Gone are the days when you interviewed a prospective candidate and made an offer right away. Now, most companies make candidates go through several interviews before hiring. According to Glassdoor, the interview process now takes an average of 22.9 days, and with good reason. Though applicants and hiring managers alike may be frustrated with lengthy interview processes, it pays off to be patient. Here’s why one interview will not reveal the perfect candidate.
Some Reasons Why One Interview Isn’t Enough
Hire slow, fire fast. This concept is gaining popularity, because it puts the investment on the hiring side, where it should be. It takes significantly less money and resources to wait and hire the right person the first time, than it does to hire, train, put up with, and then fire the wrong person a few times until you get it right. The first step was described by the Harvard Business Review as “being absurdly selective in who you hire.” The way to be selective is to have more than one interview.
You need to get to know them as a person. A good workplace is usually not full of the most talented people, but of talented people with potential who you actually like being around. It’ll take you more than one interview to get a feel for who the person really is, and whether you and your company will like being around them.
It’s important to have several people interview the candidate. From the hiring manager to their future manager to possibly the CEO, each person will bring out new facets of your candidate that, together, will determine whether they are hired.
You may need to test their skills. One interview is not enough if you want them to complete a skills assessment or do a test, and you will probably want to follow up with the results afterward.
You need time to conduct research and interview their references to get a full picture.
6 Kinds of Interviews And Their Purpose
- The phone or video call interview with the hiring manager. This is often the first interview to weed out the definite no’s and get a first impression of the candidate.
- The video resume. This is not an interview, but it’s a way to get to know them in their own words and evaluate their creativity and resourcefulness, among other things.
- The skills assessment. If the position requires a certain skill set, testing these is a good way to separate the experienced candidates, or make informed decisions about training.
- The skills and experience interview with their future supervisor or manager. The position’s manager has the best understanding of what the job entails, and will ask the best questions to determine if the candidate has the required experience.
- A case study session. Some positions can benefit from a hypothetical case study where candidates present a strategy or campaign and show what they can do.
- The references interviews. You should check with their references and even see if anyone internally or in the industry has heard of them. References are an excellent source for culture fit especially.
It may be tempting to fill a position quickly because “we need someone,” but hiring slowly and conducting more than one interview will pay off for your business. Geoff Smart’s A Method for hiring promises to save “1.5 million dollars by avoiding a hiring mistake” — and that process includes 5 interviews. The reality is that the perfect fit is worth waiting for, and worth interviewing for. A long hiring process and multiple interviews means finding the right person for your company the first time — and nothing could be better than that.