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.