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How can HR decide the right number of job interviews?


The art of the interview is a key component of a recruiter’s armoury. Used judiciously, it’s a very powerful tool.

Interviews allow us to unearth crucial information that is necessary to successfully choose a candidate. The problem is, they’re also time-consuming and take key management staff away from other important duties. So it’s essential that the interview process is efficient from the outset.

Horses for courses

“The number of interviews that I would have with each candidate would differ depending on the role that I’m hiring for,” says Justin Boots, HR business partner at recruitment website, Seek.

Boots adds that taking into account the complexity of the role is essential. Multiple rounds of interviews might be necessary if the position:

  • Involves complex relationships that need to be navigated throughout the company
  • Requires deep technical knowledge
  • Involves complex stakeholder management
What should different interviews include?

For a more complex role, it might be necessary to conduct several interviews. In that case, you can dice up the content of the interviews to shed light on different aspects of the candidate.

“One may be a cultural fit interview, and another may be a case study where you’re giving the candidate an opportunity to demonstrate their technical depth of knowledge within a particular discipline,” says Boots.

When is just one interview appropriate?

In some instances, one interview with a candidate is sufficient, Boots says. For example, you can keep the number of interviews to one if:

  • You’re hiring for a well-defined role
  • Relevant relationships and stakeholders within the company are limited to a small group
  • You’re confident the candidate can hit the ground running from the outset
Whatever position you’re looking to fill, adapting your interview process to a given situation can help you in using time wisely – while ascertaining the information you need to make a sound hiring decision.

Parts of this article were first published on the Seek website.

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