I don’t have a job yet. I am not rushing to take any job. I just relocated and I’m looking to stay for a long while where I land. I write this as it currently applies to me, I would be very happy for everyone else if it only applied to me, but I doubt that it does. Unfortunately, what I am finding right now is the interview process is so drawn out that it is almost impossible to keep up the momentum and I’m sure some candidates would feel lukewarm by the time they receive an offer, if they don’t pull themselves out of the running, and that’s if they get an actual offer.
Not mentioning names of course, but I am in Phoenix and have interviewed for twelve positions in eight weeks, I have been lucky and busy. They have all gone to different stages, telephone, testing online or in office, up to three visits to an office to meet key players….offers that were not what was initially communicated. The decision is still out there for two opportunites….
I always ask for feedback and some have very graciously given it, others ignore the request or say they are not allowed. Either way, between gas, time, testing, driving, and everything else some of these interviews total to over ten hours. One in Dallas was over twelve before I moved. I felt like a hostage being freed by the time I left.
At what point do you say enough…..hire me or don’t but after how many hours should they know if you are their type of “person” or have the right skills and attitude.
I love interviews, love meeting people, love the banter and the questions, love the interaction, the opportunity and I know I won’t want the job for every interview I actually go on…..it just seems like a huge waste of everyone’s time when after two phone screens, two physical interviews, an IQ test, sales personality profile and then a questionnaire of 15 questions they go another way and they can’t tell you why.
I am type A of course, waiting is awful, but getting pumped up and then let down over and over is worse. Worse yet is when you know you did your best and it was just bad timing, can’t control that timing. But I digress…..
I want thoughts or opinions…..how many interviews, how many hours, how many tests should it take. I know it would vary for position and level but let’s say it’s a recruiting position since that is what most of us are here. How much do you invest before you start to think if they don’t already know you enough you don’t want to work for them anymore?

Views: 87

Comment by Steve on November 4, 2008 at 2:08pm
I agree with Maren. Though I have also seen a lot of positions go on hold or close entirely, usually with the bigger firms it could take 6 weeks.

An idea that most people don't think about is to open to new opportunities before you are out of work entirely. Some people wait last minute when they are desperate to take a job and as a result are not able to truly dedicate as much time to search as may be needed. So it is best to be prepared in that regards.

Now from experience, being prepared is not ALWAYS possible. When I was let go due to the economic conditions in 2007 (it was a mortgage company so they were one of the firsts to go) I was caught unawares in part. I had a good network and tapped into that right away. From fairs, interviews, tests and such, it was not very fun. Plus, I hate paperwork, and who wants to fill out job application after job application! I took a whole month to decide. I even had two offers on the table from staffing firms which would have been great places, but I didn't want to jump in them just yet, so I personally held off. It turns one of the offers was because the person who was hiring me wanted to replace herself so she personally could move on. Glad I didn't take that one! So it was nice to really get some offers going and find the right fit off the bat. I did like Maren said and waited about 3 weeks into the process before I started setting my own priorities in when I wanted to get the ball rolling. This helped because the company I work for currently did not extend an offer until 4 weeks into the process. So timing was perfect by that time, I had 3 offers to choose from, and took the one I felt would be challenging and help in building more of my career.

While I always say time kills deals in the recruiting world, time will kill your deals if you don't manage it right!
Comment by Alex on November 4, 2008 at 2:15pm
funny you should post this Tina !! I'm in the same boat. I have been on the market for 7 weeks, after being 'restructured'. I had a face to face Oct 10th which was very positive so I turned down a 3 month contract because I was so interested. The following monday I had 2 phone interviews then a week later I completed an online personality assessment which took an hour and a half. I was then asked to come into the office and spend half a day with the staff to get a feel for the environment etc.. I just finished my phone interview with the VP and now he's told me that he has to meet me in person before an offer. I too start to wonder how much is TOO much !
Comment by Steve on November 4, 2008 at 2:30pm
Considering the economic times and the nature of turnover anyway, it seems understandable that some companies are choosing to be a little more selective in their hiring process. It is pretty rampant here in Utah!
Comment by Tina Huckabay on November 4, 2008 at 2:32pm
Oh yes, I forgot to list the "sitting with the staff" time....thanks Alex! and good luck to you! You are not in Phoenix are you?! LOL.
Comment by Dean Lockett on November 4, 2008 at 2:56pm
Hi Tina,
If you haven't done so already, offer yourself to some of these firms as a contract to hire scenario, they won't have the benefits overhead if you 1099 them and it'll give you an inside view of their environment, both of you can test drive each other, and you can put some $$ in your pocket for time/effort, but I'm probably not offering anything that you haven't already tried.

My preference on these interviews is a group interview so I can see all the players interacting with each other and knock out the process in a fashionable speed, but that may be a play in the past with this recent turn of events in our economy. I guess I personally would rather spend 3 hours each with 4 different smaller firms and increase my chances for hire at a faster pace with less people involved in the decision making process overall. I think 3 hours is enough to make a decision on someone, that includes the time to get references and tests/interviews/ etc. Companies that take 10 -12 hours with no decision process is a waste of time for everyone involved IMO. Good luck on your search!
Comment by Kate Purdy on November 13, 2008 at 12:32pm
Hi Tina,
I went through the same thing and it was in a good economy. I went after the company I wanted to work for and managed to secure some face to face interviews. I didn't pursue any other firms at the time, because they were the company I wanted to work for. Having them as a client previously, I knew their staff, their business model, and their vision going forward. Because I initiated the process I allowed a lot of time...it took two months from start to finish, but I stayed there for 10 years and had no regrets! It was worth the time and the effort for me because I already knew I wanted to be a part of their group. However, my patience would have ran out had they pursued me then stalled along the way. Good Luck and do let us know what type of position you're looking for...maybe your peer group out here can leverage their network to help you!


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