Managing a Never-Ending Interview Process

lengthy interview process

It’s not you, it’s the interview process

If you are on your fifth round of interviewing, staying up at night to complete case studies, or preparing for what feels like your 100th panel interview, don’t worry because you’re not the only one. Thousands of people across the US are in the same position as you and are growing weary. What many, however, don’t understand is why this is happening and what we can do about it. The experts at SSI people offer some insight into the trending interview process and how to be prepared for it.

According to the Josh Bersin Company, new research confirms that hiring is harder than ever. The Global Talent Climate report conveys that the recruitment process has been stretched to 44 days on average, which means the interview process is extended. While it’s understandable to hold at least 3 to 4 rounds of interviews to determine a candidate’s skills and fit for the job, the growing sentiment is that potential employers are taking it further than this.

Excessive interview requests and continual rescheduling could sound alarm bells. For the most part, there is no hard-set number of “too many” interviews, but most experts agree that going beyond a half-dozen is the beginning of a negative return on time. Of course, high-level executive positions may be the exception, especially when having to meet with leadership teams, board members and even top shareholders.

There is a line, however, between appropriate and over-the-top commands from an employer. If you’re being asked to organize a presentation for an executive position, that’s probably a reasonable request. If you are interviewing for an entry-level graphic design position at a marketing firm and you are being asked to create a complete ad campaign for one of the company’s clients, that could get a bit dicey.

To make matters worse, there are high chances that after all your hard work, you still won’t get the job.

According to CNBC Make It, 32-year-old Ayomi Samaraweera completed a total of nine interviews— six of which lasted half an hour each—and one of them included a written case study exercise before meeting with a hiring manager. All for a job that she did not get. Similar to Samaraweera, many individuals are balancing these time-consuming interview rounds with the current job they are trying to quit. For many, this leads to a hectic schedule, anxiety, stress, and a feeling of disappointment.

Being mentally prepared for interview fatigue and taking steps to protect yourself is important. Here’s what to consider when assessing the reasons behind a company’s interview process:


Highly competitive job market:

With the pool of talent expanding, whether it’s recent graduates, remote work, or any of the various elements of the current job market, companies have been extra careful with who they are choosing to hire. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the number of job openings has increased to 9.6 million on the last business day of September. Therefore, with so many people and opportunities. employers feel they have the power to over-steer the selection process.

As a candidate, while you can’t control an organization’s over-engineering of the interview process, you can be selective about the jobs you apply to and narrow it down to ones that you are incredibly interested in (and qualified for). The idea of “applying-to-apply” because there are many opportunities out there could backfire; by tailoring your resume to highlight your skills for a specific role, and finding companies that align with your values, you are enhancing your opportunity to land a job that is the right fit for you.

Fear of economic uncertainty:

Many companies are intimidated by the economic conditions we have experienced these past years. Due to this atmosphere of angst, many employers view things such as hiring and training as an expensive process and fear buyer’s remorse at the thought of the wrong hire. This mindset leads them to adopt longer interview styles to hopefully guarantee they make the right choice.

By studying tips on how to ace interviews, especially the evolving technical interview that now often includes online assessments and tech challenges, you can also become a candidate that stands out because of your preparedness and attention to details. This ultimately helps naturally narrow the selection process for a potential employer!

Unorganized companies:

There are those companies who have not fully defined the type of hire they are looking for and what the role should be. They don’t have a full sense of direction or might not even be approved to hire yet, and they begin a disastrous process of trying to figure it out as they go along.

You can gain assurances that an advertised job is more probable by using your network as a first source for open roles and seeking out roles that have a recruiter or staffing expert noted. The more formal processes an organization takes for posting new jobs (like using a staffing firm to recruit or having employees share open positions), the more those actions suggest that the role has been defined and the organization does plan on hiring someone.

In any of the above instances, don’t get discouraged. It’s important to research the organizations you would like to apply to, including getting online references for their interview process. You also can be well-prepared for each early round of the interview process and help steer the direction as much as you can by being a top candidate. Of course, working with a reputable staffing firm in your job search is a benefit. Recruiters and staffing experts have relationships with organizations and can help manage a more effective interview process for roles that a job-seeker will be best suited for.

At SSI people, we put people first because we believe that people matter. This means we aren’t here to waste your time, instead, we work to make the recruitment process easier. Whether this is through providing hiring stats for the companies you’re interested in or matching you with the right employer, we can help you avoid an excessive interview process and put you on your path to the right job, faster.


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