When it comes to your interviews, how many should you genuinely need to go through before receiving an offer? This is a question that has multiple answers, but of course, time is money and initially, one might that filling a position as quickly as possible would be ideal. But that isn’t always the case.
According to a staffingindustry.com article, some hiring managers conduct as many as five interviews before offering someone a job. Ensuring that someone is the right fit for a role is important, but taking too long to extend an employment opportunity to a candidate has a plethora of consequences. High-demand candidates will be weighing a number of opportunities and will not stay on the market long. A poor candidate experience impacts the employer’s brand. After several weeks of interviews, particularly with long gaps in which there is no communication of status, the candidate might think something is wrong or the business is uninterested. No one wants to feel as though their time is being wasted. To avoid this situation, ask at the start of the process how many interviews will be conducted, who you will be meeting with, and the purpose of each interview. If you are actively engaged by more than one potential employer, be transparent so that the sense of urgency is understood.
As previously stated, too many interviews can be too much, but as indeed.com points out, it’s important to remember the importance of having multiple interviews. The interviews are certainly important to the employer but it’s just as important to make sure the position is the right fit for you. Recognize that the prospective client or employer may be conducting a formal interview to test your knowledge and credentials, but another interview could be a behavioral/cultural interview to simply see if you are the right fit for the team. Be prepared to ask questions that offer insight into the job responsibilities, work environment, opportunities for growth, and company culture. There are multiple reasons to have multiple interviews so do not be surprised if you are asked to do more than one or even two!
There are many reasons for multiple interviews. The key is to determine why a third (or more) interview is needed. In some cases, companies operate in a distributed, cross-functional manner that involves many stakeholders – each of whom needs to be involved in the selection process. In others, you may appear to be a strong candidate, but there may be some lingering doubts about your skills or fit. To avoid this situation, be sure to go into the first interview with an in-depth knowledge of the company that would engage you. Ask questions that demonstrate your research into the firm, qualifications, and desire to join. If asked to participate in subsequent interviews, ask for feedback to identify any areas where the hiring manager may have lingering doubts about your qualifications.
Most importantly, be flexible. While your primary aim is to secure a position, the interview experience can be of benefit to you in a number of ways. Test your marketability. Through each exchange, consider the questions asked of you and objectively evaluate your strengths and weaknesses in each area of importance to the prospective employer. Use each interview as an opportunity for personal and career growth. If you are not offered the position, ask for feedback in a way that gets beyond “We’ve decided to go in a different direction”. Consider each interview as a critical career development tool.