Late last year, I was speaking with a candidate who mentioned he’s in the “7th round” of interviews with a company. Really?

Doesn’t this just feel like Interview overkill?

Incidentally and not surprising, he’s interviewing with two other companies as well. Talk about not having any confidence in the process. He’s losing interest fast.

There should be no more than 4 interviews but I believe the magic number is really 2 or 3 interviews. Why?

First of all, people are generally not staying in jobs longer than 2 years, in some cases less than that. Why invest that kind of time in the interview process, unless of course it’s a senior leadership position.

Secondly, you need to make a decision and make a decision quickly. It’s a candidate tight market and the longer your process, the more likely you’re going to lose your candidate of choice or they’ll lose interest in you.

Over-thinking things also hurts organizations brand reputation. People talk and they just may talk about your company’s inability to make a decision. Sometimes you need to go with your gut.

Too much consensus building internally (ie. giving too many people input during a lengthy interview process) is also a bad idea. Someone will eventually decide to play “devil’s advocate” and say that they don’t like the candidate finding some minor thing wrong with the person and infusing just enough doubt into the whole process. This can turn the whole thing upside and next thing you know, you’re starting your search from the beginning. All that wasted time – internally and externally not to mention cost.

Determine what your interview process should be at the outset, how many interviews you’ll be conducting and who should be involved. Then stick with it.

You also need to be cognizant of how all of this impacts “candidate experience” – the process a candidate goes through when interacting with your organization from an employment perspective. Even if you don’t hire the candidate, a professional “experience” with adequate and responsive follow ups will ensure the possibility that person could be interested in working at your organization in the future. Try to keep the Glassdoor reviews on the positive side by ensuring both candidate and employee experience are positive.