Coburg Banks | Multi-sector UK recruitment agency

Interviews – How Many Rounds Do You Truly Need To Do?

By Anthony Hughes | Feb 17, 2014 | Assessing Applicants

Over the years we at Coburg Banks have seen the amount of corporate position posts offered after one interview shrink.  But is it always essential to do more than just one round of interviews or would it be better to hold up to four or five meetings before finally deciding on the right candidate for the role?

Not so long ago we had a client who had to make a very important appointment and seemed determined that the more rounds of interview they held, the more likely it would be that they would get the best candidate, but in doing that what sort of message did it send to the candidate that they so wanted to employ:

  • “As a company we can’t make a decision”
  • “We can’t get organised enough to ask the right questions”
  • “You haven’t impressed us enough yet to hire you”

In the end the candidate who was offered the position was left so unsure about the organisation that he turned down the role in favour of another, so the client was left with their second choice.

So how many interview meetings should be undertaken?

Businesses need to make themselves attractive to the best talent; be under no illusion that the talent pool is filled with exceptional ability, the best are always the first to be picked.

So to ensure that you get the best make sure that your interview processes is succinct, efficient and smooth, with everyone involved in the process completely up-to-date with what is required so the right decisions can be made.

For the majority of interviews there should never be any need to go beyond three meetings, and in 80% of cases, two is sufficient to make the decision.

Round 1

The first in-person job interview is typically a one-on-one interview between the applicant and a hiring manager or on occasion a board of managers. The interviewer will ask questions about the applicant’s experience and skills, work history, availability, and the qualifications the company is seeking in the optimal candidate for the job.

Round 2

A second interview can be a more in-depth one-on-one interview with the person you originally interviewed with or it can be a day-long interview that includes meetings with company staff. This is where candidates may meet with management, staff members, executives, and other company employees.

Round 3

Third round interviews are either face-to-face or via skype and should be used as an executive signoff for the role.  These interviews should be a formality and are useful when the head office is based overseas.

Some would argue that the more interviews that are done the more information you can get, but how much more information do you really need before making that final decision?  In our experience clients make hiring decisions within a few minutes of meeting a person, and the subsequent interviews are there for re-assurance or if two candidates are very similar.

- Anthony Hughes

Anthony Hughes

Anthony is a recruitment veteran of 18 years and is also one of the original founders of Coburg Banks. He now trains recruitment consultants on the best methods to utilise when sourcing and assessing applicants for their clients. 


> More blog posts by Anthony Hughes

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