A reader writes…
Is it typical for companies to interview a candidate multiple times? They often end up asking the same questions! What’s the deal?
Dear, “Interview Insanity,”
Thanks for posting your question. I know that being asked to come in for an interview can be the most exciting news EVER, yet at the same time, it can create anxieties beyond belief.
To top it off, after finishing that first round, you may be asked to come back again, and again, and AGAIN! What a way to get your hopes up, right?
The deal is this… the larger the company, the more likely you WILL be asked to come back for multiple interviews. Many businesses have a policy that says, “It takes 3 to hire… and 3 to fire.” In the case of the hiring process, it is common for candidates to meet with their potential direct supervisor, then possibly with someone at the executive level, maybe a different department head, and even HR. Depending on the position and organizational structure, the list could go on and on.
The real bummer is that often you’ll find you are being asked the same questions by these different folks over and over again. To me, that’s just a big waste of everybody’s time!
Managers (this is for you): Please be sure to communicate with one another throughout the interview process. Find out what questions have already been asked and how they were answered. Share notes and feedback so that you are gathering new content each time and not sounding like a broken record to the poor candidate trying to impress you!
Now, where were we?
In some cases, this group of people may be joined together at the same interview – which reduces the number of return visits, but can be a little intimidating, to say the least. (As I’ve mentioned in a previous post, come prepared with multiple hardcopies of your résumé in case you need to pass them out to multiple attendees.)
So you may be asking yourself, “If I am asked to return several times, does it mean I have a good chance of being hired?” Well gosh darn it, you’d think so! The reality is, however, companies typically narrow down their selection throughout this process. For instance, in the initial interview, you may be up against 7 other candidates. By round two, it may be you against 3 others, then down to the top 2 for yet another round. It all depends. After meeting with so many people from the company, it is natural to get your hopes up. Just remember that if it turns out you are not selected, you need to maintain your composure, avoid burning bridges, and move on.
So tell me readers, how many times have you been asked to return for subsequent interviews? Did you get the job in the end?