How to Avoid a Long Tedious Interview Process

April 15th, 2013

Conducting thorough and efficient interviews are crucial when trying to acquire A-level talent.  However, for many companies, no real interviewing or selection plan has been developed to provide a blueprint for how potential A-level talent will be recognized and hired. This lack of planning (at either the micro- or macro- level), prohibits the entire interview process from being concise and efficient.  A lengthy and arduous interview process designed to increase efficiency, can actually do the opposite and kill deals.

Because of lack of planning, the process may drag on; things happen – things that may demotivate a high-caliber candidate and generate less interest than may have been present in a well thought out, planned process designed to cultivate candidate interest. Competition creeps in, interest levels wane as the level of stress increases/continues, and there is always a chance the candidate’s situation will simply change in time. “Time kills deals”.

The value of time

In a recent CIO search conducted by Honer & Associates, the client interviewed a highly-qualified candidate.  Realizing the window of opportunity was tight, the candidate completed the entire interview process, including 14 interviews in less than 2 weeks.  An accepted offer was generated the following week.

When an interview process happens on a planned, concise schedule, the candidate’s enthusiasm level grows with each completed step, tying into the candidate’s feel and opinion about the position and company.  When the interview process continues on plan, the company demonstrates candidate value and increases the candidate’s interest a large percentage of the time. A good intuitive feel means more accepted offers.

It is common and in a company’s best interest to have multiple candidates go through the screening interviews, take a couple of days to make decisions, and begin the next round of interviews.  However, the next rounds of interviews need to be preplanned and conducted efficiently to predictably hold the selected candidate’s interest.  Putting the process together proactively pays huge dividends in terms of both candidate interest and perceived value.

Final Analysis

The following steps will contain the interview process to a confined timeframe:

  • Plan the full interviewing process before attempting to interview candidates. Include who will be involved, role each interviewer plays, questions to cover, number of interviews / time spent at each level, length of time between interview rounds, etc. Plan the entire process in detail.
  • Train all interviewing participants in performance-based interviewing. Expect each interviewer to acquire the necessary data from the candidate(s) to support their opinions and be able to articulate those data based opinions.
  • Schedule candidate calibration sessions right after each round of interviews are completed. Discount any interviewer’s feedback unsupported by data.
  • Emphasize the need for a concise interviewing process along with a full explanation of the advantages. It is leadership’s role to insure everyone in the organization is on-board and understands the advantages.

Honer & Associates

At Honer & Associates, we have specialized in IT talent acquisition for over 30 years.  We understand the steps in the selection process, including deep experience in candidate identification, the full interviewing process, and crafting offers that are realistic, complimentary and acceptable to top candidates.  Assisting companies in acquiring A-level talent that fuels growth, prosperity and “doing more with less” is our trademark.  To discuss this topic or others necessary to hiring quality talent, feel free to contact us at your convenience.

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