For business leaders, mastering the art of the interview is central to establishing a recruitment strategy that works. But in a market where more than half (54%) of HR directors have lost a qualified candidate to another opportunity because their in-house hiring process was too lengthy, developing an interview process that is streamlined will go along way to ensuring that ideal candidate doesn't accept an offer with the competition. Mapping out clear objectives during each interview stage can prevent you from asking your candidates to jump through too many hoops in a lengthy recruitment process. It can also offer answers to a persistent question: how many interviews is too many?
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.
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 skills testing. 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.
A third (for senior roles)
In many cases for senior-level positions, the third interview is aims to consolidate a decision that you’ve already made. It often includes 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.
Need additional hiring advice or assistance with your recruitment needs? Contact your local Robert Half office.