How many interviews is too many?

How Many Interviews Are Too Many Interviews?

Finding qualified applicants to fill open positions may seem like an insurmountable challenge for many businesses at the moment. There are many different approaches businesses can take to enhance their talent management strategy in order to not only attract but also retain the best possible employees. During the summer of 2016, a post on LinkedIn gained widespread attention when it advocated decreasing the number of interviews conducted in order to speed up the hiring process and win applicants' loyalty. Interview weariness is a major issue in the applicant experience at many businesses, and as a result, it poses a subtle danger to your plan for talent acquisition.

The Effects of Excessive Interviewing: The Case of Mike Conley

Mike Conley was in the process of interviewing for a position at a company that appeared like the ideal match for him. The position piqued his attention, the company's objective was something he could get behind, and the compensation and benefits package was more than satisfactory. The one and only obstacle? They anticipated that he would take part in a total of nine interviews.

Mr. Conley, who had been suffering from interview exhaustion, withdrew his name from consideration for the position and then took to LinkedIn to express his ire over the fact that the number of interviews required for senior-level executive roles has continued to climb in both frequency and duration.

6 He hypothesized that the concern that companies have with selecting the incorrect applicant causes them to spend more time than is required; he argued that contract-to-hire or other types of trial periods may be an antidote to reluctance during the recruiting decision-making process. He concluded his article with a proclamation, saying, "With my withdrawal, I make a position. I warn companies that the quantity of interviews may make competitive applicants go elsewhere. A stance taken in opposition to interminable interviews. A stand for job searchers."

It turned out that Mr. Conley's piece was more of a Martin Luther moment than anything else; it was kind of like a Ninety-five Theses for interview weariness. His request for shorter interviews was picked up by news organizations such as Forbes and the BBC, and it has had more than 1.9 million views since it was posted. 

Other professionals, ranging from entry level to CEO, weighed in to offer their support and commiserate about the exhaustion caused by interviewing. One of the commenters made the cheeky suggestion that after the sixth interview, potential employees should start being paid for their time by their prospective employers. Another commentator noted that the discussion may be more fruitful if the firms who are responsible for conducting too long interviews were explicitly identified in the post. Yet another commenter, who once went through an 11-step interview process only to hear that the position was postponed, suggested that never-ending interviews were a sign that employers were unclear on what they needed or weren't empowered to make decisions. In this commenter's experience, she once went through the process only to hear that the position was postponed. The top responder, who indicated that they had a four-month series of interviews only to lose the post to an internal applicant, said to the author of the article, "Mike, I feel your aggravation and admire your action." 

Because of Mr. Conley's complaint, we now know that interview exhaustion is a widespread problem in the application process as a whole. Thankfully, there is a happy conclusion to his tale. An employer saw his article on LinkedIn and was impressed by his passion for maximizing productivity. Mr. Conley is now a very content Vice President of Software Engineering after participating in a number of job interviews that he felt were suitable for the position. 

How Many Interviews Are Considered to Be an Excessive Amount?

There is no "magic number" of interviews, as is the case with the majority of things in business; rather, the amount of interviews required is contingent on the company. Nevertheless, it seems that a threshold of four is a necessary number to reach in order to minimize interview fatigue for both employers and applicants.

Google, which used to conduct more than a dozen interviews with prospective employees, has become an industry leader in interviewing practices that are more efficient.

According to the findings of a study conducted by Google, interviewers had an 86 percent level of trust in the applicant after the fourth interview. After then, there was a marginal increase in self-assurance with each new interview that was conducted. In addition, whether the applicants were interviewed four times or 12 times, the hiring choice stayed the same 94 percent of the time regardless of how many times they were interviewed.

According to the findings of this study, if you do more than four interviews in a row, you will likely experience interview fatigue. As a result of these results, Google has adopted a new protocol for conducting interviews known as the "rule of four," and the company now only sometimes exceeds this standard. 

But What If We Choose the Wrong Employee?

One of the most prominent reasons for this practice on the part of employers is the desire to prevent making a poor hiring. It is easy to see why this is the case; even many of the industry experts who agreed with Mr. Conley's complaint acknowledged that it is essential for the continued existence of the firm to steer clear of making poor hiring decisions. Disengagement may spread like a disease among employees who have been onboarded but are unsuccessful in their responsibilities, and the cost of turnover ranges from one-half to two times the annual compensation of an employee (and this is a conservative estimate). 8 Nevertheless, as the zeitgeist on LinkedIn and the studies conducted by Google demonstrate, an excessive dependence on interviews will not protect businesses from the risk of making a poor hiring; rather, it will lead to interview fatigue and inefficiency.

The good news is that in addition to interviews, personality tests are another effective instrument that can be used in the process of talent acquisition. A well-validated personality test can predict how a candidate is likely to perform in a given role, thereby uncovering truths about a candidate that interviews cannot. While it is well documented that interviews have low predictive validity, a well-validated personality test can predict how a candidate is likely to perform in a given role. The use of personality tests during the interview process may thus assist companies in reducing the likelihood of making poor recruits by ensuring that the eventual hiring choice is supported by facts. These insights are helpful since applicants will likely be self-conscious and careful about only emphasizing their strengths to prospective employers, regardless of the number of interviews they have. This is why these insights are important. Let's be straightforward here: in your opinion, how many potential candidates openly discuss the challenges they face? Personality data may provide hiring managers with objective insight into a candidate's values, strengths, weaknesses, and prejudices, which can assist the managers in making an informed choice over who to hire.

A More Efficient Approach to Quality Recruitment

Employers that want to take an even more personalised approach to identifying the ideal individual for a certain job may go one step further by generating a customized personality profile for each applicant they consider for the position. The use of a customized personality profile in the candidate selection process enables hiring managers to identify the candidates who most closely align with their needs and to avoid wasting valuable interview time with individuals who are less aligned with the job requirements or the culture of the organization.

Not to mention the fact that it has been shown that using personality data may lower the required number of interviews and the ratio of interviews to hires by as much as fifty percent.

When hiring managers get information about a candidate's personality before seeing them in person, they are better able to prepare insightful questions, which leads to interviews that are both more informative and more productive. This refinement of the interview process allows organizations to reduce their time to hire, which results in a better candidate experience and a reduced likelihood of interview fatigue. In addition to helping to produce a hiring decision that is more informed, this refinement of the interview process also allows organizations to reduce the time it takes to hire. Employers that give careful consideration to the standard of the candidate experience they provide will emerge victorious in a labor market that is as turbulent, unpredictable, complicated, and confusing as the one in which we presently find ourselves.

Unhappily, it is anticipated that the talent scarcity will become much more severe in the years to come, and a shocking 70 percent of firms are not equipped to fulfill the future talent requirements of their enterprises.

Understanding the role that candidate experience plays in talent attraction is critical in the competition for top talent. This is especially true when it comes to finding productive workers who possess the skills that are currently in highest demand, such as analytics, communication, and adaptability. Personality tests are essential to surviving in the current labor market because they provide employers a clear image of how applicants will perform in a certain capacity without subjecting them to the exhausting process of conducting many interviews (or potentially drawing the ire of LinkedIn users).

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