How Many Interviews Should It Take To Hire Someone?

Q. How many interviews should a company have when hiring someone? Our company has 9 or 10 people meet the candidate. Some candidates complain it is too long. Is there a normal number of interviews before hiring someone?

It isn't the quantity of the interviews but the quality of the interviews that counts.  When jointly interviewing with my clients I find that the problem is that each person is asking the same basic questions as the previous interviewer. Many of them are not all that relevant to the job. So they really aren't learning anything new and neither is the candidate. These are just “get acquainted” interviews which don't serve a great purpose.

If you want to have this many interviews, your people should be trained in how to interview. Interviewing is not something one picks up along the way in their career. Or at least it shouldn't be. I would recommend bringing in a good training program. Then, once your managers learn how to interview, you can assign specific aspects of the job for each one to probe deeply on instead of just repeating the same old questions everyone else has asked.  For example, maybe one interviewer focuses on the leadership skills, another interviewer focuses on the team building, another focuses on how the candidate's experience aligns with the needs of the job and so on. Now there is value to each interview. Since each person is focusing on a specific issue there is also time to probe deeply, get the candidate to provide examples and do a thorough vetting of the candidate. It also provides adequate time for the candidate to ask questions.

The key is training your team so the interviews are not routine and canned, but rather each interviewer is skilled in the art of interviewing and has a purpose for the interview.

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I welcome your thoughts and comments.

Brad Remillard 


About the Author

Brad Remillard is a founding Partner of IMPACT Hiring Solutions, co-author of "You're NOT the Person I Hired", and "This is NOT the Position I Accepted". Brad is an award-winning international speaker, retained executive recruiter, and expert on hiring and retaining top talent, and executive job search.

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