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Do You Really Need Two Stage Interviews

Blog Post Tempate

​The interview process is one of the most important steps in any recruitment process, giving the company and the candidate a mutual opportunity to get to know each other and evaluate whether or not this appointment would be a good fit.

Because this process is so crucial, many organisations choose to hold multiple rounds of interviews for a single role, giving them the opportunity to invite promising candidates back more than once to speak to different members of the recruitment team. While this approach can have its advantages, it can also be a frustrating and protracted experience for the applicants - potentially putting them off taking on the role.

In this blog post, we will examine the benefits and drawbacks of carrying out more than one interview in order to help your organisation decide whether it really needs multiple interview stages, while ensuring that your recruitment process remains as thorough as it needs to be.

The pros and cons of multiple interviews

For employers, an interview is perhaps the most crucial phase of the recruitment process as a whole, allowing them to speak to an applicant in-depth and gather essential insights into their skills, personality, professional values and overall cultural suitability for the role in question.

As such, holding two or more interview rounds has become common practice in many sectors, with an initial round of screening interviews allowing the organisation to whittle down a candidate pool to a smaller selection of applicants, who will then be asked back for a more in-depth follow-up conversation.

Depending on the position and the needs of the sector, there can be a number of key advantages to this approach, including:

  •  Allowing for detailed, exacting assessments to be carried out when recruiting for a pivotal position, such as an executive-level role, where hiring the wrong person can have a damaging effect on the whole organisation

  • Ensuring that different aspects of the interview process can be spread out over multiple conversations - for example, if the role is highly technical or specialised, it may be necessary to carry out a technical interview or evaluation separately from a standard interview

  • Making it easier for the separate divisions of your team to interview candidates at different times

However, there are also several potential downsides to holding two interviews or more, particularly from the candidate’s perspective:

  • Multiple interviews may simply be unnecessary for the nature of the role - especially for entry-level positions - meaning candidates will be investing time, energy and travel costs for repetitive conversations that may feel redundant

  • For applicants who do not currently have a role, a protracted interview process creates uncertainty and prolongs the period in which they are out of work

  • For those who are having to take time away from their current roles to attend multiple interviews, this process may be costing them significant amounts of money

  • The longer and more protracted an interview process is, the greater the likelihood that a sought-after client will receive a counter-offer in the meantime

In a highly competitive and candidate-driven jobs market, many employers are looking to accelerate their hiring processes at the moment in order to ensure they do not miss out on top talent. As such, these companies will need to think carefully about whether a second or third round of interviews is really necessary.

How to eliminate unnecessary additional interviews

If your business is reviewing its approach to interviews, there are a few questions that are worth considering in order to work out how the process could be sensibly streamlined:

  • Do you feel confident that holding multiple interviews is delivering a better quality of candidate, or can you point to examples where you have missed out on a prospect due to the lengthy process?

  • How many key decision-makers and departments need to be involved in interviewing a specific candidate?

  •  How feasible would it be to gather all of these individuals in a room for a single interview, rather than breaking the interview into multiple stages?

  •  Can this be achieved without creating an overly crowded and complicated interview scenario, which may be daunting and unproductive for candidates?

  • Are your job listings and recruitment giving applicants a clear and realistic expectation of how many interviews are necessary?

  • Have you provided candidates with an accurate timescale for your interview and deliberation process, to ensure their time is being respected?

  • Do you feel confident that the rationale for multiple interviews can be clearly explained to the candidate?

It may be the case that your organisation will still deem it necessary and appropriate to conduct multiple interviews, even after answering all of these questions. This is why it is important to make sure your recruitment policies are based on careful consideration of their effectiveness, rather than sticking to pre-existing processes without questioning whether they can be improved.

How can we help?

Making recruitment processes faster, more responsive and more effective is a key priority for many organisations at the moment, and working with an experienced recruitment agency can be a major step forward in this respect.

Employment Solutions can help you to review your current recruitment and interviewing processes to identify potential efficiency gains, eliminate unnecessary steps and remove any barriers that may be preventing your organisation from accessing the talent it needs.