The Interview Gauntlet

By Scot Herrick | Job Search

Dec 26

Have you noticed that moving to a different company is harder?

Companies, of course, want to ensure that the potential employee is a good one. One of the ways of determining worth is to have the candidate interview with multiple people so as to secure differing points of view about the candidate. This makes sense in that a candidate needs to show effectiveness across multiple dimensions such as analytical capabilities, technical prowess in particular areas, or relationship management. Different people can interview the candidate to determine if the skills are there to meet the different dimensions.

But where does skillful interviewing change to a gauntlet?

I have a friend looking for a job. Here is the process so far:

  • talk with a recruiter based upon seeing a resume
  • modify the resume to match more closely to the position
  • modify the cover letter to match more closely to the position
  • after submission of the resume, complete two-page questionnaire where the candidate answers questions presumably about the skills associated with the position
  • interview schedule is provided to the candidate – first interview is a phone interview with the hiring manager
  • second interview, on a different day, is with an analyst
  • third interview, on a different day, is an in-person interview with the hiring manager
  • fourth interview, not guaranteed on the same say, is with the entire team reporting to the hiring manager
  • fifth interview, not guaranteed on the same day, is with a panel
  • if you make it through each of these steps – any one along the way can knock you out of contention – you now have the possibility of receiving an offer at which point you will have to negotiate terms.

After getting out of this gauntlet – where one definition from dictionary.com is “a form of punishment or torture in which people armed with sticks or other weapons (questionnaires, phone interviews, in-person interviews, team interviews, and panel interviews – Scot) arrange themselves in two lines facing each other and beat the person forced to run between them” – the company hiring our candidate hero will believe that they will have a dedicated, skilled employee that can perform in the job.

Meantime, if I were the candidate, I”d see a complete lack of consideration of the employee’s time by not consolidating the interviews into one day for the phone interviews and another for the in-person interviews, an ill-defined process for hiring which lacks time-based goals, and no speed-of-execution by the management team. I know I’d want to give this management team my undying loyalty. Not!

Do you think they interview CEO’s this way?

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About the Author

Scot Herrick is the author of “I’ve Landed My Dream Job–Now What???” and owner of Cube Rules, LLC. Scot has a long history of management and individual contribution in multiple Fortune 100 corporations.

  • Maggie Lang says:

    Hmmm, could the friend be interviewing for GOOGLE perhaps? Sounds an awful lot like their process …

    I agree. It’s too much. Analysis Paralysis and Interview overkill. I am a manager for a Fortune 50 and fortunately we don’t have that many rounds of interviews but we still see at least two for entry level / analyst folks and probably about three for managers (not including the phone screens).

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