Interphase is that part of the cell cycle which is between cell divisions. Rather than being a resting stage, however, it's just the opposite: This is when most of a cell's metabolic activity occurs. During interphase, the chromosomes inside the cell's nucleus are diffuse, extended strands of DNA, not visible under a microscope. Before going into prophase of mitosis or meiosis, the soon-to-be dividing cell is in interphase. After cytokinesis of mitosis and of the second meiotic division, the daughter cells go into interphase. There can be a brief period of interphase between the first and second divisions of meiosis; this period is sometimes called "interkinesis".

Previous step: Cytokinesis
Next step: Prophase