Tuesday, October 21, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

Why ‘one and done’ job interviews may lead to hiring mistakes

Here´s the challenge for employers and job applicants: Find the right mix between making speedy and not-so-speedy hiring decisions.
Here's the challenge for employers and job applicants: Find the right mix between making speedy and not-so-speedy hiring decisions. iStockphoto

Here's the challenge for employers and job applicants: Find the right mix between making speedy and not-so-speedy hiring decisions.

I've often heard from applicants – and written – about their unhappiness with having to go through multiple interview rounds, often spread over several weeks. But here's a different wrinkle.

Recently, a well-qualified applicant for a position told me he was dismayed to hear that a one-hour interview session before a panel of department heads was all he'd get. He had looked forward to an expected second round of interviews.

Don't mistake his complaint for sour grapes. He wanted the job, but his reaction was philosophical and based on years of human resource experience.

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  • Especially when hiring from outside the organization, the applicant said, it's crucial to have more than one interview. Some job hunters may wow an initial interviewer but not impress others, or vice versa. And some organizations may need a more detailed eye on candidates to ensure whoever is hired has the exact skills needed.

    When the tables were turned – this job hunter has done some hiring – he said he always required more than one interview, and he's even varied the time of day when interviews occurred.

    Many interviewers have different perceptions about how the applicant performed and even give varying degrees of attention to the interview, depending on the time of day and how their workdays are going. Many applicants perform at different energy levels depending on whether they're morning people or do better at other times of the day.

    A first-line manager may get all the information and impression needed after a single interview to hire an entry-level worker. But one-and-done interviewing can be dangerous for higher positions. The goal should be multiple interviews – but within days, not weeks.

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    ABOUT THE WRITER

    To reach Diane Stafford, call 816-234-4359 or send email to stafford@kcstar.com. Follow her online at kansascity.com/workplace and twitter.com/kcstarstafford.

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    Diane Stafford The Kansas City Star (MCT)