We know that the job hiring process is much tougher today than in the past — due to companies’ use of key-word computer software to pre-screen resumes, the downsizing of several major companies, and the number of applicants for each good job. But, another disheartening trend for job seekers is the longer hiring process used by many firms. Job seekers must be ready to deal with these trends without getting overly frustrated by them. A positive attitude, and endurance, are essential.

For example, in  today’s print version of the Wall Street Journal, Sue Shellenbarger’s report is titled “The Six-Month Job Interview”:

“It has never been easy to land a job, but a rise in hiring has added a new twist: Employers are taking nearly twice as long to hire people as they did several years ago. ​Companies need an average of 23 days to screen and hire new employees, up from 13 days in 2010, says Andrew Chamberlain, chief economist at the jobs and recruiting site Glassdoor, based on a study of nearly 350,000 interview reviews by the site’s users. Applicants run a gantlet of multiple interviews not only with bosses but with teams of prospective co-workers. Also, more people are being asked to submit business plans or face a battery of personnel tests.” [Click here to access the full Glassdoor report.]

“For job seekers, performing well during decision-making marathons requires a thick skin and new skills. Some get frustrated or blame themselves for delays in the hiring process. ‘It can be debilitating. It goes on and on,’ says Carole Osterer, Wayland, Mass., who completed a job search late last year. A human-resources manager at one employer called her with glowing comments. A month later, he called to say the company wasn’t interested after all. After another month, he reversed himself again and asked her to interview, says Ms. Osterer, a university research administrator. She did the interviews but never heard from the employer again.”

 

To read more about the elongated job search process (and see more tips like those below), click the image.

“HURDLE: Long silences between interviews are making you crazy. DO: Suppress your frustration and find a friendly way to stay in touch, such as sending an article of interest. DON’T: Call HR and demand to know your status.” Illustration: Tim Bower for The Wall Street Journal

 

8 Replies to “Are You Ready for a Months-Long Job Interview?”

  1. Since employers want to avoid future loss, they have to consider carefully about hiring employees. However, such interview is too long to candidates. Time is money. It is better for company to have a short but efficient interview instead of a months-long job interview. Instead of waiting the announcement from employers, candidates should keep contact with employers or ask the process in a smart way. The skill to ask question tactfully is also what employers want to see on future employees.

    1. After interviewing with 3 big firms, I can speak to the experience of having “months-long” job interview. The interview process technically started in February 2015 when I began networking with the company’s recruiters and current employees. In May 2015, I made sure to reach out to all of the firms that I was interested in joining, with the understanding that the hiring process began in mid August. In October 2015, I was selected to move forward in the interviewing process. The first round of interviews for two of the three firms were phone interviews with Partners of the firm where I was interviewed on Leadership, and various technical case studies. The third firm interviewed me in person and I sat with a recruiter, not a partner. The next rounds of interviews were in person with multiple partners of the firm, and were also focused mostly around case studies, strategic thinking, and problem solving. The last round of interviews included daylong events where I was introduced to the different teams I would potentially be working with, and different partners of the firm. Offers from all 3 firms were extended to me in early November, and they required a response by early December.

      After the offer is extended, the interview process is still not over because the potential employee can still have questions about the firm and want to interview the firm further. The entire process for me was 9 months, but the actual interviewing process was in fact months long.

      The hiring process is a complicated and long process and when someone is seeking a job, managing the multiple interviews with various firms can seem like a full time job in itself! Even before I began seeking full time jobs for post graduation, I applied for internships for every winter break and summer session from 2012-2016 and each time I went through a separate hiring process. The hiring process generally includes multiple interviews (phone and in person) as well as background checks, and drug tests. It can take a long time to hear back, but I think sending follow up messages after the interview to thank them for their time makes it easier to follow up 2 weeks later if you have not heard anything. The most important thing at the end of an interview that I ask if when can I expect to hear back? The most general answer is, “within 2-3 weeks”. The firms are typically in the middle of interviewing other potential candidates as well, so they need the time to decide who would be the best fit. The process can be longer for someone who was not the first choice. After the offers were extended to me from the firms mentioned above, I had a certain amount of time to respond and if I declined the offer – they then had the chance to reach out to another potential candidate to provide an offer to them. However, they cannot receive an offer until I decline one. That means that person is waiting even longer to hear back. The entire process can be exhausting, but can also be very rewarding. Interviewing can get easier and easier, and the entire process can actually begin to feel like second nature. I recommend staying organized and finding a way to manage all communication with the various companies that you have applied to (including correspondence, names and dates). It will come in handy when a recruiter or firm finally reaches out to you weeks later with a response, and you’re not exactly sure which company is calling. Stay organized, and enjoy the process!

  2. I really liked the part of the headline “months long interview!”
    I am currently looking for full time jobs and I can say that yes I am ready for the months long interviews as I have no other option. But as far as I have seen or heard, these months long interviews mostly happen for larger positions like Directors, VPs, CEOs etc. I don’t think companies invest months of time before hiring someone at entry level position.

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