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How Many Interviews is too Many for Candidates?

How many interviews is too many?

How many interviews is too many for candidates?

Finding the right candidate takes time. As it should. Placing the wrong candidate within your company could negatively impact your team’s dynamic, and could result in costly replacement requirements.

But our new research shows that candidates are losing patience with the job interview process. Most workers agree that two interviews are the maximum they’d attend for the right position. 

So, how can you identify the right candidate without conducting several rounds of interviews? We explain in our free guide, The Art of the Interview, available now. 

How many interviews is enough?

Our findings reveal that 52% of candidates agree that the optimal number of interviews before being offered a role is just two. 27% would attend three interviews for the right job, while only 11% would attend four or more. And, 10% would only attend one interview for the right position. 

“If the company can’t find the right person in a short two-interview process, then they’re asking the wrong questions, or the company isn't sure what kind of person they’re looking for.” - Kevin, Senior Executive

Why won’t candidates attend several interviews?

Gone are the days where candidates would be willing to attend seemingly endless rounds of interviews and assessments for a position. 

Despite a gloomy economic outlook, it’s still a candidate's market. With remote working much more prevalent, companies are no longer competing with organisations in their local area, but nationally or even globally. 

This coupled with a skills shortage in several industries means that candidates hold more sway than in previous years. That allows them to be more choosy when it comes to what they’re willing to tolerate from prospective employers.

“Any more than two interviews is too many and I personally would drop out of applying. If you can’t get the information you need in two interviews, then the company needs to review its processes.” - Stuart, Pricing Manager

Increasingly, we’re hearing more candidates reluctant to dedicate their time to a lengthy interview process.

Applying for a position is a significant time commitment. Often, candidates are required to fill out long application forms, send in their CV, participate in a screening test, attend several interviews and even submit assignments before learning whether they’ve got the job.  

Our research found that the interview ‘red flags’ that would most turn candidates off a job opportunity included:
  • The interviewer not having looked at their CV correctly (24%)
  • Being expected to prepare a detailed work assignment ahead of time (22%)
  • The interviewer being late to the interview (28%)
This, coupled with the requirement to prepare for several interviews, including the need to take time away from their current positions, is an increasingly unappealing proposition. 

For many candidates, the risk of time wasting outweighs the possibility of being offered the position.

How can you find the right candidate without several interviews?

So, if you only have two, or at a push, three opportunities to meet with your prospective candidate before making them a job offer, how can you ensure you’re making the right decision?

We have three answers for you: preparation, preparation, preparation.

With enough planning, two interviews is plenty to learn all you need to know about a candidate. A more efficient approach to interviews benefits candidates and employers alike.

By creating a comprehensive job profile, a smart candidate screening approach, and a streamlined interview process, you’ll keep candidates engaged while learning whether they’re a good fit for your team.

We explain more about efficient interviews in our free guide, The Art of the Interview. There, you’ll find our 10-step interview checklist with guidance on pre and post-interview actions. Plus, learn new surprising insights into candidates’ changing expectations.

Download the guide below.

This research was commissioned by Eden Scott and conducted by Censuswide with 1000 General Workers in the UK, aged 16+ between 22.09.23 to 25.09.23. Censuswide abide by and employ members of the Market Research Society which is based on the ESOMAR principles and are members of The British Polling Council.

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