Patience helps with multiple rounds of interviewing


Applying for a job used to be a relatively simple process. You would send in your CV or application and hope to get an interview. Now, the hiring process is often convoluted, with lengthy application forms, essays, in-person training days and multiple interviews.

Realistically, in many places, the turnaround time between spotting a job advertisement and receiving a formal offer is weeks or even months. According to LinkedIn, the average hiring process lasts three to six weeks.

The Jobvite Employ Quarterly Insights Report, published in 2022, states the average time it takes to hire someone is around four weeks, but it depends on the job, the number of candidates and internal processes. Some roles may require background checks, and larger, more established companies may have more hiring steps in place.

Going through a long, drawn-out hiring process can be frustrating. Unsurprisingly, more than three-quarters (78%) of job seekers would drop out or consider dropping out of long or complex recruitment processes, a global survey of more than 1,200 HR professionals and 3,700 recent job seekers by Sterling found. A third of those who dropped out said the hiring process was too complicated.

But if you really want the job, it can be worth sticking out the hiring marathon. So how can you navigate a lengthy hiring process?

“A hiring process with multiple steps can help ensure a greater level of equality and remove bias. If the process has been properly designed it should ensure the best candidates for the role are being put forward to the interview stage,” says Rebecca Ann is a leadership expert, mentor and founder of The Successful Leader’s Collective, a networking and professional development community for women.

“However, one of the greatest issues is that an applicant often waits until the push factor of their current job is too much and then they want to leave as soon as possible,” she adds. “When you have a long process - an incredible applicant may choose another job offer just to circumvent the wait.”

Find out what the process is in advance

If possible, find out the types of tests or interviews you will face before starting your application. They may outline the process in the job advert, or you could try speaking to someone in the HR department. Websites like Glassdoor may also provide information about the recruitment process left by previous hires.

“Ask how long the process normally takes - this way you have a greater certainty over what you are facing. Often, it’s not knowing how long the process can take which adds to the stress and uncertainty of the situation.”

Be kind to yourself

Applying for new jobs and being interviewed is stressful. It takes stamina to get through interview after interview and still show enthusiasm for a job, especially if you’re working elsewhere at the same time.

Take regular breaks from job hunting and if you can, try to take your mind off work. Make time to do the things you enjoy and find relaxing, like seeing friends. It’s easy for job applications to take over your life, but remember, it is only temporary.

Remember there is a reason for multiple interviews

It may not seem like it when you’re preparing for yet another interview, but the more consideration an organisation puts into hiring the right person, the better it works out for both the applicant who gets hired and the company.

A quick hiring process may mean you end up in the wrong job, which can leave you unhappy, stressed out and ultimately, looking for another role.

Remember, multiple interviews are a chance for you to find out more about a company. You can ask about flexible working policies and opportunities to advance or skill-up. Often, you can also get a feel of whether the people working there are happy - and pick up on red flags that might indicate a toxic environment.

That being said, it might be that the hiring process simply isn’t designed well. An interview process should be clearly defined and the candidate should be made aware of each step, including the number of stages and any tasks they will need to complete.

“Many companies do not review their recruitment process to see what is working and what is not,” says Ann. “Recruitment processes, like any process, should be reviewed regularly. Companies can lose good candidates who accept other offers if the process is too long.”

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