The Right Number of Interviews

Whitaker - Number Of Interviews



How many interviews does it take to get to the hiring decision?

It all started with a LinkedIn post. Frustrated with a lengthy (9 rounds) interview process, a software engineer  removed his name from consideration at his dream company.

“Companies think they are building processes that ensure picking the right candidate. I don’t think that’s true. I think it’s due to fear of picking the wrong candidate. I think it’s fear they will not find the next unicorn. I think it’s fear of wasting time that ends up wasting more time.”

With an overwhelming response, people from all professions across LinkedIn showed support and agreement with his statement. How much is enough? What is the magic number of interviews needed to evaluate a candidate’s fit for the position, and allow the candidate to determine their fit with the company?

Google discovered back in 2017 they can confidently make hiring decisions with as few as four experienced Google employees conducting interviews. That’s how the Rule of Four came to be, and it has significantly reduced the average time-to-hire by about two weeks, saving employees “hundreds of hours in interviewing time,” according to Shannon Shaper.

Before the Rule of Four, hiring could take six to nine months and people sat for 15 to 25 interviews, making it an awful experience for candidates and employees being pulled away from their jobs to conduct interviews.

Who has time for that? No one. Nobody has time for that, especially with IT-related unemployment rate being a record low.



“IT employment is now at historic levels having fully recovered all jobs lost as a result of the pandemic,” observed Mark Roberts, CEO of TechServe Alliance.



Technical professionals are in high demand. A lengthy interview process can create stress, anxiety and doubt for candidates. In our May newsletter, we wrote about the transition of the job market ramping up quickly, and how companies can create a competitive advantage by examining their hiring methods.


Here was our advice then, and it remains true:

Do you have your hiring act together? Is the interview team all on the same page? Are they prepared to impress a star candidate?  For a top candidate – who is talking to multiple companies – the client who has a smooth, seamless, and upbeat interview process will make the best impression. That’s often a difference-maker.

“My greatest frustration in this business is seeing a good client miss out on hiring the very best person because of missteps in the interview process”, says Bruce Whitaker, President of The Whitaker Companies.

Top performers don’t wait around, they quickly identify and seize their opportunity for career growth within a few days – not weeks. So how does your interview process stack up to this new timeline?



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