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VOL. 43 | NO. 44 | Friday, November 1, 2019

The right candidate doesn’t require 10-15 interviews

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The job market is the best it’s been in 50 years. You’ve heard that on the news. And, companies are struggling to find good candidates. There aren’t as many people available for work as there used to be.

In other words, because the market is doing well, companies are hiring more. Because companies are hiring more, job seekers have more options.

And yet, companies are still interviewing candidates like they did in 2001, putting them through the paces, assuming the company is in control.

One of the ways they do this is hiring by consensus.

In the “good old days” of job seeking, you might have three interviews. The first would be a phone screen with human resources. Then, you would have a phone interview with the hiring manager. Last, you would come in person and meet the hiring manager and a few others in a panel interview.

For many jobs, the days of a straight-forward interview process are gone. Many hiring managers haven’t hired new employees in so long they’re nervous to make the wrong choice. They don’t want it to be their fault if the candidate doesn’t work out.

So, the hiring manager forces the candidate to meet everyone for which they can create a calendar invitation.

Recently, I have seen many, many job openings in which the job seeker is interviewed 10 to 15 times for one job. They are interviewed by the boss, HR, the boss’ boss, the boss’ peers, the job seeker’s peers, the job seeker’s future employees and sometimes even the person who is leaving/has left the job.

Fifteen job interviews doesn’t result in someone unearthing some important piece of information about a candidate. It is a way for the hiring manager to cover themselves in case the person doesn’t work out.

You have a decision to make if you are a job seeker and you find yourself being asked to interview repeatedly for one job.

You can refuse to do so many interviews, but doing so would mean little chance of a job offer. It doesn’t matter that the company is being both unreasonable and disrespectful of your time. It’s their process. If you want to play ball, it has to be by their rules.

So, if you do want the job, you’ll have to go through the process.

But I would take note of this disturbing trend. If you find yourself interviewing with a boss who is putting you through this experience, it is very likely a reflection on them.

They hiring manager might be a weak leader who is unwilling to accept responsibility. It doesn’t mean they’re a bad person, and you may even want to take the job.

But, if you find yourself being hired by consensus, pay attention.

Angela Copeland, a career expert and founder of Copeland Coaching, can be reached at copelandcoaching.com.

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