How Many Interviews Can I Expect to Have Before a Job Offer?
So, why do I have to endure so many interviews to get a job?
We all know how harrowing it is to sit in front of an interviewer, or a panel of them, while, it seems, they’re judging absolutely everything about you. Doing so multiple times for that one job, is a sure way to boost anxiety levels. However, from the employer’s point of view, these numerous interview opportunities provide more information upon which to base an offer, as well as increase the number of their team who can meet you. Afterall, you will be working with them so their feedback to the employer is extremely helpful – especially in terms of company culture and values. Nobody wants to end up stuck working with an oddball, right? Having these interviews will benefit you too since who wants to work in a depressing environment day in, day out?
How can I expect the hiring process to play out?
Typically, the first contact you will have with a recruiter, is by phone. In this call, the recruiter is assessing whether you have the basic skill set, qualifications and general ‘fit’ for the open position. If your responses are positively received, you will be asked for an initial face-to-face interview. It’s not a given a phone call will lead to the next stage of hiring so give some thought to your answers, formality to your tone and appropriate respect for this point in the hiring phase. Don’t be fooled into thinking this phone call is a chatty, informality before a formal interview. A recruiter usually picks 2-4 candidates for face-to-face interviews. Whether onsite or through Zoom in these COVID-19 times, you should treat these the same as a business meeting.
Remember, each stage is a weeding out process for the recruiter. Don’t relax as you progress. Your optimal performance is needed at every interview stage. Make no mistake, your performance is being appraised from the get-go. Ultimately, only 2-3 of you will make it to the final round. If a recruiter feels there aren’t enough worthy candidates to interview, it’s likely s/he will continue to search for other candidates while interviewing those of interest. The recruiter’s aim is to keep the hiring process manageable and moving forward effectively. Some work on a gut instinct when hiring. This means if they feel they’ve found the right candidate irrespective of the stage of hiring, they’ll make a job offer.
Keep in mind too, that your odds of getting an offer are much improved if you’ve found the open position through networking, direct company contact or referrals / recommendations to the hiring manager, rather than from online postings which on average only have 2-3% of applicants moving forward to an interview.
In global terms, how many interviews will it take for me to secure a job?
If you’re well prepped and suitably qualified, on average it takes interviews with 2-4 employers. Based on the average of 3 interviews for each, you can expect to have between 6-12 interviews before getting a job offer. However, this number depends on the strength of your interview skills!
What is considered too many interviews for a specific job?
While it’s understandable that employers will want to interview candidates a number of times to make sure they’re selecting the right person for their position, job seekers too should expect a reasonable number of call backs, for instance, it’s not practical nor fair to call back candidates for an inordinate number of interviews. Indeed, a company demanding such should be regarded suspiciously in terms of the efficacy of their business practices and the congeniality of their workplace milieu. So when should a candidate opt out of a tediously long hiring process? As mentioned previously, 51% of employers extend a job offer after 3 interviews. Therefore, this is the number to reasonably expect. If you’re still getting call backs after this average, it would be prudent to question whether you really want to work for this company. Sure, it’ll be hard to back out of the hiring process after investing so much time and energy but remind yourself, you’re not just after a job, you want a ‘good’ job where you’ll be happy! Being a part of a broken interviewing process is therefore self-defeating.
On the other hand, if you believe this job is a good fit and you support their values and culture, then you may want to be a bit more flexible, although it’d be wise to let the recruiter know that you can’t go on interviewing indefinitely.
If you’re keen to learn some more career hacks, check out: 7 Job Interview Do’s & Don'ts