On average, the job interview process takes a surprising 22.9 days to complete. This showcases the fact that the typical interview process is much more involved than simply sitting down with a candidate for a quick chat and making a decision about extending an offer. Instead, interview processes are multistaged ventures designed to evaluate candidates in multiple ways, with the goal being to improve the outcome.

While every company’s process may be somewhat nuanced, reflecting the unique needs of the organization, management, and industry, the primary phases are often universally applicable. Here’s a look at the typical interview process.

Interview Scheduling

The scheduling phase is part of the overall interview process, though it isn’t always viewed as such. Once strong candidates are identified, meetings have to be coordinated to ensure both the hiring manager and the job seeker can be available for discussions.

Since 86% of highly qualified candidates are employed elsewhere, this portion of the process can be surprisingly cumbersome. It’s challenging to find mutually acceptable times for interviews and associated activities, particularly if the candidate is a passive job seeker who isn’t desperate to make a move.

Additionally, since everyone involved in the coordination efforts may be employed, not everyone is immediately available. It may take hours, or even days to receive a reply about a potential interview time. Similarly, availability could require an interview to be scheduled days out from when initial contact is made, lengthening the total time.

For multistaged interview processes, interview scheduling occurs on several occasions. As a result, it can have an enormous impact on time-to-hire metrics.

Preliminary or Prescreening Interviews

As a means of making the interview process more efficient, an increasing number of companies are embracing prescreening interviews. Usually, these are conducted over the phone and are designed to vet job seekers to see if they have potential.

By asking questions that allow the candidate to describe their experience in must-have skill areas, employers can determine if the job seeker is worth further investment. The goal is simply to determine if the candidate meets the high-level requirements of the role, a sign that they should move forward in the process.

In-Depth, In-Person Interviews

After the preliminary phone interviews, top candidates are usually brought in for a more in-depth interview with the hiring manager or a small panel. This phase is typically what people envision when they think of an interview process. The candidate answers a series of set questions regarding their skills, experience, and achievements.

Behavioral interview questions are also commonly used to assess a job seeker’s mindset and how they approach problems or common workplace challenges. Approximately 75% of companies rely on behavioral interview questions to examine a candidate’s soft skills, a critical component for determining whether a job seeker could fit in with a team, mesh with a company’s culture, and excel in a role.

In some cases, video interviews replace in-person meetings. According to a report, 60% of recruiters and hiring managers have used video to conduct remote job interviews.

Technical Interviews and Skills Tests

Depending on the nature of the role, technical interviews and skills tests may be part of the interview process. These approaches focus on the candidate’s hard skills, allowing hiring managers to see a demonstration of their abilities based on a real-world scenario. However, they can also provide glimpses into a job seeker’s communication and problem-solving capabilities, two soft skills that many employers deem crucial.

The Multiround Variant

In some cases, the steps above are sufficient for an interview process. However, depending on the position, additional interviews may also be involved. For example, mid- to upper-level jobs might need a final interview with a member of the senior leadership team before a decision can be made.

Typically, latter-stage interviews involve a minimal number of candidates. Only those with the most potential would advance to this phase.

Once a top candidate is identified, the interview process is usually complete. However, there can be additional steps before a job offer is extended, such as the completion of background checks, reference checks (a step used by eight out of 10 recruiters), and other forms of necessary due diligence.

Ultimately, interview processes can be lengthy. Since shortening the time it takes to hire can be critical, allowing greater access to top talent and supporting higher productivity overall, streamlining your process is a must. If you want to reduce your time to hire while ensuring the quality of your new hires, the team at Cloutera can help. Contact us today to learn more about our comprehensive services and see how our expertise can benefit you.


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