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what number of interviews are too many? — Ask a Supervisor


A reader writes:

I’ve seen a variety of questions in your website about interviewees who really feel that the interview course of is simply too prolonged or burdensome, which obtained me interested by my practices as a hiring supervisor and what number of interviews will scare off robust candidates. This 2016 letter author from the archives was subjected to 10+ interviews, which is clearly unreasonable. This letter author from 2013 thought 4 was unreasonable.

My workforce is at the moment recruiting for a mid-level function with:

1. Brief recruiter telephone display screen
2. 45-60 minute video interview with hiring supervisor
3. Both (relying on whether or not candidate is native):
(a) In-person two-hour interview with as much as 4 workforce members (individually) plus a brief 30-minute interview with hiring supervisor (for in-person introductions and follow-up questions)
(b) 30-minute telephone interviews with as much as 4 workforce members (for this, we often shoot for a two-hour chunk of time to get all of them completed without delay, however typically it’s extra unfold out if interviewers have conflicts at these instances)

Some candidates would rely this course of as as much as seven interviews, however I consider it as a three-step course of. What number of interviews do you suppose is good, and the way has this modified with the normalization of video interviewing?

If that’s three separate appointments — the telephone display screen, the hiring supervisor assembly, and the extra sophisticated step 3 — it’s completely advantageous.

However step 3 will get difficult. If step 3 all occurs in a single appointment, nice. But when it will get unfold out into 4 separate calls … then yeah, you’ve obtained a seven-step course of and that’s an excessive amount of. In that case, you’re asking individuals to carve out time from their present schedules seven separate instances (along with different interviews they’re possible conducting). It’s typically a lot more durable for individuals to do this than to only take PTO for a half day and get all of it completed in a single swoop.

And it’s not simply that. It’s fairly widespread for individuals to spend time getting ready earlier than every interview (going over their “inform me a couple of time when…” examples, working towards how they’ll deal with a very difficult query, and so on.) so that you’re asking individuals to do this prep seven instances. It’s an excessive amount of.

I feel you’ve obtained to commit to creating step 3 occur all in the identical chunk of time, even when it means involving fewer workforce members in that step. (I’m additionally curious the way you dealt with this earlier than Zoom interviews grew to become so ubiquitous! I’m betting you wouldn’t have requested individuals to return to your workplace 4 separate instances for half 3.)

When you can’t try this, no less than be sure you’re laying out the entire course of originally so that individuals know what to anticipate and aren’t pondering halfway by, “When is that this going to finish?” However it’s certainly going to learn as seven interviews, and that’s lots to ask.

As for what number of interviews is good normally … it will depend on the job. Extra senior positions usually want extra interviews, however that ought to imply two or three (perhaps 4 for very difficult positions and/or roles with a variety of stakeholders), not 5 plus. Digital interviewing has made it simpler/extra handy on the employer’s facet, however on the candidates’ facet, you’ve nonetheless obtained the problems above with carving out time from current jobs and all of the prep time concerned. Plus, for individuals who aren’t working from dwelling, discovering a personal space to do a number of interviews through the workday may be fairly onerous. So employers must be actually cautious to not fall into pondering they’ll ask increasingly simply because candidates aren’t touring to them.

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