Hiring firms will lose candidates if they don’t move fast. It is a lively job market right now, and an offer from a different company can either put pressure on its competitor or take it out of the running for in-demand candidates. Nevertheless, holding multiple interviews remain the safest ways to ensure companies are hiring the strongest people.
The temptation is to believe that the more rigorous the better. While this is true, it’s essential that companies are meaningful about their process.
Holding multiple interviews gives you a better picture of the candidate
Multiple interviews can offer great opportunities for both parties. For candidates, it’s the chance to meet more people, ask more questions, and ensure they feel comfortable in the position.
For you, multiple interviews are a great way to see if you can build a rapport and feel that the firm and team are the right fit.
Multiple interviews are fairer for candidates
Perhaps more importantly, meeting candidates more than once can be a more equitable method of interviewing. Some of us might simply be good at making first impressions, while others need a little time to warm up.
Holding more than one interview can be a fairer way of gauging who a person is and if they’re really the right fit or if they just know how to present themselves.
Finding the right person through a multi-interview process requires a little bit of science and a little bit of art. To have an effective series of interviews, companies should take the following into account:
Ensure each interview has a purpose
We can’t stress enough how important it is to make each interview count. Each interviewer or interview type should test a different skill in a candidate. Think about the purpose of each interview in your series: How are they helping you to define their skills? Are they testing a range of capabilities? Have they covered all the points in your job description? Are your candidates meeting all the necessary stakeholders? Make sure you can answer these questions before you start the process.
Multiple interviews need project management
Remember that multiple interviews take longer and typically involve more people who will have different interview techniques. This means more scheduling, more preparation, and more communication with the candidate.
This last part so often gets left forgotten. But helping your candidates understand the purpose of each interview and the timeframe in which they should expect to undertake the interview is essential to manage their expectations and keep them happy. Ensure that your team knows the full desired run of the interview process, from beginning to end, and ensure that you have a main line of communication open for all interviewers.
If you’re hosting multiple interviews, make sure your interviewers all have a standardised note-taking process in place. We recommend giving them the same template that they can fill in as they go. Then, when it comes to making a final decision, it will be much easier to compare notes.
Keep in communication with all your candidates throughout the process
To anyone who worries about making candidates go through multiple interviews, don’t. The times multiple interviews fall foul is when a) they aren’t carefully managed, and b) the hiring company doesn’t give feedback or keep the candidate informed during the process.
Forgetting your candidates while you make your decision is a definite red flag. You wouldn’t leave a box of valuables lying around unguarded, so make sure that you keep your candidates feeling sure of their worth.
Similarly, if the candidate has been through several rounds of interviews, they have given their hard-earned time to meet with you and prepare—if you ultimately reject them, make sure that you give them feedback!
Keep the professionalism going
Even after you’ve met a candidate several times, remember you are still interviewing them! This isn’t the time to let down your guard and be chatty. Everything, from presentation to communication, should remain polished and professional.
When you might want to hold just one interview
In the finance & banking sector, it is rare for candidates to get a job offer after just one interview. If you do plan to hold just one interview, you might need your candidate to meet multiple people in that one meeting.
The most common format for these single interviews is a panel interview, but this does very much put the candidate in the hot seat. We recommend single interviews for investment analysts and fund management VP hires and above. Someone at a VP level or above is well-used to holding meetings with multiple people, so they should be comfortable in being put on the spot. This is also a great way to test their mettle. We would never recommend a panel interview for junior hires!
At Aldrich & Co, we run the candidate tests and interviews on our clients’ behalf. We send our reviews of each candidate together with their CVs, and the skills that you’re looking for will have been included in our selection process. If you want to install a process