Jumping through hoops: do you have too many interview stages?

Jumping through hoops: do you have too many interview stages?

For business leaders, mastering the art of the interview is central to establishing a recruitment strategy that works. But in a market characterised by conflicting approaches to candidate assessment, developing an interview process that allows for a sharp understanding of a hire’s abilities can be much trickier. Mapping out clear objectives during each interview can prevent you from asking your candidates to jump through too many hoops. It can also offer answers to a persistent question: how many interviews is too many?

First impressions

Hiring managers should treat the first interview as an opportunity to meet and greet the candidate and work out whether they’re a good match for the job. This is when you ask them about their skills, professional background and interests, and detail the responsibilities and expectations associated with the role. It’s also a chance to gauge factors such as professionalism and presentation, and understand whether they’re a right cultural fit. Whether the candidate makes it through to a second interview is often up to a combination of assessment, observation and instinct.

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Second time around

The second interview shouldn’t duplicate the first meeting but work as an in-depth assessment designed to make up your mind. It could take a half-day and involve a panel of interviewers, a complex series of second interview questions as well as aptitude tests – a way to take personal bias out of the equation when working out who’s right for the job. On occasion, it could also include input from higher-level executives to better establish whether the candidate’s qualifications line up with your organisational culture. At the end of this stage, you should have a strong idea of the person at the receiving end of the job offer.

The final round

In many cases, the third interview is often a formality that aims to consolidate a decision that you’ve already made. It could include a tour of the facilities, questions that focus on actual work scenarios and tests to establish how well the candidate performs under pressure. This may also include a conversation with the CEO in charge of approving who you’re recruiting for the job. By now, you should have gathered enough evidence to make a hiring decision that’s watertight.

Having a firm goal for each round of interviews is key to ensuring your recruitment process runs smoothly.

For more tips, hear what our consultants have to say about conducting a successful interview

Need additional hiring advice or assistance with your recruitment needs? Contact your local Robert Half office.

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