After being in this business for quite a long time, now and then I wonder what would be the reasonable amount of interviews needed in a recruitment process – especially for senior leaders such as: Directors, VPs, SVPs.

They have many years of experience, proven track records, and background.

Very often they need to go through the assessment on their leadership qualities and cultural fit. So, apart from that, how many interview rounds are effective and valuable?

That is why I asked many of you, my network and contacts about their opinion on how many interview rounds you think are good for a senior level recruitment.

Long processes can be painful

Often I have clients who initially tell me, that after my discussions/interviews, they will have an additional two interviews as well as an assessment and reference check. We always agree on the process upfront. But it also happens, that during the process they start adding more people and more interview rounds. From a candidate’s perspective this is quite an unpleasant experience.

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It’s all about managing their expectations, and since they were first told that there will be two to three rounds, and it ends being seven rounds (or even more) it becomes a very slow and painful process.

Very short processes can be scary

Then on the other hand, there are companies who are used to moving fast. They have a fast process in place of maybe only two rounds of interviews. No additional assessment, reference checks, they just present the offer. Candidates who are used for heavy and slow corporate process might freak out over something like this 🙂

So, sometimes being too quick does not work either.

Results of the poll: 61% want 2 rounds

From the results we received during our Linkedin poll, we were able to draw some conclusions.

More is less also in recruitment

As you can see in this picture, the result was quite clear. There was an overwhelming majority of over 90% in favor of only 2 or 3 interview rounds. Most of them even preferred only two.

With that in mind, when you are starting your next recruitment process, try to squeeze the interviews into ideally 2, maximum 3 rounds.

If there are more interviewers involved, which most often is the case, ask them to join together, 2-3 interviewers can manage the joint interview. It is much nicer for the candidate to arrange just one time in their busy calendar than 2 or 3 separate times and repeat their career story to everyone individually.

Aim for a better candidate experience

Especially larger companies might find it challenging to squeeze the process into 2-3 rounds, but hopefully, the good candidate experience will give you enough motivation to do so 🙂

With passionate regards ,-)

P.S. If you like this post, feel free to share it with your friends! You find the sharing buttons on the left side of the screen. And you will find more exciting posts like this also on our blog.

Lubica Kangas

The Author

Lubica Kangas is a trusted Executive Search Partner for senior-level recruitments across different locations worldwide. Her long-term clients are global public listed companies, as well as smaller and growth organizations with international business.

As she is a great example of “loving what you do”, she also teaches and coaches individuals in their career transitions for doing more of what they love and have more fulfillment in their lives, mostly through her workshops and online programs.

On a personal note, Lubica is a multi-passionate entrepreneur and never-ending optimist with love for good food, travels, Latin rhythm, and nature.

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