies will call up dozens, sometimes hundreds, of candidates, depending on the job, number of open positions, and size of the company.

Even the people you're meeting with are not an indication. I've had first interviews with the CEO of medium sized companies, simply because he wants a personal impression of every candidate and not bother the actual domain experts with having to interview people he's not going to let them hire anyway.

Ditto with phone interviews. If you're invited over after one of those, you're no closer to a job than you would have been had that phone interview not taken place (or at least not a lot closer). Usually those merely are intended to clear up some points people are confused about, such as specific details about skills they want you to have that are hinted at but not specified deeply on your resume or cover letter.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.