Many job seekers often wonder if a second and third interview is really necessary. The answer? It depends. Interviewing candidates is a mini-marathon, not a sprint. While you want to reduce the time to hire, making the new hire decision right the first time is often just as important. The more exposure and opinions you gather, the better your decision-making ability. Think about the last time you made a large investment, such as when you bought your home. Chances are, you didn’t just buy the first one you drove past with a “For Sale” sign in the yard. You took your time, researched the listings, and perhaps worked with an agent. Then, you probably researched the schools in the area, determined if the location was a fit for your commute or other needs, and narrowed it down to a list that matched your requirements. Maybe you reviewed the listings for pictures online as well.After narrowing it down a bit more, you might have attended a few open houses or showings to get an up close and personal view. You certainly didn’t purchase it sight unseen! Maybe you even needed a few more visits before you made your offer.
The home buying process, while arguably a bit more permanent, is a bit like the hiring process. After identifying open positions, advertising and recruiting for them and conducting screenings, the interviews begin. Finding and attracting employees that fit your company and your culture is one of the most important areas any company can spend their time — so why short-change your exposure before you make the investment? The goal is to find the right person with the right skills so a long-term match is created.
Increasing your quality of hire by having a structured and multi-phased interview process can increase the financial performance of your organization. What organizations often struggle with is just how many interviews it takes to get a good quality hire. The number of interviews required often depends on the type of position, including what level of skills, education, and experience is necessary for the role as well as what level of responsibility the employee will have once hired.
While at least two interviews is generally a good rule of thumb, the specific number of interviews will vary based on the size and culture of your organization as well. Many times, a second or third interview can be a way to resolve any unanswered questions about a candidate’s fit and to allow potential colleagues or employees to meet the candidate. No matter how many interview rounds you select for your organization or for a particular position, the following tips will help you to ensure consistency and validity in your interview process:
Ask the right questions: It’s important to provide training to your hiring managers so they ask the right questions. Many hiring managers see the interview as a box on the checklist to cross off, and fail to realize there are objectives other than seeing the candidate in-person and putting a face to the name. The ultimate goal is to learn as much as you can about the candidate’s experience, knowledge, and skills while assessing their potential fit in your organization. Develop interview questions that allow for this learning to occur.
Create and follow a set structure: Structured interviews are those in which an established, consistent set of questions are created and asked of every candidate for a position. The majority of organizations rely on the interviewer to determine and decide the questions as they go. Research shows that structured interviews create higher validity in terms of results and decrease the likelihood of adverse impact to potential candidates.
Bring in other key employees: Panel Interviews are a great way to get additional feedback about a candidate while increasing buy-in with potential subordinates and colleagues. This is an opportune time to take advantage of the benefits of video interviewing, where you can easily share an applicant’s profile among employees. Employees want to feel connected to the organizations they work for and they want to feel like their opinion matters. Including them in the process of hiring an applicant will increase the odds that everyone will work better together after the onboarding begins.