I've never worked/volunteered, or held a job. On top of that, I'm not very "friendly" (i.e. I don't have any friends).

The only idea of the hiring process that I have is an interview (or series of them), a background check, and then something is done to get the person started on the job.

I've literally Googled "what happens after interview", and none of the pages listed mention anything about the hiring process. It's all centered around what happens after you're already doing the work.

I'm in IT, and I'd like to think that they don't just call you up, tell you that you got the job, and then stuff you into a cubicle expecting you to do magic.

I need a detailed outline as to what happens upon getting a position at some company/organization/etc.

Do they make you sign stuff? If so, what are they called? Are they common in every place you go? Do "contracts" apply here?

Do they give you "training"? Does every job have some kind of orientation?

I've tried to reference movies and TV, but there's literally nothing referenced out there that describes this process. And if they have, I've yet to find it.

I'm sure it's different for every organization, but I'm in the US.

This might seem like a very mundane thing to ask about it, and I'm sure some of you would be surprised to find that I'm actually an undergrad student.

The short explanation is that I moved around a lot as a kid. Things happened, I didn't get the best education. This just so happened to also impact a lot of other things in my life, and I'm getting tired of it.

I need to know what to expect before I start applying, otherwise I'm going to be forced to submit to things where I can't assess the consequences for. Hence, I need some insight.

It's the same as running into a cave without making sure there aren't any bears inside.

All I'm asking for is a description of what's generally asked of a person after an interview takes place and when they decide they want you for the job.

What happens?


  • @JoeStrazzere What can I say? I'm a troubled sapling. My disposition is probably the greatest anyone's seen in a while, and I'm not afraid to admit that my lack of experience is going to 'cause me many troubles down the road. My only saving grace is the fact that I've managed to attend a well-established university and my attempt at certifications. I blamed my upbringing for my misfortune, but I can't continue to decline in the way that I have. Jun 18 '17 at 23:42
  • 1
    Don't precede your post with "This is not a troll post."
    – Brandin
    Jun 19 '17 at 6:39
  • @Brandin Don't comment on why I shouldn't include valid disclaimers. Nobody takes me seriously when I post content like this. Also, why did you edit my post? It was fine the way it was. Jun 19 '17 at 15:48
  • This doesn't really answer the question, but you should ask the company during the interview something like "What is your hiring process after an interview and what will my first few weeks/ months look like?". Every company will be different and it gives you a good idea of how organized they are with new employees. Jun 19 '17 at 15:53
  • 2
    @ThatRandomGuy I didn't edit it, but I think removing that note would make this a better post. Comments like this are for suggestions.
    – Brandin
    Jun 19 '17 at 16:01

Three Step Process + Three Step Process

As others have noted, it varies from company to company.

In general, however it can be broken down to two three step processes:

  1. You meet with someone to give you onboarding paperwork. In smaller organizations, this is your manager. In larger ones, this is HR.

  2. Your manager show you your work area and then will then take you around to meet your co-workers and others with whom you'll have interaction.

  3. Your manager will drop you off at your work area to get settled in.

Settling In

  1. In larger organizations, you should have SOP/rules/dresscodes, etc from HR waiting for your (printed out) or in your email. In smaller organizations either the manager or the lead will talk about your work environment and refer you to their intranet for said rules. This will also include mundane things like the location of the bathrooms, break rooms, lunch room, etc.

  2. In larger organizations, you may have a desktop support person/department introduce you to your PC and its configuration. In smaller organizations your lead may show you your PC and configurations.

  3. Your lead or manager will introduce you to what they do, what they use and probably your first assignment (n.b. some organizations expect you to just get used to your setup, read the HR rules, etc on your first day and not assign you anything).

At a less formal level, most organizations will have someone - the lead and/or manager or the whole team, invite you to lunch so that you can get to better know people.

Going forward from there, you'll be invited to meetings (or stand ups) and included in normal team activity. For technical / project questions you should refer to your lead. For business, personnel questions, to your manager.


You're feeling anxiety. That's perfectly normal.

What you're asking is difficult to answer because it will largely depend on the type of job you're applying for and the size of the company/organization you're applying to. Large organizations have an employee handbook and HR orientation. Small startups have neither.

In either case however, if they decide they want you after all the interviews, they'll make you an offer (which you shouldn't accept until you see it in writing, by email at the very least). Or unless it's a standard student position job at your University and they'll just tell you to show up to start on a certain day. That can happen too.

Any offer will be contingent on you right to work in the United States and your references checking out. For your first part-time job, they'll just be careful that you have a social security number and that your official documents confirming your identity are genuine. They'll also make you fill out a tax form. This needs to happen on day one at the very latest, otherwise, they may get in trouble.

For most jobs above minimum wage, they'll give you a contract to sign. Make sure that the contract doesn't contradict anything in the offer letter they sent you. The contract will have a line about agreeing to their employee handbook (if they have one). So if you see that line, ask for a copy of the employee handbook and read it before you sign anything (if they haven't shown it to you yet). The same goes for the offer letter. Make sure that any promises made by them during the interview are mentioned in the offer letter.

If they tell you to not worry about something in your contract, that it's never enforced, don't ask for permission, just cross out that relevant clause, put your initials next to it, and ask that they put their initials next to it as well. If that clause really won't be enforced, they'll get back to you with a counter-signed copy. It isn't that you don't trust them, but memory is a tricky thing and also an HR employee or a manager that promises you something one day could very well leave the company the next day.

As to HR orientation and training. Don't expect much formal work training (unless your work is highly specialized). Most of the HR training/orientation will be training about sexual harassment, work benefits, and other legal matters. The first week, don't expect to be very productive. Your own new computer may not even be ready yet. You'll be given busy work mostly, or asked to be present in meetings, without doing much of anything. If you're a developer, you'll be given a very easy bug to fix, have you correct it, have you test your correction, and push the actual fix to production, just as a way to boost your confidence and get a feeling for their source control system and dev environment.

Just realize that everyone has been through what you will be going through. They'll help you through it. If you get stuck on something, don't be afraid to ask for help instead of sitting at your desk twiddling your thumbs. And if your job is technical, like someone else said, study for it on your own time during the first couple of months to make sure you learn to pick up the pace.

  • +1 for covering some details (unlike the currently accepted answer) about what happens after the interview but before the hire date. I'd point out that as an employer, I'd want my employees to not require a whole lot of training. Sure, you'll need training in the specialized software that my business uses, but I hope you know the standard stuff. Actually, where I live the job market is pretty competitive, so I hope you've really studied the basic standards very, very well, and are very comfortable with them, because even then you still have a lot to learn if you're a newbie in the industry.
    – TOOGAM
    Sep 6 '17 at 12:32

Every company is different, but they all have procedures in place that will take a newbie like yourself through with the minimum of fuss.

So relax and play it by ear. Be polite and professional and they will do the rest. No one is expecting you to come up with a plan.

  • 1
    No. No, unfortunately not every company has procedures in place to take a newbie through this situation. Asking, if there are any such procedures and what to expect is something I would always do if I am in an interview that seems to work out well.
    – skymningen
    Jun 19 '17 at 8:18

What usually happens either they ask you for a second interview, or you get a letter. The letter is either an offer or "we keep it on file"

If you get an offer, it will be conditional - references etc.

As to starting work - most (all?) companies put in place some training and orientation. You will be on probation for a period - if either you or them are not happy you can leave.

Also do not be worried asking questions.

Also people do not expect you to be that productive on day one.

Just ask questions. Just be engaged. People are not out to get you. They want you to succeed.

Good luck.

PS: Put in a few extra hours learning the technology in the first few weeks.

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