Multi-stage job interviews are useless
If you don’t want to hire someone in the first interview, that’s not the person to hire
Writer’s note: This post was originally published on Medium’s “We Need to Talk” on April 12, 2022. (“Work Fluently From Home,” or WFFH, is a series within “Window Shopping” geared toward entrepreneurs, solopreneurs, gig workers and startups.)
When a friend (and prior supervisor) of mine unexpectedly lost his job, I immediately told him, “Don’t trip. You’ll find another one.” Maybe it’s being a Millennial or working in an industry that’s always evolving, but this may be the one area where I’m an eternal optimist instead of a realist.
For me, the glass is always half full when it comes to leaving a job for a better one, quitting a job due to a horrendous boss, or finding a new job after layoffs or termination. I’ve experienced all four situations, and I repeatedly came out on the winning side. There is, however, one area of the career industry where I’m an eternal pessimist: multi-person, multi-stage job interviews. I’d rather watch paint dry and grass grow than to ever be a part of one of these again.
After more than a month’s worth of interviews, they chose someone else.
Still, I cheered him on during his job search — minus one particular interview. He applied for a Vice President of Marketing position, and he was drowning in qualifications. With a master’s degree and a Santa Claus list of prior experience, it made sense to me that he’d be hired. I looked at the job description and took a quick sweep of his resume. Who wouldn’t hire this guy? He even had the type of bubbly personality that made prior co-workers high-five him when he walked indoors.
After his first interview, he told me he advanced to the next round. Then another. Then another. Then he went out to lunch with the trio. This lunch was followed by silence. After more than a month’s worth of interviews, they chose someone else. I shook my head. I knew that was going to happen. Why? It always happens.