After my divorce, I decided to join Tinder. In my mind, this was the least committal of all the dating sites. If I wanted to find my next wife, I would have to be on a site that requires a credit card. Tinder would be just for fun.
I had it in my head that I wouldn’t spend weeks and weeks getting to know people online. I wasn’t there to get life stories. I was “getting out there,” as everyone told me to.
That was until all of those dates started going wrong, one after the other. First I ended up on a date with a girl and her boyfriend. Then there was the girl who was trying to convert me to her version of Christianity. How could I forget about the one where she said 19 words the entire night, including her order.
Yeah, I counted. That girl apologized the next day and explained she was just really stoned.
Reflecting on all of these moments, I laugh and cringe. I don’t know what I was thinking. There’s no rush to meet creepy people from the internet. I could have saved myself some awkward evenings had I taken the time to get to know these people.
If there was ever a time to have a long drawn out interview process, dating was it.
The hiring process is not the place for a long, drawn-out interview process.
Even bad dates are better than your average interview experience. At least you can get something to eat, and tweet to your friends about it without worrying about the consequences.
One time a company left me alone in an interview room from 5 pm to 7 pm. The next interviewer never came. The open office slowly started to empty. There I sat.
To prove how messed up my expectations are of the interview process, listen to this. I stayed there waiting for the two hours because I thought it was one of those start-up tests to see if I could stand the culture. Instead of questions about clocks and wireframes, they were testing my patience.
I am not the only person whose patience has been tested by the interview process. In fact, by asking Twitter about the record for most interviews, I learned that most of us have a very high tolerance for bullshit in the interview process.
I started the conversation by saying nine was the most I’ve heard. Then, Twitter mortified me. 12, 34, even a folklore high of 96. I couldn’t make this shit up if I wanted to. Seriously, look.
So, how many is too many when it comes to interviews?
96 is too many. Who hurt these people?
But, I can’t say I know the right answer. I think there are a few factors to consider.
- Does this person even have any experience to discuss? If this kid is straight out of college, figure out 1 set of questions for them to answer online. Do one call with the best answers. If that goes well, do one paid project to see their work style. (A company named Parker Dewey does this, PS)
- Is this a role where the person will manage and influence a lot of people? If not, they don’t need to meet a lot of people.
- Role-based considerations. How do they affect the success of the company? Scale accordingly.
What I don’t want are more interviews so that you can “get to know” them. You realize it is a punishment to have the spotlight on you for that long, right?
What’s your interview rubric? How many is too many when it comes to interviews?
Katrina (Kat) Kibben [they/them] is a keynote speaker, writing expert, and LGBTQIA+ advocate who teaches hiring teams how to write inclusive, unbiased job postings that will get the right person to apply faster.
Before founding Three Ears Media, Katrina was a CMO, Technical Copywriter, and Managing Editor for leading companies like Monster, Care.com, and Randstad Worldwide. With 15+ years of recruitment marketing and training experience, Katrina knows how to turn talented recruiting teams into talented writers who write for people, not about work.
Today, Katrina is frequently featured as an HR and recruiting expert in publications like The New York Times, Chicago Tribune, and Forbes. They’ve been named to numerous lists, including LinkedIn’s Top Voices in Job Search & Careers. When not speaking, writing, or training, you’ll find Katrina traveling the country in their van or spending some much needed downtime with the dogs that inspired the name Three Ears Media.