Endless Interview Process Wears Thin

Q.  I’m going back this week for a ninth round of interviews for a job that I’ve been interviewing for over the past four months.  Thankfully, two of the interview rounds have been by phone, but I’ve personally met almost everyone–both above me and below me–in the agency.  I think I want the job, but I’m beginning to wonder about these people and whether I’ll ever reach the finish line.  What happened to the days of risk taking, and firing people if they don’t work out?  -FS

A.  You may be nearing a record for number of separate interview sessions.  I hope your patience is rewarded by a job offer soon.  In the meantime, rest assured that protracted job interviews are common.  This is driven by two key factors–desire of hiring managers to not make mistakes, and the fact the economy allows them to take their time.  Some agencies and corporations also have downsized human resources departments, which extends the processing time of filling jobs. 

When the economy improves, competition for talent will resume and hiring turnaround times will improve.  Until then, applicants are being tested more than ever.  But nine interviews is extreme.  Before agreeing to a tenth interview, you might want to ask this week if there are any other people you could meet during this round.  On a positive note, they’re clearly interested in you, and they want everyone to buy into your coming on board.  Good luck.  You have my vote for perseverance.

One thought on “Endless Interview Process Wears Thin

  1. I’ve been through a six-round process with similar results. It took the agency about a month to screen out all applicants and accept me to their ranks.

    There are several aspects to be considered when it comes to the length of a job interviewing process. In my case there were three dominant ones:

    1) The HR department was comprised of 2 people, which was certainly not enough, given that Ogilvy CZ and Mather CZ total more than 300 employees.

    2) I was to become a part of a very small team and it was vital for the mutual chemistry to work out.

    3) The agency needed someone but didn’t want to make a costly mistake of hiring someone and having to fire him / her after the probation period. They wanted someone competent.

    I hope this helps to alleviate your despair a bit. My guess is that the interviewers are understaffed and very cautious.

    On the flip side, they definitely like you and believe you can do the job. Endure now! Don’t give up and you will be OK. Best of luck!

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