The Rise In the Number of Interviews In the Hiring Process

According to an article published in the New York Times earlier this year, job openings have increased dramatically since the height of the financial crisis. Still, despite the rise in job openings, and the many candidates out there in the job market, many vacancies remain, and the duration of these job vacancies has increased.

But that’s not all.

Along with the increase in job vacancy duration comes an increase in the number of interviews per applicant. With economic uncertainty looming over the heads of employers, companies are feeling reluctant to hire. As a result, job applicants are being kept in interview limbo.

Here are some statistics:

Job Vacancy Duration

According to data collected by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, economist Steven J. Davis found that the duration of job vacancies has steadily increased. In 2009, the average number of business days for a job vacancy was 15. Today, that average is at 23.

Interview Duration

According to data collected from Glassdoor, an online source for job seekers, the average duration of the interview process has nearly doubled. In 2010, the interview process for Apple was 13 business days. Today, it is 22. In 2010, the interview process for General Mills was 9. Today, it clocks in at 25.

The Impact on Job Applicants

Dr. John Sullivan – an H.R consultant and management professor at San Francisco State University – calls it “Death by interview.” Excessive interviews can cause unnecessary stress, loss in wages due to travel and time off, and feelings of uncertainty. All of which can affect an applicant’s overall candidate experience.

The Impact on Employers

Excessive interviews don’t only affect the job seeker–they affect the employer as well. Excessive interviews may lead to repetitiveness and waste of valuable company time. If it isn’t clear to your candidates why you are interviewing them for the umpteenth time, then you may risk looking unorganized, and that won’t help your employer/company branding.

Finding a Balance

There is no magic number for the perfect number of interviews–although Google says it’s 4, despite their being notorious for over-interviewing (though they are also known for their 30-minute interviews).

Sometimes, multiple interviews are necessary. But you should always make sure that you are using your time effectively. Whether that means incorporating tools such as case studies, or figuring out your cultural fit and interviewing for values separately, you should try to make the interviewing process valuable and always keep the candidate in mind.

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