How Long Should the Interviewing Process Be?

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A long job interview process is no fun for anyone involved. Hiring managers spend time figuring out the different steps of their hiring process, advertising the job, looking through resumes and assessment tests and scheduling interviews. Employers conduct each interview and call qualified candidates back for second interviews. Some employers may even have a phone screen interview at the beginning of the process. All of this may leave candidates frustrated and looking elsewhere for a job, says Rich DeMatteo, a staffing and human resource expert of Corn on the Job.

Interview Importance

Employers should have a thorough interviewing process. If you don’t, you risk hiring someone who does not mesh well with your corporate environment or who can't do the job. It wastes company time and money to go through the interviewing process for someone who is not going to do the job well and who will either leave the company or get fired soon after being hired.

Balance

It is also vital to strike a balance between a thorough application and interviewing process and wasting too much of your job candidates’ time. Candidates are anxious to move ahead with the hiring process and get started. If they have to repeatedly find excuses to leave their current job during the day to do multiple interviews and assessments at your company, they are likely going to become frustrated and may abandon the whole interview process. Your time as a hiring manager is also important. A long hiring process may take you away from your other projects and responsibilities.

Time

An overall interviewing process of three weeks or less is generally a good limit to set. This allows enough time to meet with candidates once or twice, run background checks, do assessment tests for skills and personality and do the initial phone screenings. Some organizations, however, may find that they need more time to conduct their hiring process. For example, some large organizations can take a more than a month for their interview and hiring process.

Save Time

Conduct a panel interview with other team members and hiring managers in the first round of interviews instead of waiting to do so in a subsequent interview. Do assessment tests on the same day as an interview so that candidates don't have to come back to your office more than once.

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