FAQ: How Many Interviews Are Too Many? (With Tips)

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published October 21, 2021

When interviewing for an open position, most businesses choose a person based on their qualifications and responses to interview questions. Sometimes this includes conducting multiple rounds of interviews to decide on the ideal candidate. Understanding more about different types of interviews and knowing how many interviews are "too many" may help you choose a number that's suitable. In this article, we discuss FAQs such as the different types of interviews, why companies require multiple interviews, how many interviews are too many and provide tips for conducting interviews.

What are the different types of interviews?

There are many types of interviews you may conduct. The type you choose depends on the position you're hiring for, the number of interviewers selecting the candidate and where the candidate is located. Some interviews you can conduct include:

Phone interview

If you plan on having multiple interviews before choosing a candidate for a position, a phone interview or phone screening is a good first step. They're usually a quick phone call that helps determine if a candidate has the proper qualifications for the position. As an interviewer, you can inquire about their employment background or ask questions you may have regarding their resume. You may also want to ask some basic interview questions to determine if you'd like them to come back for the next round of interviews.

Related: How To Conduct a Phone Interview

Individual interview

Individual interviews involve one candidate at a time coming in to interview with a hiring manager. The interviews usually take 30-60 minutes to complete and can involve several types of interview questions, such as behavioral questions, case studies or skills-based questions. Based on their responses, you can decide whether you want them to continue to the next interview.

Related: How To Structure Interview Questions

Group interview

This type of interview involves simultaneously questioning multiple candidates for a position with a panel of interviewers. Group interviews allow you to compare candidates' strengths and observe how they interact in a group setting. Although you don't get as much time to get to know each individual person, you can determine which candidates possess strong leadership skills and which personalities distinguish themselves from others.

Related: 5 Group Interview Activities (With Question Ideas and Examples)

Panel interview

A panel interview is usually one of the final sequences of interviews when hiring someone for a position. During this type of interview, many company employees form a panel to interview a single person. This interview style can be useful in allowing each member of the panel to form their own opinion of the candidates. In addition, it can be more cost-effective because it allows people from multiple departments to be part of the interview process at one time rather than having the candidate come in for multiple interviews.

Online interview

Interviewers conduct online interviews using an online video platform. They're ideal if you're interviewing candidates for a remote position or if they're currently living in another city or state. You can host it as a panel interview or individual interview, depending on the company's needs.

Related: Types of Interview Formats and Styles

Why do companies require multiple interviews?

There are a few reasons some companies require multiple interviews before deciding on the best candidate for a position:

  • Clarification: Sometimes, HR managers bring candidates in for another series of interviews because the interviewers require clarification on a few of the questions discussed during the previous interview. They may rephrase the questions or include additional queries to evaluate the candidate's responses.

  • Conflicting viewpoints: When interviewers can't reach a consensus on whether to hire a candidate, they may bring them back for an extra interview.

  • Consideration for a different position: A hiring manager may decide that a candidate has a better compatibility for another position within the company. If this is the case, they may call them in for another interview to ask them questions pertaining to the other job.

How many interviews are too many?

While there's no objective answer to how many interviews are too many, typically any more than four interviews is too much. To avoid this, consider the size of your company before deciding how many rounds of interviews you're going to conduct. A smaller company with only 25 employees may want to complete multiple interviews because they're searching for the ideal candidate. In contrast, a larger corporation of over 1,000 employees may have fewer interviews because they already have so many employees.

In addition, try to decide on how many interviews you plan to give based on the seniority of the position. For example, an administrative assistant may not require as many interviews as a marketing manager. The marketing manager would likely have more responsibilities and work within multiple departments, so there might be more interviews to ensure they're hiring the best candidate based on their skill set and qualifications.

Are there risks of having multiple interviews?

There are a few risks of asking candidates to come to multiple rounds of interviews.

  • Slower hiring: When you interview candidates multiple times, it takes longer to choose someone for the position. This may add extra work for employees in the department looking to hire.

  • Interview fatigue: Both the interviewer and the candidate can become fatigued from multiple rounds of questioning.

  • Loss of interest: Candidates may lose interest in the position when they don't know how many rounds of interviews to expect. Some can't request time off from work, while others sometimes choose a position with another company.

Tips for interviews

Here are a few tips for interviewers to consider for a more effective interview process:

Coordinate with hiring teams

Before scheduling interviews, speak with the hiring team at your company to determine their availability to interview candidates. You can ask for their work calendars to see what days they're available. If you'd rather have all of their information in one location, you can ask them to write their names in time slots on a document that lists their upcoming availability.

Determine a deadline

When you know a position needs to be filled, talk with your hiring team and decide on a hiring deadline. This lets everyone know that you have to choose someone for the position by that date. Using a firm deadline can help to move the process along more quickly and ensure that you don't schedule too many interviews.

Prepare interviewers before they begin the interview process

Before interviewing candidates, try to prepare interviewers so that the interview process goes easily. Here are a few ways an interviewer can prepare for the interview process:

  • Agree on preferred skills: With your colleagues, discuss what skills and experience you'd like the ideal candidate to possess. This can help you narrow down your options before selecting candidates.

  • Review resumes: Review candidates' resumes before the interview so you can tailor your questions to get a better understanding of each person.

  • Coordinate with other interviewers: It's important that each interviewer has their own questions prepared so that you avoid asking the same questions. You can then better assess their skills by asking a wider variety of questions.

Explain your expectations

Let the candidate know during their first interview how many rounds of interviews you plan to have. This lets them know exactly what they can expect and so they can prepare accordingly. If something happens and your HR team adds another round of interviews, let the remaining candidates know and explain to them why they've made that decision. For example, if the hiring team can't reach a consensus after the first three interviews, an unexpected fourth interview may be necessary before making a final decision.

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