The Hiring Managers Secret Weapon: Time
Welcome to Your 2-Hour Job Interview – Wait. What?Yes, people. As a hiring manager, I have actually interviewed job candidates for up to two hours at a time. And you know what? I have never regretted a hiring decision I have made using this approach.
Now before you call the labour board, and before you accuse me of torturing prospective employees, let me say that the atmosphere during these interviews was always cordial and relaxed, but completely professional. I have never brought anyone to tears, nor has anyone ever fled my office screaming or cursing my name.
So what’s my thought process here? Well, it stands to reason, doesn’t it, that you’re going to learn a heck of a lot more about a prospective employee when they’re trapped in a room with you for up to 2 hours, yet most interviews in today’s busy world last about 30 to 40 minutes. Why is that?
Why aren’t employers devoting more time to gathering more substantial information during the final interview? Wouldn’t that lead to better hiring decisions, reduced training costs, smoother integration of new employees, and decreased risk to the organization (just to name a few of the benefits)?
Sure, I know job seekers are accustomed to presenting themselves to potential employers for half-an-hour, for 45 minutes, maybe for an hour at a time. They certainly aren’t used to being “on” for any period of time beyond that. But everyone knows that in a 30-minute job interview candidates are tense, they’re scripted, they’re trying extremely hard to impress – and basically, one could argue, they’re not even really being themselves. Call me old-fashioned, but that dramatically diminishes the value of a drive-thru interview in my mind.
I don’t think I ever want to make a hiring decision based on a few lousy minutes that I spend with a person who hasn’t even had the time to let down their guard. Give me 120 minutes with a job seeker anytime and I will tell you, beyond a shadow of a doubt, whether they have the education, the training, the experience, the skills, the right attitude, the emotional maturity, the drive, and the ability to adapt and integrate to succeed in my organization’s workplace.
But if you can do this in 30 minutes, I’d really like to know how.