I had a client recently that was undecided about a candidate after the 4th round interview. They were thinking that maybe a fifth round would make the difference. I told them that it wouldn’t. In fact, it was a mistake to allow them to get to four.
Do you know what the fourth round interview says about your process?
It says that your process is broken. No one needs four rounds of interviews to decide if a candidate is the right candidate for your organization. A fifth round, or any number higher, is just adding insult to injury.
Here’s what anything beyond the third round interview says to your candidate:
– “Hey, come work us, so we can totally frustrate you with our indecision culture.”
– “We need more interviews because we don’t have our shit together, but please don’t notice that.”
– “You are so mediocre we just can decide if we should pass on you, or hire you.”
– “I bet you can’t wait to come aboard and be a part of this process in the future!”
– “We like to where down candidates to see who ‘really’ wants out jobs!”
Organizations that can’t figure this out are always interviewing second tier talent. Organizations that are talent attractors have determined that less is more. Have a concise process. Move quick. We’ll get it right, more than we’ll get it wrong. If we get it wrong, don’t take long to make the correction.
The reality is, is that 99% of your interviews should never need to go beyond three interviews. It looks like this:
1st round – This is your pre-employment screening/assessments and phone interview. Perfect placement for video screening tool (HireVue, WePow, etc.).
2nd round – Face-to-face with hiring manager and any other key stakeholders (i.e., people this person might support from other functions)
3rd round – if needed- Face-to-face, phone, skype-type interview. Executive sign off. Really only needed if your line executive doesn’t have faith in the hiring manager.
More interviews after this point, yield negligible additional information, and actually might be a detriment to your hiring decision. Why? Here’s what happens happens after you talk about someone for so long, they turn into a piece of crap! This is normal human and organizational behavior, by the way. We start out talking about all the good qualities and experiences the person has, and how they can help us. We then start searching for hickeys and, no matter what, we will find them! Then we start talking about what’s wrong with the person and before you know it, that great candidate, becomes a piece of garbage and not good enough for your organization.
They’re not really garbage. They’re still the really good person you initially interviewed. We just let it go too long, and discovered they have opportunities and we don’t want to hire anyone with ‘opportunities’ we want perfect. This is what happens after round three in almost every organization I’ve ever witnessed go to four, five, six, etc. It might be the biggest misnomer by candidates who feel the longer you go in the interview process, the better the chance of an offer. It’s untrue! If you don’t get an offer after the third round, your percentages of getting an offer fall exponentially every round after!